WARNING: Long and self indulgent post .
On 23rd July last year I did my CBT. I had wanted to go straight to an intensive DAS course, but Covid delays meant that there were none available until winter, so I bought a 2009 YBR 125 and set out on my biking adventure; I loved it from the minute I sat on a bike. My first ride the day after I got the YBR apart from a quick local try - out on the local lanes was the commute to work on a busy A road and through the city I work on the other side of. I was quite apprehensive and found it mentally tiring, but it went just fine. @HelmutVisor and I had a few good trips out after that but the poor YBR (nickname, The Silver Bullet) turned out to have multiple issues and after it being with our friend who owns a motorcycle shop to fix on and off for a week or two here and there he and his wife made the extremely generous offer of lending me a Herald 125 that they had bought for his wife’s son but he hadn’t ridden it much and it was currently SORN. I couldn’t believe that people could be so generous, but they were!! The little Herald had been dropped, knocking a baffle out of the exhaust so it was noisy (very!), it vibrated like MAD (used to feel my toes tingle for hours afterwards), it was really uncomfortable for my ergonomics although others say they’re comfortable and had annoying footpegs on hinges not springs which you used to able to accidently fold up with the heel of your boot and faff around trying to put them back down with your foot waggling in the breeze….and I LOVED everything about it because it meant I had a bike. Helmut and I had a great summer doing some great rides and having fun, that little bike was good for miles and miles of riding. Pretty soon though I was riding it with the throttle at it’s stop and wishing I could wring a lot more out of it!!
The little Herald on the day I picked it up:
Fast forward to winter time and I finally did my DAS - on a Suzuki Gladius and a Suzuki SV650. The bigger bike felt AMAZING to me the first time I got on it and I was so grateful to have got a few thousand miles in on the 125 as the bike controls were muscle memory by now so I just had to get used to the bigger bike. I would absolutely do the same again with the benefit of hindsight. The lessons went perfectly but there were a few bumps in the road with my Mod 1 due to nerves and stupidity really - but in January this year I finally held my full bike licence. My Mod 2 had been so, so cold and in slippery conditions but who cares - I was over the moon!!!
Exactly 6 months after doing my CBT, @HelmutVisor and I went out together for my first ride on my First Big Bike, my Street Triple R. It was freezing cold and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go far - the plan had been about 25 miles - but when we got to the roundabout we had been going to come back round to turn for home I kept on going and we ended up going for lunch; shivering like mad. The Street Triple blew my tiny mind .
From my very first tentative ride on the Street Triple it has blown me away, it feels perfect for me. A LOT of bike for a new rider, but it inspires a great deal of confidence and feels like a great fit. It has become a total obsession - I take it out solo, commute on it when the weather’s not stinking and of course go out and have fun with @HelmutVisor which feels absolutely brilliant!! I NOW understand exactly why he had always loved his bikes so much and how “a quick trip” for fuel or popping out to do something locally can turn into hours of riding.
Thank you to every one of you lovely lot who have taken the time to read my posts and provide me with encouragement along the way .