The Theory Test
You've done your CBT and want to go on to take the Practical Test but, before you can do so, there's a little matter of the Theory Test to get through. There are some exemptions from taking this test but, in all probability you'll have to do it.
The Test is taken at one of the Centres established for this purpose. You can apply in writing, over the phone or via the DSA's website. You'll need your Driver Licence Number and your Credit/Debit card to pay the fee (currently ?18.00). However, ASL pre-books appointments making this a lot easier for its pupils.
When you arrive for the test, you'll have to produce your licence and some form of identity such as, your passport or, the new style photo-card licence - basically, anything that contains your photo and signature. "You will be sat in front of a computer screen to, firstly, answer 35 questions based on the highway code, general road sense, motorcycles and motorcycling law. You must correctly answer at least 30 out of the 35 questions. Then you will be shown 14 short video clips of various road/traffic situations from which you must identify certain hazards which you perceive to be of possible danger. You must score at least 38 out of the possible maximum 75 points for this part of the Test"
What could be more simple? But it isn't as easy as it may seem and it requires some swotting up. First you have to know the Highway Code. Don't bother to book an appointment if you don't so, read and understand it first. A copy can be obtained from any large W. H. Smith's or any HM Stationery Office. Another recommended publication is a book issued by the Driving Standards Agenct (DSA) entitled "The Official Theory Test for Motorcyclists" which, again can be obtained from W. H. Smith's or from any HM Stationery Office.
You can also contact the DSA on 0115 901 2500 who, in return for some cash which they will take by credit card, will send you a disk that you can insert into a PC so that you can practice the first part of this Test as much as you like before taking it.
(full size people, small motorbikes...)
Ever since I saw mini-moto on TV I knew I had to have a go. It just looked so STUPID.
Despite laughing like a maniac I didn't fall off on the practise first lap. Although I made up for that later, in the races.
These little bikes were reaching up to 22mph on a twisty track. But they are VERY unstable and it only takes slight wiggle, too much power, you knee touching a tyre or your foot touching the ground for it all to go pear-shaped very quickly.
As the pre-requisites for being good seemed to be lightness, flexibility and a willingness to fall off I thought I would do OK. I started well but tried too hard and ended up a rather modest 20th out of 33. But at least I didn't get any injuries beyond bruises. One of the other competitors got a broken collar bone (nothing to do with me, I might add).
Sorry to the bloke I jostled/headbutted racing for the line, I came off worst anyway - crossing the line being dragged behind the bike.
I've no idea who is who in the pictures, ecept that none of them are me.
Thanks to Alie Ball for organising it.
The Roberts family is to motorcycle racing what the Andrettis and Unsers are to automobile racing. Kenny Roberts Sr. won the AMA Grand National Championship at 21 years old, making him the youngest rider to have won that title. He took his first of three 500 Grand Prix road racing world championships when he was 26. His son Kenny Jr. won the 2001 500 GP title at the age of 27. Youngest son Kurtis Roberts was racing in Europe at the age of 17. He rode the 250 GP class at 18. He won his first AMA title in the Formula Xtreme class while riding for the Erion team at 20. Last year, at 21, he won the Formula Xtreme title a second consecutive time and also took the 600 SuperSport championship.
You see a pattern here? One could argue that genetics makes the Roberts clan superior road racers, but that shortchanges them. Junior and Kurtis grew up on their father's ranch in Hickman, California, sliding around on Honda XRٱ00s with road-racing legends such as Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, John Kocinski and Bubba Shobert, and have worked as hard as any of them for their success. The thing is, Kurtis started road racing in GPs earlier than his father or older brother and already has more titles than either of them at the same age. There are those who say the youngest Roberts could very well be the best.
The year after Kurtis Roberts came home from Europe, he joined the Erion team and has been with them ever since. He's progressed steadily and with remarkable speed, going from second in points in the AMA's 250 GP class to his Formula Xtreme title in 1999 to his double titles in 2000. Obviously there's good chemistry between him and the team.
"There are a lot of advantages to being on the Erion team," he says. "Honda is committed to building the best bikes, and the Erion team is really a unique group of people. They work together as a team. We win as a team, and we lose as a team. And that's very important."
For 2001, Roberts will defend his 600 title aboard Honda's new CBR600F4i, and will step up to ride the premier road-race class in the United States, AMA Superbike, on Honda's RC51 V-twin weapon.
Now, some riders might be more circumspect about their freshman year in the Superbike class, but not Roberts. He wants to win the title. And he's got some advantages that might help him do it. First off, he knows how to ride mega-horsepower motorcycles, having mastered the Erion team's snorting, tire-smoking Formula Xtreme weapons. Second, Roberts has been consistently quick when he's ridden the RC51. On several occasions last year he posted quicker times than anyone in the field.
"The first time I ever sat on the RC51 I was on pole on the thing the first day," Roberts says. "So I know I'm fast on the bike."
