Sunday, 7 August 2011

Biking update: Big Bike Lesson

It has been too long since my last motorbike lesson, a couple of months or so. But I am determined to get my bike licence this year so I need to get a move on.

It was to be my first lesson on a big bike, a 500cc Suzuki twin. Compared with my little Honda it felt huge and heavy; in particular the clutch called for a strong grip although it was beautifully progressive. Even so, it is going to take some getting used to the bike for low-speed manoeuvres.

On the road, however, the Suzuki was fine. The most noticeable thing was how effortless the performance felt compared to my little 125. My little CBR likes to be kept above 7,000rpm but the Suzuki was content to run at half that. The clutch could be ignored almost completely – except for stopping and starting – and the gearbox was so sweet; just a little twitch of the toe to go up or down.

The good news from the lesson was that a couple of thousand miles on the road don’t seem to have led to too many bad habits. In fact my observation and positioning on the road seem to be pretty good. The next step is to get some practice for the Module 1 part of the test. My next lesson is already arranged.

And, as an aside, I was a little concerned about how I’d feel climbing back on to my bike after riding something more potent. It did feel as though I was riding a child’s bike but other than size and lack of power it still feels as beautiful to ride as ever. Of all the vehicles I’ve owned to date my Honda CBR 125R is one of the very best.

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