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    What's up guys?

    Just hoping to get some pointers from you bikers out there.

    I plan on learning how to ride while I'm at Uni (Derby). I know which school I want to go to and all that but I have a few questions. If you guys could start your posts with how long you've been riding and what you started on, that'd be brill.

    What sites or groups do you know of that have quality maintenance advice for beginners? Blogs, articles or videos -- even courses would be great.

    I'm also looking to invest in a decent helmet camera and microphone. Not to ride with, I don't plan on vlogging yet, but I'm looking into documenting my journey on L plates.

    Also, are riders often targeted by insurance scammers? (I.e. crash for cash)

    Thanks, and Happy Easter.
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    (Original post by Vennec)
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    Do not go with Shires.

    If you can get to beechdale in Nottingham, go with Roadcraft as they're brilliant. If you can't, just don't go with Shires.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Do not go with Shires.

    If you can get to beechdale in Nottingham, go with Roadcraft as they're brilliant. If you can't, just don't go with Shires.
    Roadcraft is who I'm aiming to learn from. Met the guy in charge once to interview him, he was very helpful.

    What's wrong with Shires?
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    How old are you and what size bike are you planning on getting? I started on a moped at 16, then I passed my A1 at 17 and imnow waiting till I'm 19 to do a2.
    I don't think insurance scammers target bikes because cars are an easier target and they're don't want to risk killing.
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    (Original post by martinnmartin)
    How old are you and what size bike are you planning on getting? I started on a moped at 16, then I passed my A1 at 17 and imnow waiting till I'm 19 to do a2.
    I don't think insurance scammers target bikes because cars are an easier target and they're don't want to risk killing.
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    21. Will probably go for an A2, so 395cc minimum.

    Yeah, that was my initial thought about the scammers. Thanks for your input!
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    (Original post by Vennec)
    21. Will probably go for an A2, so 395cc minimum.

    Yeah, that was my initial thought about the scammers. Thanks for your input!
    I would say that even if you do get your A2 licence, don't get a fast bike to start. Get a 125 and learn to drive (not just to pass the test) for a year or so. Learn about how different road conditions affect handling. Learn how to watch car drivers. Learn how to keep yourself safe. Then allow yourself to get something that is bigger, heavier and harder to handle.

    I learned to ride at 17 on a 125, 14 years ago.
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    If he passes a2 after lessons there is no reason for him to go for a 125- I've owned 2 125cc bikes the CBF 125 and YBR and they aren't safe compared to to 300/500cc bikes. The tyres are way too thin which makes it risky in wet conditions and when cornering, the brakes aren't good and the lack of power means it's not useful for motorways or dual carriageways. Get a decent 300 ie ninja 300, CBR 300 or yzf r3, or get a CBR 500/ cb500f. Take a look around there are many going for very cheap second hand for their age.

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    (Original post by HFBS)
    I would say that even if you do get your A2 licence, don't get a fast bike to start. Get a 125 and learn to drive (not just to pass the test) for a year or so. Learn about how different road conditions affect handling. Learn how to watch car drivers. Learn how to keep yourself safe. Then allow yourself to get something that is bigger, heavier and harder to handle.

    I learned to ride at 17 on a 125, 14 years ago.
    Do you have any suggestions for 125s for new riders?

    I've already started doing research into handling, weather conditions and hazards. Diesel spillages show up as rainbow-coloured patterns on the road, don't lean as far in the wet, don't try to turn on white lines, braking too hard, etc.

    If you've been a rider for 10+ years, mind if I ask whether you do your own maintenance? If so, where / how did you learn?

    Also, do you have any advice or tips on riding near HGVs other than stay in sight of their mirrors and give space?

    I know they have a blind spot up front on top of several others. The thought of riding near one of those massive ****ers scares me more than the thought of crashing.
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    (Original post by martinnmartin)
    If he passes a2 after lessons there is no reason for him to go for a 125- I've owned 2 125cc bikes the CBF 125 and YBR and they aren't safe compared to to 300/500cc bikes. The tyres are way too thin which makes it risky in wet conditions and when cornering, the brakes aren't good and the lack of power means it's not useful for motorways or dual carriageways. Get a decent 300 ie ninja 300, CBR 300 or yzf r3, or get a CBR 500/ cb500f. Take a look around there are many going for very cheap second hand for their age.

