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Wondering if bike riding is for me?

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M.C
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PostPosted: 00:44 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThatDippyTwat wrote:
If one of the lads I work with can ride twice a day to and from work, then anyone can. No idea how he got a CBT, he's utterly terrified of corners and roundabouts, you can see him fighting the bike all the way around. He's also scared of any speed over 40, being overtaken, overtaking... You get the idea. He's been like this, and been riding 5 days a week for nearly 4 years.

If he can do it, you can. He's older, and his brains probably mush from being hit a hell of a lot, so he doesn't learn the proper way to ride a bike. You sound plenty smart enough to figure it out, go practice, and above all, enjoy it, you don't have to go fast to have fun.

I worked with someone similar, he was autistic I think. It's why you should have to take a test at some point (rather than endlessly riding on L plates).
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Alpineandy
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PostPosted: 02:43 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

As all have said before, you just need practice.
When the weather improves, start to set aside some regular early sat/sun mornings to go for a ride and find a car park to do some manoeuvres etc. You will soon gain enough confidence to start enjoying it even if you still get nerves.

Whilst it's true that cruisers aren't great bikes for the less experienced (well, actually that aren't great bikes at all but some people go for style over substance...), a 125 is light enough for it not to be much of an issue.

Hopefully you will get some more experience and look to do your DAS in the future, but whatever you do, don't get a cruiser as your 1st big bike (2nd or 3rd if you really must but preferably never).
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andyscooter
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PostPosted: 09:17 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

another vote for changing the bike here

the cruiser will be heavier and have terrible turning circles compered to a smaller normal bike

if you like the cruiser style look into a ybr custom

then as said above

the only way you will get better is practice
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Rupertina
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PostPosted: 11:37 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Thank you for all the responses guys! I don't feel quite so bad anymore. All read and duly noted - I did read some of the responses as they came in but work beckoned (as it does today unfortunately) so my apologies if my brief response misses answers to some of your questions.

So, bit of background, I'm 36 and I've been driving for 18 years so fairly experienced and relaxed on the roads in my car.

The nerves that I experience build up when I know when I'm going to go out on the bike - even days before if I'm planning to go out at the weekend or before my lesson - to the point where I try and talk myself out of doing it (sometimes successfully!). When I'm out on the road, I don't feel quite so bad and once I've completed the ride I'm so happy that I've not crashed or fallen off and hurt myself or anyone else. I think that's my greatest fear - injury! I'm a natural worrier - I do worry about *everything*.

Having thought about it, I am going to hang on to the Eliminator for now and find a quiet car park to practice manoeuvres in. I find the bike quite comfortable and even though it might not be the most nimble set of wheels, I know that I can ride it and improve on it if I practice. I think that if I had greater control of the bike and felt a bit more 'at one' with it, I could then concentrate on the other skills I need to work on whilst out and about, such as looking around me more and going at speeds appropriate for the roads I'm on.

I don't work too far from home - only 7 or so miles and no motorways so once I'm a bit more confident and the weather improves the plan is to commute to and from work on the bike.
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 13:19 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh, that is a big case of pre-ride nerves. Thinking

Best way to deal with that might be to slip in a quickie do unplanned rides. Just woman-up, gear-up and go for a quick ride, even if it's only round the block. Note that you are not dead, then build on that.

I would stress that your Eliminator isn't the best tool for learning on, and will be particularly tricky at low speed, so don't feel bad if you drop it. You might even be as well getting it out of your system.

You will get better, and you will enjoy it, but only if you - oh lord - stop thinking and start riding. Embarassed
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Kaya75
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PostPosted: 13:30 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbs Up

Tbh I think you would find a CG, MSX easier to be at one with - even a VanVan - VanVan's look fun and a kind a beach type bike that are a bit cruiseresque (maybe?) without the mad riding configuration.

Regardless, respect for sticking to "your" bike, and your attitude. Lots of good advice in this thread and hopefully you'll see that nerves are a natural part of riding, the trick is to accept nerves and not let nerves get in the way of confidence on the road, which of course comes with practice / experience.

