Motorcyclists of the forum…

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  • Motorcyclists of the forum…
  • Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    Riding for a year is good for confidence. But when you do you course learn to pass the test, try to drop the habits you’ve picked up. Once you’ve passed the test you can then learn to ride properly again

    Not so sure on a Guzzi (never had one, so not being negative) but if you want your forst bike to be a big one, then V twins are the way to go. Usually physically big so comfortable and confidence inspiring but not stupidly fast. Also with a wide power band and pretty forgiving on screwing up gear changes. But I’ve had several Italian bikes and find electrics can be an issue. Be prepared to learn about 12v electrics
    However, this is singletrack so someone will be along shortly to tell you to get a Hayabusa or R1

    P-Jay
    Member

    It’s been a while, but unlike the car test the examiners are looking for confidence rather than caution (within reason of course).

    For example during my test they threw a set of road works up that morning which meant a lane closure and contraflow – they changed the test route for the rest of the day once they saw it, but I was the first – on the first sign the lane was closing I had the indicator on, found a gap and merged over, no drama, no fuss. He took the time to say it was impressive when he handed over the pass sheet and must have forgot I stalled it when I got flustered 30 seconds outside the test centre and stalled the bike at the side of the road.

    Premier Icon kayla1
    Subscriber

    My advice for the test would be to remember you can still ride around after the test even if you don’t pass, remembering this helped me loads on my test. I did mine 17 years ago (blimey!) so it was CBT > theory > practical test. I did it on a 125 and did the two year restriction just because it was the cheapest way to it. I know things have changed a bit since then and there are more hoops to jump through- good luck!

    Premier Icon tootallpaul
    Subscriber

    So. Theory test booked for the beginning of May. A license course is booked for the End of May, Tests in first week of June.

    With any luck I will be purchasing my big bike shortly after.

    Any advice for the tests?

    I’ve been riding for about a year now on my 125, and have built up to commuting 60 miles a day a couple of days a week.

    I’m thinking about a Moto Guzzi V7 Stone once I have passed my test.

    i cant advise you for the test but i can give you a solid piece of advice for riding a bike… ride with the knowledge that every other person on the road is trying to kill you.

    now go buy the police road motorcylists manual and read it.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Subscriber

    +1 for Roadcraft

    The V7 will be a nice introduction to bigger bikes. Lazy, torquey power delivery, low CoG and stable handling. It won’t be super fast though.

    Premier Icon salad_dodger
    Subscriber

    Not sure the V7 could be described as a big bike. It would struggle to pull the skin off a rice pudding. Test ride a few different bikes before making any purchase. i thought I wanted a big sports bike and after riding and owning lots of different bikes over a short space of time I have got myself a KTM Duke 690 (waves at Weeksy) and have finally found the “right” bike for me.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Subscribe to some online hazard perception test examples because they are terrible for anyone with driving experience. You will identify the hazard long before the scoring window opens and so lose all your points. You would do better to wait as long as possible until you’ve almost run over the kid on a bicycle before clicking.

    Failure rate at the hazard perception tests actually rises for each level of experience. Advanced and police trainers actually score the worst!

    They cultivate a reactive response rather than a proactive / predictive one

    Chew
    Member

    May be a tad late………but don’t go and book everything in at once. It’s just adds pressure as ‘I have to pass this as my test is next week’…… people can fail for the smallest things due to nerves

    Just take it one step at a time. Good instructors have test places booked in advance, so if you pass part A, you can book in for part B in a week or two.

    dufusdip
    Member

    Hard to comment on what floats your boat and what kind of rider you are but two bits of advice that worked for me.

    Don’t spend a fortune on your first bike. Typically you’ll crash or drop it in the first year or two.

    Careful going for big bikes as they can be a handful to corner of you’ve not learned to corner on a smaller bike to get the basics they don’t teach you for the test.

    Roadcraft + 2
    Twist of the wrist is also good to understand what is going on without having to be a racer.

