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smudegershowtime

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 4

advice on learning/first bike etc...

hi all,

first post, please be gentle...
it's that time of year again where i watch everyone ride about in the sun and i get hit with the overwhelming sense of jealousy. This is the year it changes!!
I don't have my license, although i did do my CBT 18months ago. I'm 30 this year, and i have always been put off by the thought of paying through the nose for a decent 125. So here's my plan, and someone please give me their honest opinion...
I plan to buy a 400cc bike (around 1990's) and have it restricted. Do my training and test on this bike, (not sure for either A2 or direct access). I will then either leave the restriction on the bike for 2 years, or if direct access, leave it until i am a lot more confident on the road. Is this a sensible way to go? I have had a car license for about 10 years now so pretty road aware, but i appreciate on a bike it'll be totally different.

Can someone also please give me a link to a decent website for riding clothes/helmets etc so i can start getting an estimate for price of starting up? Sorry if this has been done a few times before, and any opinions appreciated.

thanks

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  • Posted 3 years ago (11 May 2012 09:51)

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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2685

MarcusMarsh says:

Starting out

Welcome Smudger.

At your age why not just bite the bullet and do a direct access course & test?  That way there are no restrictions on what you can ride.  You can do an intensive course on a bike provided by the training school and, once you have passed, decide what bike to buy. 

As for riding kit I really like Hein Gericke stuff.  J&S Accessories also have a good range of kit including some quality stuff at reasonable prices.  I have some IXS branded summer kit from them whiich is excellent. 

Good luck.       

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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smudegershowtime

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 4

££££

when i did the cbt, it was obviously on a 125, and i struggled with the u turn and slow riding. But this is where i get stuck...i hate the look of 125's and really hated the prices of them!! With me struggling doing anything other than open road riding, i am wary of getting something even bigger that i'll struggle to control at first. I want to be sensible about it, aswell as keeping costs down for first bike.

To be brutally honest, the reason i've toyed with the idea for so long is the cost of starting up. At a glance it looks like 700 for week course, 300ish for gear and approx 1000 for the type of bikes i'm looking at. Thats a lot of pennies to explain to the missus that i need after having bought a new car...

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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2685

MarcusMarsh says:

Starting out

Smaller does not mean easier to ride.  Often a larger bike can actually easier to ride because of its larger proportions and better balance.  Go to a local riding school and try one out.  The instructors should be able to give you proper advice.   

My girlfriend has just decided that she likes riding pillion so we have recently kitted her out.  Head to toe the cost was £400 by visiting shops that had clearance lines and sales on and taking advantage of the currents offer from places like Hein Gericke.  (Spend £160 and get £40 off) 

As for justifying the cost to your wife, that's your problem. Not being married I have no experience to pass on in that department :lol:    

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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smudegershowtime

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 4

thanks

i'm not married, just scared of her!! Na, thanks for the advice, i suppose the best way to find what i'm comfiest on is to sit on a few different bikes. Thanks again

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CHARLEEBOY

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 2

CHARLEEBOY says:

125cc a-go-go!

Hi, Smudger and welcome.


I took my CBT on a knackered old scooter supplied by the bike school. So what? I got the required CBT doc and have never looked back. I have a Suzuki 125 Intruder ... a great bike which gets admiring looks and many surprised responses when people learn that it's not 800cc! It is a genuine V-Twin cruiser. Not the fastest on the road, but then I am not a speed nut... I'd like to stay alive a bit longer.

I've spent so much money with Hein-Gericke, I should be given free shares in the company. But they are
good for the most part (if a bit expensive on certain items). Visit bike fairs and shop around...some good deals, but some horrible rip-offs sold by people who have never ridden a bike in their life!

Rubber side down, as always.

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AdieR

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

One point to bear in mind

if you plan on doing your training on the 400, you'll need an instructor at all times.

Don't know if you ever used your CBT (have you been on a bike since?). If you have, you might not need that many lessons. If not, a one-week course can be hit and miss - there's only so much you can learn in a week.

As for gear (and indeed bikes), winter is usually a good time to buy (prices drop out-of-season, plus last season's gear gets cleared on the cheap to make way for the new stuff). That said, there are shops selling decent gear at reasonable prices.

When setting your budgets, don't forget to account for insurance (which will be a hefty chunk) and security (generally the more you spend here, the better and indeed, decent security might bring the insurance down).

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Amateurcynic

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 1048

Amateurcynic says:

No Point

Getting the 400 restricted, you can't take your test on it!!

  http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/PracticalTest/DG_178483

You might be as well having a couple of lessons on a 125 to build up some confidence then going the direct access route. Buying a 125 isn't a pre-requisite, you can stick with using the bikes from a training body near you. As has been said, a lot of the manoevres required for the tests are actually Easier on the larger bike once you've got enough confidence to keep them moving as the extrs weight keeps them a lot more stable, once there it all starts making sense. Believe me when I say that as an instructor one of the best buzzes I get teaching is seeing the first Direct Access lesson Grin!:biggrin:

Whatever you do choose to do, do it this year, the laws change at the end of January 2013 ad it's gonna get hellishly expensive to get a full licence:mad:

Keep us up to date with your decisions:smile   

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smudegershowtime

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 4

Thanks all

Thanks for your replies guys, the problem i have is no one in my circle of family or friends are remotely interested in bikes hence me coming to the forum for info.

I have not even sat on a bike since my cbt, hence my worries. The main reson i thought the 400 idea would be better as after i done my cbt, i looked around for a decent 125 and a lot of them were the same price if not more expensive than the bikes i would be looking to get further down the line. I wasn't aware the test was changing, yet another reason for me to get my finger out. I'll just bite the bullet and go for the full test in my summer week off if i can get booked in locally. Then i'll worry about what bike to get. Exciting times!!

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AdieR

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

You can

get a few-years-old Honda CG125 for reasonable money, its forgiving and insurable, plus when the time comes (provided you look after it reasonably well), you can flog it for almost the same money as you paid originally, and it'll give you practice for the test.

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