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Old 17.03.2015, 18:13
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Motorcycling first steps

Hello,

I am one of those people thinking about it for the last 20 years, and living in Switzerland (Basel) is pushing me to jump the step and get my license and motorbike. Seeing all the nice roads etc...

I did my Google research exercise and I still have 1 or 2 questions, at least.

1. I understand here in CH you need your own motorbike or rent it to go to lessons and exam. Renting is not cheap, at all. However on the other end, since I never drove a motorbike, I would be able to buy one, but not capable to bring it back home. So, I would value your experience and advises ? And maybe you know some cheaper plans than the page 1 google offers on moto rentals.

2. I may have missed the detail, but can I pass my exam anywhere I want in the country, or does it have to be in my canton ? The detail matters since I am a French speaker and German not. Would make sense I understand the examinator

Thank you
pit
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Old 17.03.2015, 18:31
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

Now paging Tom...
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Old 17.03.2015, 18:53
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

Which class license?

I think that the theory test can be done in other languages, not sure.

The course here was done in multiple languages, as at least one guy in my wife's group spoke with the instructors in English.

I'd buy a used bike, and have a friend ride it home, or the seller deliver it. I rode my wife's home for her.

My wife paid CHF 800 for her 125, with fresh MFK (done after she bought it, the guy taking it in was included in the price). Larger bikes will cost more.

Tom
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Old 17.03.2015, 19:01
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

Hi Pit

What a coincidence. I am in exactly the same shoes as you are.

After a lot of hesitation, I actually bought a motorcycle yesterday evening in Lausanne. I agreed with the seller that he will drive it to my garage next weekend.

I am meanwhile exchaning my driving license and arraning insurance for the bike.

I have set up a private lesson (2 hours) with an instructor from a local Moto Ecole next week. The instructor will meet me in my garage and we take it from there.

After I am comfortable enough riding the bike, I will enroll for the required group lessons (3 x 4 hours).

I therefore suggest you to speak to your local driving school to see how they can arrange it with you. A lot of driving schools have teachers that speak more than one language.
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Old 17.03.2015, 19:33
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

sl2lemans, I plan to pass Class A, I am over 25 and got a regular car license already.

I will check to get help bringing the beast home.

I am thinking to go cheap and get a second hand CB 500 or something similar.. Since my goal first is to learn. A friend advises me rather a CBF 500 or any with ABS, shall help in some situations he said. All in all, the price will talk into my choice.

donpiedro,
Glad I am not alone . Sounds a good idea if an instructor can come to me instead (like the car basically).
How much cost the 2 hour personal course ?
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Old 17.03.2015, 19:38
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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I am thinking to go cheap and get a second hand CB 500 or something similar..
As I just posted in another thread, an SV650 or Hornet 600 are also good choices.

Make sure that you get one with enough PS for the test (at least 34PS), i.e. not restricted.

Tom
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Old 17.03.2015, 19:53
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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Make sure that you get one with enough PS for the test (at least 35 kW), i.e. not restricted.

Tom
Note 34.95 kW is not enough for the unrestricted A test.
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Old 18.03.2015, 09:04
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

Hi aSwissInTheUS

Do you mean 35 PS, instead of kW? I have got the form and it says on it for over 25 yo min power = 25 kW .

My assumption is: in order to reach that 25kW, the motorbike needs 34-35 PS minimum ?

Please correct me if I misunderstood
pit
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Old 18.03.2015, 09:15
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

No, he's right, it's 35kW min for the test. And a two-seater.

° Annunciarsi all'esame pratico almeno un mese prima della scadenza della licenza con un motoveicolo di 35kW o superiore

From here.

In German:
A unbeschränkt: Leistung mind. 35kW. Für 2 Personenplätze zugelassen.

From here.

Tom

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Old 18.03.2015, 09:18
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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Hello,
However on the other end, since I never drove a motorbike, I would be able to buy one, but not capable to bring it back home.

Thank you
pit

I remember the day when I bought a brand new motorbike, paid in cash, but was too scared to ride it home because I only had a learner permit and I never rode a full size motorcycle before. And the bike was a super sport.