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    I'll make notes of your suggestions and look around. What should I look out for when buying a new bike? What sort of mileage...?
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    Low millage is obviously better and anything under 10,000 is very good. However if the price is right 15-20k should be ok. When buying a bike you should test ride it and if you are inexperienced you should bring someone who knows about bikes with you. Check how the brakes work, check how shifting the gears feel and how it performs in general. When looking for bikes online from sites such as gumtree and autottader see if they mention the service history and if not ask through text/email. Look for a bike with no or very little scratches or rust because you'll want the bike to sell well when you upgrade to a bigger bike ( if you want to). 125's have the major benefit of fuel economy- both my bikes got around 100mpg which is very good compared to the 500's.If you get a 125 maybe look at the r125 as it has much thicker tyres and can hit around 85mph so it will be better for dual carriageways and motorways ( my CBF maxed out about 65/67 and the YBR got to 75). Do all the research on the bike you want before looking for them on gumtree. Also look at insurance prices as 125s again are very cheap to insure and tax (17 £ for tax). General maintenance is very easy and you can learn fromyoutube videos.for example changing the oil only requires 1 spanner. Things like changing charging the air filfer, spark plug, oil and lubing / adjusting the chain can be done very easily but some things like replacing the chain, changing the steering bearings and break pads might be easier to let the mechanic do it

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    (Original post by martinnmartin)
    If he passes a2 after lessons there is no reason for him to go for a 125- I've owned 2 125cc bikes the CBF 125 and YBR and they aren't safe compared to to 300/500cc bikes. The tyres are way too thin which makes it risky in wet conditions and when cornering, the brakes aren't good and the lack of power means it's not useful for motorways or dual carriageways. Get a decent 300 ie ninja 300, CBR 300 or yzf r3, or get a CBR 500/ cb500f. Take a look around there are many going for very cheap second hand for their age.

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    I've driven numerous 125s over the years. The reason I say have one for a year is that if you can learn to be safe on a 125 with skinny crap tyres, no power, and mediocre brakes, you can be safe on anything. He will be a better rider for it and not need fat grippy tyres to help him brake when he has been following too close, or lots of power to save his butt when he doesn't leave enough room to overtake.

    If I hadn't spent so long on those rubbish nylon tyres, I'd probably have been dead a few years back when a huge lorry pulled across a 70mph dual carriageway in front of me. Instead I could control my heavy vintage bike and live to tell the tale.

    A bad workman always blames his tools.
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    (Original post by HFBS)
    I've driven numerous 125s over the years. The reason I say have one for a year is that if you can learn to be safe on a 125 with skinny crap tyres, no power, and mediocre brakes, you can be safe on anything. He will be a better rider for it and not need fat grippy tyres to help him brake when he has been following too close, or lots of power to save his butt when he doesn't leave enough room to overtake.

    If I hadn't spent so long on those rubbish nylon tyres, I'd probably have been dead a few years back when a huge lorry pulled across a 70mph dual carriageway in front of me. Instead I could control my heavy vintage bike and live to tell the tale.
    Yeah that's true actually, a lot canbe learned on a 125 and it can allow you to appreciate a bigger bike when you get one

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    (Original post by Vennec)
    Do you have any suggestions for 125s for new riders?

    I've already started doing research into handling, weather conditions and hazards. Diesel spillages show up as rainbow-coloured patterns on the road, don't lean as far in the wet, don't try to turn on white lines, braking too hard, etc.

    If you've been a rider for 10+ years, mind if I ask whether you do your own maintenance? If so, where / how did you learn?

    Also, do you have any advice or tips on riding near HGVs other than stay in sight of their mirrors and give space?