Extraordinary things make us nervous, Flying petrifies some people but for air crews its a daily occurrence. I had a really bad motorway accident in a car years back and it took me a good couple of years to get over the PTS when driving -took me a good twelve months to get back on a motorway. Make riding normal and then watch out for over confidence!

All the best on your journey Thumbs Up
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 13:32 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah stop being such a neurotic puff ya big lezzer.

But really - ride 'em cow girl. We've only got so much nice in us - after that it's gloves off, tough love, and out come the roofies. Mad
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Alpineandy
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PostPosted: 14:24 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rupertina wrote:
Having thought about it, I am going to hang on to the Eliminator for now and find a quiet car park to practice manoeuvres in.


There appears to be some real cold* weather coming up but as soon as it warms up a bit, go and practice.
If you're not improving after as few hours on a sat & again on the sunday then maybe it's worth changing the bike, but practice is the key.
I'm sure you could persuade him changing bike is the best option if necessary (Even if you have to wear your tongue to the bone Wink )


*Trying to concentrate on slow control in an invariably freezing cold/windy car park for any worthwhile length of time is a waste of energy unless you absolutely must do it NOW Laughing
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Gosties
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PostPosted: 19:31 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a few weeks or so it will be lighter in the mornings and brighter in the evenings.
Let the weather improve before trying to get the hang of using your motorcycle with confidence.
Cold, dark and damp with potentially leaves and icy roads to contend adds complications that don't need to be undertaken before you are completely comfortable with the bike.

Their is no rush.
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Pigeon
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PostPosted: 23:09 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lady at work did her CBT about 3 months ago.

Every time before getting on the bike since, shaking, white as a sheet.
Her nerves were truly debilitating.

It took a while to get the confidence, but she's loving it now.....in -5c weather and still loving it Very Happy



You are perfectly normal, cut yourself some slack, give yourself a lot more time and a lot less personal pressure. Start of with small wins, make steady progress to build confidence. Thumbs Up


OR

Woman up and give yourself a damn good talking to. Whichever works for you Smile Personally, I've not responded too well to the shouty approach as it creates frustration and anger. But strokes for folks.
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SixFeetOfMan
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PostPosted: 23:39 - 10 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in almost exactly same situation, well, minus stressing too much Wink.
34 y/o, 16 years driving, did my CBT ~2 weeks ago, bought cbf125 same day and I'm riding it every not rainy day since. Mostly afternoons when traffic dies out.

Try riding late evening on empty city roads. Great practice of everyday manoeuvres without stress caused by cars sitting right behind you etc.
Peak time commuting is stressful, as everyone is in a rush.
Wait with commuting till you get confident on normal speed trough-the-city route.

Biggest confidence booster for me was practising emergency stops.
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 10:23 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

SixFeetOfMan wrote:
I'm in almost exactly same situation, well, minus stressing too much Wink. [...] I'm riding it every not rainy day since

So almost, but not quite, entirely unlike OP? Thinking

Welcome to BCF, by the way. Wink
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Biking is 1/20th as dangerous as horse riding.
GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike
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pudder
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PostPosted: 10:40 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theres a process you can use to help with overcoming anxiety:

Answer the following questions honestly to yourself. Write them out if it helps. Do it each time you go out for a ride.

Before:

What is the worst thing that could happen?
How likely do you think this is? 0-10 (10 is definitely going to happen)
What is the best outcome?
How likely do you think this is? 0-10 (10 is definitely going to happen)
What do you actually think is going to happen?

Then afterwards:

What happened?
What did you learn from it?


For example:

What is the worst thing that could happen?
I'm very nervous, fall off, hurt myself, and damage the bike.
How likely do you think this is? 0-10
8
What is the best outcome?
I'm fully confident, nothing goes wrong, and I enjoy the ride.
How likely do you think this is? 0-10
1
What do you actually think is going to happen?
I'm going to be nervous, I might have a wobble, or stall the bike.

Then afterwards:

What happened?
I went out, was very anxious,but overall felt ok once riding. I stalled at the roundabout, but I made it home without hurting myself or damaging the bike.
What did you learn from it?
I still need more practise, but I know I can go out for a ride and get home safely. I should focus on pulling away confidently.


