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Back to the L Plates

Last week Lucy passed her driving test and it looked like the end of the L plates. A lass this was not the case because I have been bitten by the two wheel bug: and bitten quite hard. It all started a couple of years ago with the purchase of a road bicycle. This started an obsession with thin slick tyres and balancing round corners at higher than average speeds. The knock on effect of this was my little journey from one end of the country to the next. Since then I have always had a sneaky eye open to other two wheeled vehicles; motorbikes. Yet I have never found the motivation to take this further. Now that Lucy has her licence and the Beetle is officially hers it seemed about the right time to think about a second vehicle. The obvious one is a second car, but with the price of road tax and service bills it just does not seem practical; £170 per year just to put a car on the road! So the bike idea grew a bit further. The seed was now in full flow and looked more like a possibility. With this in mind I started looking round at bikes and the current showroom beauties on offer. After my first few visits to dealers I soon admitted I was in love; with a Yamaha R6. Now there were a couple of problems with this idea; I have not got a full UK Motorbike license, two Lucy would not let me jump straight into a bike of that size even if I did have a license, and finally the insurance man just laughed at me; seriously he wanted £44,000 to insure me on an R6! So I have problem, I want big bike look and feel with out a ticket and the cost. First off I need to pass my CBT (Complusary Basic Training) which will allow me to ride a bike up to 125cc engine size and a power out put not exceeding 11kw on the ever popular L plates. After that I can apply for my full license which will put me in R6 land, but still with the insurance costs of a new rider with no experience! My plan is to get my CBT; get a 125cc bike, learn to ride, pass my full test but stay low down and build up some experience and ‘no claims discount’ to keep the insurance man happy. Then in a year or two invest in a full blown power house bike and not put myself into the first ditch! Now comes the most important part; I need to find a 125cc motorbike that will fill my requirements in a 'sports’ bike without breaking the bank and still looking good with L plates on. I spoke to my new motoring mentor; my warehouseman Mark, who has ridden large bikes, taken part in track days and spent a good 17 years on two wheels. Turns out there is a bit of a problem; currently there is not a nice good looking sports bike under a 600cc, you can get a second hand 400cc or an old 250cc two stroke or you stay at a 125cc. In my mind there is only one bike I can think of that will fit the bill; Aprilia RS125. This bike is a bike I have dreamed of for the last 12 years. When I last rode a motorbike (yes I have ridden before) well it was a 80cc Kawasaki I saw the RS in a show room and could not believe my eyes. It does not seam or appear to be a 125cc. When you look at the new incarnation of this bike and I find it shocking. There is noting 'learner’ about it, both in styling and performance. This afternoon I have booked by CBT, this evening will be spent brushing up on my Highway Code knowledge. The only big decision is what colour bike to get… ApriliaAprilia