So I left it in the dealer parking lot and returned after they closed so I can practice in the parking lot.
After I got my confidence up I took it on the road and the first time I accelerated to 35mph I had the biggest adrenaline rush... the sound, the speed, seeing the pavement move so fast in front of my eyes and the vibrations between my legs...

then on the Ride home I had to get on the highway for 5 minutes. I was holding on so tight that My forearms and legs were absolutely exhausted...

priceless memories


here some motivation for you from the Swiss Moto Messe ZH. 2013





Last edited by bigfujitsu; 18.03.2015 at 09:33.
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Old 18.03.2015, 09:34
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

Thanks for the correction Tom !

bigfujitsu, I think you are more brave than me . What distance did you cover this first trip ?

pit
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Old 18.03.2015, 09:45
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

approximately 18 miles. I remember that I had to stop and rest 2 times because my forearms were absolutely exhausted and also due to my lack of experience at smoothly controlling the gas on the super-sport moto I would make the mistake of accelerating too hard followed by an overdone engine braking which would send me and my testicles into the gas tank. Was a painful experience until I learned a smooth control of the 1st gear...

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Old 18.03.2015, 11:15
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

And more on the 25/35 kW from the STVA Zurich - http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/siche...at/LFkatA.html

In short, the license gives you permission to drive over 25kW but on test days, you have to bring 35kW or more. Quite confusing and weird, I know.
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Old 18.03.2015, 11:19
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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In short, the license gives you permission to drive over 25kW but on test days, you have to bring 35kW or more. Quite confusing and weird, I know.
Indeed.

Quite a problem if you want a bike with only 30kW!

Tom
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Old 18.03.2015, 11:45
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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As I just posted in another thread, an SV650 or Hornet 600 are also good choices.

Make sure that you get one with enough PS for the test (at least 34PS), i.e. not restricted.

Tom
Hi Tom

Good advise!

I bought a Hornet 600 with 30k kms for 2700 CHF
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Old 18.03.2015, 12:07
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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Hi Tom

Good advise!

I bought a Hornet 600 with 30k kms for 2700 CHF
This is the way to go. Get a nice lightweight bike with an upright seating position. If you get something like the above, you'll end up spending much less than when renting. The rental can easily run you 1500-2000 CHF for a month, just a bit more can get you a nice bike that you can then sell for more or less the same price. Moreover, rentals usually come with an insurance where you are liable for the first 2 grand or so of damages, so if you just drop it in a parking lot, you can easily be 4 grand out in total. Not good. Get a bike for <3000 CHF and even if you crash it, you might be able to recoup some of the loss by selling it for scrap.
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Old 18.03.2015, 12:12
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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Hi Tom

Good advise!

I bought a Hornet 600 with 30k kms for 2700 CHF
Not so easy to find a better bike to start. Good choice and grats for the new bike!

@pitinswiss: Possible alternatives depending on personal taste and budget may be Suzuki SV650, Kawasaki ER-6, Ducati Monster 696 / 796
Hint: If you go for a used bike get one in the range of 80 / 100 PS so you will be able to learn how to drive but will still enjoy it after 6 months
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Old 18.03.2015, 12:47
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

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Not so easy to find a better bike to start. Good choice and grats for the new bike!

@pitinswiss: Possible alternatives depending on personal taste and budget may be Suzuki SV650, Kawasaki ER-6, Ducati Monster 696 / 796
Hint: If you go for a used bike get one in the range of 80 / 100 PS so you will be able to learn how to drive but will still enjoy it after 6 months
I agree with this too - just perhaps one word of caution: if you go with the Ducati Monster route, get an older one. The more recent versions (post-2012) run on a leaner mixture and the bike struggles particularly between 1st and 2nd gears. The 25-40kmh speed range is rage inducing as neither the first nor the second gear work well and you have to constantly slip the clutch. I started with the 796 and in the end had to get the rear sprocket changed to downgear the bike and alleviate the issue somewhat. I loved it to bits though. Dat 2 cyl roar put a smile on my face every time! I'm a sucker for Ducati exhaust sound!
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Old 18.03.2015, 14:07
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

bigfujitsu: your motorbike looks really nice but I wonder it is a recommended one for beginners. How does it drive, compared to recommendations from Tom and others ?

donpiedro: nice your hornet. Did you find it online (Ricardo etc..)? Or just going to a local garage ?

I will check tonight bit all recommendations.

Is not the Ducati Monster a 1 sit ? Which would not make it usable to pass the exam.

pit
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Old 18.03.2015, 14:17
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Re: Motorcycling first steps

Monster is definitely bi-posto, but the turning circle is a joke and no experienced rider I know recommended one for taking the exam.

CB, ER, SV, and GS are some of the best bets for beginners bikes. I went with a bargain of an ER6f with ABS about a week ago and haven't looked back.

@bigfujitsu:
you're a brave one, ain't ya? Supersports with their riding characteristics and (especially) their gearing are the worst thing possible for a beginner rider I think.

I've done about 3-4k Km of riding and I wouldn't want to get an SS in CH. Jail is such a real risk here it's not even funny. Maybe in a playground of a country like GR, IT, FR, etc, I can understand some people doing it, but still...
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