The important thing is to be honest with yourself about it.
As with anything the more times you prove to yourself that you can achieve the activity without a bad outcome, the more confident you get.
This just forces you to acknowledge the fact that everything was ok.
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Teflon-Mike
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PostPosted: 14:07 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely sure about that rating scheme there pudder....

'Average' statistical risk of coming a cropper on a bike, is something in the order of 1 in 100,000 miles. Starts to get a bit skewed when you analyse it; BUT nice to know that that average is pulled down a heck of a lot by wee-end warriors doing less than 3ooo miles a year, and living GP fantasies on sunny Sundays, relatively having a lot of crashes for the few miles they do! Typical 'Learner', lacking experience and often confidence, is certainly, similarly, at higher than average odds of an off, BUT, also severity of that 'off' is significantly less.

Question; "Whats the worst that can happen?"
Answer; "I crash and DIE!"

Simple sliding scale of 1-10 does not cover it!

There's approximately 30million motorized road users in the UK, annually covering, around half a British (million, million!) 'billion' miles a year. Approximately 1% of them are by bike; so around 50,000 million bike miles... and about one rider is killed for every 1,000 million! Of whom.. a proportion aren't 'legal' licence holding riders on road legal bikes.... which up the odds for a CBT trained Newby on legal bike, BUT, actual statistical 'Risks' aren't in in 1-10 single figures! Odds, in the order of 1 in 1,000,000,000, if 10, is the certainty, the answer, empirically is err.. count the decimal places... 0.000,000,001? I think that's enough naughts! scoring ONE would be to over estimate the rsks by a million few times of or so! LOL!

Lets try a different question:
Question; "Whats the worst LIKELY to happen?"
Answer; "I crash into a car at a junction and REALLY hurt myself"

This, is a little more realistc... 'Seriously Injured' stats, would suggest that there's maybe 1,000, depending where you draw the line on what constitutes 'serious', probably even 10,000 serious injuries for every rider killed...... whilst this knocks a lot of naughts off the decimal..... its still a decimal! On the scale of 1-10? 0.000,01?

AND, we have small matter than around half of all Serious Injuries are associated with excessive speed... NOT a situation likely to be encountered by a learner on a 125, let alone a cruiser 125, which would struggle to achieve excessive speeds if you strapped a rocket to it's pillion seat! Laughing Surprised

Lets try a different question AGAIN:
Question; "Whats the worst LIKELY to happen.... TO ME?"
Answer; "I muff it up and fall off!"


NOW, the decimal point might shift a few more places. This is, for most learners, a statistical inevitability, and many will probably have a few such instances in their first 10,ooo miles or so.... so we MIGHT, if we are going more than a mile; say a half hour jaunt out that might cover 10 miles, get that decimal point up a few places to, what, 1-10? Maybe, 0.001!!!

AND severity? Well, odds is you wont die. Odds is you probably wont even be hurt enough to need a sticking plaster, let alone go to hospital! Bruise in the morning, and a little wounded pride!!

THIS does nothing to take away the fear or the worry of course, that is only natural... BUT it does display the gulf between 'actual risk' and 'perceived risk' and how much of that '"Oh my Gowddd" is almost utterly unfounded

Better questions to allay anxiety, to my mind, are to put the rsks into more appreciable context;

Would I change a light-bulb? I am more likely to hurt myself, behing electrocuted or cutting my fnger or falling off a chair, changing a light bulb than I am riding this motorbike to the shops! WHy am I worried?

Would I climb a ladder to wash the windows? That s more likely to put me in hospital with a broken leg, than riding a motorbike!

Would I think twice about laying on a beach in Benadorm with a gin spritzer, reading a book? Let alone renting a windsurfer or taking a scuba lesson, on a more 'activity' orientated holiday!

Ironical, so many people take risks like those, utterly without considering them... because the context is so different, the question is never raised, and the immediate 'Motorbikes! DAYN-JRUSS!" gut reaction, pre-conception never has a chance to raise its ugly head.

