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Author Topic: Motorbikes and learning  (Read 3875 times)

Dmoney

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Motorbikes and learning
« on: August 16, 2013, 08:34:04 PM »
Yo,

Today I have been mostly thinking about riding a bike. I've been recalling the days of sitting on my dads old Honda cb750 k2 which he hasn't been able to ride for over 30 years. It's been in storage for a long time. Which is a shame. I'd like to take out out again one day but its a lot of bike, and something i'd obviously have to work towards riding given that i have no experience.

so. The reasons not to learn to ride would be that learning to drive a car would be more practical and potentially helpful. I'm not sure if i'd really care about using one in London, but it'd be nice to ride around my Dads up in lancs.

Being 30, there is probably a bit of choice with regards to how I approach it but with no experience of cars or anything or travel on the roads in any way (not even a push bike really since moving to london) I find it a bit intimidating. I know a few people here can ride and have passed various tests recently. Just looking for some insight.

ta

rotpunkt

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 10:11:32 PM »
Well as I am currently trying to get my licence I can tell you the 'easiest' way. That is a direct access scheme (DAS).

First you need a provisional licence. Check out the DSA website for details (I have a car licence so didn't need to do this part).

Then you need to do a CBT (compulsory basic training) - a one day course that comprises of some theory stuff, a couple of hours getting to grips with a motorbike (usually a 125cc) you know, stopping/starting/braking/turning/changing gear... that sort of thing. Then you go out on the road with an instructor (and someone else like you) with a radio with the instructor telling you what to do. on its own a cbt costs about 150-180 but this includes bike hire, helmet & other safety equipment and insurance for the day. It's a long day and will be taxing if you don't have prior road experience! (This was day one of my DAS).

You have to achieve a certain level of competency but this will allow you to get( up to a) 125cc motorcycle and ride on the road with L plates. Lasts for 2 years.

You then need to sit your theory test. This comes in two sections: a multiple choice and a hazard awareness section. It's a computer based test carried out by a third party. Costs 30-odd quid.

The option is then get a 125 and go out and learn yourself or (as you're over 24) do a DAS.

The DAS is specific training on a bigger bike (I've been using a Kawasaki ER-6n - a 650cc bike). Typically they last 3 or 4 days (you would probably need the longer if you've no road experience) and the training covers the two tests you need to pass: module one (bike handling and control, carried out in a closed off DSA test centre where you have to do various manoeuvres at slow and medium speed: u-turn, slalom, fig of 8's, emergency stop and an avoidance manoeuvre) and module two (observed riding, where you go out with an examiner who has radio contact with you and you do what they say without doing anything stupid, wrong or illegal!).

I'm currently awaiting my mod 2 test date (I put my foot down during the u-ie on my first mode 1 which is an automatic fail...). You need to pass mod 1 before you can sit mod 2 (and have your theory).

My CBT/DAS cost ~600 for CBT, 3 days specific training (inc an hour at the DSA training centre doing the exercises) a warm up for and module 1 test fee. Still got an 1.5 hour warm up beforehand and mod 2 test to come. Fee included (but not any retest! Had to pay hour bike hire and 15.50 mod 1 test fee which is fair enough).

HTH.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 10:18:21 PM by rotpunkt »
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Dmoney

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 05:48:27 PM »
Wow!

Pretty comprehensive! Cheers!

rotpunkt

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 06:18:04 PM »
Ha, no problem.

I just wish I knew all this before I started...  :D

The rules just changed in January, there's not an awful lot of info out there as a consequence.
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Dmoney

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 12:46:03 PM »

I'd like to do the DAS I think though having a longer course would probably be the better option. The cost doesn't sounds too bad if it includes all the gear and the bikes. I guess once the CBT is done I can always wait a bit before doing a DAS. I should probably ask my Dad if I could actually use his bike if I get through it! To be fair though I'd probably end up getting something for myself one day.

gwEm

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 09:54:00 AM »
I passed my motorbike test a couple of years ago, but I don't own a motorbike.

