Biker Basics

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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
At the tender age of 40 something I quite fancy getting a Motorbike. Never ridden one before and not entirely sure I am going to follow this through into the Big League Pocket Rockets.

I would like something to just potter around the lanes and maybe at some point build up the basic skills to do a tour across Vietnam with a company package deal.

As a car driver - what can I ride in terms of Motorbikes ( engine size ) at this point? And if I did want to pursue it further what sort of costs and criteria or requirements would I need to fulfill?

Many Thanks.
 
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bopdude

Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
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Stockton on Tees
At the moment up to 125cc if you wanted to go bigger then you would have to sit your test /s as for cost, sky's the limit depending on what make and model etc
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,607
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Mid Wales
As I understand the rules at present you are limited to 50cc unless you complete your CBT (compulsory basic training) and then 125cc (or 15HP I think); you have to ride with L plates on. Once you've done your CBT you have two years to do the full motorbike test or you have to repeat the CBT. I know people that repeatedly do CBT and never go onto 'full sized' bikes. The full test now includes the theory test, a road test and a 'structured' off-road test (braking and slalom etc.) The 15HP bit means you can use a bigger machine it just needs to be 'limited' and you can get ways to limit the output of the engine that allow you to use them (or at least you used to be able to).

When I got back onto bikes, after many years not with one, I purposefully chose a bike that won't tempt me to put my head down or try to get my knee down round corners. I ended up with a Triumph T100 Bonneville - I love it. There are loads of great bikes out there it's just I've always been a triumph man since my teens. We've got great roads and I am quite happy to 'potter' around. The secret seems to be just don't go out in groups and you won't find yourself riding like an idiot.

2020-03-25 16.31.59 - 2056 - 25.jpg
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
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Wiltshire
Have you considered a trike or a quad?

(says she who has always loved bikes but has no balance and knows it would be the death of her...As anolder rider you wont have the reactions of a young man...thogh hopefully not the Recklessness...)
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
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Ceredigion
Have you considered a trike or a quad?

(says she who has always loved bikes but has no balance and knows it would be the death of her...As anolder rider you wont have the reactions of a young man...thogh hopefully not the Recklessness...)
A trike is a good idea, if you aren't set on a two-wheeler. On my licence it specifically says I'm allowed to drive one and I've only got the normal car/B licence.
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
A trike is a good idea, if you aren't set on a two-wheeler. On my licence it specifically says I'm allowed to drive one and I've only got the normal car/B licence.

Trike and Quad - No thanks!!!

I will explore the Two wheeled option further.

Not entirely sure if I would concur " 40 something " automatically translates as ' Older ' , reaction speeds are still there , you should watch me shotgun a plate full of chips and neck a pint at closing hours.
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
887
587
Ceredigion
Trike and Quad - No thanks!!!

I will explore the Two will option further.

Not entirely sure if I would concur " 40 something " automatically translates as ' Older ' , reaction speeds are still there , you should watch me shotgun a plate full of chips and neck a pint at closing hours.
I'm not sure where that came from? I certainly didn't mean to imply that you somehow were too old for a normal motorbike! I just meant to point out that it's/might be an option that requires no extra tests or anything. Just use your existing licence and off you go. I guess I could have suggested getting a moped in the same vain, but they are obviously a lot slower and so less safe amongst faster cars on narrow lanes.

Might not get you as prepared for crossing Vietnam but certainly useful for pottering around Britain. I have no idea what they would require to rent you a motorbike their, but perhaps that's a good place to start, to see what you'd need there and work backwards from that. No point in avoiding getting a full licence here only to need one there and vice versa.
 
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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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I'm not sure where that came from? I certainly didn't mean to imply that you somehow were too old for a normal motorbike! I just meant to point out that it's/might be an option that requires no extra tests or anything. Just use your existing licence and off you go. I guess I could have suggested getting a moped in the same vain, but they are obviously a lot slower and so less safe amongst faster cars on narrow lanes.

Might not get you as prepared for crossing Vietnam but certainly useful for pottering around Britain. I have no idea what they would require to rent you a motorbike their, but perhaps that's a good place to start, to see what you'd need there and work backwards from that. No point in avoiding getting a full licence here only to need one there and vice versa.

