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>> No. 4431 Anonymous
13th January 2020
Monday 2:32 am
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Alreet bike.gs

It's been a long time coming, but I think I'm finally going to get my CBT done and start riding. I know there's a couple of bikers here, any sage advice is much appreciated.

The plan is to buy a very, very cheap bike and commute on it all summer, while also doing training for the direct access category A tests. I am in no rush to jump on a superbike or even anything mid range for a good long while, I want to avoid the mistakes I made as a youth in cars, and learn how to actually fucking drive the things before I start reaching for the big boys. Besides, the whole point of the exercise to start with will be to save money and time on my commute, as driving a modified supercharged car in town and city traffic is neither economical nor quick.

I've a lot of cycling experience, which I'm hoping will translate to a bit of riding skill. I'm certainly aware of how to ride in traffic, and from MTB especially know the importance of weight transfer, countersteering, that sort of thing. I understand it's not a direct translation, but I'm hoping it'll help rather than hinder - right?

Mechanically, I'd call myself an advanced amateur, have been tinkering with cars for a while, and the prospect of being able to entirely take apart an old 125 bike in a shed with a few spanners is almost as exciting as riding the thing.

As such, my mate has steered me towards a Honda CG 125 or a Yamaha YBR125, the latter looking very much like a clone of the discontinued CG. A very old CG would be the dream, but it'll really just come down to whatever I can get for the least amount of money, as I plan to fix it up myself anyway, and possibly even mod it - I'm really quite in love with the brat/cafe racer look, and the CG is clearly a very popular platform for it. But I'm getting ahead of myself there.

Sorry, I'm rambling a bit, I'm just a bit excited about trying something new after being a Car Guy for so long, and looking at old bikes is just as fun as looking at old cars. Anyway - any advice? Have I missed anything? Would you recommend a bike other than the two I've mentioned? What should I expect from the CBT and more importantly, the proper test?
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>> No. 4432 Anonymous
13th January 2020
Monday 2:56 am
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I did my CBT about 10 years ago and my Direct Access a few years later. I haven't owned a motorbike for about 6 years though, mainly due to costs and I've been moving about a lot (I do own a car though).

However, last year I went travelling in Vietnam and the Philippines for a few months and ending up renting 5 different scooters. I forgot how much fun motorbikes were, I will get another in due course.

I'm probably a bit different to most other bikers. I had more fun on my first bike, a YBR 125, than my second, a Fazer 600. I didn't feel that safe on the big bike and hated picking it up when dropping it. I like smaller and lighter bikes.

I can't offer too much advice really, but I remember getting a lot out of the CBT. Expect to start doing slow riding, through cones and little courses, before getting out on the roads. Keeping control of the bike when going slow can be a bit tricky, but you'll pick it up.

Here's a pic of the last bike I rented in the Philippines. Had it for 10 days, my luggage bungied to the back. Such freedom, I think motorbiking can be the best way to travel.
>> No. 4433 Anonymous
13th January 2020
Monday 3:39 am
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>I like smaller and lighter bikes.

I expect I will be the same, just of what I know about myself. I prefer a smaller bicycle frame when sizing, and would always choose a light, nimble slower car over a big heavy fast one. My mate used the word "chuckable" in reference to 125s and that definitely appeals. I will surely end up with a litre Fireblade or something else I had a picture of on my wall as a 14 year old at some point in my adventure, but I doubt it'll stick.

As I'm looking at YBR 125's, how was it to own and live with? I know they're fantastically economical and many riding schools use them, so I would assume they're stable and reliable. Did you ever have to do much work to it? I know Yamaha are well respected (and I know they make good pianos for sure) and my work mate did suggest them as an excellent starter bike.
>> No. 4434 Anonymous
13th January 2020
Monday 6:40 am
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>I understand it's not a direct translation, but I'm hoping it'll help rather than hinder - right?

If you've done a lot of road cycling, you'll probably have a habit of riding well over to the left rather than taking the whole lane. Your CBT instructor will probably pick you up on it, but it's something to be aware of.

>Would you recommend a bike other than the two I've mentioned?

