Today is Wednesday, 20th March 2013




Test RidesSo you’ve learned how to ride a motorcycle and are thinking about buying a bike?

Purchasing a used motorcycle is a great choice for the first-time bike owner, but it’s important to choose wisely so you’re not stuck with something you’ll regret.

First off, don’t show up to a test ride unprepared: bringing the proper safety gear will not only show us that you’re a responsible rider, it will protect you in case something goes wrong.

We will have you fill out insurance paperwork before you take a bike off the premises, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to fill out a form before you hit the road.

Our insurance company require that you pay for the first £1000 of any damage to the bike whilst in your care.

Every motorcycle is unique, and different bike types require different riding techniques.

Familiarize yourself and make sure you know where everything is: are the mirrors adjusted? Is the brake lever within reach? Can your foot easily find the rear brake pedal? Do you know how much effort it takes to engage and disengage the clutch? Minimize uncertainty by getting yourself aware of the bike’s setup before you hit the road.

Once you’re riding, take it easy– especially at first. Ease into the accelerator and brakes, and don’t make any sudden moves. Not only is it safer to ride with caution, it will make you more aware of the bike’s dynamics, and whether or not you want to live with them.

Cruising at a constant speed may reveal certain things about a bike’s mechanical state, but it won’t tell you everything you need to know. Once you’re comfortable with the way the bike responds to input, try accelerating and braking. Pay attention to the way the clutch engages; does it slip? How does the shifter feel? Is it smooth, and are the gears easy to find? Is the power delivery to your liking– that is, does the engine provide enough low end torque to pull easily from trafficlights?

You should also try repeated stops, and note how the brakes work. Do they feel spongy? Do they operate smoothly? Is there enough initial bite to make you feel secure during a panic stop? If the bike has anti-lock brakes, test them using the rear brake and make sure it doesn’t lock up.

Once you’ve tested the bike’s brakes, try turning and see how the motorcycle handles. Does it wallow or feel underdamped? It might just be a less than sporty bike; cruisers usually offer cushier rides than sport bikes, so be aware of the difference.

Used motorcycles offer much more opportunity for test rides, so take advantage of that and look for potential ergonomic issues. Try to spend more than just a couple of minutes on the motorcycle in order to see if the bike might be uncomfortable over the long haul. Are the handlebars too far away? If so, are they adjustable? Does the saddle feel funny? Are the footpegs too far back? Are the instruments easy to read? All of these variables fit into the bike’s ergonomics, and they’re crucial to your enjoyment of your potential purchase. Consider those factors and spend as much time in the saddle as possible before committing to a motorcycle.

To make an appointment for a test ride simply ring 01633 277970 & choose the Sales option.

You will need to bring both parts of your driving licence.

Motorcycles you can ride

A moped has a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km/h (approx. 31 mph). It has an engine capacity no greater than 50 cc and can be moved by pedals, if first used before 1 August 1977. A learner motorcycle has an engine up to 125 cc and a power output not exceeding 11 kW
Full motorcycle licence

There are two types of full motorcycle licence:

* a light motorcycle licence (A1), which restricts riders to any bike up to 125 cc and a power output of 11 kW. The practical test must be taken on a bike of between 75 cc and 125 cc
* a standard motorcycle licence (A), is obtained if the practical test is taken on a bike of over 120 cc but not more than 125 cc and capable of at least 100 km/h per hour. After passing the standard motorcycle practical test, you will be restricted for two years to riding a bike of up to 25 kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW/kg. After this you may ride any size of bike

Riders age 21 or over, or those who reach 21 before their two year restriction ends, have other options.
Direct access

After taking CBT and the theory test, the practical test may be taken on a motorcycle with a power output of at least 35kW. A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. All or part of the CBT course may be taken on either a learner bike or a large bike. You may practice for the practical test on bikes larger than the learner bike specification provided:

* you are accompanied at all times by an approved instructor on another bike and in radio contact
* you wear fluorescent or reflective clothing and follow all other provisional licence restrictions

Accelerated access

Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25 kW machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35 kW. They may practice on bikes over 25 kW under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practicing (on a motorcycle greater than 25 kW) although test failure will not affect your existing licence.