Author Topic: Greetings from London UK  (Read 415 times)

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Offline Old Dog

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Greetings from London UK
on: June 04, 2020, 02:42:56 PM
Hi everyone,

Old Dog returning to biking after about a 25-year break. Here in London the Underground trains are packed with people sneezing and coughing all over you. I decided, having previously owned Hondas and a BMW R65 (cough) I needed to get back on 2 wheels to avoid the virus as much as possible.  I'll be a commuter and sometimes leisure biker. Really looking forward to collecting the 2015 500X from the dealer in early July. Now I'm navigating the nightmare of insurance, clothing, locks, alarms and so on.  A lot of bikes get nicked here in London and I don't have a garage or off-street space to park it :(

I will be getting a proper skill assessment and whatever top-up training I need before commuting, I know things have changed a lot since I passed my test around 1975.  Still, I took the sample theory bike test without any pre-study or revision and got a score of 98%, quite pleased with that!

Happy to hear any advice you folks have about what to watch for in my situation.

Stay safe and well,

Old Dog

Offline UnmzldOx

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 04:26:53 PM
Great story. Just read an article on commuters looking to avoid public transit. Should work better in UK vs US. I started street riding at 50 with the X, but grew up on dirt bikes. Became functional in two months, but not really settled and comfortable for first two years. Ease into it is my advice.

Offline AJC500

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 05:18:38 PM
Welcome - the 500X is a great choice - easy handling, good performance and the most amazing mpg figures.

If you go to Bennetts website and search "locks" you will get a number of articles about chains and locks which might be a starting point.  I suspect security in London will definitely be a challenge!!  https://www.bennetts.co.uk/ 

Bike gear is varied, from armoured denims to textiles to leathers.  I wear armoured jeans with additional hip armour and a textile jacket with back and elbow protection when riding locally or out for a couple of hours.  For longer trips I replace the denims with textile trousers with hip and knee armour.  The advantage with textiles is obviously their weatherproofing.  Leather gloves with knuckle and palm protection and touring style motorcycle boots of course.

I have a flip front helmet with a drop down sun visor and wear earplugs, and find this works well - opening the front allows chatting, buying petrol etc without removing the helmet.

Finally insurance - I do a search on Confused.com to keep the price keen, and have been with Carole Nash, Bennetts and now MCE Motorcycle Insurance.  I'm 67 and pay just under £100 for comprehensive insurance, although that is with 9 years no claims, and is up here in the Scottish countryside.....

Good luck, I hope you enjoy riding again.   :152:
Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 05:19:58 PM by AJC500
The Story So Far.........
2017-2019: 12000mls recreational use - 89.73mpg UK; 74.72mpg US; 3.15litres/100km

Offline ewryly

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 05:34:43 PM
Welcome!  Here is a fun and informative video by FortNine on locks: 

Online Swanny

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #4 on: June 04, 2020, 07:10:22 PM
Just ride with the thought that every driver out there wants to kill you. Don't trust them at all, even if they look you straight in the eye they probably haven't seen you and will pull out.
 
Watch their wheels as you will see them turn before seeing the car move


Remember

Don't trust the bastards


As for the thieving scum  :023:  :013:
I've heard they will just swipe the key from your ignition when you stop. Good idea to have the key attached to the bike with a cable when riding
Always keep your bike covered when parked
Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 07:16:32 PM by Swanny
Life... It's Just a Ride  :305:

Offline catstevecam

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #5 on: June 04, 2020, 07:35:09 PM
 :400:  and enjoy the ride if you can  :046: and treat all the cagers as potential killers - should keep you alive and frazzled for a few weeks  :164:
Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 07:36:55 PM by catstevecam

Offline woody

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 07:54:13 PM
Welcome to the forum  :152: as a previous London commuter and biker, although I never used the bike to commute, others who I worked with commuted into central London and would secure their bike to street furniture, front and rear locks/disc lock, steering lock on and cover the bike. Essentially you've just got to make your bike harder for a thief to steel than the ones near/next to yours!

All that aside, I'm sure you'll enjoy getting back into the saddle :821:

Offline Yuletine

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #7 on: June 04, 2020, 08:49:14 PM
Hello  :001:

As Woody has said - get the bike under cover when it is not being used.  A lot of bike theft could be avoided if the bike is out of sight. Loads of info can be found on the MCN website as well.

Offline Growbag

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #8 on: June 05, 2020, 02:26:26 AM
Welcome Old Dog, Good luck with your return to commuting by bike. I have fond memories of my commute in to central London back in the late 70ís on a cb250, until it was nicked in broad daylight  :023:

Offline AJC500

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Re: Greetings from London UK
Reply #9 on: June 05, 2020, 08:34:36 AM
After a long story about what I wear on my bike (sorry!), I meant to suggest you look at J&S Accessories, who have stores in London, and SportsBikeShop online for a great selection of bike gear.

https://www.jsaccessories.co.uk/
https://www.sportsbikeshop.co.uk/
The Story So Far.........
2017-2019: 12000mls recreational use - 89.73mpg UK; 74.72mpg US; 3.15litres/100km