Motorcycle Test Reported To Be In Crisis

December 9, 2010

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are fewer people taking their bike test since the new one was bought out but I do have issues with the way this is being reported.  Here is the article as it’s being reported online on the Motorcycle News website.

A crisis hitting the number of people taking the motorcycle test is even deeper than previously feared, latest figures show.

Eighteen months after a new Europe-wide test was introduced, the number of people taking it was still barely half the former level.

When bookings dropped drastically following the changeover last year, the Driving Standards Agency said it was temporary and demand would “settle at usual levels again in 2010/11”.

But new DSA figures point to a long-term decline.

In the 16 months leading up to the introduction of the new exam in April 2009, 130,498 people took the old test, a rate of 8156 a month.

But in the 18 months following the changeover, only 73,508 people completed the new test, 4083 a month and almost half the earlier rate.

The Government is conducting a review of the test, which was originally intended to reach conclusions by autumn.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “The review of the motorcycle test is a top priority for me because I want to make sure that we have a test which prepares bikers properly for the road.

“We have been working with the motorcycle training industry and others to make sure that we are taking all views into account and we will report on findings as soon as possible.”

My problem is in the way these figures are being presented (sorry MCN).

As a lot of you know, the new test was originally scheduled to start in September 2008 but, because of bungling incompetance, so few of the new test centres were ready for use, the implementation of the test was put back about 6 months.  In the lead up to September 2008 thousands upon thousands of people decided to get their bike licence under the old test regime and so booked lessons and their test.  I should know,  I was one of them!!!  I took one look at the new test and thought “S*d that!!!”

During 2008, riding schools all over the country were inundated with trainees learning to ride, which definately skews the figures somewhat, as in a normal riding year fewer people would be taking their test.  Then the test was put back 6 months so that more of the new test centres could be made ready, and those who thought they had missed the original deadline were given a life line and once again the riding schools were booked solid, even though it was winter

According to the DSA  some 130,498 people took their test in the 18 months leading up to the change of test.  I’m pretty damn certain a sizeable number of those were riders who wanted to take the old style test and not the new one.

Now, since the new test started 18 months ago the DSA say that just 73,508 people have taken it, a drop of almost 50% on the previous figures.

BUT…… Seeing as the figures from September 2007 until April 2009 are hardly indicative of the number of people taking their bike test during a ‘normal’ 16 month period, I don’t see how they can be reliably compared with those from May 2009 up until late 2010.

Unless of course you’re attempting to make things look worse than they are 😉

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Carole Nash Motorcycle Live – Day 7

December 4, 2010

Want to see more of the world on your bike?  Adventure holidays may be just what you’re looking for 🙂


Oh Wow :-)

March 21, 2010

I took my Fireblade out for her first proper run this afternoon after lowering the seat.. and my oh my 🙂

It’s so easy to ride, so smooth and effortless and I’m totally in love 🙂

I took it along some A roads, some round town roads (stopping for a coffee in Brackley) and then for a quick blat up the motorway, taking me home.  After my 400 I definately (hardly surprising really) noticed the increase in power.  I was quite happily cruising along in 3rd, enjoying the nice weather and the roads and glanced down at my speedo and was shocked to see I was doing 70mph!!! I only thought I was doing about 50.. oops 😉

I’m now going to keep a very close eye on the weather every day, good weather with no hint of rain means I’ll be taking the Fireblade to work, dodgy weather or even a hint of rain and I’ll be riding the 400 in.


EEK!!! First Ever Set Of Brand New Tyres!

July 27, 2009

Well, it finally had to happen.. I had to change the tyres on my bike at the weekend.. It wasn’t that the tread was getting low, but because the tyres had squared off 😦

The tyres were on the bike when I bought her, and I have no idea how many miles they had done prior to that, but over the last 16 months I did almost 4700 miles on them, so they have lasted really well 🙂

Roadtec-Z6So I had a pair of Metzeler Roadtec Z6’s fitted at the weekend, £220 fitted at S&M motorcycles in Banbury..

Rear – 160/60 ZR17M
Front – 120/60 ZR17M

I managed to get out for a short run about town on Saturday, looking for some bolts for my boyfriends Gixxer carbs, to start scrubbing them in, but with him being on call for work wasn’t able to get out yesterday….. And today it’s flipping raining, with rain forecast for most of the rest of this week, by the looks of things 😦

Oh well, maybe I can go out and ride round carefully between the rain showers 🙂


Summer Sun

July 2, 2009

Summer Sun

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m in absolute heaven at the moment with the weather being so lovely…

Being able to ride about in this sun is what life is all about as far as I’m concerned, mind you I ride all year round but not getting cold or wet for a while makes the winter months almost bearable 🙂

Just a couple of things though..