Motorbikes ARE dangerous of course... and compared to travel by car or aeroplane, which statistically, are incredibly 'safe' things to do, motorcycle safety 'isn't' all that wonderful; BUT, per participant hour, it IS a heck of a lot LESS dangerous than an awful lot of other activities, from DIY around the house, to holiday activities, to having a nice drink!

It is incredible, few stop to think of the 'danger' heading out night clubbing, or going for a quiet drink in a country pub, or opening a bottle at home to 'relax'... YET statistically, alcohol related diseases and injures, LIKE dehydration, having a spritzer whilst sun bathing, ARE all far more likely AND have as or higher severity than the risks associated with riding a motorbike... they JUST dont get thought about so often!

Rather than trying to do an industry standard RPN exercise on the job, to my mind, far better to allay anxiety by saying "Look, this safer than a going down the pub! Its NOT the big deal I am imagining!"

Contending with clinical anxiety, first rule is you will NEVER make it go away. We experience fear for a reason; its a survival instinct; you will never 'beat' your fears, and simply suppressing them IS'T healthy; its ignoring the natural warning; BUT its getting the fear response into proportion, and NOT behaving as if a man eating tiger is about to devour you, when tiddles the puddy can mews it wants some milk!

Its about getting it 'in proportion'; and here, compared to so many other 'risky'things we do every day and never worry about, riding a motorbike, REALLY shouldn't be something we need do 'so much'!

You're right; 'experience' and good experience of NOT crashing is damn good way to get the risks into some sort of proportion, and PROVE you can do it... but at the same time, NOT putting the risks into proportion with other things still leaves the worry room.

Tackle them, identify them, realist that worry room exists, BUT that it is't a gaping chasm of gloom and doom and carnage, you are on the precipice of, but a little cupboard at the back of a very big warehouse, where all life's 'other' worries are stored and FAR more likely to leap out the dark ad bite you in the bum! Laughing
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pudder
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PostPosted: 15:09 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first Teffing... So proud! Embarassed

The point of the rating system isn't to do with how statistically likely the outcome is, but how likely it is the mind of the respondent. (As you touched on)

Anxiety is by its very nature an overestimation of negative outcomes.

The idea is that over time the worrier starts to realise that the negative outcome they were almost certain was going to happen never materialised. Thus a reduction in anxiety should result.

Add to that comparisons to the 'low-risk' activities you mentioned, and you would hope a re-evaluation of risk would take place.
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 15:33 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

pudder wrote:
My first Teffing... So proud! Embarassed

You brought this on yourself, flaunting that provocative short post at him. Zero sympathy, take responsibility for your own safety.
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Biking is 1/20th as dangerous as horse riding.
GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike
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onlyJaz
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PostPosted: 15:54 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen it mentioned a couple times but I am also in favour of hitting the carpark for a while. When I first got my bike, I was too nervous to even go out during busy times of the day so I'd go for a 30-40min ride around at 10pm when I knew it wasn't going to be very busy in order to build my confidence.

With the carpark, visualise the the layout however you want but what I did was imagine each bay had a car in it and tried to filter through them and make some sharp, slow turns. It helped me to get used to the turning circle of my bike Thumbs Up
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 16:12 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh, I haven't mentioned it in here, but I agree. First thing I did with my tiddler was to slip it out for a slow knuckle shuffle. You know, throttle control, also clutch and brakes.

Slow speed is the tricky stuff, and might have been skipped in OPs CBT. Definitely worth putting a few hours in. And again, expect to drop it. If you don't, it's a bonus. If you do, no biggie, you've got it over and done with.
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Biking is 1/20th as dangerous as horse riding.
GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike
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onlyJaz
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PostPosted: 17:19 - 11 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rogerborg wrote:
Huh, I haven't mentioned it in here, but I agree.


A few other posters have mentioned it Thumbs Up

Rogerborg wrote:
And again, expect to drop it. If you don't, it's a bonus. If you do, no biggie, you've got it over and done with.


