Freshman French man

Hi everyone,

I’ve been living in London for 5 years, travelled for 2, and I’m back in London since January. Last December I passed my bike licence. I am now looking for my first bike, first gears, first assurance contract… And first miles of course ! But as this world is totally new to me (and the British laws in particular), I have a few questions…

A few bikers met at the Wednesday Borough Market meeting told me I could get answers at this friendly forum. Here are the links to my first row of questions :
I am looking for a basic 600cc (CBF600, ER-6, XJ6…), where should I buy one ?I am looking for second hand gears (jacket / boots / gloves), is there a shop stocking such items ?Would you have any CE 1621-2 compliant jacket to recommend ?Do you guys have any insurance company to recommend or to avoid ?I’ve been driving cars for 10 years, but as I passed my bike licence just a few months ago, will I need to display a “L” or anything like this on the motorcycleMany thanks !

Hello and welcome,

  1. look on if you’re looking for second hand ones, and on Good places to get an idea of what’s out there. If you’re after a new one then look up the official dealers closest to you and then ask about them specifically. I’m sure anyone who’s had previous experience will be willing to share.
  2. can’t help you on this one, never bought 2nd hand gear but I would recommend having a look at new stuff in Hein Gericke if you can get to one (there are fewer of them now :frowning:
  3. don’t know what that means, sorry
  4. I’ve always gone with whichever insurance company gave me the best value for money and I’ve found each of the company’s I’ve used to be about the same: only interested in your money but will get on with what they have to do so long as you drive them to in the event of a claim.
  5. I’m guessing from your first line that you have a French licence with a full bike entitlement. If that’s the case you don’t need to have L plates, they are only for learners. If you’re planning on staying in the UK though I think you have to change your licence from a british one before 3 years.

HTH, Happy biking!

Hello Charles, we spoke last night and welcome to the forum.

YOU have to decide what sort of bike YOU want, have a look around online, read reviews. Go and look around at some dealers, they will try and sell you a bike but stay strong. Sit on a few, try them out for size. Once you’ve decided look again online at BIKETRADER and MCN, it goes without saying to look for low mileage, full dealer service history etc. Once you’ve found one, post it on here, you’ll get an opinion on it. Ebay,Ebay, Ebay! Or check out the outlet stores, you can always get a good discount on last season’s stock. Hein Gericke and Infinity are the main London stores. J&S are also good for the cheap stuff.No idea what that is either! If it’s something specific to France the rules are different here, you can ride in shorts and a tee if you want!Once you’ve decided on your bike, shop around online. and MCN do insurance comparison as well. Decide what you want in a policy, helmet cover (not really worth it if you are going for a cheap one!), breakdown, excess (as a rule, the higher the excess the lower the premium) just bear in mind that should you need to claim then the excess will come out of your pocket. People will tell you what insurance company they are with but they might not be suitable for your needs and as already said, they are pretty much all the same.L plates not needed. Anything else then PM me and I’ll do my best for you. If you have a car, try and get to the Ace Cafe (look online!). Quite a few of us meet there on a Friday (when the weathers good!) and there will be hundreds of bikes there when the sun is shining, good chance for you to check them out. All the best.

Oh yeah and keep an eye on the classified section on here, always decent bikes for sale and nobody on here will try and rip you off!

Bonjour, yep the ace is a good place to a little look.

Hi chas & welcome :slight_smile:

Hi and welcome.

Bike as Vern said, it is your choice what do you like.
Motorbike dealers would be a good choice for new and forum like this one on 2nd hand is not bad idea.
If you going to commute waterproofs are your best friend, I prefer GoreText but there are other options.

The CE level 2 in armour is only for back armour, the shoulder and elbows does not complain to that. I would rather look for armour made of Hiprotec or Astrosorb than plastic knox as both new materials introduce new slightly more advanced technology of protection and impact absorption.
Some companies does not putting any protection as choice is yours what you want to wear to protect yourself. Best is to check.
Insurance wise just do some compare insurance sites.
If your test was DAS and you have full motorbike licence (unrestricted one), yes you can ride without L. If you have provisional licence and you had CBT then you are limited to 125cc and you have to put L on front and back on your motorbike.


Hi BigVern and all of you,

  1. I’m really looking for an used 600cc. I’ve learned on a CBF600 and I really liked it, so this kind of bike would be spot on for a first one. I do like the design of the XJ6 and the BMW F800 (maybe a bit too powerful for me ?), but they tend to be way more expensive on the used market.
  2. it’s a norm for shock absorbing gears, as found in jackets and back protection : Pat explains this very well