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L plate memories

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by jphanna, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Spending so much time on the roads, car, pushbike, mbike, whenever i see an Lplate rider, i cant help but remember that first few days riding my first mbike.

    Learning a car was great at the time, 30 years ago, but a mbike is in another league. infinately better.

    no matter what you ride now, whether its a stonking hot 4 cyc jap 1000cc screamer, or a 2300cc 350kg cruiser, you all started as a Learner rider at some stage.

    when i watch Lplate riders now, i often wonder what they are thinking as they take off from the lights, with cars and trucks right behind them. the instructors words, hammering the 'dont stall at the lights' message. things you dont think of when driving a car.

    the first ride through the hills

    your first wet ride

    parking the mbike, for the first time at one of the mbike favoured bakeries nestled in a small county town.

    the feeling of the engine beating though the seat.

    my only regret is not being able to do this decades ago. my dad would never allow it.
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  2. The rocket three can take many of the stonking hot jap bikes on.
    0-100 in 3.3 seconds.
    11 second quarter mile.
    Just thought I would mention that.
  3. I think some of us forget what we (and our friends) were like when we first started. Thoughts like "Was I ever that crap" and "In my day......." cross my mind.

    Although admittedly - spending most of my youth in the country - my first time on a motorcycle on the road was before I got my L's - by some considerable time. I was 31 when I got my licence, but had been riding motorcycles on and off since I was 10.
  4. Yes, I was THAT crap..
  5. When I see a L rider it pleases me that we have a future. That the Cotton Wool Beige brigade haven't totally scared new riders away from the passion. I love seeing new riders on the road, I love it when they progress in their riding ability and through to Ps and beyond.

    Riding with a learner group can be challenging but the vibe you get from those on their first twisty roads, the first GOR run, the first Alpine run is life affirming.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. It was a long time ago but I don't recall having a learners permit. Even Ps were fairly new, only red, and only for 12 months. Maybe I should have had a learners but we used to just slap on the L plate and a licensed driver teaching. I don't find many crap learners but I try to give them space and time to help minimise their nerves. It is those with P Plates (Pilots License) that cause me the most angst.
  7. Maybe a 600cc...
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  8. Back when I got my licence there was no such thing as LAMS, my first bike after getting my "L" was a 1973 Kawasaki H1D 500cc two stroke triple, couple of mates at the same time had early Honda 750/4's and one Z9, it was a case of survival of the fittest, it was actually very simple, you either learnt or died and yes I lost a fair few mates at the time! Nearly all of us had grown up on farms riding dirt squirts but the road on ill handling under braked over powered machines took it's toll.(n) We all spent time in hospital from thinking we were invulnerable but a hinged two stroke on crap rubber high sided me at some ridiculous speed, 5 months later though once I had relearnt how to walk I climbed back in the saddle, something about riding that gets in and it's an addiction you'll never get rid of!
  9. Coming from a small country town, l'd ridden around with the local copper's son, who had assumed l had me licence. So it was a surprised look when l turned up at the police station to get my learners when l reach the correct age.

    Now my son has just got his bike learners last week, he had to ask me why all bike riders (except HD riders) wave or nod?

    Welcome to a new world son :)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. #10 creampuff, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    Not quite everyone had L-plates ;)

    I started off riding in SE Asia with no licence, but only for a day or so at a time so given lax law enforcement in parts of Asia, no licence was ok.

    Then my first motorcycle licence was a Vietnam licence, when I was working in Vietnam. I did the Vietnam practical test, which wasn't that hard. There are no L-plates in Vietnam. They didn't seem too bothered about you turning up to the test centre on a bike, presumably with no licence either. The test centre did provide a bike to do the test on, which was in the grounds of the test centre.

    The only time I've had L-plates was immediately before and during the UK practical test which again is a few years back now. That was a difficult test, there really is very little scope for messing up on that one. You can even fail it for going too slow and I've seen reports of people failing with particular examiners for not overtaking and not filtering.

    Some of my best memories of biking are still from Vietnam, esp the first time I came down a small hill in the jungle of Vietnam and could actually feel the air get colder as I went down the hill and smell the jungle. Magic.
  11. That, Sir is why I turn up on Saturdays. Well put.
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  12. Ah, yes, I remember the awkward L plate days, every time I went out for a ride in the beginning my legs would shake so badly that I had trouble keeping them on the pegs, and 60km felt really fast. Then there was learning to use the clutch properly instead of suddenly being thrown forward while going slow because you're not using it right. The jerky movements felt and probably looked terrible lol.

    Target fixating and ending up riding in the gravel on the side of the road was scary too, I'd been on my L's for about 2 1/2 months when that happened, I was doing 80km when I went onto the gravel but managed to keep my head and slowly and carefully steer the bike back onto the road without dropping it. My friends behind me said the back of my bike was fishtailing, I didn't feel it though, I just felt bumpiness.

    Here's a video of me at Saturday Leaner practice in Melbourne, a friend of mine followed me on his bike with my GoPro stuck to it.

  13. Ha, I remember going on my first test ride from a dealer and thinking to myself, "It's a wonder that they let me out on this thing on my own."
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  14. I got my Ls, bought, insured and registered my first bike the same day. Learned to ride the day after on the Great Western Highway in between the commuters, semi-trailers and the most policed road in NSW at the time (Bathurst to Lithgow). The trip home at 70 took me three and a half hours. (I travelled further than Bathurst ;) ) It was the last time I stuck that 70 limit. :whistle:
  15. I still remember doing my L's course. It was a really hot summers day, and we were doing heaps of slow stuff, figure 8's, emergency braking etc.

    I was on an old Air cooled CB250, that thing was getting hot just putting around the closed course, radiating its heat onto me.

    Finally at the end of the day we got to do a road ride, and actually got out of 3rd gear! I still remember the first feeling of that breeze flowing through my sweaty body, and the feeling of freedom at last! I knew right then that I loved riding.