Saturday, February 16, 2013

Passed My Bike Test!


So I've done it - on Friday 8th February @ 10:44 I took and passed my motorbike mod 2 test (*cough* first time too *cough*). I am now a fully licensed rider and being an old git of 29, I have the top license available so no more tests for me, ever!

I started learning last March so it's taken me 10 months or so, but that was at my pace as I was in no rush to pass and didn't have a bike sitting in my garage - which in my opinion doesn't help the situation and adds unnecessary pressure. I had a lesson roughly every fortnight or so with some 2 hour lessons thrown in, but the snow we had in the UK towards the end of 2012 and in to 2013 didn't help at all with my learning (stupid weather).

In total I had about 18 hours of tuition, which I think was about right for me as on my test I felt reasonably confident, apart from the natural nerves we all get when sitting a test. Annoyingly I did pick up 8 minors during my 45 minute ride with the examiner - but I am putting those down to test anxiety as I never made those kind of mistakes on my lessons.

Firstly the examiner would instruct me to pull in on the left and then when it was safe to do so, pull out and continue but like a complete numpty I, on two occasions forgot to cancel my left indicator and only did so after pulling away and then doing the usual check. Doh!

Secondly, I was apparently too cautious going around a number of bends, which I think was a bit harsh considering I'm on my test and I am naturally going to take more care, but oh well.

Give me a T!

Lastly he picked me up on some hesitation at junctions, which again may have been true to the letter of the law but I only pulled away when I felt safe and comfortable to do so.

So now I'm legally allowed to ride any bike I want, what bike am I going to get? I took my test on a Honda Hornet CB600 (as I'm over 24), which felt and rode superb so that is one option, but I've been looking at a number of other, friendly first big bikes as well as the Hornet:

Honda CB600 Hornet

Such a nice bike
I'd only ridden the Hornet twice before I took my test on it, but it just felt solid. I was a little limp wristed with the gears to start with, but it was a nice place to sit, the brakes were great and it just felt like a really well put together machine - but that's Honda for you.

Suzuki Bandit 600N

Solid and reliable
I had the option of either the Hornet or a Bandit and although I went with the Hornet (mainly due to the throttle being smoother) I really did enjoy riding the Bandit.

Like the Hornet there was plenty of Torque lower down the gears so it was much more learner friendly and the handlebars were a little higher than the Hornet so it felt a little more comfortable when carrying out slow riding maneuvers. Definitely a contender as a first big bike though.

Yamaha Fazer 600 

Fairings, nice.
I didn't get a chance to ride a Fazer, but I'm told by a plethora of riders and the school that trained me that a Fazer would be a brilliant choice for a first big bike. Not only are they bullet-proof in regards to reliability but they are very forgiving and the fairing on them go a long, long way to stopping you getting beaten about the chest by the wind when you're doing over 30mph.

I think it will eventually come to the best example I come across for the best price, as although I could go out and spend £3,000 on a machine, I'm not going to as in all likely hood I'll probably drop the bike being stationary at a set of lights after losing balance or wheeling it out of a garage, so it's not AS bad if it's a <£1000 bike as opposed to a new shiny Street Triple or something.

We'll see what I find and I'll let you know! :)


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