- Mid-Life-Crisis (Motorbike purchase)
So, I did my CBT yesterday. Eventually it was great.
In the morning, there were 4 of us, with one instructor. Another was scheduled for later in the day to accompany us on the mandatory road ride section. The other 3 lads were complete novices, never having so much as sat on a bike before. They also were not car drivers. I had already done the recommended complete novice intro.
The first theory session was fine, just what we expected. Here are the controls, this is what you need to wear etc. The first practical session was slow, and even the instructor was getting a little frustrated, although he did a good job of hiding it. We were well behind by the time we got to lunch – a couple of the lads were having serious issues with the clutch control, and that stopped us moving on to any kind of manoeuvres. Frustratingly, I felt like I was making good progress on the exercises, but ended up waiting around for 20 minutes at a time while the rest of them pootled around the cones. Not their fault at all, as complete novices, but it was winding me up.
At the first break, instructor #1 told us that we probably wouldn’t complete the course in the day, because we were all struggling so much. Not much I could do, but I wasn’t happy.
Thankfully, at that point, Instructor #2 turned up and we went out on to the airfield again to try u-turns. I’d had some lunch by then, and my brain was working again, so I had no trouble. The instructors decided that I should go down to my own patch of tarmac and just practise what I wanted while we waited for the others to catch up. After a while, #2 came over to me and said “Look, I want to try and get you out on the road today – it’s a shame that you’ve had to wait around so much.” so while the others went back to the classroom to do the Highway Code gubbins, #2 took me around some fake junctions, watched me to an emergency stop, check I was ok with the gears etc. We had a really quick dash through the road theory – I was fine on that due to years of car driving (and a couple of police-mandated “awareness” days…), and at half three, we just got out onto the West Surrey road network.
All fine, all fun. I was regularly convinced I was going faster than I actually was. Enjoyed some curves, the road surface was a bit mulchy in places due to the horrendous weather that morning. At one point I got a corner wrong: left hand bend, tightening, slightly greasy surface, MASSIVE pile of horse **** bang in the centre of the lane, exactly half way through the turn. I found myself on the wrong side of the road, having had a complete failure to process all the issues quickly enough. But I think (and #2 agreed) that that did me a favour. I saw how quickly things can go unexpected, and how my brain reacts, especially when everything is still so new to me.
Got back to the office at 5:30, got handed my certificate and a handshake, and was very pleased with myself.
And massive credit to Barry @ Ridesure training (at Dunsfold) for going out of his way, and staying late just so I could make the progress I needed to, and being a constant, informative chatterer in my ear throughout the whole ride.
Incidentally, having been told about counter-steering on my previous session, I decided to deliberately emply it on my mountain bike on Saturday morning. Good grief can I now change direction quickly!Posted 4 months agoBustaspokeMember
Two of the basic ways you can change direction on a bike.
B) Weight the footppegs.
You’ve tried the countersteering now see the difference when you weight the pegs.
You can try both on a bicycle so try it on your MTB .
Before any of the Super-Moto or track day gods chime in,yes there’s rear wheel steering etc.But it’s probably best to stick to the basics for a few months…Posted 4 months agokiloSubscriber
Two of the basic ways you can change direction on a bike.
B) Weight the footppegs
Wasn’t it the Keith code race school that had a bike with a welded steering head to demonstrate that weighting the pegs is not a method of steering. Transfer of body weight may help your other steering inputs (and fairly marginal use for normal road riding) but it’s not steering on it’s ownPosted 4 months agoGlennQuagmireMember
I passed my Module 1 recently and I started my Module 2 training this weekend (more to follow this week).
Although bigger bikes are a bit daunting at first (just size/weight) they are just as easy to ride as a 125cc (if not easier). I’m still learning the ropes but the first Mod 2 session was great fun 🙂Posted 4 months ago
@16stonepig Honestly don’t waste your time on the 125, if you can afford to do the DAS now just do it. Then if you are not feeling you want to get something fancy by a cheap CB500 or such like and ride that. It will just ride a lot better than a 125.
