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Pre-Learners questions, and other things!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Boos, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Okey dokey!

    I'm about to book my Pre-Learners, but am feeling slightly apprehensive about going through with it. I think its primarily to do with my lack of knowledge or experience. I can ride a push bike, and that's about it 8-[.

    That said I'm gonna be trying to book it at HART St Ives - is this a recommended place? I've been told that the course caters to absolute beginners; would my lack of knowledge for manual transmission and gear changing hold me back? At the moment I'm just scared of getting an instant fail and having my money go down the drain. I'm assuming that falling over or stalling is an instant fail, are there any other criteria that I should be aware of? Or any other general rookie tips?

    On the topic of beginners, my family is being quite unsupportive about letting me get a bike if I successfully get my Learners. I've seen the other threads about this, but I don't really know how to explain my situation. ](*,) I've told them that I want the responsibility of owning and maintaining an asset like a bike, and that at the moment it's more economical for me to commute to work/uni etc on a bike...but nothings registering except for the inherent dangers associated to riding. Dunno what I can do or say at the moment.
  2. Use HART!!!
    Read and talk to alot of riders, turn up at sat morn prac, ask, ask and ask alot
    All families dont want you to ride, only cause you'll die riding a bike!!
    once you start riding, nobody will wipe the smile off your face!! :) thats why we ride :)
    each to their own, it MIGHT not be for you, but how will you know?
    Oh yeah, and dont do stupid things on a bike, like anything in life, you dont respect it, you just might prove the family to be right!!
  3. i can totally feel you.
    i'm doing it at HART St Ives soon too in a few weeks!
    no,, my family's not supportive either, but same, it works better for work... hmm

    no advice to offer, i'm beginner myself,
    but I did hear HART St Ives is great, hence why i'm doing mine there~
  4. Hey, I can understand your position too, it is a bit of a bummer. I only got away with it cause I've been nagging them since I was 16.

    I'd say do whatever you can to show your family that you are responsible and serious about owning a bike, be that buying good gear (hard if ur broke), saving up money in preparation to buy said gear/bike (easier) or if u've driven for a while - show them that u obviously have a sense of self preservation and not likely a hoon.

    As for the Pre-Learners, I was pretty much in the same situation as you. Youtube is your friend, search a few videos on like new riders/changing gears etc. Its actually not very hard, but if you've never done manual it can get abit daunting. The videos can help with the nerves and give u an idea of what to expect. Other than that, good luck, have a ball and hope to see you on the roads soon!

  5. Gah, all the tests for St Ives Hart are booked our for the next 3 weeks! Don't want to wait that long. Nearest is 5/10 at the Clyde training centre, owned by Stay Upright I believe. Has anyone had any experience with these guys?
  6. When I took my pre-L's the whole course was run assuming NO knowledge or previous experience. This actually made it harder for some who DID have experience as they had to un-learn old habits.

    So don't be concerned.
  7. I did my Pre Learners at Clyde (stay upright) about 2 months ago and found them okay, although I am tempted to do my P's at Hart as I've heard that the set up there is heaps better, with a proper road course within the training ground

    The set up at Clyde is very basic with cones laying out the course but to be honest for the stuff you'll be doing for L's its good enough. Don't worry about stalling or falling over, it's all part of the learning process
  8. Alrighty then, booked it in for 2 weeks time at Clyde. Feeling nervous already! I was literally 1 minute off with booking it at St Ives, as soon as I clicked pay someone had already beaten me. Will probably watch a few videos and keep asking around.
  9. i'm doing mine @ St Ives on 15th oct, anyone else?
  10. I did my pre learners with Stay upright at Botany and they were great. I was an absolute beginner and the other guys in my group had all ridden dirt bikes and as such so I was the least experience but it made no difference at all. If anything I found it easier because I had no bad habits already formed. Good luck with it!

    As for the unsupportive family, join the club!
  11. Alrighty!

    I just finished my first session at the Clyde training centre. Overall I think i'm doing ok, a bit slower than the other guys at getting used to things, but the instructor hasn't stopped and told me that I can't progress. Due to my complete lack of the manual transmission, it look me a while to get used to friction points (still getting used to it, stalled a few times). Getting used to keeping the throttle steady while turning, looking where I'm going etc, did a few practice runs with gear changing (my gear changes are dodgy, hah). I think i need to build my confidence some more, right now i'm finding that i tense up quite easily, I was told to relax and bend my arms several times. My wrists and hands were sore after each practice routine, probably to do with my confidence and tensing up.

