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.