helmet, Motorbike, motorbikechick, motorbikelife, motorbikes, rider, suzuki motorbikes

Choosing a lid

Choosing a lid/helmet is the most important part of your gear but can be the most fun. I say that but I ended up trying about 15 helmets on before I settled with my Bell RS-1 Desert Camo. I replaced the clear visor that came with it and added a bit of sexiness with a dark smoke visor . It was worth the purchase as it adds to the ‘racing’ look and keeps the sun out of my eyes as the helmet did not come with a internal visor – as most models do now.

 

bell_rs-1_topo_desert-camo

Buying a full face helmet will offer more protection but even the safest helmet will fail you in a crash if it’s too loose and comes off. According to EU research this happens in 12% of accidents 😦 For this reason, it is very important that the helmet fits correctly otherwise it will move around and cause discomfort especially in your neck. It needs to be snug so the padding does not move against your skin and make sure the helmet doesn’t cause any pain/tension on your head.

When you try a helmet in a shop you should keep it on for long as you can, I think I left mine on for a good 20 minutes. I felt like a idiot but I didn’t want to purchase something that was uncomfortable or not safe. Removable liners are another nice feature to look out for, as these can get pretty dirty especially if you ride everyday. Being able to put it in the washing machine could make bike life more enjoyable.

With our fantastic weather in the UK (haha) visors can steam up so check to see if yours comes with a anti-fog pinlock feature. If it doesn’t you can purchase one just for few golden nuggets and most shops will fit them to a visor for you! I would also consider ventilation features, as in hot weather you need good airflow to keep cool but need to close it off when weather turns nasty.

Read reviews if you can to see how other people feel about the product and look at wind noise levels. It took serval rides before I could feel the padding in my helmet adjust to my head shape and size. Lastly, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check that the helmet passes either British or EU safety standards.Look at the SHARP website to see which standards are met and the results of a independent crash test, those with a higher star rating are safer.

People can get caught out at bike festivals with fake helmets and I would always purchase one at a proper shop – never buy online unless you have tried on before hand! Happy lid buying everyone 🙂

What lid do you guys wear?

 

Motorbike, motorbikechick, test

Booking lessons and test!

IMG_4008
Yamaha XJ6 @Camrider, Cambridge.

The above photo is pretty self explanatory, the little hunny I past my test on! For those who know nothing about how a motorcycle license is gained, please continue to read 🙂 I will share how my lessons came about…

Firstly, I’m probably one of the most organised people you will ever meet yet, I contributed nothing to getting bike lessons etc sorted. Adam text me when I was at work one day to say it all had been booked and he needed to know my driving license number – what the hell he actually went ahead and booked us in! :O Shock horror. It’s official, i’m starting lessons! I didn’t know what to think at first, I was excited but had no idea what to expect.

Below is a useful link about different motorbike licenses 🙂 I am not going to try and explain as I think it will be too confusing.

***https://www.gov.uk/ride-motorcycle-moped/bike-categories-ages-and-licence-requirements

The basics of Module 1 & 2.

Module 1

This exercise will be in an off-road motorcycle manoeuvring area (a large tarmac car park).

The test normally takes about 20 minutes and includes:

  • wheeling the moped or motorcycle and using the stand (manual handling)
  • riding a slalom and figure of 8
  • a slow ride
  • a U-turn
  • cornering and a controlled stop
  • cornering and an emergency stop
  • cornering and hazard avoidance

For the hazard avoidance and emergency stop exercises you must ride at a minimum speed of:

  • 19 mph on a moped
  • 31 mph on a motorcycle

You’ll be told if you’ve passed module 1 at the end of the test!!!

The examiner will make a note of:

  • dangerous faults – these involve actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • serious faults – these are potentially dangerous
  • riding faults – these aren’t potentially dangerous, but could become serious if you keep making the same mistake

You’ll pass module 1 if you make:

  • no serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’)
  • no more than 5 riding faults (sometimes called ‘minors’)

 

Module 2

You must pass module 1 before you can take the module 2 test.

The test normally takes about 30 minutes and includes:

  • an eyesight check (read a reg plate)
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • road riding
  • independent riding

You must bring your module 1 pass certificate to the module 2 test, along with your CBT cert and theory test!

 

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions. These might be along the lines of where is the brake fluid and what might you change if you carried a pillion passenger. This shows you can carry out basic safety checks.

