|Suzuki GS500 used as training bike on DAS|
I thought a 500cc bigger bike would have the torque to roll through but afterwards I was told they aren't designed like that. Slow manoeuvres must be done in 1st gear, with some revs and plenty of clutch control.
This was after many, many U-turns and slaloms between cones and I felt I was getting really good at it.
The good news is I didn't hurt myself or the bike.
The main exercise of today's DAS work at 'CB Training', Rendlesham, (Proprietor - Chris Boone TEL: 07894 704 700) was the 32mph swerve practice. This is a big thing to do on a 500cc bike, but even harder on a 125cc for some reason, maybe because it takes so much focus to get a 125cc up to 32mph in 30 metres that by the time you get to the swerve cones everything is tense and seems much faster. The 500cc Suzuki easily rips up to speed within a short run-up and you can then shimmy through the swerve manoeuvre in 3rd gear, which is far smoother than hurtling through at 9000revs in 2nd on a 125cc.
I began Direct Access Scheme (DAS) training at the beginning of March 2012, having passed my motorcycle Theory test in February. It seemed to be taking a long time, but with the rain and cold we've had in Suffolk several training sessions were cancelled.
I received my CBT certificate (Compulsory Basic Training), which is the first part of three main tests, followed by Module 1 and Module 2 tests.
CBT certificate allows me to ride a 125cc bike legally on public roads as long as I have L plates. Slowly but surely, but to be honest a swerve at 32mph is far from slowly and anyone who is not an experienced rider would find that manoeuvre takes a lot of getting used to.
UPDATE 23 April. I passed Module 1 test and got to ride the Suzuki GS500 from Rendlesham to the test centre in Ipswich and back, an enjoyable 27 mile round trip, real roads, reaching 70mph on the dual carriageway. It is totally different riding on public roads, compared to the practice roads at CB Training , which is situated within the, now commercial area RAF Bentwaters air base and is now an industrial estate, so not public roads. This means a very good practice area of a few miles of roads, junctions and speed bumps to learn on.
Real riding is much more tuned in but relaxing, there is traffic moving around you, real choices to be made about position and speed. A real relief after all the focussed concentration doing endless cone work, slaloms, figures of eight, u-turns and swerve avoidance practice.
CB Training website - http://www.cbtrainingservice.co.uk/index.html