I’ve never had a bike I didn’t like – if it weren’t for pesky money-issues, I’d still have them all in my garage (well, maybe not the ZX9s, since my current bike is the same only more). I’ve been riding bikes for more than 20 years now and these are the bikes I’ve had in that time. There’s no doubt, bikes offer incredible thrills, challenges and freedom, but they also offer far more opportunities to fall off than cars do. And it’s not so much the falling off that causes the problems. It’s more about what you land on, and how quickly you do it. Even a minor skid usually results in expensive and incapacitating damage to the bike and sore bits for you.
So the best advice I can give to budding bikers is – Don’t fall off. Sticking to that principle is a lot easier with experience, and good quality training and luckily there’s plenty of that available these days. After getting your license, there’s so much more to learn, so I’d recommend doing some advanced training. Here’s a good place to look for that. I personally recommend Ray Murray or Jonathan Coburn. I’m a member of ROSPA and undergo a re-test every three years. I currently have a ‘Gold’ standard certification. I find it really helpful to remind me of my training, and nudge me back into good habits, because, although most motorcycle accidents are the fault of other road users, most of them are also avoidable if the rider is well trained, careful and alert. It’s not just about control of your own bike, it’s about observation, anticipation, visibility and defensive riding.
I’ve recently started a new Instagram account for my bike-related pics and videos. Check out @thejamesbike here.