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Subscriber

    +1 for Twist of the wrist books. Explains a lot about how to ride a bike and how caveman instincts can be dangerous.

    allthegear
    Member

    You have been riding for a year? Assuming you have picked up no bad habits, you’ll breeze through.

    Buy whichever bike will make you smile.

    Rachel

    I’m in the same boat – I’ve been riding for about a year on a 125 and am also looking at getting my A licence this year so reading this thread with interest.

    As for bikes – I’m also eyeing up which bike to get next. Obviously I’ll need to test ride some but I quite fancy a closer look at the Honda CB500F (or CBR500R) or the Yahama MT-07. The Honda is 500cc and the Yamaha is 700cc and both (apparently) make great first “big” bikes. Both can be bought brand new for about £5k.

    nickewen
    Member

    I did my theory a few weeks ago.. hazard perception can catch some people out as noted above. Make sure to do plenty of practice ones. You can click the button a lot more often than you would imagine before it thinks you’re just systematically clicking all the time. I was clicking 3-4 times for all “potential” hazards on the real thing and passed no bother. Whereas on the first few practices I was only clicking once and losing lots of points. I’m about to book my rider training so will consult this thread when I do! Good luck with it.

    I had some howlers in the theory. Something along the lines of: you are first on the scene of an accident, someone is injured on the ground, do you:

    A Get them a cup of tea
    B Take then for a walk
    C Talk to them and reassure them
    D Offer them a cigarette!!

    I giggled and got a hacky look off the invigilator..

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    You have been riding for a year? Assuming you have picked up no bad habits, you’ll breeze through.

    Yep I’d had exactly 3.5 days riding when I did my Direct Access Test. Amazing to think they let me loose on the roads after only about 20 hours on a bike….

    allthegear
    Member

    Same here footflaps.

    Then I had a four month break before going out and buying an ex-demo BMW F800GSA…

    Turns out it only goes as fast as you turn the throttle.

    Rachel

    tjagain
    Member

    onewheelgood – Member

    +1 for Roadcraft

    The V7 will be a nice introduction to bigger bikes. Lazy, torquey power delivery, low CoG and stable handling. It won’t be super fast though.

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    The V7 is a lovely bike – brilliant first bike too. Plenty of power for someone new onto larger bikes and very forgiving.

    I ride a bigger Guzzi 😉

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/M1x2B9]7th October 2016[/url] by Rob Sutherland, on Flickr

    Premier Icon tootallpaul
    Subscriber

    Thanks everyone!

    Everybody mentions “bad habits”- but what are they?

    🙂

    Rockhopper
    Member

    When you look at a bike factor in running costs. Tax and petrol will be cheaper but servicing (my 12k service was over £500 and intervals are often less than a car), tyres (3000 miles a pair, £250), chains and sprockets (20K and £200 so shaft drive is a big saving) can be eye wateringly expensive.

    Premier Icon paulhaycraft
    Subscriber

    I passed (restricted) in ’99 for something to do, then didn’t ride for 5 years and bought a CBF500. Steep learning curve!
    I’m on my second 600 Hornet at the moment and find it pretty good. Easy to ride and largely bulletproof re maintenance.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Agree with servicing costs. For example: If I remember correctly my SV650 (a proper one with carbs 😉 )was significantly cheaper than a similar age bandit 600: think it was down to valve clearance service intervals.

    Everyone is making me feel old: I did my test at 17. None of this theory exam stuff or different licences. You could ride upto a 12hp 125 on l plates, you took a test and then you could fill your boots!

    I’m young enough to have to have done CBT thought. Did it on my 16th birthday!

    allthegear
    Member

    Bad habits include:

    Not observing enough
    Failing to do a lifesaver check for pretty much everything
    Failing to maintain the bike (& especially chain)
    Riding too close to vehicle in front
    Not observing enough

    Rachel

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    passed a couple of years ago after a few aborted attempts over the years –
    CBT expired, theory test expired.. I wanted to get the licence, but no immediate plans to get a road bike – had a trials bike. Borrowed my brother’s CBR1000F last year, then messed my shoulder up. Shoulder’s better, just bought it off him. Wouldn’t be my first choice, but I know it’s been looked after and it’ll be good for touring. It’s big lump, but very easy to ride slow or a bit faster. Just realised it’s in the same category as the Mondeo Estate it shares the drive with – boring image, steady, capable mile munchers!

