Learning To Motorcycle Part 3: Module 1 Pass

Learning to motorcycle

Two weeks ago to the day I was sat feeling rather dejected writing the post about how I managed to royally f**k my first attempt at the module 1 test.

Conscious of the fact the year is rapidly coming to an end  and with the winter weather drawing ever closer, I managed to get a late cancellation spot to re-sit my module 1 test this morning.

It meant getting up at 06:30 and starting my hours pre-test training in the pitch dark but I decided to give it another go but this time adopting the “I’ll pass when I pass” mentality so as to reduce the amount of pressure I put on myself.

I’ll admit, as the heavens opened whilst my freezing corpse manoeuvred the bike through the slalom practice, I wished I’d stayed in bed and had postponed the test till a warmer season.

I only spent 20 minutes or so practicing the manoeuvres so I didn’t over-think them and the rest of the hour was spent out on the roads practicing the swerve between speed bumps.

It wasn’t long before I was back in the examiners office for the pre-test briefing and I noticed that I was a lot less nervous this time round, maybe due to the fact I knew what to expect, though I was still dreading the U-turn which turned out to be my nemesis at the last attempt!

After the manual handling exercise I managed to wobble my way through the slalom before settling into the figure of eight with no issues.

The slow ride was a piece of cake but I started to feel a bit aprehensive once I aligned myself ready for the U-turn with flash-backs of my epic fail last time round.

This time round I did the U-turn fine with about a foot of space to spare and breathed a sigh of relief as I headed into unchartered territory with the emergency stop and hazard avoidance to go.

The compound was wet but the surface is grippy so I felt comfortable pinning the throttle open as I headed towards the speed trap ensuring that I hit the required speed.

Both manoeuvres went without hitch with my speed at 55kph for both the emergency stop and the hazard avoidance.

Heading back into the test centre I felt quietly confident and my optimism was validated when the examiner gave me the good news, a pass with no rider faults.

Only the module 2 test to go before I’m officially  a biker!

 

Learning to Motorcycle Part 1: The CBT

Learning to motorcycle

It had been two weeks since my first venture into the world of motorcycling via the rather brilliant Get On campaign. Riding a 125cc and a 500cc bike around a car park in Gloucester finally put an end to the years of “I think I might learn how to ride!

A few days after my free lesson, I decided to take the plunge and book my Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before the excitement wore off and I found another excuse not to do it this year.

I’d booked my CBT with Motag, who I had done the Get On training with, and was a bit surprised when I arrived this morning to find out that I would be doing my CBT on a 500cc bike, which was a bit daunting considering I’d only spent about 25 minutes on one previously.

Once I’d confirmed that my eyes still worked and we’d had a chat about the safety essentials, I was nervously doing laps around the car park.

I was a lot less comfortable for the first few hours than I was doing the free Get On training. I don’t know whether it was the added pressure of knowing I’d be out on the road in the afternoon on a bike I’d barely ridden or just the fact I have little experience. My gear changes were sloppy, clutch control jumpy and acceleration jerky.

Truth be told, I was becoming increasingly ‘in my head’ about whether I would be competent enough to ride out on the roads but I was given a lot of reassurance that I could ride and it would be all good.

Learning to motorcycle: The CBT

CBT to go with the bikers beard!

After some more laps in the car park combined with a few manoeuvres and mock junctions, we were joined by an additional instructor, who’s idea it was to stick me on the 500 straight away. By this point I was starting to feel a little less nervous which was just as well as it wasn’t long before we were having our pre-road ride chat.

Waiting for a gap in the traffic when exiting the training facility was possibly the most nervous I’ve been in a long time. Cars were flying past which made it crystal clear just how exposed you are on a motorcycle. It felt like an eternity before I’d actually joined the road but once I was on things progressed nicely.

Over the two hour road ride, I’d tackled junctions, roundabouts, country roads, speed bumps and a whole manner of things that I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at in my car but that seemed like an alien concept on the bike. Hitting 70mph on the dual carriageway was definitely an experience that pushed my comfort zone!

But by the end of the ride, I felt comfortable on the bike and handling the various road conditions and was pleased when the instructor said that if it had been my actual test that I would have passed with only a few minors.

So that was that, my CBT certificate obtained and my journey into motorcycling well and truly underway…next stop is the Theory Test!

-Craig

Learning to Motorcycle Part 4: Module 2 Pass

Honda CBR600 F4

Going to make this a quick entry as I never got round to writing it straight after my test!

So yeah, just under two months after taking my first taster session with GetOn, I passed the final piece of the motorcycle licence puzzle.

The test itself was pretty straightforward.

After a briefing and getting kitted up, the examiner asked me a series of show me/tell me questions, which were pretty straightforward though nerves made me struggle to explain how I’d check the brake lights were working!

Then it was onto the road ride element of the test. Again this was pretty simple and didn’t take as long as I expected it to.

About thirty minutes of riding which included a variety of road conditions and demonstrations of safely pulling away from a stationary position and it was back to the test centre.

I was pretty confident that I’d passed as I rolled up to the parking bay and gave my instructor the thumbs up, though I was aware that I could have been a bit too cocky and have it bite me on my ass.

Which it nearly did…I’d passed with three minors, though two were for the same ‘offence’ meaning I was only one minor away from a failure..phew!

Since passing, I purchased myself a lovely Honda CBR600f and have been enjoying the relatively little time out on the road due to the horrific British weather. Still, I’ve got summer ahead of me and lots of fun to be had!

-Craig

Learning to Motorcycle Part 2: Module 1 Test Fail

Learning to motorcycle

I wasn’t going to post this. At least, posting this wasn’t immediately on my mind after spectacularly failing my module 1 test this afternoon, but I think it’s important to reflect  on the bad as well as the good.

So here goes…

Following my CBT a few weeks ago, I booked up and passed my theory test with no issues and promptly contacted the guys at Motag to get a three day direct access (DAS) course booked in.

First training day rolled around pretty quickly on Sunday and I spent the day on a 600cc Yamaha Fazer getting to grips with all the maneouvres I was going to be doing on the Module 1 test as well as bowling around the Module 2 test route.

The day went without any issues and I felt completely comfortable on the bike both on and off-road.

Today was the day of my Module 1 test and I spent the morning continuing to practice the manouvres. Again, I demonstrated perfect control both on the slow and the fast exercises and felt supremely confident that the test wouldn’t provide me with too many troubles.

How wrong was I!

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