A bike owners experience through the eyes of a very happy 360 Finance customer
I couldn’t go without sharing the experiences of one of our happy customers who wrote about her journey to riding on two wheels. And so her story begins;
Ever since I was six years old, I have loved motorbikes. It started when my brother, nearly 15 years older than me, brought home his first bike. It was a deep purple Kawasaki with carbon fibre pipes and a whole lot of 24k gold plating. My mother was horrified. I was in love.
The colours, the sound, the danger, the smell. Everything about it drew me in. Not to mention that my brother always had this hero status in my mind, and anything he did was unbelievably cool. I remember waking up in the early winter mornings to the sound of the engine warming up in the driveway. I would peek through my bedroom window and watch that bike take off out onto the road with smoke billowing and the engine roaring through the dawn. I knew that one day, I just had to have one.
Some twenty years on, I have found myself in the situation where two wheels seems better than four. In all that time my love of bikes hasn’t faded, however finances, children and sensibility have had the better of me and owning a motorbike has always been a dream. But with fuel prices rising, car parks diminishing, and traffic throughout the city becoming more and more frustrating I needed a fuel efficient commuter that would be easy to park. The solution, of course, was to get a bike.
So it began. I took the online learner test and as many people do, financed and purchased a bike before having got my license. It was all so easy – the bike finance with 360 Finance especially. With the shiny new bike in the driveway, I thought I had better learn how to ride it. So the following weekend I booked into a rider training course and turned up bright and early ready to learn. I’m not going to lie, I was having second thoughts. Late night Googling had me edgy with statistics of fatal crashes, high risk driving and wet weather warnings running through my head. Standing there faced with a line of bikes, knowing I was soon going to be on one, had me shaking in my boots – literally. But more for not wanting to forfeit the course fees, I straddled the Honda 125 and prepared for take-off. The first part of the course seemed easy enough with skill based car park riding. I thought I was probably starting to get the hang of things. And then the road ride happened.
I learned three valuable lessons on that ride.
- Riding is an art form
- Our body loves speed
- I would never enjoy driving as much as riding
Getting out onto the road was eye opening. It is not until you’re entirely exposed that you realise how much we trust other road users. Cars are big, weighty and solid and trucks are just terrifying. Suddenly on a bike you have to be actively engaged with the task of riding. I was checking every corner for vehicles preparing to pull out, driveways for possible reversing vehicles, and footpaths for pedestrians that might decide to take their leisurely stroll in front of my bike. Not to mention changing gear, clutch in, setting up the brake, counter steering and so on. With all of these cognitive processes going on at once, I was exhausted! Now I understand that the latter will get easier with experience on a bike. Soon enough controlling the motorcycle will become second nature just as driving did but that level of alertness for danger should never change. If it does, that moment of complacency may just mean the difference between avoiding danger and becoming very acquainted with the road surface or worse. This is where riding becomes an art. A good rider is always on the game – watching, preparing, avoiding. A good rider knows the limits of the bike and themselves and has to work to keep everything in order to stay safe. And that is a skill that will come with experience, reflective riding, and a probably a few near misses.
Aside from being overwhelmed by the environment, the sensation of speed was unbelievable. 60km felt like 100km and 80km well, I thought I would fly right off the back of the bike. Every bump in the road felt like a mountain. Every manhole cover, white line marking and hint of water, threatened me with losing grip on the road. The wind buffeted the bike from the sides and whistled through the helmet with surprising force. Tearing the bike through some steep curves at reasonable speed had the primal part of my brain screaming, this is too fast, this is too fast, this is too fast. But wow, it felt good. There is something to be said for experiencing the sensory overload of speed on a bike. It is akin to feeling totally free and yet in control all at once. And on that ride I realised, there has never been anything else that made me feel the same. I have never really enjoyed something so much and I am totally addicted. Now I am just waiting for the chance to get out again, and again, and again.
So what is the point of sharing this? Well, mostly to encourage you to get that bike you’ve dreamed of. It’s taken me 20 years or more but it’s happening. Not only are bikes great for commuting, parking, and saving on fuel – admittedly the main reasons I wanted to get my license – but those facts become minor details in the whole scheme of riding. I know I will probably never enjoy anything as much as hitting the road on a motorbike.
If you’d like to experience the fun of owning a motorbike, talk to our experienced team of brokers about getting the finance you need. We do bike finance every day and have personally been in your position embarking on a new adventure. If you’ve been on your bike for a while and are looking to upgrade, we can also help get you onto a new set of wheels and out riding quickly and easily.