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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:55 am 
Posh Mark
Posh Mark
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:49 pm
Posts: 6065
Location: As far from the city as you can be ....
I have for a number of years wanted to take my bike test. Not straight up super bike crazyness but the 400cc one.

Over time I have had similar reactions from friends, family and work collegues that I must be crazy given the condition of roads/volumes of traffic.

I plan to start lessons in the new year but wanted to ask some silly :oops: questions to put my mind at rest :roll: :lol:

For those that ride a motorbike regularly:

1) Are the roads as bad as people say for motorcyclists?
2) Do you find that for short journeys/commuting they are just as favorable as a car?
3) Whats the best riding kit to consider....leather :? , all in one :? etc
4) Is there anything I should be aware of that I have missed so far :lol: :lol:

To all:

1) Am I crazy considering a motorbike?


BTW this isn't a mid life crisis.....unless they are now happening sub 30yrs old!

Any other help guidance etc would all be appreciated.

Cheers,

MArk


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:15 am 
BANNED USER
BANNED USER

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:16 am
Posts: 450
Location: Rollin' in my 6-4,with everybody sayin..
hi mate,in answer to your questions :

1) no,roads arent that bad,you'll learn the mastery of 'filtering',car drivers hate it,but you'll get no drama and arrive safer! the conditions on the whole ok,but always be wary of spillage or the dreaded wet drain cover!

2) commuting is perfect,short journeys especially,you'll learn to ignore the rain. (which brings me onto my next answer)

3) as long as you get yourself a decent set of leathers,dont bother with anything else,be safe wear leathers.get yourself a two-piece suit and you'll be fine,lok after it and it'll look after you,you'll thank me,i promise!

4)finally,just be aware of one thing,always second guess the traffic,act as if they CANNOT see you,be wary and ride safe,dont take chances.

hope that helps.(and if youre going to take the 400cc test,i'd sugest either a VFR or an FZR if youre feeling flush!)

hope it all works out for you!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:35 am 
Posh Mark
Posh Mark
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:49 pm
Posts: 6065
Location: As far from the city as you can be ....
Jimzano wrote:
hi mate,in answer to your questions :

1) no,roads arent that bad,you'll learn the mastery of 'filtering',car drivers hate it,but you'll get no drama and arrive safer! the conditions on the whole ok,but always be wary of spillage or the dreaded wet drain cover!

2) commuting is perfect,short journeys especially,you'll learn to ignore the rain. (which brings me onto my next answer)

3) as long as you get yourself a decent set of leathers,dont bother with anything else,be safe wear leathers.get yourself a two-piece suit and you'll be fine,lok after it and it'll look after you,you'll thank me,i promise!

4)finally,just be aware of one thing,always second guess the traffic,act as if they CANNOT see you,be wary and ride safe,dont take chances.

hope that helps.(and if youre going to take the 400cc test,i'd sugest either a VFR or an FZR if youre feeling flush!)

hope it all works out for you!


Thank you.

Good advice all round. Leather two piece eh....sounds kinky :wink:

Having ridden for years on the road on a pedal bike I take onboard your point about second guessing.

I think when I'm driving too I am mindful of all cyclists but seeing what some do (motor cyclists) is beyond belief!

Thank you again.

Keep em coming folks :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:07 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 8968
Most of the previous I agree with but not the leather. Leather is good but so are most of the modern manmade fibre kit as it all has to be CE approved to sell these days. I prefer two peice reinforced jacket and trousers with breathable membranes and armour inserts. Get something tough and warm, a removable liner for warmer months would be good. Gloves need to be warm, waterproof and tough as hands suffer badly in winter if not cocooned well from the elements.