    I know they have a blind spot up front on top of several others. The thought of riding near one of those massive ****ers scares me more than the thought of crashing.
    Research is great, but it's learning to apply that knowledge in the field. You need to learn how it feels when you tip the bike into a corner, and how far it can go. To learn how to read the road in advance and plan your manoeuvre.

    I don't do my own maintenance, beyond a bit of chain lube, checking oil, tyre pressure etc. I have no interest in learning more than the basics, let alone the time.

    As for HGVs, same as for every other road user, expect them to have not seen you.
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    (Original post by martinnmartin)
    Yeah that's true actually, a lot canbe learned on a 125 and it can allow you to appreciate a bigger bike when you get one

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    Thanks for being able to admit that. I'm impressed.
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    (Original post by Vennec)
    Roadcraft is who I'm aiming to learn from. Met the guy in charge once to interview him, he was very helpful.

    What's wrong with Shires?
    Russ at Roadcraft is fantastic. Once my bike wouldn't start so I phoned him and he dropped everything to help over the phone - I could hear the shop was busy, but he genuinely cared about my problem. I've also found people all over share the same opinion - I went to J and S in Nottingham and the assistant there thought Roadcraft was great, I've been to the bike show in Birmingham and someone there thought Roadcraft were great, and loads more I can't even remember. They also have a helpful Youtubes where they will answer questions.

    With Shires, they put me off riding for 9 months. I did my cbt with them on a twist and go (because they wouldn't allow anything else) and then in my next lesson expected me to know instantly how to do gears. With one of my friends, they nearly killed him - the instructor shouted at him to pull out in front of a lorry and he didn't have the road sense to realise the instructor was crap. Another friend was put off riding possibly forever, because the Shires instructor was shouting at him to go faster than he was comfortable with, and he ended up coming off the bike. I've spoken to Russ at Roadcraft and he says he has a lot of students with similar stories.
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    If any of you want to post in the motorbike society I'll persuade Boris to answer questions later.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Russ at Roadcraft is fantastic. Once my bike wouldn't start so I phoned him and he dropped everything to help over the phone - I could hear the shop was busy, but he genuinely cared about my problem. I've also found people all over share the same opinion - I went to J and S in Nottingham and the assistant there thought Roadcraft was great, I've been to the bike show in Birmingham and someone there thought Roadcraft were great, and loads more I can't even remember. They also have a helpful Youtubes where they will answer questions.

    With Shires, they put me off riding for 9 months. I did my cbt with them on a twist and go (because they wouldn't allow anything else) and then in my next lesson expected me to know instantly how to do gears. With one of my friends, they nearly killed him - the instructor shouted at him to pull out in front of a lorry and he didn't have the road sense to realise the instructor was crap. Another friend was put off riding possibly forever, because the Shires instructor was shouting at him to go faster than he was comfortable with, and he ended up coming off the bike. I've spoken to Russ at Roadcraft and he says he has a lot of students with similar stories.
    Damn. Seriously? I'm glad your mate was okay! In front of a lorry, too...

    Russ is awesome, yeah. I only ever went in the shop once to do a quick interview with him for an assignment, walked out about an hour later with a spare copy of a theory book for nothing. Practically flung it at me. Seems like a really good bloke too, and very experienced. I'm looking forward to riding with them.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    If any of you want to post in the motorbike society I'll persuade Boris to answer questions later.
    Spoiler:
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    I had a house spider called Boris, once!

    Off topic. Will have a look!
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    (Original post by HFBS)
    Research is great, but it's learning to apply that knowledge in the field. You need to learn how it feels when you tip the bike into a corner, and how far it can go. To learn how to read the road in advance and plan your manoeuvre.

    I don't do my own maintenance, beyond a bit of chain lube, checking oil, tyre pressure etc. I have no interest in learning more than the basics, let alone the time.

    As for HGVs, same as for every other road user, expect them to have not seen you.
    Absolutely. Research is just the starting point, it's the actual experience that counts. Don't try to work a camera without knowing what the buttons do!
 
 
 
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