The first full lesson on a Suzuki GS500E

I didn’t drop the bike! Yay! However, a 500cc bike is so, so much heavier than a 125. I feel like I’ve been wrestling with a pig for 4 hours on Friday. And my god was it cold!

I was surprised how confidently I pulled away from the curb right at the start of the lesson, and I coped with a truck coming the other way and having to go at a slow speed so I didn’t need to put my foot down. The two right turns and the roundabout were fine, as was the fairly busy high street that we drove through almost immediately. I did nearly drop it at a set of lights, but kept it together. That’s when I realised quite how heavy the 500cc was.

The rest of the lesson went a bit like this:

  • Fuck, I’m scared!
  • Please don’t change, lights, it’s really hard to go slow.
  • I can’t feel my hands/feet/face
  • I’m really, really cold.
  • Oh my god – I didn’t realise riding a motorbike was a full body workout!
  • Where’s first?!?!
  • Where’s neutral?!
  • Bollocks, I’ve gone past the turning.
  • Ooh, I like these corners and bends in the road.
  • Bloody hell, there’s a lot of crap on the road.
  • Best not get the tires in those wet leaves.
  • Please don’t pull out on me.
  • Oh god, more slow speed stuff.
  • Ooh, more fast stuff in a straight line.
  • Urg, another roundabout.

By the end of the lesson, I was destroyed. My arms were shaking, my legs were tired from squeezing the tank, and my core was sore from having to move the weight of the bike around. I began to develop my own systems for slow speed control and coming to a stop at lights. However, it was always terrifying as I was never sure if I was going to get it right or not. Considering that I didn’t drop the bike once, and only had a couple of wobbles, I must have been doing something right.

I’m going to take it slowly with the 500cc and I think that it will be a while before I will want to move to the 650cc engine!