CBT and general bike tinkering

CBT and general bike tinkering

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Discussion

Pete-mojsh

Original Poster:

190 posts

52 months

Tuesday 5th May
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Afternoon all,

I've always fancied a bike, as a younger man I didn't trust myself and now in middle age I'm not sure I trust everyone else however in the current climate I've been thinking that there is no harm in doing a CBT. If I like it and want to take it further then that's great, if I'm not sure then that's OK too and I will have learned something new which is never a bad thing. It may be a while before restrictions are lifted that allow the local instructors to start work again but I'm in no rush. Annoyingly I sold my old crash helmet when I stopped doing trackdays but there are some pretty reasonable ones out there that will do for now. Are there any decent resources to look at before I look to book in? I've done the RAC mock theory test (passed) and looked at a couple of bits on youtube but there is a lot of content out there.

I've also found myself looking at some motorcycle salvage places for a bit of a project, I'm reasonably technical and have done a lot of my own car maintenance in the past and would like to have something to tinker with that's a bit different, doesn't take up too much space and again, I'd like to learn something new. Size or type of bike doesn't matter too much at the moment, I don't need to make a profit from it but not too much of a loss either, I just fancy something to keep my mind and hands occupied while "normal" life is on hold for a while. Are there any bikes that are fairly hardy that aren't going to need significant rebuild work and more care and maintenance? I would have thought any of the Japanese bikes would be a good start, if it's a bit older then I suppose I would have to get myself familiar with carbs but I suppose that's part of the fun. Part of me thinks either a 125 to get used to riding if I do like it after the CBT, the other part thinks a naked 5/600 would be fairly easy to move on as a commuter bike if I want to sell or would be a handy one to have if I want to go for the direct access.

Donbot

1,330 posts

83 months

Tuesday 5th May
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This is probably sacrilege but I avoid anything with carbs. FI is less hassle and you can press the starter and ride off straight away without the faff of warming the bike up, or starting difficulties etc.

You will be able to try out a bigger bike at the test centre, so you may as well do that before thinking about what size bike you want.

Edit - didn't read it was for a project bike. In that case prepare to pay through your arse for replacement parts.

Edited by Donbot on Tuesday 5th May 13:34

OverSteery

2,996 posts

187 months

Tuesday 5th May
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if you aren't already familary with it you should google "sharp helmet ratings" before buying a helmet. Cheap(ish) and safe can go together.

For a CBT school, do some research first. I have been involved in teaching CBT for a few months now. There are some top school out there, but there are also some awful cowboys. I'm lucky to have landed on my feet and have much praise for the school I work for, but we get some real horror stories from students with bad previous experiences from some other schools.

Whereabouts in the country are you and you may get some recommendations here.

Personally as a car man until my 30s, I now choose 2 wheels over 4 at every possible opportunity.

A500leroy

1,650 posts

74 months

Tuesday 5th May
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While you are on a CBT you can only have a 125, id suggest you go look for something like a cg125 or its replacement the cf125.

GTiWILL

420 posts

34 months

Tuesday 5th May
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OverSteery said:
if you aren't already familary with it you should google "sharp helmet ratings" before buying a helmet. Cheap(ish) and safe can go together.
This was the route I went down when I bought my first helmet however with hindsight I think it’s a mistake personally.

I bought a 5* SHARP rated helmet...a Nitro of some description. This was 5* rated, cheap and fit well. Unfortunately, that was where the good points ended. The thing weighed a ton, was about as aerodynamic as a brick and the padding also compressed meaning the helmet ended up too loose after a while.

I ended up buying an HJC RPHA 11 which, from memory is a 3*. It’s like chalk and cheese, so much better! Light, great field of vision and aerodynamic.

I believe it’s easy to engineer a helmet to score well in SHARPS ratings, which I think is why many cheap helmets score well and some of the more expensive ones don’t. However, in the real world it makes less of a difference. For example, my HJC scores poorly in side impacts...however in the real world impacts to this area would be blocked by the shoulder.

Anyway, I think the most important thing with a helmet is that it fits well and is comfortable for long term use. I wouldn’t say having a 5* SHARP is the be all and end all.

Pete-mojsh

Original Poster:

190 posts

52 months

Tuesday 5th May
quotequote all
Donbot said:
Edit - didn't read it was for a project bike. In that case prepare to pay through your arse for replacement parts.

