Cheshire cat syndrome - Clanger
About 30 years ago I parted with my second Honda 50 moped on not very good terms, swearing that motor biking was uncomfortable and dangerous.

In a complete change of mind, I have started taking biking lessons, hoping to take my test on a big bike using the direct access route. The 125cc Honda that I started with was nippy enough for town work but couldn't really keep up with the traffic on the open road. Yesterday, I was let loose on one of the driving school's Honda CB500s. What a revalation! What a hoot! I haven't had so much motoring fun since I went to rally school a couple of years ago. As I nailed it past a some traffic I was grinning so much I could have done with a wider helmet. And I didn't exceed the speed limit, officer.

I felt it was curious that the bigger bike felt so much more comfortable, stable, well mannered and confidence inspiring. Maybe at 6' 2" and 16 stone, I made the little bike too top-heavy.


Unfortunately, Madame thinks the whole project is barking mad, and hides the biking magazines away whenever she can.

Here's hoping I can pass the test in time for some summer fun.

Darcy.

People who live in Glasshouses have an HG3 postcode.
Cheshire cat syndrome - deltaseven
> People who live in Glasshouses have an HG3 postcode

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't understand!!!

D7
Cheshire cat syndrome - Jonathan {p}
I think he means the town called Glasshouses, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire and its post code starts with HG3.

Cheshire cat syndrome - SjB {P}
Welcome to the world of biking!
I guessed what you were about to describe before I opened the thread!

I know the feeling that you describe, too, and remember well the day five years ago when I rode a riding school Suzuki GS500E on the open road for the first time, having climbed off an asthmatic Yamaha 125 after my CBT a few hours previously.

Of course, I now know that it is the biking equivalent of a tractor, but that feeling of instant response, and overtaking ease, will never be forgotten. Neither will drag racing the instructor on a GPZ500 for a few hundred yards up a dual carriageway, as he shouted incouragement to get used to the power! Cheshire Cat grin? I was shouting with pleasure!

On passing my test, I purchased the Honda Hornet CB600 that I still own and cherish today, and which has given pleasure out of all proportion to the money that it takes to keep it on the road. My wife has also grown to love biking, having never ridden pillion before, and the Hornet has taken us far afield, including the best holiday of our lives, to sunny France, during last year's heat wave. Awesome is an understatement!

On the subject of stability, yes, bigger bikes tend to be much more stable than their smaller brethren, with stiffer frames, better quality suspension and brakes, and more gyroscopic force from larger wheel and tyres (Even though a sports bike trend has been towards smaller front wheels to increase nimbleness).

I wish you luck in pursuading your wife that biking is not silly, and if taken seriously - with huge respect and intelligence - it is by far the best fair weather (yes I admit it) transport there is.

/Steve
Cheshire cat syndrome - madf
Bikers:
rearrange the following words to make 2 well known expressions:
"Wet and windy weather unsuited motorcycling to is and is usually British"
"Mad bad accidents most are and have motorcyclists"

imo:-)
madf
Cheshire cat syndrome - BrianW
"Mad bad accidents most are and have motorcyclists"

That doesn't apply in London.
You don't have to be mad, just in the wrong place at the wrong moment.
I probably come across about one a month.
Cheshire cat syndrome - Clanger
I do and I will try harder next time ...
Darcy.

Cheshire cat syndrome - Flat in Fifth
Unfortunately you have to be Yorkshire born & bred to get that joke without an explanation.

Darcy, good job I hadn't just taken a drink of tea or else monitor would have suffered.

Cheshire cat syndrome - cabsmanuk
Good on yer Darcy. I passed my direct access test 2 years ago after a 30 year break from biking. Those were the days when you could ride a 250 for as long as you wanted on L plates. Bought myself a Kawasaki W650 which looks more like a bonneville than the bonnevilles do. Sheer bliss, the open road, freedom etc etc.

When I first rode the bike schools CB500 I thought I was sitting on an exocet misile!!

Good luck with your test.
Cheshire cat syndrome - Tom Shaw
Well done Darcy. When I returned to biking five years ago, on a CB500 as it happens, SWMBO was not very keen on the idea. After persuading her to have a try on the pillion a couple of times the bug bit, and she is now as enthusiastic as I am.

We now have a GSX 750, and combined with the quiet roads of west Wales it is heaven on earth during the summer. Best fun you'll ever have with your boots on.

