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Old 1st Apr 2009, 19:23   #141
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Originally Posted by Moriquendi View Post
Big bikes are much nicer to ride, I hear what you're saying about being "in" rather than "on" but I imagine some of that is due to the riding position too.
Oh absolutely, it's mostly down to the riding position, less down to the physical size of the bike

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Riding fast is easy, riding slowly is what takes skill, until you start trying to take corners at serious speed anyway.
So completely true.

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I dont think I've ever ridden a 4 cylinder, my Beemer is a 2 cylinder and although is is a little viby it has torque by the truckfull, around town I'm generally in 3rd gear @ 30mph and 2000rpm, I don't think you could do that on a jap bike.
That must be lovely, especially around town and for low speed riding. The 400 needs a lot of gear changes between 1st and 2nd in built up areas.

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I also had no problems with U-turns on the 500, plenty of revs, clutch and brake all the way round. The other guy, on his own 125 Varadero that he'd been riding for months had nothing but trouble, I think the added momentum of the bigger bike really helps. My 850 is the same except you don't want to slip the clutch so much as it's a dry plate like in a car.
I did some really nice u-turns today and then some absolute, total and utter shitters. I nearly dropped the bike twice, hit the kerb, all sorts.
I figured out (after failing and stalling 4 times - I've never been that bad before, not once!) that I was in 2nd Just not doable on the 400 unless you fancy 6000rpm+ and fractions of clutch. I was also tired and hungry as hell at this point. Had some food and liquid and did some nice ones again... using 1st.


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You might find that day three starts off really badly, stalls, balance errors, all sorts of things, in my case it was my confidence over-running my ability, I got complacent and things went wrong.
Day 3 has definitely the most demanding so far. Not least because I rode all day (7am til 5:30), as there was a cancellation, so I did a whole afternoon as well as the morning. I'm totally shattered!

We also rode some very demanding roads this afternoon - not the roads I'll be using as I'm being tested elsewhere - the school I'm at uses two centres. We did lots of ridiculously huge junctions and roundabouts in and around Reading, and lots and lots of built up area roads right in the middle of the school traffic. So much to pay attention to, so much to be distracted by. So much bad driving witnessed

Stuff I need to work on before my test tomorrow:


- Observation when pulling away from a stand still. Both shoulders. I forgot this today too many times.

- Sometimes doing unnecessary lifesavers. For some reason I like to do a second lifesaver before the exit from a roundabout (when going left or straight ahead, you do need a 2nd when turning right) which means I'm not looking where I'm bloody going, AND I'm looking at something which will not be a hazard to me!

- Don't miss any speed limit signs. If I'm too slow, or too fast, I've failed. Did this once today and rode a NSL at 40. I missed the sign. Idiot I guessed, and guessed wrong.

- Cancel indicators. For ages and ages I can be perfect on this, then just for no reason completely forget. Roundabouts only seem to be when this happens.
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 19:37   #142
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It might sound childish, but a little trick with the indicators, is too keep saying to yourself tick - tock until you turn them off. I was always so concerned with positioning, smooth gear changes etc, that the indicators tended to stay on for too long, that little trick helped solve that.
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 19:47   #143
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Sounds like you're well on track to a pass, I'm so jealous of you and anyone else that could spring for the DAS, I think I might do the accelerated access test once I've got a bit more money, not sure I can handle being restricted for another 22 months...

Cancelling the indicators will become natural pretty quickly, to the point where I (and pretty much any other biker I've spoken to) will manually cancel indicators in their car as well
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:30   #144
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Originally Posted by Turbotab View Post
It might sound childish, but a little trick with the indicators, is too keep saying to yourself tick - tock until you turn them off. I was always so concerned with positioning, smooth gear changes etc, that the indicators tended to stay on for too long, that little trick helped solve that.
That's brilliant, thanks, I'll definitely give that a shot tomorrow. Any more things like this please tell me!
I've found that muscle memory has started to set in with observation and signals. My thumb seems to know the situations when it needs to do stuff, and just goes and does it. 95% of the time anyway


Mini roundabouts are also a complete cow, especially if you're turning right. *doubly* so if it's a dual mini roundabout. Screw those things, seriously! So little time to do everything, indicators I am sure barely flash twice before you've moved on. Crazy!