Make sure you are drinking plenty and are fully hydrated, as even being slightly dehyrated can cause your concentration levels to drop quite considerably.

Make sure you are fully aware of your surroundings on the road, and the actions of other road users, as the heat may make make some a bit irritable..

Try to stay as cool as you possibly can, open up all and any vents on your jacket if it has them..

But above all ride safe……. And enjoy the sun while it lasts!


Joe Rocket Gear For Girls In The UK

May 24, 2009

CLEO 2.0 JACKET

This is one great looking Joe Rocket Textile Jacket for us girls in the summer..

It is available from TopGear Superstore, here in the UK, and is currently on offer at £121.49, reduced from £134.99, with free delivery.  Click on the images to be taken to the pages on their website.

I particularly like the black one, with the purple running a very close second, although the purple would be out of the question with my current bike as the colour would clash!! 🙂

Joe Rocket Cleo 2.0 Motorcycle Textile Jacket Ladies - Black

I particularly like the design on the sleeve, adding that touch of individuality.

Joe Rocket Cleo 2.0 Motorcycle Textile Jacket Ladies - Paste

The jacket has a Free-Air poly/mesh outer shell which gives maximum ventilation and has a removable spine pad as well as CE rated armour in the shoulders and elbows.  The jacket has a removable waterproof liner, which helps to make a stunning looking jacket a very versatile piece of kit.

Joe Rocket Cleo 2.0 Motorcycle Textile Jacket Ladies - Blue

Features

  • Free-air™ poly/mesh shell
  • C.E. rated protectors in shoulders and elbows
  • Removable spine pad with pocket for optional C.E. spine protector
  • Removable waterproof liner
  • Sure Fit™ adjustable waistband
  • 8″ zipper for pant attachment
  • Reflective stripe
  • Available in sizes from XS – XL

Joe Rocket Cleo 2.0 Motorcycle Textile Jacket Ladies - Back


Carrying Your Kids As Pillions!!!

May 23, 2009

I decided a few weeks ago that it was about time I tried my kids, aged 10 and 11, on the back of the bike.  We don’t own a car, so being able to take the kids places on the bikes would make life sooo much easier, and give us so many more opportunities to do things together.

So I sold off some spare bike parts to finance the kit.  Apart from the crash helmet which had to be brand new for safety reasons, I trawled Ebay for some good second hand kit for the following reasons

1) No job means finances are limited

2) I didn’t know if they were going to like it

3) They are growing like weeds and it probably won’t fit in 6 months!

So armed with a reasonable-ish amount of cash I managed to pick up an armoured leather jacket for just under £20, a pair of proper kids bike leather trousers for the same amount of money and boots too.  The crash helmet was bought brand new.  As for gloves I have a pair of x/s Joe Rocket gloves which, while too small for me, are perfect for the kids.

Wednesday afternoon, after school was D-Day (YIKES!!), after checking I was covered for carrying pillions on my insurance.  I took both kids out (separately of course) on the bike for the first time.  I laid down the rules before we went out, told the kids what they can and can’t do and off we went round the streets near my house.

Both kids did brilliantly 🙂

I only had to remind them once each about not fidgeting on the back, or switching which side of my head they are going to look past.  Other than that they were really good 🙂

I will admit I was more than slightly apprehensive about the whole thing for two reasons

1) I have never taken a pillion before

2) It was my kids on the back!

I took it nice and slow, getting used to the extra weight on the bike and remembering from my lessons about how carrying a pillion affects braking, etc., but after we had ridden round for a bit I was feeling a lot happier about the whole thing.  I stopped a few times on the way round to make sure my kids were ok and that they weren’t frightened at all, but both of them were fine.

This morning I decided to take my daughter into town with me as I had a few errands to run which meant going on busier roads with her.  We both remembered our riding on Wednesday and took our time to ride into town while not slowing down any other traffic.  It was a good ride and both of us enjoyed ourselves immensely 🙂

I now see what other riders mean when they say about carrying a pillion.  Your attitude to your riding does change, you are a damn sight more careful as you are no longer responsible for your own life, but that of your pillion as well.

So far I have really enjoyed my excursion into carrying a passenger and hope to have many more years of pleasure, being able to share my love of bikes with my kids.

My daughter is already asking when she can have one of her own!