Biking is great all year around if your prepared and observant of the conditions. I've ridden for 20 years now through Scotlands changeable conditions and still want to do it :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:48 pm 
P.o.T.M. Winner / MacRetro Rider
P.o.T.M. Winner / MacRetro Rider
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:03 am
Posts: 5730
Location: In the foothills of the foothills of The Cairngorm Massif :D
1) Are the roads as bad as people say for motorcyclists?
:arrow: Generally no - its the other roads users that make life dificult. However diesel spills are a bugger (and usually occur places where you least want to encounter one - like on roundabouts or sweeping RH corners :twisted: )

2) Do you find that for short journeys/commuting they are just as favorable as a car?
:arrow: Much more so than a car 8)

3) Whats the best riding kit to consider....leather , all in one etc
:arrow: Whatever's on sale at Hein Gericke, but don't skimp on protection, you will come off one day. Even at walking pace you'lll need all the impact absorbing gubbins available.

4) Is there anything I should be aware of that I have missed so far
:arrow: Its no cheaper than using a car and more difficult to pick up the groceries or take away on the way home from work.

MAJOR EDIT - oh and I'm not certain what your motivation is but don't assume that turning up at the local hostelry with a hot throbbing machine between your legs will automatically make you seriously attractive to the opposite, errr, sex :shock: :lol:

I used to commute from Kent into London regularly on the A21, a major route into the city. Best part of the day 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
You don't get that buzz stuck in a car or on a train :twisted: .....although I believe you can read more books on a train :roll:

Just get decent training and be very alert. You will learn to read the road better and realise you are invisible to or hated by ALL other road users. Don't get cocky and speak nicely to the cops when you're pulled over (you will be :D )

Have fun :P


Last edited by Mr Panda on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:32 pm 
Devout Dirtbag
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 141
the roads are alot more congested than years ago, this is obvious but also noteworthy is the fact people are driving ever bigger and more powerfull cars, add to this the arrogant nature of people in general these days and you will find they are more aggressive to bikes than in years gone by,, seems to me they dont like johnny rocket goin down the middle past them in there big suv 4x4 thing thats stuck in traffic, plus they only have a bit of gravel on the drive at home anwyway ,

becuase of the above a bigger bike will be safer , you will find people try to keep up with you more , more so now the jap car scene is alive and well and every chav in town is really filming the fast and furry,

you will need decent kit to go thru winter and a decent lid will set you back close to 400 notes alone, boots are a must have and they will be 150 up. get cheaper if you like but its your head thats in it and ankles skin easily, id advise a back protector as well,

i would suggest a fazer 600 at least for a beginner , not to racy to get you in trouble but the 400 will have you ringing its neck in two weeks just to get anywhere, id leave the twins alone due to the way they make there power a simple jap in line 4 is smoother to learn on,

saying that just get one with a fairing if you plan to do work runs or ride in winter, it helps trust me,

short journeys will always be faster by car unless in rush hour, you walk out door get in car and are down the road by the time the biker has his boots, gloves, helmet on and unlocked bike,

ill stop going on , lol sorry :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:40 pm 
Devout Dirtbag
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 141
i dont mean to put a downer on it but you wil come off, everyone does at some point, to get an idea how many people do join a bike forum like this and check the spills section, another sobering thought is you will see in bike forums a fallen riders section , for guys that have been killed, the fact its there in alot of them tells you what you need to know.

it does happen, more than you realise unless you are watching the news and police update sites for your area,

i had alot of fun on bikes for alot of years, i got sick of having cars try to have ago when on my 600cc bikes so moved to 1000cc bikes, i wont ever go small again and ill leave the 750 v thou debate at the door cos thats a kettle of worms , point is i have a 4year old boy so got rid of my bike, not worth the risk anymore, maybe when he is older and could cope without dad ,

on a plus http://www.gixerjunkies.com/index.php check these guys out for a cool bunch of people and a good site ,


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:18 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 715
Location: Somewhere-set
I was in your shoes around this time last year

I'd had the bug for years (just kept telling myself not to do it). I'd been involved with MotoGP for a number of years, but it was a recent adventure biking project that finally pushed me over the edge.

Did my CBT in Nov last year and told myself right from the start that if I didn't feel safe during or after the days training I'd call it quits and walk away – I'm glad I didn't.