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Once you've passed, give clutchless upshifting a go, when you get it right it feels so smooth its amazing, just don't force it, or you'll **** your gearbox good and propper
I'll give this a shot sometime. Give the shifter a bit of pressure, shut throttle and it'll change up, yeah?
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:33   #145
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Sounds like you're well on track to a pass, I'm so jealous of you and anyone else that could spring for the DAS, I think I might do the accelerated access test once I've got a bit more money, not sure I can handle being restricted for another 22 months...

Cancelling the indicators will become natural pretty quickly, to the point where I (and pretty much any other biker I've spoken to) will manually cancel indicators in their car as well
You're have to get your better half's mum to become DAS registered
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:35   #146
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Turbotab - what do you ride anyway?

More thoughts while I'm at it - experienced wind blast (no fairing) at 70mph today. Turning your head to look in your mirrors is interesting to say the least!
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:42   #147
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Originally Posted by RTT View Post
That's brilliant, thanks, I'll definitely give that a shot tomorrow. Any more things like this please tell me!
I've found that muscle memory has started to set in with observation and signals. My thumb seems to know the situations when it needs to do stuff, and just goes and does it. 95% of the time anyway


Mini roundabouts are also a complete cow, especially if you're turning right. *doubly* so if it's a dual mini roundabout. Screw those things, seriously! So little time to do everything, indicators I am sure barely flash twice before you've moved on. Crazy!



I'll give this a shot sometime. Give the shifter a bit of pressure, shut throttle and it'll change up, yeah?
Compliment the test instructor's bike, ego, we all have it! Just be careful, that it's not a shed, they may think you're taking the piss. IIRC my instructor had a Honda ST1100, not a bike I particularly like, and I was like, wow, now that's a proper bike, how many cc's is that etc !!

Watch for the instructor sneaking into your blind spots, when you're in a queue / junction etc, always check your mirrors, and give a little nod to let them know you have spotted them. My one did this to me within the first 30 seconds of my test!
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:43   #148
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Day 3 has definitely the most demanding so far. Not least because I rode all day (7am til 5:30), as there was a cancellation, so I did a whole afternoon as well as the morning. I'm totally shattered!
I know that feeling, first time I rode home (150 miles, scenic route) I was almost falling asleep for the last half hour, not good.

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We also rode some very demanding roads this afternoon - not the roads I'll be using as I'm being tested elsewhere - the school I'm at uses two centres. We did lots of ridiculously huge junctions and roundabouts in and around Reading, and lots and lots of built up area roads right in the middle of the school traffic. So much to pay attention to, so much to be distracted by. So much bad driving witnessed
You get better at this too, as riding the bike becomes automatic your workload falls and you're better prepared for dealing with numptys on the road.

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Stuff I need to work on before my test tomorrow:


- Observation when pulling away from a stand still. Both shoulders. I forgot this today too many times.

- Sometimes doing unnecessary lifesavers. For some reason I like to do a second lifesaver before the exit from a roundabout (when going left or straight ahead, you do need a 2nd when turning right) which means I'm not looking where I'm bloody going, AND I'm looking at something which will not be a hazard to me!
I used to do this all the time, I always want to know whether there's a car pulling up my left side so I kept looking, took ages to break that habit.

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- Don't miss any speed limit signs. If I'm too slow, or too fast, I've failed. Did this once today and rode a NSL at 40. I missed the sign. Idiot I guessed, and guessed wrong.
There's a useful rule for this though it's not foolproof. 40mph limits will have little reminders every couple of hundred yards. 30mph limits will have streetlights close together and/or be a built up area. 50mph limits are the awkward ones because they can look just like NSL roads, no reminders or streetlights.

