Reflections of a 19 year old idiot.

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My brand new Yamaha YZF R125. Lying there on its side, back wheel spinning slowly, no more than six hours old and already dead at the end of a yellow streak of paint and plastic.

What did they teach me on my CBT? Always squeeze the front brake, never grab, a nice, smooth motion. I didn’t have time for a gentle tug though, it wasn’t my fault, after pulling out of my friends street I had to give him a wave, its common courtesy isn’t it, what was I to do? Not 48 hours later and the bike was being loaded into the back of a recovery van, rear ended by a BMW driving business man. Me not moving at red traffic lights, him, very much moving at red traffic lights.

Could barely compose himself, after picking me up from the next lane the poor fella was nearly in tears, I was just dreading the phone call to my mother, all those months of wasted work, digging trenches in muddy boots, pouring concrete in the ice cold wind, all for nothing. Insurance is a great thing though, wizzing around on a brand new 125 moped, perfecting my road craft, waiting for my big fat cheque to arrive, never mind the injury compensation that’s coming my way. Payed out within a month, second hand CBR, new helmet, new gear, few more lessons.

I learnt a lot in my 48 hours of geared bike riding, these machines are meant to be treated with a bit of respect, and if you don’t, well you end up beneath a car. Or in a field, in my case, 6 weeks later. After taking a country lane far, far to fast I skidded right across the road, I still thank the unknown entity that stopped one of the cars hitting me in the other lane, would have rendered my smooth front brake action useless if I had of been crushed to death.

After I'd picked my now second motorbike up (smashed fairings and all) and realising that for the second time id done something incredibly stupid, I saw an 07’ fireblade, coming around the same corner doing no more than twenty miles an hour.

Now if a man can spend that much money on a bike as amazing as that, and still have the intelligence to realise he’s no Rossi, what was I doing? Why did I think I had the right to try and get my knee down? Not thinking there could have been a family walking along that road.

It’s eight months on, and I haven’t had a wobble since, and I never plan to have another one. Still riding my trusty CBR, dreading the winter, looking forward to the summer, commuting everyday. If im going to be riding for the next 30 years, why do I have the right to act like an idiot.

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Chris H

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By Chris H