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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:13 am 
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Crazy day yesterday :D

Decided I had to scratch an itch I've had for literally years – took the plunge and did my CBT. Thought I'd get on OK as I've been driving for ever and riding bikes of road for longer, but crikey it really doesn't prepare you for just how intense the whole motorbike gig is does it :shock:

Waking up this morning I feel more knackered than if I'd been out all day riding off road – my left arm in particular is telling me all about it.

All in all the best non-retrobike related bike experience I've had in years.

So, where from here I ask. Clearly I have to do the theory test (stupid if you ask me – I understand the rules of the road, the little 16 yrs cock I was doing the test with didn't even know what a no entry sign was – scary thing is he passed an is probably riding today on L-plates :shock: )

My instructor thinks I need another day on the 125 then straight on the 500s for 2 days followed by the test day – claims the big bikes are easier to ride than the small ones.

I'm wondering about getting a 125 to practice on for a month or so – and do the training and test on. The one I was riding yesterday was quite quick enough for me – and seemed more than capable of keeping up with the town traffic.

I'm sure there are many on here who have done what I'm now doing – and asked themselves the very same questions – I'd love to find out what you all think


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:23 am 
MacRetro rider
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I've been going hot and cold on the idea of a motorbike for years, always admired them, especially old school hardtail choppers 8), but something i would'nt go near as a form of transport.

May still get around to it though, especially after reading your comment " the best non-riding experience i've had in years" :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:31 am 
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Hi there, i would spend a bit of time with a 125 if you're happy enough with that, esp at this time of year, you can get some good practice in and get the feel for riding on the road, i had my car before i was on bikes but it's not the same, when doing my training there were guys there that were hgv drivers and they shit themselves when on the road on a bike as they didnt realise just how vunerable you can be on one. As the instructor said, the 500's can be easier though, i felt quite awkward on the yam sr125 because it was so small, the honda cg's were a bit better, but the 500's felt a bit more balance due to their heavier weight. The test itself is not too bad but some experience on a bike on the road deffinately is a big help. I was told i should go on and do the instructors course, i haven't as of yet but it's deffinately something i'm thinking on, when i have more time(i work alot of hours at the moment). It used to get to me on bike forums when a new rider would come along and they'd all be saying 'go for an r6 or something daft like that, working your way up the ladder is the way to go, i've lost count of the amount of mates who've done the big test with little experience and went and got a big sports bike only to scare the shit out of themselves and get shot of it, or worse still get hurt. enjoy it, learn as you go up the scale, you'll be safer and more confident for it :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:34 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:44 pm
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Location: Wherever it is, I'm being just that little bit more Lance
I've been riding motorbikes for years. Currently on an old BMW R80 airhead.

Like with cars you need to learn to pass the test then once you've got your license you then teach yourself how to drive. If I were you I'd take the test that lets you ride any bike you want. Then if all you want is a 125 to bimble about on then get one of those, at least you'll have the flexibility of a full license rather than being restricted to a 125 even though you might want something bigger.

Spend cash on decent boots, gloves, leathers, lid and body armour. With any luck you'll never need it but if it comes to it you'll be glad you spent the money. I've been hit by cars a few times, the last time I ended up sliding down the road on shell-grip, wrecked my leathers but kept the skin on my bones and all the blood inside.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:38 am 
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This is the bike i ended up liking the most of all my bikes, it did everything i wanted and needed of it, it was fast but not silly, i did loads of touring on it, went to the racing with it. i loved it 8) because i worked my way through the ranks i enjoyed it even more as it never felt that bit too much...


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:40 am 
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Currently on an old BMW R80 airhead.



Always fancied an airhead :D


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:49 am 
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Did exactly the same about 8 years ago, had always wanted to do it. My honest advice now though is dont. The problem is they are so good and such fum that once you have had one its very hard to be without as I now am. I had no self restraint whatsoever and soon found myself speeding everywhere (even a 600 will do 160mph as i found out). Several crashes and broken bones later (leg, collar bone, hand, 2 vertebrae) have decided that i should stay way while i still can. I literally felt that when I rode it I might not make it home in one piece, but when i cycle i am very confident i will (if thats making any sense). I even sold the supersports bike to get a KTM supermoto thinking that I could have fun at slower speeds but it was worse, it was like a big bmx!

Sorry if i sound like a prophet of doom. They are the best fun ever though!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:55 am 
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Hmmm… this is all kind of confirming what I though – don't run before you can walk so to speak. With regards to doing the DAS or just the standard test there doesn't seem to be much difference in price so there is a logic to doing the big-bike test – that said, if I'm going to be running a 125 for a couple of years it doesn't matter as the 33bhp restriction after the standard test only lasts 2 years anyway.

My concern is if I do the DAS there's nothing stopping me from getting a bike that exceeds my experience even if I don't realise I have. In some ways the 33bhp limit appeals, as at least I can get something around a 500cc and have it restricted, if I want to get a bigger bike.

A friend I work with did his test so he could ride the bikes that came into the workshop (test rides etc). Did his direct access course on a 500, next thing he rode was something daft like an R1 (gert big street rocket he called it) – took it down the road as carefully as he could, knowing it had masses of power on tap, but said nothing prepared him for when he twisted the throttle, even though he was gentle and careful. By the time he got back to work he was white as a sheet and shaking – hasn't ridden anything like that since – claims the most fun he's had on two wheels was with a little 250 trailie supermoto thingy they had in. Nice and light, felt like he could use all the power it had, cornered well – but most importantly for him was the knowledge that if he sneezed and twisted the throttle he wasn't going to wake up in hospital.

I've just looked up the stats and the bike I was on yesterday has about 10bhp – there are several 125s (4-stroke) that are now putting out the legal limit of 15bhp so I suspect they'd feel quite a bit quicker. I can only imagine what one of these 100bhp crotch rockets is like – quite lethal


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:05 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:44 pm
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Location: Wherever it is, I'm being just that little bit more Lance
Always fancied an airhead :D


Airheads are great, the motorbikes aren't bad either :wink:

Best thing is they're so easy to work on! the pots and carbs stick out the side and evrything is big, agricultural and never breaks down, everything can be worked on with a hammer and swearing. I used to work as a bike mechanic and some of the Japanese stuff was ridiculous. You'd spend hours removing body work, fuel tank, radiator etc JUST TO CHANGE THE SPARK PLUGS!!!

We used to get loads of blokes come into the shop just got off a 125 come in with a fist full of cash and ride out on new superbikes. We'd always wait to see how long it was before the bikes came back crashed. The record was 12 minutes. Bloke came back after he'd dropped the bike at a roundabout about half a mile away and had us replace all the dammaged bits so his wife wouldn't find out and ban him from the bike.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:09 pm 
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You'd spend hours removing body work, fuel tank, radiator etc JUST TO CHANGE THE SPARK PLUGS!!!


sounds exactly like that vfr i had there, bloody nightmare to change the plugs :evil:


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