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My long journey from non-biker to biker

Posted by on in General Motorcycling
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About 13 years ago I was struggling to find steady work, so I signed up with a number of employment agencies. This was very tough as I didn’t own a car and the low agency wages meant that I couldn’t afford to run a car. The agencies were constantly offering me work, but they were all 6-2 shifts at places which involved public transport (public transport didn’t start running until 6am), so I had to turn them all down.

I decided that a small 125cc motorbike would be perfect for this due to the 100mpg claims - so I looked at loads of bikes and couldn’t decide on which one


I plucked up the courage to get my CBT sorted. So from never riding a motorbike in my life and passing my CBT (morning in a safe environment learning motorbike control, then an hour on the road) about a month later (with help from The Royal Bank of Mother, aka Mum!), I purchased a Hyosung Cruise II from J&S Accessories in Northwich, Cheshire and then realised that I had to ride a 40 mile journey home in failing light and trying to remember everything that I’d learnt on that CBT day… NERVOUS was an understatement, but I managed it


Hyosung Cruise II (1st bike)


Anyway, the bike was perfect for me and work, accepted 6-2 shifts, repaid mum, went on loads of solo rides around North Wales, The Lake District (hills were fun I can tell you!) and covered about 3000 miles in all sorts of weather… then I got a bit of inheritance from a distant relative, got a new job in Manchester and bought a car!!! (sorry for swearing!)


So that was the end of my first biking experience until…


I moved to the south of England (Berkshire and Surrey), solo living costs in the south of England finally put an end to my car usage too and it was only then, a work colleague suggested getting a motorbike (motorbikes had gone completely off my radar as none of my friend were bikers).


So, I did the same again, booked CBT for early April 2014 and everything I learned 13 years ago came flooding back to me, it felt like I’d never stopped riding (although I was a bit rusty in certain areas).


The school I chose was 1st Gear Motorcycle Training in Farnborough and they were brilliant, there was a guy who was refreshing his CBT as he only commuted on a scooter, a 17yr old kid who’d never ridden at all and was getting a scooter off his mum & dad, myself and another guy who just fancied biking were on YBR125’s.


The instructor (Paul) was brilliant, very informative, not condescending in any way at all and we practised and practiced until he was confident we could all go out on the escorted check-ride.

Paul didn’t escort me and the other guy on the YBR’s , he followed the scooters.


We had the pleasure of a different instructor (can’t remember his name, but he was a geordie), we rode around Farnborough, swapped lead a few times, stopped in a few car parks to discuss what we’d done and what the next part of the check-ride involved and finally made our way back to the training centre to receive our CBT certificates.


So I went and bought my new bike, I wanted to avoid the cruiser style bike this time and opted for a more traditional style naked bike, a KSR Code 125 (previously known as Generic and an identical version by Keeway), still a cheaper option than the typical branded yamaha, suzuki or honda but it suited me perfectly.


KSR Code 125


About 4 weeks after my CBT, I rode back up north (200 miles) on A & B roads via Reading, Oxford and Birmingham to visit family and friends, and it was amazing.

I’ve since ridden the bike every day to work, weekend rides to the south coast of England and surrounding areas, to date I’ve covered almost 4000 miles on that little 125.


I’d said to myself from my 2nd stab at biking that my full licence would definitely be sorted and that’s where I’m up to right now…


I’ve got my theory test booked for March and module 1 & 2 will follow shortly after (depending how busy the bike school are).

Watch this space for updates on my progress

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  • Ade
    Ade Saturday, 21 February 2015 · Delete

    Brilliant, I ove these biking journey stories. Hopefully, we will get some more.
    We need a way to auto post these on to the forum as well.
    Nice one.

  • Ade
    Ade Saturday, 21 February 2015 · Delete

    Ah, yeah, I learned a few months back doing a DAS at 1st Gear in Farnborough on the XJ6. Great guys.

    I had, hold on, christ I am crao with names, anyway, it was one younger bloke with a street triple and a beard, cool chap who took me out on practice and the other guy was the older bloke who was a fireman. They were both chalk n cheese but ultimately were responsible for me passing when I really was lacking in all areas, except confidence. :)

    Highly recommened them.

  • NewBikerGP
    NewBikerGP Sunday, 01 March 2015 · Delete

    Thanks you, enjopyed that. My journey os jus beginning!:)

  • RedShot
    RedShot Tuesday, 03 March 2015 · Delete

    Great post man.

  • Brian Walmsley
    Brian Walmsley Tuesday, 03 March 2015 · Delete

    Thanks very much to you all for the comments...

    today is the day of my theory test

    Will let you know how I get on

  • RedShot
    RedShot Tuesday, 03 March 2015 · Delete

    Woah, good luck Brian !!!

    I remember doing the practice. The signs were fine but I was paranoid about the hazard awareness thing.
    It was a LOT easier donig the real thing. They are not trying to trick you so you will be fine.

  • Brian Walmsley
    Brian Walmsley Tuesday, 03 March 2015 · Delete

    Congratulations, you have PASSED your motorcycle theory test

  • leftturnclyde
    leftturnclyde Monday, 27 April 2015 · Delete

    Nice one! good read.

  • MrZippy
    MrZippy Tuesday, 28 April 2015 · Delete

    cool bikes actually - diofferent to the usual bikes everyeone usually ride.

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