Questioning my skills

OK so here’s the beef.

Long spiel up here. Abridged questions at the bottom if you can’t be bothered.

In December I undertook my DAS in Reading. It was flippin’ freezing, but despite that I had great fun, until on my second day I took module one. It had been raining all day and the ride over to the test centre was on National Speed Limit roads with rain pelting everywhere. I was fine following cars with the 4 second rule, but when we got a clear piece of road I was reluctant to ride at 60, partly due to weather and partly because I had about 30 mins riding experience of that bike over 30 miles an hour. I was brought to heel by the instructor who was constantly bawling me out over the radio. In hindsight he was correct, but at the time, cold, wet and inexperienced (on big bikes at least) I was pretty fugged off by the time we got to the test centre.

Whether as a consequence of this or just plain old stupidity I failed mod 1 by not stopping in time on the emergency stop. Other than that just two minors for observations.

Consequently I re-booked with the same training school to do mod 1 and mod 2 on the same day. This time there was less shouting but somehow I managed to hit one of the cones on the timing gate on the swerve test and that was the end of that. (Ramone I’m coming after your record!). To compound my annoyance I had not made these mistakes on training and could happily perform all the manoeuvres in the car park.

I’ve rebooked mods 1 & 2 for a week in April with the same school but am not sure if I want to go ahead and do it. I feel like the travelling all the way back to Reading (which was convenient over Xmas) may be heaping extra pressure on me (and I am one of those people who puts enough pressure on themselves anyway).

So the question is this, £200 for one more go at the DAS style training or is it worth doing individual lessons or even A2? My main commute is through the centre of town and circumstances are probably going to dictate I will get very few weekend rides in the near future. What are the difference between a restricted 600 a la A2 and an open machine (probably something like a hornet would be what I’d go for).

Has anyone done lesson by lesson training and then onto a test? Any disadvantages to the above?What would I lose having a restricted naked 600 given that the majority of my miles are city riding?Anyone got recommendations for London training schools that don’t yell at you?

Sounds to me like you may simply have had insufficient road time to get your confidence up. I failed DAS first time and so I hired a 125 cc bike for a couple of weeks (it was over Xmas so i got a special rate) and went out and practiced every day. I did U turns over and over again.

I then had another full day training on the 500 and took the test at the end of the day and passed.

I agree with you about the national speed limit part. Like you the day of my first test was wet and windy and going at 60MPH on a bike I was not used to shared me sh1tless.

I took the A2 after failing my DAS and was not confident having been off the bike that I could do the u-turn on the big bike again. I passed and have been riding a restricted R6 but it is bloody annoying but atleast in 4 months time I’ll be able to take the restrictor off.

If you have your own bike then you can sit the A2 on that and save yourself a lot of money. You can get some lessons to get you upto scratch and do the A2 but just bear in mind it’ll be very annoying riding a restricted bike as you soon get bored.

I can’t answer any of your questions except the first. so here goes.
i did mine on a lesson by lesson scheme. because of work commitment i couldn’t do it within one week so just did a lesson on either day of the weekend or both. worked well and 3 hours per lesson was enough for me.
bought a package which included CBT, both modules and 8 lessons.

Can I ask which school you did your course in Reading with?

There are not that many schools in the area anymore, most of us packed ina few years ago teaching learners, and those that remain don’t have the best of reputations, although I can put you in touch with someone not that far away and who does have a good reputation if you want to change.

You are welcome to PM me if you would rather not mention names on a public forum.

Attitudes of instructors do vary from school to school and some riders get affected by nerves or whatever, and lets face it, middle of winter is not the best time to learn when you want to get out thhere and gain experience and confidence.

Some schools also forget that it is people like you that keep them in business.

As I say, feel free to PM me if you want a recommendation in the Reading part of the world.

If east london is good for you I would highly recommend Aspen Rider Training - everyone I know whose used them (and that’s a fair few, including me) only has great things to say about them.

http://www.aspenridertraining.co.uk/

Phil

I really got along well with the guys at North London Motorcycle Training in about Edgware.

I’ve no experience with anyone else but I’ve known a few people do training and testing with them coming back with praise. I did hear complaints about Metropolis from other learners while I was there, but I suppose it’s a bit like hearing about things breaking while working on a warranty desk.

I’ve been on restricted for 18 months, and I’m really rather looking forward to losing the restriction. My CB500 appears to function as normal up to about 60mph, beyond which the acceleration’s slower than it might otherwise be. It cruises at about 80 on a motorway, occasionally peaking north of 90mph.

It’s only really an issue on a motorway when overtaking, I suppose - if the rest of the traffic’s going above 70 you really need to think about overtakes. I’ve heard the bottom end is mostly unaffected (since the restrictor kit lops the top off the power curve, rather than shrinking the whole of it), but haven’t got anything to compare against.

My brother’s restricted bandit 6 will sit over 90 for hours on end. I don’t know if it goes any faster - when we ride together I tend to be the one with the satnav.

I’ve restricted my R6 and it will do just over 120mph. No problems sitting over 90mph and have driven at that speed for a few hours. Guess it depends on which bike you restrict.

Just a note on the 2 fails at mod 1…

Sometimes (not all the time) I have seen learners that when having failed a test on something specific, they will try so hard to get it right, that they end up messing up more.

When you come round to your next attempt, try to start with a clean sheet in your head.

Also, try to be aware that if you travelling too slow, other drivers will see you as a target with an L plate sometimes. Try to think about what reaction you are causing behind, as well as whats going on in front.

I’m sure that you will get through the next one fine, different instructors all teach slightly differently so if you’re not happy, move it to another school.
I got shouted at on my DAS, but i needed it to make me listen. My reaction was to slow down on roundabouts and we had cars coming up behind which were not expecting me to do it.

Good luck for the next one. :slight_smile:

Ta for that. I’ve done about a years biking on 125 through London so my road sense is ok. I don’t think it helped that I went from 125 cruiser to a CBF500. More power, different riding position etc all to take in very quickly.