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Wanting to start to ride

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jasoni, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Hi Guys,

    This is my first post. I thought it would be best to ask you all my questions as you are avid riders!

    Im 24, live in SA and want to ride motorcycles on the road. I have spent my childhood riding dirtbikes from yamahas to kwaka's and everything in between. I have always loved ducati's and I have decided to set my eyes on a ducati 748 (red of course), between 98-2003 model.
    Now, as I am a complete newbie to riding on the road i would love some advice on what I should do.
    I do have my full licence.
    I know I have to sit a written test and I believe I have to sit a (maybe two) practical tests also.
    What are the things I need to know, how much will the written and practical courses cost me, and how long will it be before I am able to get a ducati :) (meaning how long will it take to get off my L's)

    I will want to get leathers too... So am i looknig at around $500 for a jacket and about $400 for a helmet, maybe $50 for some gloves....
    ? Will i need to get wet weather gear as well?? Is there anything else I think i might need??? I have so many questions.. I think i will leave it at this, I hope you all can answer my stupid beginner questions ..
  2. Not sure on the rules for SA so hopefully a local can answer those questions. But as for gear and so on, my first up buy i purchased boots, draggin jeans, leather jacket, gloves and a helmet. Cost was around 1k for getting started on the gear. As for wet weather gear it depends on wether you want to ride in the rain. I dont ride in the wet as my bike is only a weekend toy, so i dont have any wet weather gear. Mate i was like you and had no idea, you will only learn if you ask questions so dont be afraid to ask away...
  3. Here's my bits list so far...

    $300 - Helmet (KBC VR-1)
    $50 - Tinted visor for helmet
    $250 - Racemaster 'dyno' leather jacket
    $90 - Joe Rocket gloves
    $0 - Wet weather pants (given to me by a mate, worth $10-$20 from army disposal store).

    Still need boots and draggins, so add $300+ to that.

  4. Ok to start off you will have to go to a transport SA customer service centre (where you pay your rego) and pay for the basic Rider Safe course. From memory I think its about $105. This is the basic course to get your L's. As you have ridden bikes for a while there will be some boring bits but you will more than likely learn something too. They teach as if you don't know what a motorcycle is! The course consists of 2 four hour lessons and covers things like braking, turning, clutch control and taking off. Once you pass the test (very easy) your instructor will sign a form saying you have completed the basic Rider Safe course. You take this back to the Transport SA customer service centre and pay about $25 and you have your L's. This licence is only valid for 9 months.

    The recommended time frame for your L's is a minimum of 4 months but I think you can do the advanced Rider Safe course after 1 month. Once you feel comfortable on the road you can once again pay a fee to partake in the advanced Rider Safe course (P's). I havn't done this yet but I believe it is more focussed on slow speed riding. There are a few tests like completing a 'U' turn in a tight space, riding between narrow spaces while riding slowly, negotiation a tight 'S' bend etc. This course is 1 four hour session and is usually held on weekends. Again once you pass you have to pay another fee to get the R-Date class added to your drivers licence. You need to hold this for one year before you become an unrestricted rider. This isn't automatic, you need to apply to Transport SA to become unrestricted. More information is available at


    Look under licences and certification -> motorbike licence

    LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) is coming into effect in SA from today. This is a list of learner approved motorcycles. This list is available at the above site. Unfortunately the Ducati isn't on the list. It might be a good idea to buy a cheap 250 to learn and become confortable on the road first before stepping up to the bigger bikes. I was in the same boat when I first got my L's. I had been riding dirt bikes for years but once on the road I found it completely diffferent. It takes time to become comfortable riding around traffic, especially since most of the cagers are trying to run you down!
  5. hey bass_player, there are still some very enjoyable bikes on the LAMS list, even if the Ducati isn't. Once again it's worth thinking about to buy a LAMS bike and then not do your dough when you are off your restrictions......

    PS love your sig!! :D
  6. Hi jasoni , welcome . Dont forget the boots and pants in your list :D .
  7. Wow you lucky person. I have spent over half my bikes worth in gear.