Edit:
I was told not to bother indicating left to leave a mini-roundabout, as you say, you just don't have the time.

Muscle memory is good until you get on a BMW, who, being German, do things differently. My indicators have one switch on the left for left and two on the right, one for the indicator and one for cancel, confused the hell out of me to begin with.

WRT examiners, the morning before my afternoon test I went along with another guy for his test, the examiner screwed up and asked him to do something he shouldnt then failed him for doing it saying it was dangerous (which is was). The instructor kicked up a fuss (fairly) and lodged a formal complaint about the examiner. When we turn up in the afternoon for my test my instructor starts arguing with the examiner right before the start of my test , not the best start in the world...

Try doing a lifesaver at 90, THATS interesting

Moriquendi

Second Edit

Best of luck for tomorrow mate!
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 20:44   #149
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Turbotab - what do you ride anyway?

More thoughts while I'm at it - experienced wind blast (no fairing) at 70mph today. Turning your head to look in your mirrors is interesting to say the least!
A Suzuki SV 650
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 18:51   #150
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You get better at this too, as riding the bike becomes automatic your workload falls and you're better prepared for dealing with numptys on the road.
... And hopefully better prepared to deal with 4 lane roundabouts


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I used to do this all the time, I always want to know whether there's a car pulling up my left side so I kept looking, took ages to break that habit.
Glad I'm not the only one! I got this sorted today thankfully


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There's a useful rule for this though it's not foolproof. 40mph limits will have little reminders every couple of hundred yards. 30mph limits will have streetlights close together and/or be a built up area. 50mph limits are the awkward ones because they can look just like NSL roads, no reminders or streetlights.
Yeah. The guys gave me the tip about 40s having repeaters, and 30 zones are easy. 20 zones are usually sign posted on entry like mad, and you're going slow enough to notice them with ease.

As you say, 50s and NSLs are the ones to watch :cry:

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Edit:
I was told not to bother indicating left to leave a mini-roundabout, as you say, you just don't have the time.
I asked for confirmation on this today and i was told the same thing. I could swear blind they said otherwise though... hmm.

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Muscle memory is good until you get on a BMW, who, being German, do things differently. My indicators have one switch on the left for left and two on the right, one for the indicator and one for cancel, confused the hell out of me to begin with.
That sounds like a better system to me personally, I'd take that any day over a silly rocker switch.

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Try doing a lifesaver at 90, THATS interesting

Moriquendi
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 19:13   #151
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When is your test RTT?
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 20:15   #152
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When is your test RTT?
It was today at 13:33.

I passed with two minors

The ride I did with the training school from 10AM - 1PM before the test was flawless, not one silly mistake, not one speed limit missed, not one observation forgotten. Perfect

As for the test, it was much easier than I expected it to be. My U-turn and e-stop were both flawless. It seemed like we'd only been out for 15 mins, I thought the examiner had ended the test early for some reason. On reflection, I got lucky - the roads were quiet and the route was a piece of cake. I barely had to deal with any traffic! The examiner even helped me at one point, instructing me to keep in a certain lane to ensure I would get the correct route.

I couldn't be happier right now. It was so nice riding back from the test centre to the training school without a voice in my ear!

I trained with 3CMT who were brilliant all the way through. Anyone who's local to here (Reading-ish), I would highly recommend use 3CMT!
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 20:19   #153
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It was today at 13:33.

I passed with two minors

The ride I did with the training school from 10AM - 1PM before the test was flawless, not one silly mistake, not one speed limit missed, not one observation forgotten. Perfect

As for the test, it was much easier than I expected it to be. My U-turn and e-stop were both flawless. It seemed like we'd only been out for 15 mins, I thought the examiner had ended the test early for some reason. On reflection, I got lucky - the roads were quiet and the route was a piece of cake. I barely had to deal with any traffic! The examiner even helped me at one point, instructing me to keep in a certain lane to ensure I would get the correct route.