Any CG 125 derivative should be basically bulletproof. They're designed to be ridden into the ground in the worst third-world conditions. I'd advise you against a dirt bike because of the knobbly tyres and the tall seat, but a Suzuki GN/GZ 125 or a Kymco would also be a fine choice. Lexmoto make some startlingly cheap but slightly tinny CG 125 derivatives, but the parts are so cheap that it's no disaster if something goes wrong.

>Have I missed anything?

Get yourself a helmet with a five star SHARP rating. Lazer, Nitro and Caberg all offer top-rated lids for under £100.


>What should I expect from the CBT and more importantly, the proper test?

The CBT is quite straightforward - half a day of bimbling around a car park followed by a couple of hours out on the roads. Your instructor is just looking for a basic level of competence and confidence on the bike. You'll probably struggle initially with the controls, because all four limbs are kept busy on a geared bike. Relax, take your time and it'll all click soon enough. The on-road stuff should be no bother at all if you've already got a car license.

On the full test, the element most people struggle with is Module 1. Holding a CBT means you can get loads of practice time on the road and get confident in your own time, but the Mod 1 handling test is a bit beyond normal riding. Don't get disheartened if you fail your first attempt on the slalom or hazard avoidance element - it's a real ballache, even for an experienced rider.
>> No. 4435 Anonymous
13th January 2020
Monday 10:18 pm
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> I am in no rush to jump on a superbike or even anything mid range for a good long while,

If that's the case then you may want to get your A1 first, particularly if you're going to commute/practice on a 125 a lot. That'll take the pressure off to "upgrade" before your CBT expires and lets you take the test on the same bike you intend to practice on.

If you're certain you want to go straight for an A license then block-book a few lessons in the days before your test (any school worth its salt will strongly recommend at least one) to get the hang of the 600cc bike you'll be using. This is particularly true if you spend a lot of time on your 125. Unless you expect to be cool as a cucumber during the test it's really quite easy to fall back on muscle memory and make small mistakes, which add to nervousness which leads to more mistakes That was my experience at least when trying much the same approach you describe.
>> No. 4437 Anonymous
14th January 2020
Tuesday 12:58 am
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>If you're certain you want to go straight for an A license

I'm not really certain, I just assumed it just made sense to go straight for A since I'm old enough to do so. I don't just plan on jumping into my tests with just my own 125 experience, I will book a proper block of lessons, the most popular/recommended school around here does a 20 hour DAS course, I will be going for that so I can get proper experience and tuition on a 600. Unless that's what you did and still recommend doing the smaller test first.
>> No. 4438 Anonymous
14th January 2020
Tuesday 1:51 am
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You don't really need to "earn your stripes" on a 125 to prepare yourself for a DAS course. You can just do the DAS straight away and then get yourself a bike that's almost as light as a 125 but with a bit more oomph, maybe something in the 250-400cc range. Once you get used to the extra weight of a bigger bike, they're actually easier to ride and more confidence-inspiring than a 125.

The Mod 2 should be fairly easy if you already have road sense from driving a car combined with the DAS instruction, and most schools book in practice slots at Mod 1 test pads, so passing is mostly just a matter of good instruction, practicing the manoeuvres, and managing nerves.
>> No. 4439 Anonymous
14th January 2020
Tuesday 10:11 pm
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>>4432 here

Yeah, little light bikes can be great fun. I used to live in rural Wales, and they are a delight to chuck around windy, scenic, country roads. I do miss riding bikes, especially on a warm, sunny day in quiet parts of the country.

The YBR was great. I may have been lucky and got a good one, but the only problem I had, is that the speedo cable went, which I was able to fix myself and I'm pretty hopeless with mechanicing. Must have had it for a year or two. Not so good on the bigger roads though, as it's top speed isn't great. If I was to get another bike in the UK, i'd get a 250 these days. I'd want a bit of extra oomph.

My last riding experience was in SE Asia where everyone rides about 125 max, hence traffic is slower and riding there has a different feel to UK. This will have an impact on my personal opinions of motorbikes.

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