UPDATED After each Lesson. Please check bottom of page for my updates – my Journey to B2 Test.
Well the last time I had my leg over a bike was when I was a wee young boy in the UK, and as part of my new older life challenges I decided to take my motor cycle Lessons then the test with…..
SUCCESSFUL DRIVING TRAINING CENTRE BERHAD
Lot 3355, Jalan Coastal Perling 1, Taman Perling, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor. Malaysia
Tel: 07-2351004 / 1005/1006
Most of the other’s at the theory and safety course today were around 16 – 20 and I was the daddy at 55. but its so cool to see them set out on their mobility and freedom. with smiles….
The thing is in Malaysia riding motorcycles is a way of life in fact often in the Kampung where I live I will see mummy daddy no1 son no2 son and baby all on the one motorcycle. and the government is good here the way it looks after them by subsidising the motor bike lessons for them.
The thing I really like was the way the instructors not only taught people to ride but educated them about the deaths and accidents and that its not just you the rider that gets hurt its the family and other sibling and that riding safely was a very high priority.
the other thing was the was they build up the shy and not so confident Students by inspiring them about people in history that had no educations yet went on to do good in the world and riding a motor bike has to be done with confidence and in a correct manor with your safety at the top of the list.
Then it was time to go out and do the practical preL lessons, you have to complete both these parts before the gov with give you the learner license.
So now I must wait for that to be ok’d then I will go back to the school for 9.5 hours of instruction on the motorbike maneuvers to test the riders balance and skills They do this by teaching you to ride a correct line around the road track taking corners and roundabouts, hills etc but safety alway’s at the top or the list.
Today on the bike, I learnt to ride while changing gears from 1st up to 4th then back down of
course at first my head was like scrambled eggs with so much to think about but the patience of the instructors come out and helps you overcome the fears – Fear is a big part when learning but you know after few times round you over come the fear that is replaced with a euphoria that thing are coming together and you are actually getting their.
My job today was to get used to the bikes motion and changing gears up down at the right time.
and again safety using the brakes – I was impressed and felt good – In fact I cannot wait to start the real instruction.
I actually got myself a great pair of boots from my Friend Calvin they are super quality with great grip and reflectors for safe vision from behind, they cost me RM150 A bargain by todays standards and are made to order with some sizes in stock. photos below if you want for yourself please let me know I will give you the link to go order, can have next day.
the other good thing about these boots is that they are very very light on the feet, grip is also good.
Update 17th March 2013, I Got a call from Berjaya advising me that the L license is now ready and I can now start the motor cycle training instruction with the aim to pass the B2 motor cycle test in Johor Bahru
First Training this Tuesday 19th March 2013. 8am sharp this is a good time as the sun will not be to hot. Today I did some start stop practice, some track corners fig 8s etc I love it but know that I am griping to hard and need to relax a bit more.
Today I also learn’t about locating my exit points and looking at them while making the turns, I found this really helpful when doing the cones and u turns, Also I never realized how much of your body you use while riding a motorbike my legs were so aching the next day and my tummy was firmer. so this is like exercise with pleasure lol.
Update 23rd March. – Took another 2 hours of instruction getting use to the bike moving a a slow pace and controlling it going over the plank/bridge at slow speed. Also some cone work and u turns and figure of eights.
When I watch others it looks so easy but doing it is another thing. when riding a push bike I have no probs with balance infact I can stop on a cycle and balance without putting a foot down, but on a motor cycle I can not. al lot has to do with not holding my head up for balance, when i look down and see the wheel moving I try to correct it and that in its self is the problem.
Looking ahead to the horizon allows me to just aiming along my eye line so if i want to turn left I look at the exit point and turn again not looking down at the wheel and road, This works and my turning is improving, my gear changing is ok and I no longer have to think where the foot peg is to do the gear change, little things like this tell me I am learning and each session I learn something new.
I had a go on the main instructors track but I looked down at the wheel going over the bridge and wobbled then again doing the cones i hit one So it was back over to learners corner to improve me balance practice, Of course I have no problems with this as practice practice is what i need right now, Plus not having my own bike to practice on does not help as i have to rely on using the school bikes so the first half hour of my lessons is about regaining control of the bike.