Edited to add
Well done on the CBT 🙂Posted 4 months agonedrapierSubscriber
Was going to say what bazzer said. If you are 16 stone, I’d imagine when you do get on a bigger bike, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
A good way to do it without too much commitment would be to go back to Ridesure after a couple of weeks/months and do a day with them on a bigger bike. It will be good to have some more input on your riding, it’ll be training that will push you up towards your Mod1 and 2, and you’ll find out if you want to get it all done and get onto a bigger bike sooner rather than later,Posted 4 months agojoefmMember
I get wanting to ride the 125 for longer but have a think about bigger bikes.
You don’t need to go fast, the power is on tap to be used – they aren’t on or off.
Instruction on the DAS will be better and more comprehensive so by the time you pass you’ll be more used to it and can continue to gain experience at your own rate.
Then you’ll be able to ride a proper bike with a working headlight and can get to speed a lot easier.
Sounds as if you can ride so don’t worry about taking extra time and get it done.Posted 4 months ago
Apart from something like a unrestricted 2 stroke RS125 or something interesting like that, if I was going to ride something low capacity around town I would choose a scooter. If I wanted to ride a bike for fun I would deffo get something bigger.
Comfier, Better suspension, better brakes and just more reliable as your not screaming the tits off it everywhere.
PS I am looking at RS125’s 🙂 Even though I have 3 litre bikes and a 650cc bike 🙂Posted 4 months ago
On your collective advice, and rehashing my experiences on Sunday in my mind, I’ve gone back to the school and asked what would be involved in getting the DAS done straight away.
Even though the 125 was overwhelming in terms of number of things to think about on the road, I was still struggling for power when I needed it. After a few weeks driving one, I can see myself getting really frustrated. Especially on a commute, potentially in the dark, when I don’t want to be trundling along holding cars up, or being caught up by one with a huge speed difference.Posted 4 months ago
Passed my MOD 1 on Wednesday!
We rode from Dunsfold over to the test centre at Burgess Hill. Lots of junctions and other cars and things to think about. Then had an enormous cafe lunch of chilli with chips and cheese which put me into a food coma. On moving the bike from cafe to car park to test centre car park, I must have stalled it 8 times. I was convinced I’d completely forgotten how to operate it, which did not help my test nerves.
Test was fine though. A fault for going too fast on the slow ride (I disagree) and a fault for being 1kph under speed on the swerve test (Hard to argue with the machine).
Another hour navigating some potential test routes at Burgess Hill, then a 45 minute ride back to the airfield, and my brain was properly broken.
Now I’ve got a couple of weeks before I can do any more training and the MOD 2 test.
EDIT: The instructor was trying to convince me not to bother with a pokey little 650cc as my first bike, and just go straight to a litre. I’m not convinced of his logic.Posted 4 months agobenp1Subscriber
I can firmly say that a CBR1000RR is too much, its mind blowingly quick. It’s obviously as tame as you want, but it’s pointless pootling around on it like a baby as a new rider
I still found my Street Triple R to be not utilised enough after two years and many thousand miles on an SV650s. I did my advanced licence after getting my STR, helped my confidence and competence no end
There’s something fun about pushing a smaller engined bike. I’ll probably be getting something slower (and maybe naked) once I move my Blade onPosted 4 months ago
My first bike was an F800GSA that was a bit difficult to get both feet on the ground with. That bothered me a hell of a lot more than the 80bhp!!
