Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Introducing: My motorbike

As people may recall, I bought myself a motorbike in December. For the time being it is only a small one as I have not taken the test for a full licence yet and so I currently ride with L plates.
To explain this to my readers in Finland and abroad (bear with me UK people), L-plates (or D-plates in Wales) are to be displayed on all learner (someone who has not yet passed their driving test) cars and motorcycles. In order to ride a scooter or a motorcycle up to 125cc, one has to pass a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) which is more of a training day or two instead of a formal test. The certificate awarded from this is valid for two years and allows the person to ride freely with the above engine restrictions in mind as long as they display L-plates front and back. However, they are not allowed to carry passengers or go on motorways (which you wouldn't really prefer do anyway on a 125cc machine). Within these two years one can do the test for a full licence or they can simply take the CBT again after the two years is up. 

As my first bike I went for a black Yamaha YBR 125. My friend warmly recommended this particular make and model, which he had started off with himself too, as it is very easy to handle and it is fairly inexpensive. You don't want to be spending a fortune on your first bike if you know you want to replace it with a bigger one once you have a full licence (which I am aiming to do).
I bought it new as there is a dealer nearby and they had a good offer going on. I am glad I decided to go for a new bike because the guys at West London Yamaha have been subsequently very supportive and helped me out with, well, healing my bike when I have gone and wrecked something...
People keep saying it's really dangerous on a motorbike but so far I have been more dangerous to the bike than it has been to me. I have had the bike for nearly four months now and the throttle, wing mirror, rear tyre, clutch leaver, clutch cable and the rear light bulb have all been replaced once already...

My bike is called Brianna. I just referred to her as 'bikey' until someone pointed out it sounds like 'pikey' so I thought maybe she needs a proper name. I absolutely love driving around on her. Driving a bike to college and work takes half an hour less than undertaking the same journey on public transport. This is the case even in the morning traffic as on a bike I can filter past a large number of queues on my way. Around Greater London, you can usually park a motorbike for free as well so it is really an excellent way to get around. 

22nd December 2012: parked outside the house for the first time.
I can't wait for the warmer summer weathers. The engine and tyres work much nicer in the warmth and maybe then my fingers won't feel like icicles. I love my bike though! It gives me an enormous feeling of freedom and it has really made me enjoy driving again (by the time I passed my practical car test, I hated driving). I only regret not getting into bikes sooner.

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