I couldn't be happier right now. It was so nice riding back from the test centre to the training school without a voice in my ear!

I trained with 3CMT who were brilliant all the way through. Anyone who's local to here (Reading-ish), I would highly recommend use 3CMT!

:r ock:
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 20:54   #154
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 20:57   #155
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It was today at 13:33.

I passed with two minors

The ride I did with the training school from 10AM - 1PM before the test was flawless, not one silly mistake, not one speed limit missed, not one observation forgotten. Perfect

As for the test, it was much easier than I expected it to be. My U-turn and e-stop were both flawless. It seemed like we'd only been out for 15 mins, I thought the examiner had ended the test early for some reason. On reflection, I got lucky - the roads were quiet and the route was a piece of cake. I barely had to deal with any traffic! The examiner even helped me at one point, instructing me to keep in a certain lane to ensure I would get the correct route.

I couldn't be happier right now. It was so nice riding back from the test centre to the training school without a voice in my ear!

I trained with 3CMT who were brilliant all the way through. Anyone who's local to here (Reading-ish), I would highly recommend use 3CMT!
Congratulations mate! Welcome to the world of big bikes!!

Do you already have a bike? Do you have your eyes on a particular model?

Moriquendi
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 21:11   #156
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Thanks all

No bike sitting waiting for me; I've got a few models in mind though. Going to try and test a few if that's possible. Will report back. I really want to know how much a proper fairing reduces wind blast I'll be commuting on my bike, so it won't be a sports bike.
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 21:22   #157
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*Points at RTT* THERE YOU ARE!
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[ontopic]
Just out of curiosity though, for a Uni student, would a small 250cc bike or 100cc scooter be worth it for around town? I current have a car but seeing as most of my driving is within a 10mi radius would it be worth getting a bike for economy reasons?
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 21:30   #158
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Thanks all

No bike sitting waiting for me; I've got a few models in mind though. Going to try and test a few if that's possible. Will report back. I really want to know how much a proper fairing reduces wind blast I'll be commuting on my bike, so it won't be a sports bike.
I don't know about a proper fairing but riding on a motorway without any fairing is no fun at all. Your arms get tired from fighting the wind force on your chest. Your hands get tired of keeping the throttle in one position while clinging on with a grip that would choke an Anaconda. Even with earplugs you end up deaf and every bug in the known universe lines up to make interesting patterns on your visor. I now have a windshield which improves things dramatically.

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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 21:37   #159
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Congrats with your test RTT.
I'm looking at doing the DAS once I'm 21 wouldn't afford a bike and all the necessary things at this time of my life.
Would you say its a good way to get the licence?
Doing the DAS i would also do extra training after to get a good amount of supervised road time to keep me safe.

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Old 3rd Apr 2009, 10:04   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasal View Post
Congrats with your test RTT.
I'm looking at doing the DAS once I'm 21 wouldn't afford a bike and all the necessary things at this time of my life.
Would you say its a good way to get the licence?
Doing the DAS i would also do extra training after to get a good amount of supervised road time to keep me safe.

Chris
The DAS route is a great way to get a license if that's the route you want to go down

It depends on what you want to do though - if you're only planning on doing short journeys or around town riding, you might decide that the time & expense of a DAS course is too much to justify, and instead either just ride a 125 on a CBT, ride a 125 on an A1 license, or you may go for an A2 license and ride a slightly bigger but restricted bike for a couple of years before the restriction expires.

Personally I went down the DAS route as I plan on some long journeys and didn't really see the point in restricting a bike for two years.

Post-test training (Enhanced Rider Scheme i think it's called) will be money well spent, that's exactly what I plan to do. You'll qualify for an insurance discount too if you do it, so it could end up paying for itself and improving your riding at the same time.
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