    On the lookout for a ’97 VFR750 in good nick, though.

    No special advice for the test. The examiner wants to pass you. Try to ignore him and ride like you normally would – ride the conditions and the traffic and react as appropriate. A lot of people fail on things they say they wouldn’t have done if they were riding on their own – trying to second guess what they think the examiner wants to see rather than their first instinct.

    A turn’s not finished until you’ve cancelled your indicators.

    Always know what the speed limit is and stick to it! Not a good feeling to realise on your test that you don’t know if it’s 40 or NSL!

    When you’re riding around, pass a new limit sign and keep it in your head. Keep your speed bang on and not a hair over – good practice and a good way to remember what the limit is. If it’s safe, obvs.

    Euro
    Member

    Tips for test…they’ll fail you for speeding. They’ll also fail you for pulling a wheelie (apparently it’s deemed ‘out of control’ 😀 ). Other than not doing either, get up to speed as fast a possible. Lifesaver before every move (i still do this in the car – works here too). And try to relax. Good luck with the test.

    p.s. Not sure just how too tall you are OP -I’m 6’5″ and looked mucho stupid on my 125 test bike – my knees where touching my ears 😀

    allthegear
    Member

    Learning to ride a motorbike made me a much better car driver (which, to be fair, wasn’t hard)

    Rachel

    Rockhopper
    Member

    Forgetting to cancel your indicators is a very popular way of failing your test!

    I did mine back in the day –

    Ride down there, turn left and keep turning left till you get back here.
    Ride down there, turn right and keep turning right till you get back here.
    Ride down there, turn left and emergency stop.
    Back to test centre and some traffic sign questions.
    Right thats it, you can go and by a ‘Blade now 🙂

    Euro
    Member

    Without a doubt Rachel. When i’m president i’m gonna make it compulsory for anyone intending to drive a car to spend 2 years on a motorbike first.

    bazzer
    Member

    My stock answer for a first bike is a Triumph Street Triple. Easy to ride and so much fun. 🙂

    bazzer
    Member

    @allthegear How are you getting on with your XR now ?

    I am not 100% about mine its fast and comfy, but feels like there is a little bit missing for me. I am tempted to give the KTM GT a test ride.

    Its also not been 100% trouble free.

    allthegear
    Member

    Idris? The XR? Ah he’s ace!

    I think it will get me through my “speed phase” and will eventually look for something more chilled and “sensible”. Not yet, though.

    Sounds amazing now with 14000 miles done.

    If I can find a CRf250L for sensible money to compliment it, I’ll be happy. Otherwise I might have to buy a GS and I don’t think I can really grow the mandatory beard…

    N+1

    Rachel

    bazzer
    Member

    Done about 7000 on mine, off to the Ardennes next month so that will bump that up a little. Another Spain trip later in the year. After that I will have think about if I want a change. I just have been spoilt with the Aprilia V4 engines and the BMW feels a little flat in comparison. That said the 200mile (ish) tank range and all day comfort are amazing. It does however sound great when revved even with the stock exhaust.

    1981miked
    Member

    I passed a couple of years ago, did my CBT, passed all the theory stuff and cracked on with the bigger bike lessons.

    I used to get quite nervous before lessons (must be an age thing as I don’t usually get nervous). Made it hard to look forward to lessons. I changed the times I was taking them to make sure I was not having to hurry to make them and this helped a lot.

    Don’t overthink things either, I was doing the slow speed manoeuvres no problem at the practice ground then on test day I had a good total brain fart and asked the examiner if I could have a minute to compose myself. He said no problem as I had nearly dabbed a foot during the slalom. I was just glad to get that bit done.