I dropped my bike last week for the first time Doh! and it wasn't when riding or doing a manoeuvre. I was pushing it around a right bend and there was a slight step and off the step was uneven ground and the weight of the bike disagreed with the direction I wanted it to go and...patushhhhh, a dented exhaust.
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Rupertina
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PostPosted: 14:13 - 18 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for all of the posts guys, all read and duly noted.

A bit of a development - I properly broached the subject with him indoors about getting a more suitable bike and credit where it's due, he was actually very supportive and said it's my bike to do with as I please. I'd only hinted at swapping it before, but I think he now knows I'm giving it some serious thought about what it'll take for me to get through my test in the future, he's okay with it. Once I sell the Eliminator, he's even offered to add to the budget to get me something nicer on the condition that I get out there and ride it, rather than have it festering in the garage (fair enough!).

Who knows, I may still be just as crap on a more suitable bike, but I've had a niggling thought at the back of my brain that a different bike might help me improve more quickly, it'll certainly make practicing manoeuvres in a car park easier due to the shorter wheel base and be a similar style bike to what my instructor uses for the DAS course.

So, time to do a bit of research! Next weekend I'm visiting a local shop to have a sit on a few and to see what feels right. I think I might need to source a lowered seat or find somewhere that can do it for me, so any recommendations (I'm on Hampshire/Berkshire/Surrey border) please send them this way! Smile
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 14:50 - 18 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great news, I'm glad to hear that Mr Rupertina is being supportive.

I'd be a little bit wary about lowering a 125. They tend to be quite saggy as it is, being designed for efficient Oriental people or whippet thin teens. You could run out of suspension travel quite quickly. Never mind, I just realised that you said "seat". Please excuse my Teffing. Embarassed

A YBR Custom, if you can find one, should offer a decent compromise between low seat and nice handling. My first HN125 copybike had similar geometry and was very easy and forgiving to ride.

But if you know that you can get on with an MSX and you enjoyed it, I'd be looking for reasons not to get one. Used examples seem to be holding their value pretty well and owners love them. Even just throwing my leg over one made me grin like a loon.
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Biking is 1/20th as dangerous as horse riding.
GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike


Last edited by Rogerborg on 15:27 - 18 Jan 2017; edited 1 time in total
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Spamalittle
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PostPosted: 14:58 - 18 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good on you for sticking with it and looking to address the issues instead of cruising down the "ah well, wasn't for me" route. Thumbs Up

Whilst changing the bike may not be the silver bullet that overcomes your confidence issues, it definitely can't hurt to try.

As for a new learner bike? Suzuki VanVan all the way. But then again I am exceptionally biased towards those wee things. Still one of my biggest regrets getting rid of mine and I'm seriously considering sourcing another to replace the CG125 for city riding (despite the CG having a far superior gear box).

My inseam is 30", my partners is 28" and we both had VanVans to start out on and could both flat foot them. Okay, they're not everyone's cup of tea but worth taking a look at in my view.
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ScaredyCat
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PostPosted: 15:09 - 18 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rupertina wrote:
So, bit of background, I'm 36 and I've been driving for 18 years so fairly experienced and relaxed on the roads in my car.


Which means most of the battle is already won. You know how to drive, you know the road signs, you know road positioning all you need to learn is the bike control. you're 80% there already. Relax.
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 15:32 - 18 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spamalittle wrote:
Suzuki VanVan all the way.

http://i.imgur.com/VlvAmyh.png

Lies? Bad example? Source.
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Biking is 1/20th as dangerous as horse riding.
GONE: HN125-8, LF-250B, GPz 305, GPZ 500S, Burgman 400 // RIDING: F650GS (800 twin), Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 500 AVL, Ninja 250R because racebike
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B Button
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PostPosted: 16:06 - 18 Jan 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spamalittle wrote:

As for a new learner bike? Suzuki VanVan all the way. But then again I am exceptionally biased towards those wee things. .


Another vote for the Van Van. Low seat height and low centre of gravity make it really stable. OK, it isn't the most sensitive when it comes to steering, but I'm guessing your not going to be filtering through rush hour traffic just yet. It dies after about 40 mph, but acceleration through the gears is OK.
Stick with it!
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