Just remember to keep it the right way up.
Cheshire cat syndrome - THe Growler
Wait till the Ball and Chain catches you looking at Harley catalogs.......... :+0>
Cheshire cat syndrome - Clanger
Thanks for your support, guys.

I will try hard not to become a statistic.

And Growler I've never fancied a Harley - they're American, aren't they?

:-o

Ducks and runs for cover....
Darcy.

Cheshire cat syndrome - THe Growler
Well, motorcyclists ride rice, but bikers ride Hawgs...:+0>
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Clanger
After 1 fail on Christmas Eve (good timing, eh?), 1 cancellation due to icy conditions, I passed a few days ago. By some fluke came away with zero faults and a verbal pat on the back from the examiner. Absolute bliss on the way back down the A1 from Darlington to Bedale without the uncomfortable earpiece under my helmet. Now, I need my own helmet & oh, yes ... a bike.

Darcy.

Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - volvoman
Well done Darcy - care to explain a bit more about the process you had to go through and cost of getting to this stage ?

I gave up my trusted Honda CB250 with an 'L' plate over 20 years ago and have often wondered about taking up recreational biking again. Thanks.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - M.M
Darcy,

Well done.

Been to the HD dealers yet to order Mrs D the leather chaps??

I've a feeling the rock music training/test may take longer than the bike stuff.

MM
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Nice one Darcy!

I too guessed the topic from the thread title!

The DAS is the beggest scream ever!

I well remember the last day of my DAS on a GS500 [1]. We'd learned just about everything we needed and the 3 of us went for a thrash round Dorset.

It was great. The instructor shouting down the intercom to 'wring it's ******* neck' as we left overtook out of a tight corner.

[1] The most underated bike ever. £2600 brand new, faster than any car on the road, and standing quarter about 3 seconds of the fastest bikes on the road.
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Volvoman:
If you've driven and ridden before I recomend a 3 day DAS course.

With the CBT this becomes 5 days because of the test day morning and the CBT (a mere formality for someone who's been on a bike).

Make sure you get a gaurenteed pass course. You may not need it but they pull out all the stops to get you through.

As for cost - in your line of business you might be better to try a last minute deal. (I think) I paid 400 for three days. My brother did it for £250 when someone dropped out due to a broken wrist.

Do it! You will never regret it! The course alone is worth 400 even if there wasn't a Class A at the end of it.
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - volvoman
Thanks Toad - what's actually involved in the CBT and DAS ?
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Dan J
Have been looking at this myself - quite excited about it all!

These guys were absolutely brilliant:

www.northwichmotorcycletraining.co.uk/

and spent about an hour on the phone to me explaining all the intricacies of getting your bike licence. Bit peeved I've got to do the Theory test+"awareness video" etc but what the hell!

Not wanting to disagree with you Toad, but rather than people going specifically for a 3 day course, one comment the guy I was chatting to at this place made was what they prefer to do is assess your capability and familiarity with biking on the day you do your CBT (£125). They then say whether you should go for the 3/4/5/6 day course (approx 100 quid a day), the test being the day afterwards. I guess any place will likely do this though if they're guaranteeing you'll pass. Incidentally all of these costs included bike hire.

Well done Darcy!

Question is though, could I behave if I bought one...
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Thanks Toad - what's actually involved in the CBT and DAS


CBT is a few low speed checks round cones/emergancy stop/turn in the road etc followed by a quick spin on the road. If you're doing a DAS it will be done on a 500.

This is trivially easy for someone who has ridden a bike before and regularly drives a car.

The DAS bit is with an instructor on the open road. Turn in the road, stop, hill start. Re learning road signs/ correct R/B drill. Lot's of miles with excellent advice on positioning etc on the intercom.

Small amount of classroom based stuff. (Helmets/any tricky roundabouts in the area) Tiny amount of bike maintainance in both.

Failure rate for DAS is about 20 per cent despite it being harder than the car test. That's how good the training is.

You will enjoy it. You will pass.
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - volvoman
Thanks for the encouragement Toad - it feels like quite a big step to me so I'm glad of your support.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - mal
I passed my motorcycling test in 1966 on a 197cc James Captain and have never been on a bike since 1970.
According to my licence I can legally ride any motorcycle no matter what size engine it has even though 30 years have passed since I was last on one.
Imagine what a danger I would be to myself and other road users if I was stupid enough to return to biking without enrolling for the CBT course.
There should be a change in the law to prevent this happening especially now when a good proportion of sales are to the over 50's in a similar position to myself.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Dan J
The sensible ones would take your approach, Mal, the stupid ones - and they'll always be there, will go to the Peak District and create a very large road pizza, adding a name to that already enormous plaque outside the Cat and Fiddle.