But rome was not built in a day so it’s onwards and upwards. next instruction is tuesday 26th March.
UPDATE 26th March.
Today Lessons I went onto the main jpj test track route, I was glad because it gave me a chance to see how I would cope and I was quite pleased, I still have a problem going over the raised concrete bridge, having to go over slow is not as easy as others make it look, however having said that I noticed the ones that made it were actually dragging the rear brake as they went across. Maybe that is the secret one guys said he finds that doing that stabilizes the bike and allows a controlled crossing – Good I’ll have to practice doing that because the rest of the route including the slalam cones, the sharp bend and even the emergency braking I did good. Also please bear in mind folks That is only my 4th time on a bike as I don’t have one at home to practice on. I am please with the instructors at berjaya.
today I made sure that while riding that I looked ahead at all times and in the turns I looked to where I wanted to go, this really helped. It’s so exciting to I am really glad I took this challenge and you know that you are never to old to have ago..
Update Thursday 28th.
Today it was practice the jpj test route, the road part and the sharp bends the fig of eight all no problems, the cones and emergency break no problems, However the one that gets me every time is the so called bridge I can zip across fast but doing it slow, I find difficult, because I am still having problems with the slow ride over the bridge, as i am a big guy over 6foot and 90kg I am heavy on the little bikes I am aware of all the things to do, like take the bridge fast then once on the bridge release the throttle completely and just concentrate on the steering. this is ok until I look down at the bridge them I wobble, If I look ahead I am ok but that easy doing than said. I am now 8 hours into me 9 +1/2 hours training so realistically I should be ready to take the jpj test.
I had words with my instructor about my concerns and he said no problem they will keep teaching me until I feel I am ready, free of charge. – How cool is that.
The Lady in the office also confirm this as policy not to push the candidate until they feel so confident to take it. I must say that as a company I find them to have great morals and just not wanting to take your money, I feel they really do care for us the trainees. so I must practice more on the bridge work and make my road work nice and smooth making sure that I do the blind spot checks while on the course and when I stop to look behind.
I also was mixing the checks that we have to do first time round to bike station and the second time. I shall work on this, as this part is watched closely by the jpj in the test.
I am so glad that I decided to take my motorcycle training at my age of 55 – I feel I would be missing out and the feeling that you get when riding a motorcycle,is a great sense of freedom with a heightened sense of apprehension of what going on around you.
You have to really use your brain to absorb so much in a short time, to make on the spot decisions of your speed, route to take, avoidance swerves, obstacles ahead, what’s going on behind you. so much to take in but I have faith in the Brain, but you have to use it or lose it.
And that, on a motorcycle is so true because whenever you ride the motorcycle you really should make sure you have a clear mind ready for the ride ahead.
Can you tell, how excited I am at doing this, I feel alive on the motorcycle, but hey it can be tiring too so I need to take a one hour break for every two hours training to refresh the body and mind.
One other thing to consider is that, I do not have a motorbike at home so I can not practice what I was taught at the days lesson.
The thing is, I do not want to buy a small bike to practice on and then have to sell it to get my Dorado 250cc.
But if you do have access to a motorbike then I think the 9 and 1/2 hour they give in lesson would be enough for you to take your test with jpj.
Update Tuesday 2nd April 2013.
Today I made great progress with crossing the bridge, albeit fast I am happy to get across, next challenge is to slow it down so I am on the bridge for longer than 7 secs. Sounds Easy but trust me its not, unless you count fast then you still fail because jpj use stop watch.
The route I am happy with now and know where to do blind spot checks where to speed up and making sure I cancel the indicators once i have made the turn so as not to confuse other drivers as to my intentions.
the checks I do at the bike station stops are much better now and I am confident in carrying them out.
One thing I have decided is to use second gear to pull off with because I have noticed that the school bike sometimes wont go into second right away so to avoid this causing me problems on the route during my test I am happy that doing the course today my riding is much smoother when using second gear and third, I also find I am leaning more into the turns and it feels so much better although only a little lol.