    Then on the road ride part the bloody bike broke down so that was the end of the test. Had to wait 2 weeks to get another date. Got a free lesson and free re-sit though so not all bad. Passed on a Saturday morning at 9am, no minors either so well chuffed. He asked why I didn’t accelerate up to 70mph on a short bit of dual carriageway, my reply was “because I was bloody freezing”. He just laughed.

    Got home, grabbed the rest of my gear and went to pick up my new bike.. 1997 Suzuki TL1000s in red. Not a great 1st bike but I love it, and as already mentioned, it will only go as fast as I let it.

    No real insight there just my story..

    Enjoy the bike shopping and lessons.

    Rockhopper
    Member

    Oooo, I still fancy a red TL1000S.

    cat69uk
    Member

    I’m same as Rockhopper, ride round the corner and 10 minutes later passed! It was 1986 🙂
    Went and bought a powervalve, how I survived no idea.

    1981miked
    Member

    I’d recommend a TL, red ones are faster.. fact.

    The noise alone is worth it. Got an R1 rear shock on it to help improve the handling. The original damper is still in my possession. New steering damper on it aswell. Scorpion exhausts, smoked wind shield, belly pan and rare race hump aswell.

    Got it off my mate, couldn’t resist it. He regrets selling me it so much he bought another last year. Great bikes.

    allthegear
    Member

    red ones are faster.. fact.

    This is true

    deviant
    Member

    Passed on DAS (direct access) back in 2005, then didn’t ride for 6 months before buying a Kawasaki zx7r….steep STEEP learning curve, stalled it leaving the dealership, had to reteach myself how to ride as I left town and then managed to spin up the rear wheel exiting a roundabout….it’s a miracle I made it home.
    Went into work on the Monday and worked with a seasoned biker, he looked at it and asked “have you done the third gear thing?”…perplexed I asked what he meant, basically he wanted to know if I’d opened it up properly and 3rd gear was a good choice as it was unlikely to loop itself in a wheelie and yet still give me the shivers with brutal acceleration.

    On the way home I filtered onto the dual carriageway and did as he said, flicked it up into 3rd gear, let the revs build and then cracked the throttle wide open….. It honestly felt like the traffic around me had just gone into reverse…..or someone in my world had just pressed fast forward…..pick your metaphor.
    I struggled to keep up with the gear changes and obviously stopped feeding it gears on number 6 when the shifter stopped moving (although I was still trying!)…..i was shrieking into the helmet like a child and for a moment genuinely questioned how this could be legal….then I came to my senses and just enjoyed the ride, that bike only lasted 3 months unsurprisingly, I took a brief step back to 600cc bikes (the Kawasaki had been 750cc) in order to preserve my licence but after a confidence building 18 months on a 600cc I was then into 1000cc Japanese sportsbikes for several years.

    Thankfully I don’t have one at the moment, my riding never really matured like it should have done and how I kept my licence or stayed alive i don’t know.
    Some people are cut out for it and can restrain themselves and others can’t, I think the combination of most speed cameras round my way being front facing (no front plate on a bike), the ability to outrun pretty much anything you’ll commonly come across on the road and the ‘no pursuit’ policy of most police forces led me to believe I was immune from road traffic law, I genuinely couldn’t go out and not hit three digit speeds….when I sold it in order to buy our house it was like a weight had been lifted, I don’t know why I ride like that, I don’t have an addictive personality re. drink, drugs or gambling and I don’t drive a car like that either so it was genuinely concerning, I just hadn’t realised how much so until I sold it.

    sobriety
    Member

    On the way home I filtered onto the dual carriageway and did as he said, flicked it up into 3rd gear, let the revs build and then cracked the throttle wide open….. It honestly felt like the traffic around me had just gone into reverse

    That is why I’m going to stick with small two strokes, the RS125 is more like

    Nothing…Nothing…Emissions dip (worse than nothing)…Splutter… 7krpmPowerBand10.5krpmchangegear… 7krpmPowerBand10.5krpmchangegear… 7krpmPowerBand10.5krpmchangegear… 7krpmPowerBand10.5krpmchangegear…**** this is mental, how fast am I going? 60mph(giggle into my crash helmet)

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