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pdlouche

Member since Nov 2014 • Last active Nov 2020

Most recent activity

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    In total contrast to my prior comments, I feel like I should admit that deep down I also want to be a Busa Bro.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O5gN32oZ5g­0

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Well, primary vs final drive

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Days are getting hella cold and dark. I am trying to muster the courage to crack open the GN125.

    The cam chain I bought months ago has no quick link, and I am dreading the effort of pulling the engine apart to fit. Partly because if I’m stripping engine parts I might as well do a full rebuild/service. Why only do one job while it’s there in pieces?

    That, and I really want to put a big bore kit on it.

    I cannot find good information on the big bore kits because most posts online are naysayers, complaining if you want more power get a bigger bike etc etc. If I am keeping this little GN, I have the DR350 and I have the license to ride bigger. What I don’t have is a complete 250cc engine to hand to fit in lieu of the 125.

    I want to mess about with it, so why not a 150cc or 165cc head?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    You probably dodged a bullet.

    Probably, but that doesn’t stop the little dream.

    Easy lightweight bikes are where my heart lies, and even when tired the height/weight of the DR isn’t much issue to manoeuvre into the shed, or lift the wheel to shunt into position.

    I got stuck sideways on a byway at the weekend, cross-rutted going uphill, tried to save it, the more I tried the more the rear slipped sending me sideways. Stopped and climbed off before I fell off. The bike felt so heavy trying to rock back and forth giving some gas to climb out and straighten up, I wished I had an even lighter 2T enduro.

    Still, that was way less exhausting than moving a Bandit 600 15ft around a gentle incline during the Module 1 test!

    I’d love me a super light little bullet, but it’s just asking for trouble. Someone in traffic was on their phone and didn’t pull off on the green light at a crossing. Car behind me was beeping, so pulled around the car and went to get by. Realised I must have had the front wheel in the air quite a bit as it slammed back down a few yards further along the road.

    Can imagine the 2T race bikes just want power wheelies all day long, as per your 100mph cornering anecdote!

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    125cc’s are more expensive, because there is a greater market for them. One-day CBT and go. You could pay up to £2k for a ‘decent’ 125cc. The £7-800 may have a lot of issues that aren’t advertised, or essential maintenance that hasn’t been performed.

    More likely grand for a middle of the road big bike, £1500 for a serviceable 125cc regardless of the season. The ‘winter is cheaper’ rule didn’t count last year nor this year.

    Mine, I spent hundreds on new battery, tyres, chain, sprockets, bulbs, oil/air filters, etc etc etc. Add it to the tally. Cheaper the bike, less likely any of this has been done for you already.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I agree with @PhilDAS - quality kit lasts a long time. Don’t skimp out or you may as well wear shorts and trainers.

    ATGATT and proud. That doesn’t mean raceday leathers on a scooter. It means CE rated soft comfortable near-invisible armour on knees, elbows shoulders and back, inside comfortable warm/ventilated clothes that won’t shred too quickly on impact.

    The Oxford Montreal trousers survived a lot of abuse this year, and I favour them over my more expensive RST’s. I did wear aramid-lined jeans with knee armour on the hottest days this year, but Oxfords with removable liners and vents suited most occasions.

    Proper boots are a number one priority. You’ll kick your shins on the footpegs and wish you had proper boots long before you drop a bike and roll your ankle.

    Even heavily discounted kit is okay if it provides the right stuff.

    It’s cold until March, now, so you will need warm/waterproof gloves or riding will be miserable.

    Sod £3k on a bike. Find something fully functional for a grand, and spend a few hundred on kit that will last.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Still kinda wishing I’d bought it!

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Yea you have to ride a 125 like a 125, and anything else like a motorbike.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Do a CBT // ride a small bike for a while (weeks/months/years) // do a big bike course/test // get a bigger bike
    Do a CBT // ride a small bike for a while // drive a car instead
    Do a CBT // do the theory test immediately // do a DAS course (if old enough) // buy a bigger bike

    And all variations in between.

    CBT/DAS, I thought I’d do it all in the space of a few weeks, and I was wrong.

    It took about a month waiting list to book my CBT in November, month wait to do theory test, month or more wait to start DAS (in January/February). Had I immediately booked everything in advance in August, maybe this could have been compressed to a matter of weeks not months. I waited til Sept/Oct thinking things would die down, but everything stayed booked til January.

    Barely a week after my CBT I bought the GN125, I didn’t want to wait and risk losing time to practice. Knowing it was two months til I’d be training on a 600, that was two months of independent learning I could get.

    Good job too.

    Theory, almost full marks. Getting on big bikes in the cold and stormy rain, hell. Module 1, clean no minors. And then, a week later, one single major fault on the Module 2 and I fail.

    Re-test one month later. Suddenly two days before my re-test we are in lockdown, and being a key worker did jack shit for getting a test booked.

    This is all very CSB/TLDR, but there are a couple points that @nefarious needs to keep in mind.

    I should have booked everything in advance if I wanted the license quickly. I am glad I didn’t.

    I shouldn’t have bought a 125cc if I thought I’d be jumping straight on a bigger bike after DAS. I’m glad I did.

    I hadn’t really decided what kind of motorbike I would ride with a full license, and my intended use turned out totally different.

    Because I didn’t have everything booked in advance, I gained experience just riding. No way was I ready for a 600 last year, and no way was an intensive DAS going to provide me with the skillset to survive on the road.

    The 125cc wasn’t in great shape but that meant I learned essential maintenance and troubleshooting very quickly, as well as what a bike should and shouldn’t feel like. I made all the mistakes on a forgiving little junker.

    My intended use changed dramatically, for the better too. None of the suggestions (MT-07 Tracer, et al) tickled me, and temptation to try a bit of gravel threw me into the world of green lanes. My intended use was to commute to some work, to/from London, and some Euro touring to visit friends. Lockdown, none of that applied any more, and I foresaw that it wouldn’t for a long time. Dry summer, local green lanes, wide bars on a tiny bike and shitloads of fun.

    From the idea of a (heavy) 500-600cc road bike, all the byways pushed me toward lightweight versatile dualsport. I love my DR350, and I wouldn’t have even considered it if I hadn’t failed my Mod2 and spent months on green lanes on the GN125.

    The 125 taught me I needed something bigger, but not heavy, the 600 taught me I didn’t need anything bigger, but certainly lighter. I’d gladly own a 600 as well, but as a second bike.

    With lockdown, I’m not sure what your best course of action will be, but just to warn you, my instructor sent me this photo on Tuesday. The earliest bookings for new tests are the first week of February. You may not have much of a choice if you want to ride before next summer.

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