The actual test is not really that long but what I am trying to achieve is a smoothness to my control of the bike, sometime when i throttle down it sort of goes chug chug and i have to throttle up a little to correct it, also one thing I did today which is naughty and I will have to watch out for is cutting a corner. I knew as soon as I had done it was wrong. also canceling the signal is very important or someone may pull out in front of you. but I really enjoyed my riding today and I never really understood why biker raved on about wind in your hair feeling but today on the straight stretch I remember thinking wow this feels so good.
As you get older the main things that come to my mind is safety first, good control of the bike at all times and be aware of what others are doing around me.
The young guys do not seam to have any fear and just go for it, but I’ll be happy waiting my turn to move of with traffic and not be the speed Demond at the front.
Most of my friends think I am crazy to even bother with motorcycles at my age, but I am a great believer in, do not knock it, till you try it. As non of them ride motorcycles.
Of course in JB I can understand their concerns as traffic can be hectic and timing is very important of you can find yourself caught up in the causeway traffic (so many bikes jockeying for position).
For me motorcycling is for pure pleasure not for commuting so I can time my ride to times of the day when its not so busy and therefore enjoy the ride.
UPDATE April 4th
Today I was supposed to have my pre JPJ test to see if I am up to it yet but the instructor for this had to go home so I did more practice, practice, practice, and it paid off, I am now not only staying on the bridge but doing it more slowly. it was very busy today, The instructor told me that 47 had their JPJ test last week and all had passed, that good to hear but I am not surprised as the instructors at this school are really good and take time to talk you through anything you do not understand or can not do.
But I am not going to stress about passing if I do I do, If not then i just have to do more practice, practice and do it again. bit of a pain but Rome was not built in a day and lets face it if I fail then I do not deserve to be on the road. So try and try again.
I did hear of a story in the UK that a guy had taken 100 car driving tests and just could not pass, but he never gave up and passed on 101, bet he celebrated that day.
But be positive and enjoy thats the important thing. till next update, good luck.
April 9th – Today I had my QTI test, this is when a gov dept rep come’s to check on the level of the candidate and if fit to move on and take the JPJ test.
So I did a couple of time around the course and felt good about it, So I was positive when the inspection started.
Basically you do the exact same thing as you would as if you was taking the b2 motorcycle test by the JPJ, so it was good to know I got 100% result and I stayed on the bridge for 10.48 sec ( 7 sec or more recommended) if you been reading the above you will know that the bridge was my Achilles heel and kept coming off it or going over it to fast.
so my jpj test is booked now for the 17th next wednesday, Hope I do well on the day, of course the problem for me is not having a motorcycle to practice on. but if lucky maybe I will get a couple of laps before the test starts.
16th April Update
I went up to the school of motoring today for some practice and they allowed me 2 hours, however it was one of them days and things just did not go my way, by the time I got down to the bike station all the best bikes had gone, the 1st one I got would not start not matter how many times I used the kick start, so I exchanged it for another,then the helmet clasp had gone, tried two more helmets finally finding one that fit well, and proceeded over to the start, the first time over the raised bridge I felt the the front of the bike moving side to side and did not feel good, after checking it found the front tire low, so back to the bike station and got a tyre pump and as the guys were so busy I pumped it up myself.
Well after that lot, I got on with the job in hand and the practice I needed, as I had not ridden since last week, Overall I am very happy with everything except the raised platform as today i came off it two times. Now this shows me, that come tomorrow if it happens I fail, so even though doing it 10 out of 10 times correct it only needs one time off to fail. I just have to ride with confidence and hope the good lord of motorbikes is watching over me and allows the balance and skill I need to pass.
Anyway I will update you Tomorrow, till then stay safe and enjoy your life.
17th April 2013 – JPJ Motorcycle Test.
Ye har! I PASSED 1st Time. this is down to the great training I got from the above driving school in Johor Bahru, and the fact they do not push you until you feel ready to take the test.
Thanks for reading John.