Road riding

You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, but not on motorways. The examiner will give you directions using a radio and follow on a motorcycle.

Independent riding

You’ll have about 10 minutes of independent riding. The examiner will give you directions and you will be assessed on your ability to ride safely while making your own decisions

******NOTE – You will NOT fail if you go off the route 🙂 ********

Your test result

You’ll be told if you’ve passed module 2 at the end of the test.

The examiner will make a note of:

  • dangerous faults – these involve actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • serious faults – these are potentially dangerous
  • riding faults – these aren’t potentially dangerous, but could become serious if you keep making the same mistake

You’ll pass module 2 if you make:

  • no serious or dangerous faults (sometimes called ‘majors’)
  • no more than 10 riding faults (sometimes called ‘minors’)

 

Motorbike, motorbikechick, suzuki motorbikes

Finding the bike that’s right for you

It has finally happened… I am a proud owner of a Suzuki SV650s! 🙂

After passing my test I was very excited at the prospect of owning my own bike, who wouldn’t!? Adam has now owned his Kawasaki for about 3 weeks and don’t get me wrong, very happy for him but my goodness being pillion with him is not the same as riding solo!

At the start I didn’t know what sort of bike I wanted but was looking to get something similar to what I learnt on (Yamaha XJ6). The only reason being was the riding position and the comfort factor. However, throughout my search I knew a sporty looking bike would be the one (they look so fit!). With my low budget and A2 license, I was already limiting what sort of bike I could have and I soon realised I needed to sit on a few. Hmmmm this could take some time.

Bringing my new baby home
Kawasaki Z750r Suzuki SV650s

Nevertheless, eBAY and Gumtree do provide you with a good range to choose from 🙂 MCN bikes for sale is also decent but expect more dealership bikes than private.

For anyone on a A2 I would recommend doing your research on a range of bikes and try not to go for anything lower than 600cc. I say this because I’ve heard of people getting bored of a lower cc bike after just few months of owning, especially if they learnt on a bigger bike…. Also, if you decide to do your full license you can at least have a good size bike to ride when restrictor is removed. Win win I say 🙂

If you decide to buy down the private route (like I did) make sure you ask as many questions about the bike as you can. For example, has the bike had regular services, does it have good MOT records, what is it used for, where is it kept etc all these sorts of questions will build a picture of the owner and what sort of life the bike has had. Basic things to look out for on the bike itself would be bodywork, engine, brakes, chain, sprocket, tyres and look for leaks. Sit on the bike to test the suspension and make sure you take it for a good test ride. Nothing worse than getting what you thought was your dream bike and soon realising its not for you.

Let’s face it, most people who own motorbikes are good people and will look after it but you can never be too careful. Another good thing do to would be put the reg into government website to bring up MOT’s and while you’re at it, see how much the insurance will cost for the particular bike you are interested in. Finally, I will point out that many people will require full asking price and proof of insurance before you test ride, so be prepared. It is a sensible thing to do but I fear that it can limit your potential customer base when coming to sell, I guess it depends on the individual.

 

 

gap year, Motorbike, motorbikechick, travel

First time on a motorbike!

My first experience of riding a motorcycle was back in 2013 in Australia. I went there with my boyfriend for 6 months to work on farms and get some cracking sunset photos, of course! I was given the opportunity to learn how to ride a motorbike and use a chainsaw, couldn’t really say no could I!? I will say that farms will either use horses or motorbikes to round up livestock…. bikes are best for farms with large acres as horses will tire eventually.  Anyway, I can’t remember what bike it was but you never forget your first time. All I remember was a large grass paddock and barbed wire fence with some aussie behind me trying to tell me how to ride. The feeling was amazing, wind in my hair and a load of engine between my legs – WOW! I think it went well overall and defiantly preferred a bike than a bloody horse (that wouldn’t stop when I asked it to!).1385512_10151641486425800_1207202806_n1395832_10151641490860800_1460117627_n

About 1 month after my first time on a motorbike, Adam and I found ourselves on a large 100,000 acre cattle farm in Long reach, Queensland. As I mentioned previously, the weapon of choice to round up livestock is either cattle or motorbikes and this farm had bikes. There was a small fleet of about 8 bikes, a quad and a freaking small airplane!

I used the quad most of the time as was too short for the dirt bike 😦 Most days the bikes would be used to check fences and stock. One day we rode 50 miles across the outback rounding up sheep, great sunshine and dirt tracks. What an experience!