"I was always better on bigger bikes. Big bikes suit my style. I can slide them and do whatever I want with them better than I can on a 600." And we all know just how well he rides a 600.
"I want to win two more championships," he says. "I want to win the 600 race at Daytona again, and continue on from there like I did last year. And, you know, I'd love to win Superbike races and that championship, all of which I think are attainable."
Such goals certainly seem within his reachespecially when he talks about what he learned last season with a degree of maturity that should worry his competitors.
"I need to stop trying to lead every lap," he says. "And I don't need to win every race. Trying to win them all last year really blew out three or four 600 races which we probably could have won.
"I've just got to let things come to me rather than make them happen all the time. Like Road Atlanta, for instance. I tried to make too much happen too early and ran off the track, when we could have won. And I had three or four laps at that point faster than anyone else that weekend. So I've got to learn to let things come to me a little slower."
Combine the speed he's already shown, and the clarity of purpose in targeting championship wins rather than individual race victories, and you've got to wonder: Could Kurtis Roberts be the best Roberts we've seen yet?
April 1-2, 2006
Team Hondaӳ John Natalie, the defending series champ, and Joe Byrd came into Budds Creek and round five separated by a mere four points (Natalieӳ 105 to Byrdӳ 101), and when the dust had cleared, they left tied at 126 apiece. Such is the tight battle between these two Honda TRX450R aces this season, and the good news is that it looks far from letting up.
In moto one, Natalie grabbed the holeshot and opened an early five-second (and as much as eight-plus-second) lead over Pat Brown, Joe Byrd, Doug Gust, Jeremiah Jones and Chad Wienen. By mid-moto, however, Natalie's gap would shrink as Byrd, Gust and Jones stepped up their pace. Shortly after the mid-moto point, Byrd, running second, and Gust, in third, tangled in a downhill off-camber section allowing Jones and Wienen by into second and third, respectively.
Meantime, Natalie had started to fade with arm pump, and Jones eventually passed him for the lead נand ultimately the win נat about three-quarters of the way through the moto. Natalie would finish second, with Honda TRX450R-mounted Wienen rounding out the top three. Team Hondaӳ Tim Farr, still suffering from back pain, crashed on lap one and remounted to finish 18th.
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INDIANΠMOTORCYCLE POWERPLUS٠100 V-TWIN ENGINE
The Power behind the Legendary Indian ChiefΠMotorcycle
True to the classic styling and performance heritage that makes Indian one of the most admired brands in American history, the powerful 100 cubic-inch (1638cc) 45-degree, Powerplus٠100 V-twin engine recreates the unique look and robust feel that captured the affection of motorcycle enthusiasts around the world.
For 2003, the flagship Indian ChiefΠline comes with the Powerplus engine, the largest displacement engine designed and built by an American OEM motorcycle company.
The signature feature of the new Indian motor is its serrated, billet-aluminum rocker boxes and stout, round cylinders that are impossible to ignore.
Distinctive and unique to Indian, the serrated appearance of the polished rocker boxes and the black, rounded cylinders pay tribute to Indian's past. This combination gives the Powerplus 100 engine a strong, unique profile, while the rounded cylinders increase the area of the cooling fins for improved air circulation and engine cooling.
The engine is fed by a 42mm Mikuni "flat-slide" carburetor that is mounted on the left side of the engine, which is unique to early Indian motorcycles. This carburetion package delivers smooth throttle response throughout the entire RPM range.
Although this engine configuration is carbureted, the Powerplus 100 platform is designed to accept fuel injection with minor modifications. To ensure optimum lubrication and scavenging, the motor features a gerotor oil pump system. The transmission is a proprietary wet-clutch, five-speed configuration with a final belt drive. Although the configuration is standard in design, the wet-clutch itself is strengthened for added durability. A two-into-one exhaust header completes this performance package.
The introduction of the Powerplus٠100 engine completes the return of Indian Motorcycle Corporation as an American motorcycle OEM.
The DSA Part 2 Motorcycle Test
If you are under 21 years old then you may only take your test on a 125cc and then you are restricted to 33 bhp for two years.
If you are over 21 you may take your direct access test on a bike over 46.6 bhp.
So assuming that you are legally able to take the direct access option, what are the pros and cons?
Obviously the major downside to taking your test on a smaller machine is the two year limit on what you can ride. The benefit is that the cost of your training will be cheaper, and you can ride on L plates prior to taking your test without an accompanying instructor.
However our experience here at ABILITY shows us that nearly everyone who is eligible for the direct access scheme (DAS) takes that option. The cost of training does increase, but more often than not this is offset by having a wider choice of motorcycles to purchase once you have passed. Supply and demand in the second-hand market dictates that everyone under 21, and those over 21 choosing not to do the DAS option, will be after a limited number of bikes, thus forcing up prices.
And the bottom line is that anyone doing any kind of serious mileage, are going to find themselves feeling very restricted on a limited power machine. The choice is yours. We are happy to train you in the way you wish.