    KBC VR-1 (the first one) $350
    DriRider Nordic 4 jacket + pants $~650
    DriRider Boots $~200
    Alpinestar winter gloves $160
    Disc lock $60

    KBC VR-1 (the unbroken one) $300
    JoeRocket Razor suit $380
    Crofts Summer gloves $70

    So you see I decided to get into bikes because it would be cheaper than another car *cough* To my defense I'm not just a fine weather rider.
  8. Yeah for sure Hornet there are plenty of decent bikes on the list. Its about time learners in SA are able to access safe, bigger capacity bikes. I always wondered why the government would let a learner ride something like an RGV250 but not a XVS650. Also the SA list seems a lot smaller than the NSW one. I havn't had time to have a good look through the NSW one. Does it list all learner legal 250's as well? The SA list only has the learner legal bikes under 660cc. It also has the 250cc bikes which learners are not able to ride. These are:

    Suzuki RGV250
    Kawasaki KR250 (KR-1 and KR1s models)
    Honda NSR250
    Yamaha TZR250
    Aprilia RS250

    One thing I don't understand is their formula for figuring out kw/t. They state that for a bike 250cc or less you add 90kg to the wet weight to allow for a rider. For bikes over 250cc but under 660cc you need to add only 60 or 70kg for rider weight. Why would there be such a difference in the weight allowance between bikes?
  9. Because bureaucrats overcomplicate things to justify their existance :evil:

    I think the 250s are still a good place to start even with LAM's, unless your over 100kg or something.
    The 250's like GPX/ZZR have a nice linear power delivery and light weight which makes them great to learn on.
  10. THanks for the responses guys.. much appreciated..

    I think i may need to start out with something smaller in mind for a bit :(

    Just for future reference, (as it wont be for a little while) what is the cost of reg/insurance for a ducati 748 (or close to that) if anybody knows off hand....
  11. Would you guys think with my 8 years experiences in dirt bikes that it would be worthwhile to get a smaller bike (like a 250) or jump straight up to the 748.
    Im by no means a risk taker and consider myself to be very sensible on the road.... I have never ridden anything over a 600 (off road) and not sure what the differences would be with power. I guess im just asking to see if anybody can tell me what the power is like and how they think I could handle it...
  12. I guess the easy question to ask yourself is do you want to learn the hard way or the easy way?

    If you buy a 250 (or learner legal bike) then you can learn to push the limits as far as that bike can take you. For some people it takes longer than the restriction period, for those that ride every day and riding seems to come naturally to them... it may take less time. Either way, if you get bored with a 250 you will be able to sell it without loosing much $$$ in the process (as long as you don't buy a new one!). You can then go and splash your money on the latest, greatest and fastest machine your game enough to ride.

    On the other hand, you can buy a bigger bike (ie. the 748) and ride very carefully knowing all to well that as a road noob you may well have a very simply silly accident which will do ALOT of damage to a very expensive bike. Personally, i'd say get something interesting like an RGV250 if you really want a fast bike to learn on... then wait until it can no longer teach you anything about riding; then upgrade and repeat process - ad. inifinatum.
  13. Don't know about insurance. You may have to ring around a few places and get the best price. As for rego in SA, any bike is $29 per year, $23 for 9 months, $16 for 6 months and $8 for 3 months. If you are eligible for concession discounts the cost is halved. You can also apply seasonal registration if you prefer but I am unsure on the cost.
  14. THe only reason why I ask, I have a friend who has a triuumph (maybe 2 years old) which is about a 900-950 cc and he told me that insurance was $1000- 1200 and his rego was waaaaaaaaaay more expensive than 29 a year..... more along the lines of a couple of hundred. When I asked him he told me it was something to do with the CC factor... as in the sizew of the motor..

    And this is in SA and his age is well above 40....
  15. Thats odd. The prices I quoted were straight from the Transport SA website and it just says that the prices are for all bikes. Nothing about engine capacity.

    I forgot to mention in the earlier posts that if you want to book to get your L's there is a fairly long wait. I booked at the end of August and the earliest I could get in is next Monday. As soon as the weather starts getting warmer people flock to the Rider Safe course. Rising petrol prices havn't helped either.
  17. Ah that sounds more like it. I thought the prices were a little cheap. Sneaky bastards don't mention the insurance premiums, admin fees or any of that!