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My L's experience

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Sirian Sun, May 7, 2009.

  1. Finally have a chance to post about my L’s experience. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted or imagined but here we go…

    Got out there and was in a group with experienced riders – not good for someone who hasn’t ridden before. Felt like I was intruding on a ‘boys club’ meet. We get started and I’m thinking yeah, this is pretty cool. Start the bikes and do some straight line riding and I stall it – hey it is my first time lol. Try to start the bike again and nothing. Instructor gets a bit shirty so I am a bit apprehensive by now. Still nothing, so he comes over and then sees that the battery has gone dead. He is playing around with it trying to clutch start – so much so that the instructor in the next bay tells him to stop wasting time and just get a another bike.

    So now I have another bike and off we go again. Now we are riding around the pylons in first gear. All good, come to a stop – can’t get it in neutral because the gear lever is stuck. By now I am thinking I am so cursed today. Instructor comes over and tries to fix it and off we go again. Start riding around have to go up to second gear. Lever gets stuck again, I panic because I’m thinking he is going to be pissed at me. Take the wrong line through the turn, lowside but get back up on the bastard thing. Instructor sees the lever is stuck again and snaps his car key trying to fix it.

    I finished the day, felt like a complete and utter dick and then get told I should probably change to a scooter. By this stage I am WTF???? That’s not what I came here for, I had two bikes that were craptacular. I didn’t bother going back on the Sunday and wrote a letter of complaint on Monday.

    Even though it wasn’t the best experience I have not chucked it in. I am booked in for a couple private lessons at St Ives (as you can imagine my confidence has been shot to pieces) and will do my L’s with them. In the mean time my brother is getting a cheap dirt bike just to get some ride time in.

    Some of you may laugh and that’s cool. For me it’s a matter of not giving up based on one shit experience.

  2. That's bad luck on getting bikes which took your attention away from riding. It sounds like you won't be giving up at all.

    Just something about the gear lever getting stuck, I had that issue on my bike at times. I think the problem was that I wasn't kicking it hard enough into gear due to the lever being up too high so it never sprung back. I haven't had that issue since adjusting the gear selector lever. Do you think that maybe you didn't kick it into gear hard enough?

    The bike I had when I did my licence test at HART was a pain. I was only able to find neutral on it three times for the day! I did everything I could think of and it was getting either first or second. Someone else had the same problem.
  3. Don’t let crap bikes blow your confidence.
    I hope your letter of complaint made mention of the fact that there garbage gear wasted your time, and the instructors time and as such has cost you considerably.

    As a note when a gear leaver gets a little stuck, sometimes pulling in the clutch, then letting it out till it just starts to grab and pulling it in again fixes the issue.
  4. Damn! That sucks, sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. Where was that? St Ives are really good, being a Honda training centre the bikes are in great condition and looked quite new (when I did it there last year).

    I have to admit I did laugh when reading your post but only at this bit:

    What a tool!!! :LOL:

    Don't give up, the dirt bike for practice is a great idea if you have the space to do it.

  5. Don't give up because some idiot hands you a shitbox bike.

    Try again...see how you go a second time...if there is no improvement, then they might be giving you sound advice, but I would settle for it just now.
  6. You guys are great, thank you :)

    Its going to take more than an instructor with attitude and little off to make me quit lol
  7. Don't mean to sound like I'm having a go because I think you're doing the right thing by not giving up, but why didn't you go back on sunday? You would have already paid for it and now you're off to get training and a dirt bike before you attempt another test? I know people who came off their bike and stalled and still passed the test. You would've been only a few hours away from getting your Ls.

    What's stopping you from just booking in for another test? You've already done half of it so it shouldn't be too hard for you now. Stop doubting yourself and get back on the horse.
  8. Hey mate, that sounds really bad. I did my Ls down here in Hobart having never ridden a bike before and the instructors and bikes were really good. It seems they do things very differently where you are, but our Ls course is 2 half days (4 hours consecutively), and they start you right from the basics and work with you the whole way, never any pressure at all. They kind of baby young along a bit, but it works really well for those that haven't ridden before and know naff-all about bikes. Max group is 5 at any one session too.
  9. Thats really shit luck. 2 broken bikes in a day.
    the good news is. it can only get better from here
  10. I did my training at HART and once the bikes (CBF250's) were warm, it was nigh on impossible to get them into neutral.
    The only way to do it was to turn the bike off put it into neutral and re start the bike.
    Got a tad annoying as the day got longer and noobie clutch hands tired...