Either way is fine by me.

Now if they were driving tanks it might be a little different...

Sensibly though - imagine all the paperwork *proving* you'd been driving all that time. What if you lost it? Fancy doing your car test again because you couldn't actually prove you'd been driving?

Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - mal
That could be overcome if insurance co's were to provide details to a DVLA database.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Mal & Dan J:

This isn't a bike issue it's a testing issue. I was flabbergasted at how much I'd forgotten in my first 6 years of driving. I didn't even know what NSL signs meant or what the NSL was!!!

Re-tests every 5 years are essential in conjunction with an end to petty speeding enforcement.


--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - mal
Toad, just to confirm the point you are making.

I do not know what NSL stands for.

Educate me please.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Toad, just to confirm the point you are making.
I do not know what NSL stands for.
Educate me please.


I expect you do but got thrown by the TLA: It's 'National Speed Limit'. 60 single carriageway (40 for lorries) 70 for multi carriageway. Sign is black with white stripe.
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Clanger
VM, to add to everyone else's posts;

I took my CBT last November in a school playground in Northallerton, having not been on a bike since 1972. It was windy and I found it a challenge; nothing felt natural. The other guy with me had apparently been riding off-road for many years and he was unsurprisingly streets ahead of me. I chickened out of the 2 hour cruise around the town that afternoon on the grounds that I would be a hazard; the poplar trees at the end of the football field were leaning at 45 degrees, dustbins and branches were on the loose. I did the town work later. CBT cost me £80. Then I had a course of 6 lessons at £12/hour on the small bike and £24/hour on the big bike. The test fee is £48. Because I failed once, I have spent just over £450 on lessons and tests. There is a bikers clothing sale on at the moment and I have got some boots, gloves and a zip-together jacket and trousers for about £150. The school provided a helmet (and gloves had I needed them) as part of the bike hire.

For those thinking of having a go on two wheels after a long period of abstinence I would offer these comments;

Get the gear - I started off thinking I would use the waterproof trousers and jacket I used for cycling and walking. Mistake. They fill up with wind (not mine) and you look ridiculous, and one one occasion my scarf came adrift at 70 mph on the A1 causing my instructor to duck to avoid it. The laces on my walking boots interfered with the gearchange. I didn't look or feel the part.

Exercise that left hand - If you're a desk pilot like me, you might find constant use of the clutch in a 2 hour lesson hard work. I did. For this reason alone I couldn't have seen myself going on a continuous 3 day course.

Keep drinking - pottering around in the forced draught made me very thirsty and I was glad of a bottle of water. It's difficult to concentrate unless you are 100%.

Stop if you aren't sure - in the few hours I've been riding thius year I've had 2 flat tyres, a jammed indicator switch and a siezed side stand. On one occasion, dark, cold and drizzly, the bike was going wide on every corner; I couldn't place it with any accuracy at all. I put it down to me being tired/inexperienced/incompetent but in fact the back tyre was nearly flat.

And, finally, if you wear specs, take a couple of clean handkerchiefs to keep visor and specs clean.

Hope this helps and good luck.





Darcy.

Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.


Clothing:
120 jacket.
80 quid jeans. (Make sure Jac & Jeans zip together)
50 boots.
20 quid gloves.
Helmet. (Get one that fits, lots of talk about cost is nonsense. Get a good fit.)

Optional: back protector and CE armour. I don\'t bother, others do.

In winter you will want M S thermals and silk inner gloves.

I bought a 2k bike and the whole thing cost me 3k so all non bike costs are about 1k.

--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - mal
To the bikers visiting this topic I have placed an add which might interest someone.

Sorry for posting this Mark but I thought I would aim the add at those bikers among us.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
To the bikers visiting this topic I have placed an add
which might interest someone.
Sorry for posting this Mark but I thought I would aim
the add at those bikers among us.


Mal - you've forgotten to post it!!!
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - mal
No I havn't.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Well I can't see it!

What's it for?
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These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - mal
Funny,are you looking in the classified section?,
It's for a wax Barbour suit that I could not resist picking up cheap at a jumble sale like a lot of things I have bought in the past, Just thought it might be of some use to someone, for offroad biking maybe.
Cheshire cat syndrome - postscript - volvoman
Cheers DK.

 

Value my car