I must say, it feels absolutely glorious to ride a motorbike, especially in weather like this. Also motorbikes are very cool items to admire.

Having just been involved in a big accident on my bicycle around the time of passing my motorbike test, I decided not to buy one. I don't regret this decision, because in reality I'd rarely have the time to ride one. I still plan to get one at some stage of my life.

The CBT is a very good and easy way to get the flavour of motorbikes. Its also quite fun. I recommend it to anyone even if they have no interest in ever taking a full test.

I've ridden a few times since taking my test, so it has come in useful. My brother and I hired some bikes a few years back and went on a little tour for a few days. Also, I've hired scooters a couple of times when on holiday in Europe - wicked fun, and very cheap too.

The fatality stats are worth keeping in mind, not that this should put you off in anyway, but you are three times more likely to die on a motorbike than walking or cycling the same distance. However, the majority of fatalities occur on bikes over 500cc.

I've got to say the economy of a smaller machine is very tempting. A 125cc engined motorbike or scooter will do over 100mpg. Thats cheaper than public transport, and you can ride one with a CBT. The larger machines aren't particularly fuel efficient compared to a car because of the aerodynamics.
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Dmoney

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 12:23:16 PM »
Cheers Gwem

I've been browsing the nets and some place called CBT4YOU does a free little taster thing you can do prior to CBT. I might see what's up with that.

The savings on travel seems quite good. I did think having a bike down here would be a nightmare, but looking at what I'd save against using a zone 1+2 travel card all the time is pretty good with a 125cc, like you said. Being able to have a little holiday and hire something to get around on sounds cool too.

bucketshred

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 01:12:52 PM »
I'm looking at doing my CBT later on this year.

I can't bloody wait!

Paddy
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Telerocker

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 02:26:16 PM »
Don't let yourself be disencouraged by this story, but I stopped riding motorbike after seen so many people around me badly injured or killed in accidents. Cardrivers often don't see or pay attention to motorbikes. On the other hand youngster sometimes ride like crazy and give the bike-afficionado's a bad name.
I must admit it sometimes tickles to go back to the bike again. I do miss the roar of the Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans I had in the late seventies, early eighties.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 04:11:14 PM by Telerocker »
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Twinfan

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 03:31:35 PM »
If you've not got a car licence, and therefore have no roadcraft skills, I wouldn't go for the DAS route.  I'd start with CBT and get a 125cc bike with L plates.  You can then learn at your own pace on an easier to manage machine over a longer period of time.

Have fun out there - I miss my bike!

bucketshred

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 08:42:21 AM »
Don't let yourself be disencouraged by this story, but I stopped riding motorbike after seen so many people around me badly injured or killed in accidents. Cardrivers often don't see or pay attention to motorbikes. On the other hand youngster sometimes ride like crazy and give the bike-afficionado's a bad name.
I must admit it sometimes tickles to go back to the bike again. I do miss the roar of the Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans I had in the late seventies, early eighties.

I know bikes are dangerous. My cousin had an accident (no licence, no insurance, riding an R1) and passed away a few years ago and a friend of a friend died last week.
My old man and uncles still continue to ride. I'm fully aware of all the risks involved.

Paddy
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Dmoney

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 12:13:55 PM »

Same here.
I've had close family friends pass away on bikes. My Dad ironically doing most of the damage to himself in a car accent in which he was the only person involved.

I did this free 'Get On' initiative thing recently with cbt 4 you and it was awful.
Firstly, the website claimed to have sites all over london and right by my gaff. This isn't true. I had to go to cruddy bit of the docklands, east of London City Airport.
When I got there, the place was barely signposted. I had to ask in a cabin on a massive building site where the place was. Luckily the instructor was even more late than me.
2 other guys waiting. One guy had ridden and twist & go moped before and another fella who had been on a geared bike in a field once before however long ago.
We get a talk through helmets, cleaning them etc. Then the instructor gets a bike out and talks us through that.

