Words & photography: Roger Martin
There are plenty of naked bikes for older riders to choose from. MoreBikes columnist Roger Martin assess the merits of retro bikes.
Retirement these days can mean any age from around the mid-fifties up to very long in the tooth! Literally the sky is the limit.
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A friend of mine was 68 years of age and had always fancied the idea of riding a motorbike, but life had somehow overtaken him and he never got around to it. Then, following one beer-fuelled evening with friends at the pub, and an outbreak of bravado, he booked in and subsequently took his CBT.
He absolutely loved it and was mad at himself for not taking the plunge earlier. He rapidly brought a succession of bigger and faster bikes, and now at 82 years of age tours around Europe with his bike club friends on his latest acquisition; a Suzuki V-Strom 650.
I really think that biking keeps you young in both outlook and health beyond your years. In previous columns I have looked at finding a bike which will give you enjoyment well into retirement years. We have discussed the merits or otherwise of cruisers and middleweight tourers, so this missive now moves on to the next category to discuss, naked bikes.
Naked retro bikes
Right now, naked bikes cover everything from smaller offerings like the Honda Monkey 125 right up to fire breathing sportsbikes with their fairings removed and every conceivable permutation in between.
However, because you and I are by definition probably kids from the 50’s and 60’s, you may well be attracted to the idea of a retro of some sort, so I might as well start there. Firstly, the downsides. They take a lot of cleaning and polishing to look good, and you may well end up with spending more time cleaning than riding if you use a naked retro bike in wet weather.