Sorry Sara , I got your and Tengus responses mixed up.
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
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Wiltshire
Oh, Im sorry if I gave you the wrong idea!

(Me no communicate good).

I read somewhere about the risks of people having a mid life crisis, and getting motorbikes, though it may be about those who were going back to bikes after starting young nd getting a car, rather than those who were first timers.

(Can any of you find me data to back that one up??)

Whoever you are, bear in mind its a dangerous activity.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,607
4,980
Mid Wales
Yep, it's 40 plus riders going back to biking and buying 120HP plus bikes then finding they're not as good as they thought they were - usually a very short period of realisation. TeeDee will be fine as he's starting from scratch :)

As for dangerous - it's very easy to keep yourself out of the main fatality statistics (though, I acknowledge that there are unfortunate fatalities not in the following grouping) - don't go out in groups of more than three - in large groups the tail end has to ride like an idiot to keep up, don't buy a bike that's more powerful than you need - you don't need to accelerate from 0-60 in 3 seconds to enjoy riding on country roads, always assume that other motorists haven't/can't see you.
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
3,251
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Exmoor
I love my two.WP_20140518_002.jpg20180704_110645.jpg
But then I've been riding for many many years.
If it's your first time , as an ex instructor I'd recommend an automatic moped to start off with for a bit then take the test on a 125.
I've done many long journeys on a small bike. The joy of pottering about on a smaller bike and exploring is realy something I love doing.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,756
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
I've just checked my driving licence. Having taken my driving test in a car at age of seventeen and the motorbike test on a 125cc scooter the following year, my licence permits me to drive a wide range of vehicles including all categories of motorbikes.

So, despite never having ridden a motorbike, I could at the age of 78 jump on a 1000cc Kawasaki and ride off into the sunset. Fortunately, age has brought some wisdom!

So go for it TeeDee before you are too old or wise. However, heed Woodygirl's advice: she's clearly wise beyond her years!
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
3,251
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Exmoor
Not beyond my years old timer :)
Just been riding since 1974 and spent ten years as an instructor (first intake of the now defunct star rider school)
Taught to test standard (silver grade instructor) and was just about to take gold instructor ( dvlc tester)when life got in the way.
Advanced motorcyclist... jeez I'm just motorbike mad!
Bushcraft is a parallel interest so I'm also bushcraft mad :) :)
Can't put a fag paper between the two .
 

mikehill

Settler
Nov 25, 2014
763
195
Wigan
After passing your test you could do a lot worse than a nice old used 600 Bandit. Although I’ve had up to 1200’s in the past at the age of 55 I’ve slowed down a bit. Here’s my present bike.

2D363802-F28B-4EF5-90C2-4B14C0CB26AB.jpg
 

bobnewboy

Native
Jul 2, 2014
1,123
627
North West Somerset
I must admit to being a bit out of date re: getting a license these days, but I’ve been fully qualified for 40 years now, and have always had a bike in that time. Still do - I’ll post a recent pic if I can find one :)

However getting a bike license isn’t a simple process like it was when I passed my test. I’d suggest starting at the Government webpages, which are pretty good these days, IMO. It looks like this is a good starting place:



Ok, found a recent-ish picture :)

49826176086_3d98acea5a_c.jpg


Cheers, Bob
 
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Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
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Wiltshire
Thanks for clarifying, Broch.

I, personally, think its a wonderful amibition, -I would love to do it myself.

Why not get a classic as they should hold their value? or do up an old one?
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
8,493
2,112
47
Exeter
I love my two.View attachment 58484View attachment 58485
But then I've been riding for many many years.
If it's your first time , as an ex instructor I'd recommend an automatic moped to start off with for a bit then take the test on a 125.
I've done many long journeys on a small bike. The joy of pottering about on a smaller bike and exploring is realy something I love doing.

Hi , Can I ask why the suggestion of an Automatic Moped??? Won't i be then having to learn and additional set of skills down the ( quite literally ) Road??

Asked with respect
 

moocher

Full Member
Mar 26, 2006
577
65
47
Dorset
I have Been toying with similar as a backup vehicle for going to work.
So far I've got my eye on a cheap vespa 125 gts for sale.
And a honda grom/msx125 which looks fun as well
 

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