    The instructors were brilliant though, good fun and very positive.

  11. Thanks for all the replies, believe me they are very much appreciated! Its not easy being the only one in a group who cant ride lol. One of my suggestions was that instead of having the groups already organised that they wait and ask who has and who hasnt ridden. Its quite intimidating when everyone else wants to get through the formalities and you are starting from scratch.

    I also start back at uni in June so time is going to be pretty limited with a son, full time work, part time study etc

    None of this has put me off, if anything its made it clearer how much I want to do it and do it right. If it takes a bit longer then so be it.
  12. When i did QRIDE (using a cbf250), on the "road ride", i kicked up from 1st into neutral when taking off at traffic lights and rolled across the intersection whilst the lights changed from green to yellow to red, with 3 other riders behind me thinking "wtf is he doing".. Everyone was told not to overtake.

    I still passed :)
  13. That sounds like a pretty messed up experience.
    I do agree that you should have gone back on Sunday however. When I did my L's I stalled a couple of times and dropped the bike twice as I was going to slow through the slalom. Each time the instructors (DECA in Altona) merely gave me words of encouragement and advice. By the end of it I passed the test without a hitch. Even got the best slow ride time for the day.
    I think the suggestion to go to a scooter after having two faulty bikes given to you was a bit rude. Hope you mentioned that in the complaint letter.
  14. Hmm, you guys must have a different Ls test to us Taswegians. Ours is basically if the instructor who has had you for the 2 days reckons you can ride well enough, they give you a certificate of competency and you take that to Transport and pass a stock standard Ls written test then Bob's your Uncle. Ps is a different matter, that has the MOST test plus a road ride, but not for Ls.
  15. If it helps, all of the guys I've dealt with in St Ives have been really good teachers and seem like all round nice guys.

    Best of luck!

    And Noddy, same deeal here in NSW at least.
  16. Damn, sorry to hear about that Sirian.

    When I went for my Ls, I had a bike which would constantly stall when idling, choke or no choke. The instructors first blamed me, then mentioned it might be the little nut thingo on the throttle just needs a little adjusting, they did it, and worked fine.

    I'm surprised the instructor got shitty with you. About half of the group when I took my Ls had never been on a bike before, and while I was getting rather annoyed (eg, when we're supopsed to be moving along in 2nd, and the person up front is on a scooter, going so slow you can't get into second) the instructors kept their cool.

    And saying mayeb you should riding a scooter is damn rude. You're there to learn to ride a bike, and they're there to teach you to ride a bike.

    Also, don't be intimidated by the other students knowing what they're doing. Just think, they've had to learn too, and probably made all the mistakes you'll make during the course. Just ignore the other riders and do your own thing, unless you're practicing changing lanes etc.

    Also, with the neutral, I've found that some bikes (my CB250 included) just won't change into neutral while stopped. Try changing it into neutral while rolling at 15 - 20kph, or if you're stationary, with the clutch in, give it some throttle and hold it at 4000 - 5000rpm and see if it will go in then. And be gentle when trying to tap it into neutral. I find it easier to sort of slowly apply pressure onto the gear lever until it goes into neutral, as flicking it will put it in 2nd.

    Just another newbie's advice :)
  17. That's a real shame. At Rouse Hill, all the bikes were pre started before we went and they were all fine. I did actually ride into the fence and fell off, then the next day I did the stop and head check and fell off again. Ha ha! I really felt stupid but I walked out with my L's and it hasn't stopped me from becoming good enough to ride to and from the city without falling off :)

    Yeah silly things happen and these were my fault but it sounds like these things might not be your fault. It's soooooo hard at the beginning but stick with it :)
  18. Thanks hun :) Nice to know I am not the only one lol

    You guys are all brilliant, thanks for being so supportive! Stueh you get a virtual Fredo lol

    Things are looking up already :grin:
  19. That really sucks! Everyone at my Learners course kept stalling and falling over all day! Please don't feel like you can't ride because of it!
    We were all so nervous and everyone felt like they sucked but luckily everyone passed :grin:

    I only just managed to pass the slow ride!
  20. Yay! I gets a Freddo!

    Pitty I can't eat things like that :-(

    I'll let my levels drop low so I HAVE to eat chocolate! Yeah! Even though it's the wrong sugar >.>