DAS Days III– Onwards and upwards.

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    Today, 23/06/02006, was yet another attempt to pass the test after the first two attempts. This time I was with Steve, the boss instructor, who was “sick of me not passing and going to sort things out once and for all”… Hey ho.

    This I thought was going to be the worst attempt of all. The aged bike I had been training on, the GS500 had been pensioned off and I was to ride a CBF500. Never been on one before and I was hoping it wouldn’t be that different to the GS500. I knew the GS500 quite well and was very comfortable on it. Though it’s been called a bit of a tractor, I knew what it would do, how it would do it and when it would do it. The CBF500 was a different matter for me. Different biting point on the clutch (obviously), it seemed heavier and it seemed to have more torque at the bottom of the rev range. Coupled with the fact that I had not been on a 500 for 5 weeks, consequently, my slow bike control was terrible. My U-turns had gone tits up. I could only manage two out of every ten in the morning pre-test practice. I even dropped the bike twice, once banging my noggin on the road. I had expected to be better as I had been out practicing on the 125 all week and had gotten my U-turns almost perfected or so I thought. We also seemed to do very little riding that morning which was even more worrying and a little puzzling as to why. Oh god, I thought, this was never going to work.

    Through the practice we did, there were some useful tips which I could have done with knowing before. Steve pointed out to me that when stationary; he noticed that my wrist was crooked upwards on the throttle. This being a bad idea as it caused you to have poor throttle adjustment when riding slowly or have a fist full of throttle if panic sets in. Far better to have the wrist in a relaxed straight line from your elbow to the knuckles. Another good thing with Steve is that he points out the good things you do as well as the bad. While Aiden, my former instructor was excellent, he would only point out when you were going wrong. Everything else was met with a stony silence. I sometimes think this approach doesn’t build up confidence as every thing you think you do is bad.

    The test came around, at 1:30PM, and the nerves struck with a vengeance. Each attempt seemed to be getting more nerve racking than the last and this one, I particularly had no confidence with at all. After the two general maintenance questions, we were off. Bike control seemed not too bad though, but all too soon we arrived at the place of the dreaded U-turns, (Venture not here, traveller, for there be dragons!) Got off the bike, wheeled it around in the road. Seemed fine. Then it was back on and he asked to box around the streets and come back for the controlled stop. Great, I thought, he’s forgotten about the U-turn. The controlled stop went fine, though the bike had ABS and I felt like I was cheating somehow. He then asked me for the U-turn. Rats! I thought, but I managed to scrape a half decent one surprisingly.

    Back onto the roads again, across the dreaded Merry Hill (Hell?) Island and didn’t get caught out this time. Towards the end of the test though, I had done something I felt was dangerous afterwards when my concentration slipped a bit. I had joined a right filter lane a little too early, venturing slightly into an oncoming right filter lane behind it and which a transit van was just about to enter. B*gger, thinks I, that’s failed me.

    After a few more miles of twists and turns, we arrived back at the test centre. I answered the final question about pillion riders and I waited for hammer to fall, but after all the anxiety of this and that, I ended up with three minors. One was going slightly wide at a junction, another was I could have positioned myself better when turning right once and the other was when I left an indicator on longer than that was necessary. I asked the examiner about the filter thing and he said it was so minute an incident, it wasn’t worth mentioning. Seemed I got through on luck after all, which clouded my relief somewhat that the test was all over.

    Only thing to do now was to get back to Streetbike, with out getting killed and spoiling everything. Which, incidentally one driver tried to do as he dived out from behind a container lorry, which he had been hiding behind, in a queue of oncoming traffic to do a u-turn in front of me. Lesson learnt from my first off, a year before and I managed to stop in time though so he didn’t get me.

    When we got back to Streetbike, the last thing Steve did before he shook my hand and congratulated me, was to take my helmet off me, throw it the skip and send me to the clothing department to buy another as he had been swearing to all day. I didn’t think I had damaged it that much, but Steve said it was a nasty knock and to tell the truth, I suspected that my youngest had treated it as football sometimes. They gave me ten percent discount though. Very impressive I thought.

    So all in all, a mostly successful day. It left me extremely knackered though. Must have been all that nervous tension.
    Oh and they lack of practice? That was Steve’s cunning plan to not have me burned out before the test… which was nice!

    Thinking about ROSPA now. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?


    Aaah you lucky bugger!!! Glad you had a good time fella take it easy and enjoy every time you get your leg over!!


    The bike, people! the bike!


    Well done Mike, you will have to give me a call and arrange a ride out to C and F.[;)]


    Good stuff Mike, breakfast is my treat up at Crossgates!



    Originally posted by Radar

    Good stuff Mike, breakfast is my treat up at Crossgates!

    bloody ‘ell quick Mike get in there!!!![:o)]


    pssh that’s nice!

    He get’s a Sticky! a new bike! a full license! AND breakfast bought for him!! lol

    GSF K1

    Well done matey!!


    Wey hey mate,great feeling is`nt it all that tension releived.All most as good as……
    well done b2b,hope to get up there soon.

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