How Old is Too Old to Start Riding a Motorcycle?

Riding motorcycles is one of the best decisions you can make at a young age. However, there are reservations as you get older, which prompts the question – how old is too old to ride a motorcycle?

Provided you have no visual or physical impairment or a chronic injury that can deter you from safely steering a motorbike, you can start riding a motorcycle at any appropriate age. 

Most people start at 16 years old, where it is legal to begin riding when not yet 18. However, the older you get, the greater the odds of not riding a motorcycle comfortably and safely. Sixty and above might be too late to start riding motorcycles. 

We’ll share more on the age preference and the factors that determine when you can start riding a motorcycle.

Let’s go on a ride!

Factors That Determine When to Start or Stop Riding a Motorcycle

Generally, no specific age is best to start or stop riding a motorcycle. For that reason, you can start or stop at any age appropriate for you, majorly depending on the following factors.

  1. Physical Health

Your physical health hugely determines your ability or inability to ride a motorcycle. If you have a severe medical condition that affects your mobility and posture, such as seizures, or if you suffer from a limb loss, you’ll not be able to ride a motorcycle safely. 

The same goes for chronic pain or legal blindness.

  1. Mental Health

You must be mentally healthy to make rational decisions when riding a motorcycle. In that case, mental conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia associated with old age signify that you shouldn’t ride a motorbike.   

Also, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, depression, or any other mental condition that doesn’t necessarily relate to old age, you shouldn’t ride a motorcycle. You won’t make proper judgments, especially in needy situations. 

  1. Local Laws

In some states, everyone needs to undergo a medical vision exam and get a report from a certified medical professional before riding a motorcycle on public roads. These states include Massachusetts, Alabama, Alaska, California, and Delaware.

It’s essential to confirm this from your state. Here’s the complete list of states that require you to take a medical exam to ride motorcycles.

  1. Level of Confidence

Motorcycle riding is about the rider’s confidence. Whether you are 20 or 70 years old, it doesn’t matter if you are not confident. You must shed off the fear of riding a motorcycle.

  1. Reason for Riding

For kids, motorcycle riding is fun, and so they start riding at a young age. For adults, however, reasons such as commuting and work could push them into getting a motorcycle. It’s never about age.

Am I Too Old to Start Riding a Motorcycle? 

Though age is not a critical determining factor for motorcycle riding, an advanced age often means more health issues, which reduce your ability to ride.

Also, the more you advance in age, the less sharp your vision becomes and the less likely you are to ride bikes safely.

While a few people ride motorcycles at 60 and above, it’s at such an age that most of them start to lose mobility. They become slower and less responsive, making it hard to control a motorcycle properly.

You are only too old to start riding a bike if you are physically incapable of doing so, either because of a medical condition, injury, or poor eyesight.

What Age Can You Start Riding a Motorcycle?

There is no specific age to start riding a motorbike. Kids begin learning to ride motorcycles as early as 3-7 years, starting with low CC (cubic capacity) options. For most people, the best age to start is 16 years because they can easily control the bike independently at this age. 

You can learn to ride a bike in your pre-teenage years, teenage years, the 50s, or even 70s if you have no form of a visual or physical disability that could prevent you from doing it.

How Can I Learn to Ride a Motorcycle?

Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation

The best way to learn how to ride a motorcycle is to first enroll in a motorcycle riding class where you’ll learn about basic riding, safety, and maintenance tips. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a good basic riding course to beginners. 

It takes the following key steps to start riding a motorcycle:

  • Getting the right bike
  • Wearing the right gear
  • Learning to balance and brake
  • Mastering how to turn and accelerate
  • Practicing as often as you can

How Hard Is It to Start Riding a Motorcycle?

Some people find motorcycle riding hard because they are too scared or try to teach themselves instead of attending a motorcycle safety course.

The more confident you are, the easier you’ll find motorcycle riding, and things get more straightforward when instructed by an expert.

How Much You Need to Start Riding a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle can be slightly cost-involving, especially when you don’t have the motorbike or necessary documentation.

Here are the general costs which you should be aware of:

  • Cost of motorcycle – A good beginner motorbike goes for $1,000-$2,500, depending on the engine capacity, bike size, and type
  • Motorcycle course – The cost of a motorcycle course varies between states but averages $200-$500 in most states
  • Motorcycle insurance – The cost is about $1,173 annually as of 2020
  • Motorcycle gear – A complete gear set will cost you about $1,500, which includes the cost of riding pants, helmet, boots, gloves, and a jacket.

What Risks Are Likely If I Ride a Motorcycle When I’m Too Old?

Riding a motorcycle at old age comes with several risks, which you should be wary of, but more importantly, you should know how to minimize or avoid them.

Here are the most notable ones:

  1. Crashing

Your reflexes are much slower at old age, and you are likely not to see clearly. The danger is that you are likely to make a few costly judgment mistakes, which younger people are less likely to commit. 