Edited by Donbot on Tuesday 5th May 13:34
Is it a strong market for secondhand parts? Always thought the more mass produced the bike the cheaper it would be, I could understand it for the stuff in low numbers.


OverSteery said:
if you aren't already familary with it you should google "sharp helmet ratings" before buying a helmet. Cheap(ish) and safe can go together.

For a CBT school, do some research first. I have been involved in teaching CBT for a few months now. There are some top school out there, but there are also some awful cowboys. I'm lucky to have landed on my feet and have much praise for the school I work for, but we get some real horror stories from students with bad previous experiences from some other schools.

Whereabouts in the country are you and you may get some recommendations here.

Personally as a car man until my 30s, I now choose 2 wheels over 4 at every possible opportunity.
100% right on the helmet, I've heard a few stories from people I work with about test failures so it's not something I take lightly.

I'm in central Bedfordshire, from my initial research there does seem to be a few that review well on google and also have decent facilities. Any thoughts and recommendations you have would be appreciated, I've read a few that have had the experience soured by either poor or careless instruction with the course done in a few hours rather than a whole day.

Donbot

1,330 posts

83 months

Tuesday 5th May
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Pete-mojsh said:
Donbot said:
Edit - didn't read it was for a project bike. In that case prepare to pay through your arse for replacement parts.
Is it a strong market for secondhand parts? Always thought the more mass produced the bike the cheaper it would be, I could understand it for the stuff in low numbers.
Yep. The more common the bike, the easier parts are to find. But usable parts tend to be quite expensive. If you are looking to do a common 125, then it will be a lot cheaper, but it's still best to stay away from Chinese pattern parts, no matter how cheaply tempting they are.

V8RX7

20,277 posts

219 months

Tuesday 5th May
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I don't mind tinkering - but on ebay at least anything needing work is currently selling for almost the same as a non damaged one.

I suspect local papers / facebook groups might be the way to go.

SV650 is fun, cheap and plentiful.


Pete-mojsh

Original Poster:

190 posts

52 months

Tuesday 5th May
quotequote all
Donbot said:
Yep. The more common the bike, the easier parts are to find. But usable parts tend to be quite expensive. If you are looking to do a common 125, then it will be a lot cheaper, but it's still best to stay away from Chinese pattern parts, no matter how cheaply tempting they are.
The less parts to replace the better then! Pattern parts have always been a bit mixed, many years ago I seem to remember changing drop links every 6 months on one of my cars, my wifes Fiat 500 went through 3 sets of rear shocks in about 3 years.



V8RX7 said:
I don't mind tinkering - but on ebay at least anything needing work is currently selling for almost the same as a non damaged one.

I suspect local papers / facebook groups might be the way to go.

SV650 is fun, cheap and plentiful.
The prices do look a bit on the silly side at the moment, I can't work out why people are expecting that kind of money, I know it's a different market from the last time I was looking in to bikes but I can't see what has changed so much.

A friends brother had an SV650 for his commute and absolutely loved it, it's a nice looking bike too.

zzrman

336 posts

145 months

Tuesday 5th May
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I would borrow the riding school's 125 to do the CBT rather than buy one. I think your idea of buying a 500/600 commuter which you can easily shift if you find that riding doesn't after all appeal to you, is the way to go.

You will also find that riding the bigger bike is much nicer than riding a 125. Firstly, they are more stable as CoG is automatically lower because of the extra weight of the bike beneath you, and this means that the bike is easier to ride. Secondly, the bigger bike will have a better power to weight ratio, so better acceleration and with that the ability to keep clear of other traffic. I did my CBT on a CG125, and then rode it for about 700 miles before I took my test. Immediately after I passed I drove to the dealer I'd bought it from as I had done a deal under which he'd give me my full money back on it if I bought a bigger bike. So I rode in on the CG 125 and rode out on a VFR 750. Initially I was very tentative but after about 2 minutes realised that the 750 was way easier to ride.

V8RX7

20,277 posts

219 months

Tuesday 5th May
quotequote all
zzrman said:
I would borrow the riding school's 125 to do the CBT rather than buy one.
It's a long time ago but I was riding my DT175 (previous owner registered it as a 125) for the training, then on the day of the test the gearbox seized so I jumped on the CB/CG 125 to take my test - I recall the steering seemed lightning quick after the DT laugh

I then left biking for nearly 30yrs waiting to calm down...

