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New Rider - where do I start?

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Hi all.

I have recently been forced into a change of job which should be starting around March next year. I currently use my car to get to and from work but new job will be in the city centre and I'll be travelling at peak times.....so i'm absolutely dreading the traffic i'll be facing.

I am very seriously contemplating getting a motorbike. I have no riding experience, other than letting the clutch out too quickly on my mates scrambler many years ago and subsequently flipping it into a tree! I just don't know where to start and I have questions.

My main concern is how practical are motorcycles for commuting? I'll be doing roughly ten miles each way so it's not a huge distance but I'm concerned about riding in winter. When it's chucking it down, icy, snowy etc...is it still possible to ride?

Could anybody tell me where to start? Do I need to do a CBT or can I do the full licence as I'm over 24? What bikes are good to get going on? I've been looking at the 250cc Kawasaki ninja's?

Thanks in advance :D

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Hello ! bikes are great but if you're commuting in winter get decent warm and waterproof gear!

The first thing you'll need to do is a CBT get this booked up make sure you like it.. then if (when) you do you can do the DAS. Id recommend doing the CBT on a geared bike (you'll need to request this when you book) as gears are not a natural thing to pick up so some instruction will be helpful.

Good luck keep us updated

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Ah you'll be fine. You've already learned not to let the clutch out too quickly :wink:

I'm in my first winter and the only thing I'd really dread and avoid is ice. But having been an all weather cycle commuter for several years now I find those days are actually less common than you'd think (there may be exceptions based on where in the UK are and if you have any untreated roads, for me usually the first 200 metres down the main road are the only dodgy bit).

For those odd days, you may find an alternative such as a bus. And the good thing of that is after just one day on the bus you'll be itching to be on two wheels again, trust me.

Rain is a mindset as far as I'm concerned, the only time it gets me down is on day 3 of constant rain, after the last two days of having to dry kit. If you have the right gear though the odd rain shower isn't much to worry about. And that's the other thing, like ice it doesn't actually rain that often. That may seem hard to believe but it's very rare that I get soaked commuting to work, and then when I do I have the gear that means my skin is actually drier than my colleagues who have to walk the last stretch to work after parking their car.

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I came into all this in July having never been on a bike before because my boyfriend thought it would 'be a laugh' for the day.

Turned out I loved it more than he does!

I did the CBT which I really enjoyed and then bought a second hand 125 to run around on, I went to a few ride outs and meets as well as riding it to work and back as needed.

This built u my confidence to get doing my MOD 1 and 2. Will be on a full licence soon!

So go for it, do the CBT and see how you feel. I would recommend if you can afford it to do a two day CBT - the first day on a scooter to get a feel for balance, cornering, putting one foot down etc, then introduce gears on day two. This helped me for sure.

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  • 3 months later...

It's been a while now but thanks for all the replies. I did read them and I appreciate all the advice.

I did my CBT on a geared bike in January and bought myself a 2013 CBF125.... I absolutely love it. My only regret is spending the last 13 years sat in traffic in a car! Absolutely love cruising along on my little bike and I love filtering in between traffic, its hilarious seeing cars whiz past at every opportunity only to get back in front of them at the next set of lights.

Ive actually learnt that most car drivers are clueless aggressive morons. The amount of cars that get up my backside is unreal, I think it's the L plate, it must trigger some superiority in peoples heads.

Also, I find lorries tend to beep if you filter past them, even in stationary traffic.... What's that all about? Am I doing something wrong?

Happy riding everyone

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Ive never been beeped by a lorry and ive filtered past a few, filtered past one last night on my way to work, though if i think the lights are about to change then i wont attempt it, il just wait, i never go past one that im not 100% sure is stationary

Glad to hear youre enjoying life on two wheels though!

I also questioned why i waited so long as well haha, though, i did end up having a baby when i was younger so learning how to drive took priorty as it was more practical (boring) but id always wanted one, ever since i was a kid as my dad always had bikes

You going to do your DAS?

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Well done, glad you are enjoying it! No idea about the lorries beeping you. Never had that happen to me.

As for L plate rage from other drivers, I noticed it drop a bit, but not completely after I passed. I still use my 125 for commuting, and still get folk clearly annoyed by a bike passing them. Key is just to stay calm around them. Ignore them, but keep an eye on them, they sometimes do stupid things like try and stop you filtering if they get in front of you again.

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