A fleeting mistake could lead to a fatal crash unless you know how to crash a motorcycle safely

  1. Injuries

According to one study, you are likely to suffer an accident and sustain an injury when older than younger. Older people are more prone to poor vision, bone frailty, and slow reflexes. All these put them at risk of crashing and injuring themselves.

  1. Slow Recovery

While sustaining an injury is dreadful, it’s more frightening not to recover quickly. That’s often the case at old age, given that the body is fragile and has a weak immune system. 

Do I Need to Get a Less Advanced Motorcycle as I Get Older?

Yes, you should get a less advanced motorcycle as you get older. Primarily, the older you get, the slower you become, which means you need a less speedy motorbike.

Once you get to 70 years, you mustn’t go for a high-capacity engine as that’ll mean crazy fast speed. Try to keep the capacity below 600cc.

What Is the Best Age to Ride a Motorcycle?

In most places, the legal age to start riding a motorcycle is 16, while it’s 19 in others. But overall, such age restrictions apply to public roads but not neighborhoods. Kids as young as 3-7 years can start to ride a motorcycle in the neighborhood if they are physically and visually able.

What Is the Average Age of Motorcycle Riders?

According to the American Motorcyclists Association, the average age of motorcycle riders is 48 years. There are more senior riders than younger ones.

At What Age Should You Stop Riding a Motorcycle?

There is no particular age to stop riding a motorcycle as long as you are physically and mentally healthy. Nonetheless, most older adults stop at 60-85 years, as that’s when most old-age conditions start to set in at an alarming rate.

What Signs Indicate That I Should Stop Riding My Motorcycle?

Watch out for the following signs as they indicate it’s unsafe for you to continue riding a motorcycle:

  • Never-ending close calls (if you repeatedly narrowly escape crashes)
  • You cannot concentrate on the road (if you are constantly distracted)
  • You get nervous each time you get onto a motorcycle or go past cars and people
  • Slow reaction or response times
  • You cannot see road signs and traffic signals correctly, especially at high speed
  • You cannot judge vehicle distances correctly (you lack spatial awareness)
  • Family or friends constantly plead with you to stop riding because they worry about your safety
  • You cannot stay in your lane 
  • You cannot find your way back when lost

Conclusion: How Old Is Too Old to Start Riding a Motorcycle?

It’s undeniable that age alone is not the determining factor for when to start riding a motorcycle. However, the older you get, the slower the reflexes and the riskier you can ride a motorbike.

Your physical and mental health, local laws, the reason for riding, and confidence level dictate when to start and stop riding a motorcycle. Starting at 16-21 is ideal, but starting at 60 and above limits you because old-age complications start striking you at this age. 

People Also Ask 

Here are some frequently asked questions about the right age to start riding a motorcycle. 

How Old Is Too Old to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle

There is no specific age that marks you as too old to learn how to ride a motorcycle. As long as you are mentally, medically, and physically fit, you can start learning how to ride motorbikes at any age. 

Even if you are 60-80 years old, you can learn to ride a motorcycle, especially if you are all fit and feeling rejuvenated. However, this may be too old if you already have old-age medical and physical problems.

When Is the Right Age to Get a Motorbike?

You’ll need a license if you plan to ride a motorcycle seriously on the highway and other public roads. You must be at least 21 years old to get a motorcycle license in most states. Depending on the state, you can get a bike at 18 or 21. 

Note, however, that kids don’t need a license to ride a motorcycle in the neighborhood. You can get them a motorbike at any age they are willing to start riding. 

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle for Adults?

Adult riders are different. Some can learn to ride a motorcycle in a day or two, while others may take weeks. However, a few may never ride at all as they are too scared to do it.

While motorcycle classes take days, getting a license doesn’t make you an expert rider. You must practice often.

Is 30 Too Old to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle?

Thirty years is a good age to learn to ride a motorcycle as your comprehension is good, and your eyesight sharpness is expected to be so unless you have an underlying condition.

Is 40 Too Old to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle?

Forty years is not too old to learn to ride a motorcycle. Provided you’ve no physical or visual disability, which can stop you from riding, your age shouldn’t.

It’s essential, however, to take things slow and preferably learn with a low-speed motorbike to boost your confidence and safety.

Is 50 Too Old to Start Riding a Motorcycle?

At 50 years, most riders are at their peak. That’s when they ride more for exercising and commuting. So, no, 50 years is not too old to start riding a motorcycle. At least, your reflexes are not supposed to be slow at 50.

Is It Ever Too Late to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle?

Motorcycle riding depends on three major factors; physical health, mental health, and the rider’s confidence. Provided you don’t have a physical or psychological condition that can prevent you from riding and are not too scared to do it, you can learn to ride a motorcycle.

It’s never too late to learn to ride a motorbike unless a health condition or fear stops you. However, old-age problems settling in at 60 can make learning how to ride at 60 and above a headache. 

About Alex

Hi Friends! Welcome to Motorcycle Exploits. I'm Alex! If you ever had any personal hindrances or doubts about your abilities to ride a motorcycle, then you are in the right place, Mate! My desire is to help you overcome any fears and other personal struggles you have so that you, too, can celebrate your EXPLOITS!