I’m 27 and I just got my motorcycle driver’s License today

by B.Jordanov

Why have I decided to acquire a motorbike license?

When I was a little kid, at the age of ten, I told my mother one day I’m going to ride a motorbike. It’s something I can live without but life’s boring if I don’t obtain new skills, learn new things everyday or conquer new highs. That’s why I constantly challenge myself.

At first it was just a skill I wanted to have in my skill set. It’s relatively easy to get a license for a motorbike compared to getting one for a plane or flying jet. I hadn’t ridden a motorcycle ever before so I decided to take some courses and see if it’s going to be an enjoyable experience. Surprisingly I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I still don’t consider myself a very ardent motorcyclist and I don’t feel like I’m part of something big. Saying that I respect motorcyclists culture but I’m not into it. I feel more like a solo rider.

The learning process

I took the learning process very seriously and started preparing myself by reading tutorials and watching videos all over the Internet. Spent almost two years in preparation before I started the course in hope that I’ll become a better rider. During that time all the knowledge I’ve acquired was just theoretical. Some of the guys who were taking the course already owned a vehicle and had been riding without a license, so they were ahead of me.

The bad habits of the newbies

Hey, theory and practical knowledge are two different things. Knowing something and being able to put it to good use into the field takes time. As a freshman I also did some of those errors. Let’s make a summary of the top mistakes new riders make.

  • Unintentionally pressing the horn button if it’s very close to the turn signal button.
  • Forgetting to turn off the blinker after making a turn.
  • Taking off with too much pressure on the throttle.
  • Taking off without twisting the throttle enough.
  • Holding the front brake to reduce the speed while making a turn which can result in a fall.
  • Squeezing the clutch before pressing the brake which makes the motorbike unstable.
  • Forgetting to lean enough sideways when maneuvering with low speed.
  • Figuring out that “neutral” is between the first and the second gear.

The exam

The exam was separated in two parts – the first, conducted in a special testing area and the second in urban conditions with real street traffic, where the examiner gives you commands trough your Bluetooth device.

The part where we had to show our technical skills was a piece of cake. I covered the criteria and even went through the obstacles with a speed higher than satisfactory. I performed all the maneuvers flawlessly and scored 10/10. I feel like I did better than the other participants but eventually we all went trough.

Before the second part have started my examiner felt very tense, annoyed and loud. May be because it was ~40°C outside and he couldn’t wait to go home. Sadly 30 seconds after I jumped onto that bike for the second part of the test the examiner decided that the examination was over. He instructed me to park the motorbike on the side of the road with this ending the exam. Here’s the situation where he decided to end the exam giving me a negative grade:

The picture is illustrative but I’m trying to be as accurate as possible. Before I hopped to the motorbike it was parked exactly where it is right now on the picture. I chose to stay in my lane and continue straight base on these factors:

1. The examiner didn’t give me a command. In this case we are instructed in advance to continue straight. So did I, just to find out that my lane ends and I’m forced to make a right turn despite the road markings.
2. Even with a full left turn of the steering wheel (based on my judgment for the situation) it was impossible to lane switch without crossing the two white lines on the road.
3. Road signs and road markings.
4. The examiner vehicle was parked exactly 1 meter behind me leaving me without enough room for other maneuvers.

So what should I’ve done to solve this tricky situation?

The right thing was to follow the green arrow and cross the double line on the left that’s normally supposed to prevent me from going into the other lane. From where the bike was parked I had to make a very hard effort not to cross the doubled line and risk falling with 200kg bike. I didn’t wan’t to brake the law. Turns out in this specific case I can and should… but just think about it. The examiner instructed the previous guy to leave the motorcycle to it’s current position right where I started from. I’ll leave the judgment to you.

After paying for 4 more training hours (from which I rode approximately 40 minutes. The rest of the time I was watching the others from the backseat of the car) and paying for another exam I finally took it successfully.

Can’t wait to get a motorbike?

Yeah, I am tempted to buy a second hand motorbike and practice my skills now. I feel like going out of the city for a long ride once or twice a week would be a very enjoyable experience I can’t wait for.

So what kind of motorbike do I prefer?

I am not that much into track races but I’d love to move at a satisfactory speed which is ~160km/h . That’ll do for me. I like travelling and contemplation of fabulous places, so touring motorbike would be my choice. The bike I’m about to get for a first motorbike is Honda Hornet 600. I’d like to show you how it performs in real life scenario. Here’s a video I came across of a youtuber having his joyride.

Summary

In short, I’m really happy I can legally ride a motorcycle now. I remember I didn’t even care for my previous driver’s license. Now I’m enthusiastic and passionate about riding a motorbike outside the city. I’m glad I finished one of the important tasks of this year’s checklist, although I feel like I should’ve got that license long ago.

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