This is the point when stuff got wacky. Turns out the spot they ride on is a few miles away (maybe 3) and their 'big' training ground is only open on sundays. So the Instructor starts explaining he'll have to shuttle us backwards and forwards one at a time... unless someone has enough knowledge to follow he on a bike, then it would be "easier". "Twist & Go" fella steps up to the plate, I'm ready to go on the back of the instructors bike. The other lad starts trying to start the bike but its in gear and he keeps failing... turns out he doesn't know the difference between the words 'manual' and 'automatic'... but he is spanish. So now the next guy has a go. He's a bit better and gets going slowly after stalling a few times, keep in mind we've done nothing at all on the bikes or highway code or road positioning yet, and then 2 seconds later, we're on a dual carriageway heading round Cyprus DLR way with massive industrial vehicles.

It's at this point the student drops the radio out of his pocket, so he pulls over and the instructor (still with me on the back) pulls over to wait for him to explain what he did. The instructor tells him to wait while we have a look. So we zoom up to the next roundabout and then down the other side of the road to a bigger roundabout were I'm expecting a scary moment having to go through a few lanes of traffic, only the instructor mounts the pavement at a pelican crossing, cuts the corner of the junction to the roundabout going anticlockwise in opposition to traffic, rides over some chevrons and effectively does a U-turn to go back up the opposite side of the carriageway to look for the radio, which eventually he finds in the middle of the road.

After that, we sort the radio out and set off again. The student on his bike stalls while pulling across traffic while turning right. Light change and he's stuck. The instructor starts yelling at him down the radio while he's getting passed by massive trucks. It was crazy. Eventually we arrive at a school and the Instructor goes off to get the other guy who has been waiting all this time to be shuttled over. Turns out the training patch is an unused bit of school playground, which is through a used bit of school playground. So at 'lunch time' we got stranded by kids being in the area we needed to get through to leave. Also gave us a nice audience.

I must admit, I struggled at first and because 3 people had 2 bikes, I started to hold the others up, although I don't think I was any less safe (one guys emergency stop didn't actually include a stop). I had difficulty with a few things but being a total novice at anything involving an engine I was ready for that and thats why I decided to do this free thing to gain experience. I did get going ok but by the time I'd go to that point the others were a bit ahead and I couldn't practice by myself because the area was too small and we only had 2 bikes between 3 people. I almost walked off a few times but my own jacket was back in the office a few miles away. I enjoyed the Instructor telling us about his preferred methods for smoking weed also.

All in all... it was pretty insane. I still want to learn but I think I might do CBT up north when I visit my dad. I'll know the roads and I should be able to find a more reputably bunch to do it with. Glad i didn't pay 120 for that experience, like the other two guys. 

bucketshred

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 03:33:19 PM »
Mental experience. It is funny what life can throw at you sometimes. Luckily my Step-Mum is referring me over to the guy she did her CBT with a few years ago.

Paddy
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gwEm

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2013, 09:32:37 AM »
http://www.eastsiderider.co.uk/

This is the place I did my CBT and later DAS
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rotpunkt

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Re: Motorbikes and learning
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2013, 04:42:21 PM »
Yeah, well I have bike 'history' too. Over half a lifetime ago I borrowed my brothers bike and managed to bounce it off a stone dyke writing it off and landing me in hospital via an ambulance ride (I was singing Satellite of Love during the journey for some reason) and as a consequence swore I would never throw my leg over a bike again. Fast forward 25+ years and I now have my licence and a bike (it'll be two weeks on saturday I picked it up).

My brother also dropped another bike going around a corner and messed himself up worse than me. He then had another off and dislocated his shoulder. He no longer has a bike (but then he has two young-ish kids). Most bikers I know have had an off at some point. It goes with the territory I fear.

This doesn't mean you will die within 5 minutes on a bike. Life is dangerous I'm afraid. You can trip on a loose tile and crack yer head in the bathroom, or choke on yer tea/dinner.

I also rock climb and ride mountain bikes. I might not see the week out...  :P
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