That never happened so I started playing on greenlanes with a KTM 450...

LookAtMyCat

380 posts

64 months

Tuesday 5th May
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A 125 will get boring very very fast. At your age I genuinely wouldn't bother.

Do the CBT. If you enjoy it, just go straight to DAS and start on a 600.

crofty1984

14,158 posts

160 months

Wednesday 6th May
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Do a CBT and if you like it buy a second hand Japanese 125 to play with. Tinker with it for a year/6 months learn to ride it WELL then look at direct access and whatever bike you fancy.

feef

4,987 posts

139 months

Wednesday 6th May
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Donbot said:
Pete-mojsh said:
Donbot said:
Edit - didn't read it was for a project bike. In that case prepare to pay through your arse for replacement parts.
Is it a strong market for secondhand parts? Always thought the more mass produced the bike the cheaper it would be, I could understand it for the stuff in low numbers.
Yep. The more common the bike, the easier parts are to find. But usable parts tend to be quite expensive. If you are looking to do a common 125, then it will be a lot cheaper, but it's still best to stay away from Chinese pattern parts, no matter how cheaply tempting they are.
depends on the parts.
Front wheels, forks, exhausts and bodywork are likely to be expensive. i.e. the bits that get borked most in an off.

Everything else is usually pretty easy to come by

HairyMaclary

3,088 posts

151 months

Wednesday 6th May
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Why buy an old Chinese 125. A cbf125 would fit the bill. I would focus and spend the money on a direct access as you'll pick up a better bigger bike for not much more and still be able to tinker.

zzrman

336 posts

145 months

Wednesday 6th May
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crofty1984 said:
Do a CBT and if you like it buy a second hand Japanese 125 to play with. Tinker with it for a year/6 months learn to ride it WELL then look at direct access and whatever bike you fancy.
Riding a 125 for 6 months to a year is likely to put you off biking, when your overtaking is limited to bicycles and little old ladies.

Pass the CBT and DAS and get yourself advanced training immediately afterwards.

JulianHJ

8,292 posts

218 months

Wednesday 6th May
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LookAtMyCat said:
A 125 will get boring very very fast. At your age I genuinely wouldn't bother.

Do the CBT. If you enjoy it, just go straight to DAS and start on a 600.
This was my experience - I didn't start riding until my late 30's, and initially thought a 125 would be fine. Within six months I'd done my DAS and bought an 800cc, which was a vastly better ride.

GadgeS3C

4,212 posts

120 months

Wednesday 6th May
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If you fancy an SV650 ( with carbs smile ) PM me.

Pete-mojsh

Original Poster:

190 posts

52 months

Saturday 30th May
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Now things are moving again I have managed to get a CBT booked for next weekend, that will be the test to see if the reality of riding a bike is for me. If it is, and I suspect it will, then hopefully I'll be able to get a theory test booked and move on to some lessons for the A license. I would hope that the dvsa would put something out in the next week as the closures were until june initially.

Bike prices seem to be strangely high, I've kept an eye on auto trader and Ebay but pricing seems to be strong, even for the toughest looking example. I've been looking at copart to see if there was a cheap project I could pick up but again the money is quite strong. Given the way the world is going you would expect prices to drop but it's not got there yet, most "luxury" items you would expect to have a reduced demand for. I would imagine the sports 600s to be the area most likely to retain some value but it does seem elevated from the last time I was looking at prices around 5 years ago.


fred bloggs

463 posts

156 months

Saturday 30th May
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Dont buy a salvage bike.
They are salvage for a reason. Motorcycles are a relativly cheap item, and anything that has found its way into a salvage yard is not worth repairing. Spares only really. Unless you want some hack up poor paint turd that everone at meets laughs at.
You dont need to take my word for it, but I have run a motorcycle MOT station for 15 years and been a bike mechanic for 23 years.

The recent trend of converting crashed bikes into 'Latte racers' as I call them, is remiding me of the 'streetfighter' craze in the 90's, whre people crashed sportsbikes, and couldnt afford to buy new panels.

Inevitably the "builder" of the cafe racer has made the bike into something unroadworthy,uncomfortable, and also missed the bent fork or cracked frame.