after two years, I was definitely hankering for more – that came in the shape of the 160bhp S1000XR
Only really having occasional “moar power!!!” Moments now after another two years
rachelPosted 4 months agoYoKaiserSubscriber
I’m 2k in on my first bike. First few hundred miles or so and it still felt quick, it is starting to lack a wee bit of low down grunt now though. I still have loads to learn with it mind and can see me looking for something next year. Don’t necessarily want loads of power all the same, if I was to look at litre plus bikes itd probably be big torquey retros.Posted 4 months agofailedengineerMember
My tip, fwiw, is think about the seat height. A lot of new bikes seem to be very tall and make for very nervous stopping and starting, parking and paddling backwards. My last bike was a Tiger 800XCX and the height and high C of G had started to spoil biking a bit for me, especially with a pillion. I’m not tiny (a smidge under 5′ 10″) – I don’t know how some people cope with these really tall bikes. I suppose strength will come into it too, I’m 63 now and losing strength, especially in my arms. Anyway, I chopped the Tiger in for a BMW F800R and it is a doddle to ride. Enough power for most roads, light-ish and a low (790mm) seat height. Good pillion seat, too. The engine can’t match the Tiger, but those Triumph triples are some of the best engines ever, IMO. If only the Street Triple had a decent pillion seat and was just a touch bigger it would be the perfect bike for me and I suspect, many others too.Posted 4 months ago
An update for any of you that are at all bothered.
Had my MOD2 test on Friday, and managed to fail it. In an extremely frustrating, but difficult to argue with manner.
The ride to the test centre was lovely and smooth. Fun even. Really confidence inspiring. My lovely instructor was happy for me to lead the way and let me make my own decisions. On to the test, and I had zero nerves at all – relaxed and comfortable. I followed the signs, pulled up and pulled away when told. negotiated every junction and roundabout with ease and safety, got straight up to 60 when I hit the NSLs and tried to show the examiner that I was enjoying myself, when we hit queues and roadworks, I was smooth at low speed.
As we get back to the test centre, he asks if I want my instructor to come with me. This is not usually a good sign. Go into the little office and he says that I have “not passed”. (Not “failed” though – his language was quite specific, which was a nice touch.) He explained to me that although it was an excellent ride, and he was glad to see me making progress and being smooth and confident, there were two issues. Or rather, two instances of the same issue. During a slow queue which crossed over several of those traffic-calming one-way things, I had moved past one give way into a situation where I was too close to the queuing car in front. Then later on, at roadworks with a traffic light, I had stopped with a good distance between me and the car in front. However, I was partly blocking a junction. When a van arrived and wanted to turn into the junction, I moved ahead and let him past, but this put me too close to the car in front again.
I’m not going to argue about either of these points, or claim that the examiner was wrong, but it’s extremely frustrating for a few reasons. One: the rest of the ride was great. I was never surprised by anything, didn’t react late or muck up the controls (except for one very slightly slow move off). The faults were purely about making a conscious decision which the chap disagreed with. Two: If either one of those faults had happened on their own, it would have been a minor – two of them together I guess made him worry that I had a bit of a systematic planning issue. Three: The other guy who was taking the test the same day got 7 minors, completely fell apart and yet still passed. Four: I now have to wait 10 DAYS before I am allowed to take the test again.
It’s easier to deal with if I accept that the examiner is looking out for my own safety, and asking me to get used to creating more space for myself, but I’m still nagged by what-ifs.
The ride home was fun though. Again, my lovely instructor backed off and just let me enjoy myself for an hour or so – didn’t try to give me any more advice or feedback and risk me over-thinking things. I know I can do it next time.Posted 3 months agoMrGrimMember
Sorry to hear you didn’t pass. It is what it is. You just have to take the feedback into consideration and get it re-booked. It doesn’t matter how anyone else rode that day. Just concentrate on the next test. It sounds like you are ready and on a different day you would have passed.Posted 3 months agoBianchi-BoyMember
I started a similar journey a couple of months back aged 57. I had owned bikes when I was 17 (you could ride up to a 250cc back then) but never took my test. So following a thread on here I bought a Duke 390 and booked the CBT training. That went well (would highly recommend 121 training if it is available to you) so I booked the full test. I really enjoyed the experience, the Mod 1 was great fun. A bit more pressure on the Mod 2 but I still really enjoyed it and luckily passed first time. So tax paid (£42) and Ins bought (£352) and I am on the road and having a great time.
I only have a 390 but it is quite quick enough for me. I’m sure I spend most of my time on it grinning like a Cheshire Cat.Posted 3 months ago
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