As a biker who packs her Italian toy away for winter I, like so many other bikers have time to ponder the small things in life. I followed some very interesting threads on Facebook and thought that I will share the outcome of these ruminations.
How do you choose your next lid in the middle of lockdown?
With lockdown in full swing and every method to stop the spread of germs deployed, the true and tested method of you taking your fine self to a bike accessory shop (with your hair under strict adult supervision) to fit each and every lid you like is not an option. We all know that buying a lid you did not fit on prior to purchase can be a grave mistake.
So, exactly how do you approach the decision making for this during a lockdown? The answer I concluded is 'who the hell knows'. If anything, it is possible that the author of this question was left more confused than she was before posing the question. All sorts of tips and suggestions were dispensed with vigor and it went from just replace your lid like for like, to nick your Hubby's and tell him that you have no idea what happened to his.
This dilemma is not just restricted to lids. Each and every piece of PPE kit you buy is designed to keep you safe while you ride, so it stands to reason that it must be well fitted. I do not know of a single biker who bought the 1st pair of trousers, jacket, gloves, or boots that they picked up off the shelf in the shop. He/she may end up going back to that first choice, but this will only happen after having fitted several other options.
Chinese 125...to buy or not to buy
The author asked which brand of motorbike she must consider for her first bike and listed a raft of Chinese brands vs. the plucky and happiness-inducing Honda Grom. I was not surprised to find out this was a short survey heavily weighted on the side of the Honda Grom and overwhelmingly saying 'stay away from CCB' (Cheap Chinese brands)
Participants in this discussion also noted that there were other very worthy brands to consider and the YBR's, CBR's and MT125's enjoyed a mention.
I did some digging on this topic and this is what the folks from MCN have to say about the next top 10 125cc motorbikes for 2021
Husqvarna Svartpilen 125
Aprilia Tuono 125
Honda MXS125 Grom
Kawasaki Ninja 125
KTM 125 Duke
The Honda Grom is on this list as well but it needs to get a special mention, as it in its own class and is slowly achieving pop-culture status making it a must-have accessory.
A1, A2 or A (Unrestricted)
With lockdown being in a never-ending cycle new riders find themselves in a holding pattern. I've scoured SM to see what opinions are afoot and this is what I conclude;
If you have patience and can wait until you are 24 years old, then do so and get your full license. There is currently no restriction on how many times you can renew your CBT certificate, so it is possible to start riding a 125cc at age 17.
There is a popular misconception that there are 3 levels of license available. I, myself can be counted amongst this group but it is not the case. The license categories are more to do with age than ability.
At age 16 you can do your CBT test for a moped or a geared 50cc.
If you chose to, you can get an AM license but this is for Mopeds only with a speed range of 25 - 45 mph
At age 17 you can do the 125cc CBT and ride on L plates for 24 months
Persons aged 17 -19 yrs. can also obtain a A1 License. The only advantage of the A1 license is that you can ride on motorways and carry a pillion but you are still restricted to a motorbike with the max output of 11kW
At age 19 -24 you can get the A2 license. This gives you almost all the freedoms of a full A license but you are restricted to a 35kW output motorbike. An important caveat on this license is that the motorbike you choose must have a power output not exceeding twice the output of the restriction
At age 24 you can do the full unrestricted A Licence.
If you already hold an A2 licence you will not have to resit theory test, but you will have to retake the practical mod1 and mod 2 tests
For full details about this click on the below link
On a side-note, there appear to be many and varied opinions on expired and soon to expire CBT's. There is currently no update from .Gov that can shed any light on this.
Lastly, a lady posted on one of the more popular women's motorbike FB pages feeling very low about a cyber altercation that really has no place in modern society. She is an experienced adventure Tourer with many years of riding experience and posted on a forum asking for advice on how to fix an issue on her bike. The replies she got went from 'you don't know how to look after your bike' to 'you don't know how to ride your bike'. She is now hesitant to ask general questions on SM for fear that she will be accused of being stupid. I replied to her to assure her that she can always ask her questions and reminded her that not all male bikers are cavemen.
I know that women barely make up 5% of bikers but we earned the right to ride bikes the same way as men and most of us are perfectly able, to carry out basic riding maintenance... AND everyone knows that the cute little mirrors on the front are the perfect size for touching up your lippy...