Got a 125 in January, fully intending to do the full test before the new one came in, but to be honest I'd never have been ready. Since Jan I've clocked up 2,700 miles both around town (traffic), and out on the open roads. I have to confess that I avoid the wet weather (mainly 'cause I just don't see the fun in it and I'm doing this for fun not purgatory), and I expect I'll be restricted to weekends only now the nights are closing in. Though I've been using the bike for my 50mile round-trip commute to work quite a bit.

Looking back I'd say there's no way I'd have been safe doing a CBT then a 5-day direct access. I can see how people hurt themselves going that route. Spending a year on a125 learning smoothness and correct road positioning and control has been well worth it in my opinion.

Having been a driver for nearly 2 decades what surprised me most i how much more your concentration levels rise on a bike, and how much more you see – it's certainly made me a better driver, though I know I still have a very long way to go regarding the bike.

I'll be on the 125 through the winter now (when weather permits) and into next spring, then I'm doing the full test. Not sure yet if it'll be direct access or if I'll do it on my own bike (which leads to the 2 year 33bhp restriction). Just got to do my theory test (crazy given I've held a car license for so many years, but still.)

On to your questions though:

1. Roads are terrible for bikers, full of pot holes, tar lines and broken surfaces (and that's just my street) – Honestly, they're not so bad – you've just got to know the limitations of the bike and ride within them. Oh, other road users a a bloody nightmare, but if you treat everyone around you like they're out to kill you, you'll probably get by.

2. I've got 3 gert-big locks and a rain cover to deal with, not to mention jacket, trousers, boots, gloves, helmet etc. to sort before the bike can go anywhere – all-told about 20 minutes effort. I can just grab the keys for the car and be moving inside 30 seconds so No… short journeys (to the shops etc) are more hassle than it's worth. I rarely go out or less than an hour at a time.

3. Tried leather but it felt too restrictive and I don't like the power ranger look anyway – no denying it offers good protection, I'm sure, but when you're starting out anything that's a distraction takes attention away from learning. I went with textiles – jacket and trousers zip together – and didn't skimp on quality (figuring if I didn't drop the bike it'll last me a long time, and if I did I wanted all the protection I could lay my hands on). Initially went with textile-based winter gloves as they seemed to fit better than leather for me, but by the summer realised they were too hot and ended up buying some nice kangaroo and carbon gloves – now I don't feel safe if I wear the old ones :? Get a good helmet, and try on as many as you can (visited Hein Gericke 3 times and can honestly say I tried every medium lid in the shop a dozen times or more – I now know why people say you have a shoei-shaped head or an Arai-shaped head or so on – they all fit that little bit different, when you find one that' right everything else feels all wrong (see comment re. distractions again).

4. There are hundreds of things you've missed, I'm sure – but I'm still learning so I'm that last person you should be asking :wink: Everything I've put here is an account of my own experiences and nothing more. I just hope it helps to hear it from someone who's going through what you're considering. The new two-part test has got a lot of bad press, and the BMF are really laying into the DSA for it, can't see they're going to change it though.

5. Are you crazy considering a motorcycle??? YES, but then aren't we all a bit mad?

Seriously, give it a go. Who knows you may come to love it.


I don't consider mine to be a mid-life crisis either – I may be mid 30's, but as my wife keeps telling me I act just like a child
:lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:36 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:26 pm
Posts: 239
Just one bit of advice .... a car indicator flashing only really means one thing

THE BULB WORKS !!!!!
Anything else is guess work !


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:14 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:25 pm
Posts: 755
Location: Barnstaple, N.Devon
All of the above plus-

Wear some Hi-viz gear, just thing how easily you spot workmen 100's of yards down the road.

Ride within your limits, don't try to keep up with more experienced riders.


True about the Helmets, I can't stand to have an AGV on my head for any length of time. You don't have to spend loads on a lid, get the one that fits most snug and comfy.

Can't resist popping a pic' of mine up, sorry :roll:


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