    This said, I did find that it felt a bit rushed. Perhaps it was the instructor or it was just me. Overall I've enjoyed the first day, I think it would be great if I was given more time to practice in an enclosed area. Moving onto roadcraft tomorrow.

    I think I might take the roadskills & confidence course at hart if I decide to progress.
  12. ..a lot of people (me included) seem to think that overall, the pre-learners was a rather rushed activity.

    FWIW, I think the pre-learners pace is great, if you have had some previous experience on motorbikes. But for a complete beginner, I did find it a bit of a rush.

    But look at it from their perspective.... they are to pass you, only if they believe that you have the skill to display an "L" plate and basilcally be let lose on the roads by yourself on a motorbike.

    Good luck with the rest of the course ;)
  13. True, and to add to my previous comments it was pretty cold this morning, no sun could reach the undercover centre, kinda added to my whole tensing up situation.
  14. No no no no no
    You have it all wrong.
    Think of it as going out to have fun and learn to ride. The license will come when your ready. Or the instructor thinks your ready.
    Going in strait up and putting extra pressure on yourself by adding I must do this to pass will be very anti- nice riding.
    Go and have fun and learn.
    The instructor is meant to teach you up to a level of qualification. So let him.
    If I was you I would start squeezing a tennis ball while watching telly ans stuff.
    Specially your left hand. if you have never used a clutch before your hand might get sore in the first day because we do a lot of clutch work on the first day.
    If you have played guitar for a while you will be fine. Otherwise build up that wrist and fingers so you can keep your grip and finger light on the bars.
  15. Thanks bretto, don't get me wrong, i did have fun zipping around in the training centre, and i'd love to be able to practice it more in my own time around quiet streets or a local carpark, if i get my own bike (y)

    on the topic of sore hands and stuff, i'm sure once i get used to how gear shifting and throttle control works it'll be less of a concern. we did practice shifting up and down, i was a bit jolty because i had a tendency to release the clutch a bit quick as opposed to easing it in with a dab of throttle and i'm not used to matching speed to gears yet, but i could do it :p

    On the subject of beginner bikes, I've been tossing up between the Ninja 250R, VTR250 or CBR250R. I saw both the ninja and vtr at the centre today, the vtr in my ideal colour scheme, matt black with yellow suspension and rim tapes, cool looking little thing :grin:
  16. Passed the pre learners, funnily enough! I stalled 3 or 4 times and had a couple of muck ups in the final road simulation practice (nearly went into the barrier in a small stop sign, turn situation the instructor set up). but all in all I think I just need more repetition to get it right. Arms are still slightly sore :p

    I definitely want to practice more (specially getting used to multitasking and slow speed manoeuvring) but i also definitely don't feel as confident as I first thought. Keen on getting a bike and practicing at a carpark, might need to get up at the stupid o'clock hours to get there without any traffic for now.
  17. The road is no place to learn. It hurts.
    Your arms are sore because you were out of your comfort zone and had the bars in a killer grip.
    It's a feel thing. A confidence thing. And confidence is time.
    Same goes for the stalling.
    And who's car park?
    You need to have some sort of control over the bike before you take on the mad world or it will eat you up.
    You can always book another days lesson while trying to save.
    That investment could save you a lot more in repairs down the road.
  18. #18 bulby, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    +1 book another lesson. It helped me heaps =]

    I was doing terribly after getting my permit and bike. Hell, I couldn't even stop the bike properly without stumbling. Dropped the bike any number of times too, not to mention the scary moments.

    If you can afford it, definitely book another lesson :)
  19. There's a park/carpark about 2 minutes drive away from me that's quiet during the day where I can practice a range of stuff, hell it was where I first practiced driving on my Ls 5 years ago :p

    The only thing is being able to ride there, though I'm sure I can make it if I head out early in the morning (around 5-6am there's usually not a car in sight). There's a roundabout to deal with and a few corners. There's also a back street/cul-de-sacs that could also be a potential practice area, it's quiet and i have full view of oncoming traffic (the odd car leaving/going home). Though I guess I risk sound pollution if the locals get fed up with me whizzing up and down the street.

    And yes, I've considered taking more courses, will probably try HART next time if I want to do it.
  20. Have some spare clutch / brake levers handy. You may find that you don't need them afterall, but I did go through at least 4 clutch levers... lol :p

    They snap pretty easily even from stationary drops.