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Toss the L's, strap on the P's... A tassie scooterist story.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Blunty, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. So I went for my Level two motorcycle training course testerday, (in tassie, down at teh rokeby police academy) so I could move onfrom my learners to a full licence. A full day of nothing but morotcycles and other two wheel riders. It was awesome.

    I couldn't have asked for a better day for riding, it was clear, sunny and still, an absolutely picture perfect day. There were only four of us in the Lv.2 course, which made things a lot easier, as the instructor (a super nice guy) was able to communicate better, and we got more one on one time each, and lots of practice time with the excersises.

    The course started with some basic technique excersises, low speed cornering where we'd ride around witches-hats in a suqre, then figure eight, then some weaving between the cones, fun stuff, and super easy to do on my scooter - it has a tiny cornering circle compared to the bikes everyone else was on. Then on to emergency braking first in a straight line then on corners, again nice and easy on the scooter. The first half of the day was full of theese skill building excersises, a lot of fun.

    After that we sat down and talked about roadcraft, and how to stay safe on two wheels, interesting stuff and I took some handy hints away from it.
    Then came the really fun bit, a group ride on the open road. So the four of us students and the instructor went for a nice cruise around the streets, all taking turns leading the pack. The only down side was thay made us wear these nerdy orange safety vests. I've never ridden in a pack before, it was an interesting and alltogether awesome experience.

    When we got back to the course grounds it was time for the test. The MOST (or Motorcycle Operation Safety Test) was what we'd been building to all day, and this was the most important bit of the course, Seven differerent excersises - including low speed cornering, stopping safely (with your front tire in an exact spot marked on the course), U-turns, obstile ovoidance, weaving through cones, emergency braking and a points system that basically means if you screwed up you get awarded strike points, you get 9 points and you're done, out, over, go home come back another day to try again. On a single section of the test you could get as many as 5 (or more in the case of emergency braking) points awarded.



    Two of the four of us didn't make it. Both didn't even get to finish the test, they were out before they were halfway done. Poor buggers were crushed. One guy sulked for a minute, got on his bike and went home. He was so nervous that the instructor could see him trembling on the bike as he did the test. I was talking to him before his turn came up and he had the worst test anxiety! in the end he was just too nervous and tense to ride properly and it cost him dearly.

    The other failed student had been riding (unlicenced) for years! sure took the wind out of his sails, thinking he was so experienced and would pass easily but utterly choked on (what I thought were) simple practicle tests.

    The two of us who DID successfully complete the test, did so flawllessly, 0 points. I was in control, I was smooth, and when the instructor said congradulations, I was STOAKED! Passed with flying colours, and much praise from the instructor.
     
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  2. good news ...congrats .
     
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  3. Congratulations from another new rider (less than a year). I know it is a great feling to be finally done with all those courses and tests.

    When I decided to go two wheels I also planned to ride a scooter. It would've been a lot easier to pass the test on one of these instead of full size bike. But I decided to do it the hard way - I bought an old Suzuki GN 250, and over a couple of weeks I learned to ride it well enough to scrape by. In return, I got an unrestricted licence, as opposed to one valid only for scooters. And I am so glad I did, because it didn't take me long to realise I wanted a bike, not a scooter, after all!

    Is it the same system in Tassie, or is your licence good for any kind of two wheels?
     
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  4. Similar, though there's technically no such thing as a scooter licence here, it's an "automatic mototbike" licence.
    I don't see myself getting a *cough* "real bike" *cough* ;) for two main reasons, I love scooters, always have, and two, I've got a buggered lower back, so the riding position and posture is much more comfortable for me - and getting on and off the bike is much easier for me. I did my L's test on a honda CB250, just so I could prove to myself that I could ride a "real bike".
    But getting on and off the thing all day tool a heavy toll on my fubar spine, and that was enough to convince me to stick with scooters.

    Somewhere down the line I'll get myself a grunty-er scoot, perhaps one of the aprilia's.
    But for mow my Hyosung EZ100 does me just fine, I'm thinking about getting a performance exhaust fitted to squeese a little extra zip out of it.
    One of the instructors at the course said his partner has the same scoot, and got an extra 15Kph out of it just by replacing the stock exhaust with a performace model.
     
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  5. Please note that I never used the word 'real' :) I don't buy into this idea that scooters are not 'the real deal' somehow - they are perfectly fine and valid means of transport. What's more, I think in the coming years we will see the lines between bikes and scooters blur further and further, as automatic transmission becomes more standard on two wheels... certainly the designs displayed at the recent motor shows seem to point that way.

    The reason I decided to go with a bike was I actually enjoy changing gears, and I like having larger-size wheels. Scooters' are too small to cope well with our horrible streets, endless speedbumps, potholes and other obstacles...
     
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  6. Congrats Blunty :D .
     
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