I had one thing in mind after passing my CBT and that was to buy a bike. I wanted to learn at my own pace, on my own bike and thought everything would be dandy. Danny (the other half) thought it would be better to go back to Moto-technique and have some lessons but I was a bit reluctant (after u-turngate) and thought I knew better.
A few weeks passed and then a couple of months and I still hadn’t sorted anything out. Time was ticking and confidence was waining. Trouble was, I couldn’t find a bike I liked and I wanted to LOVE it or else I wouldn’t ride it. We were going round and round in circles trying to find a bike that fit with my ideals…not too big, not too sporty, not too old, not too expensive….needless to say it was a bit impossible.
Then the KTM Duke 125 caught my eye. At first I thought it was a ‘bit orange’ but after a while I really started to love it. Especially when I saw it wrapped in the ‘funky’ graphics kit (featured in the image above). We did loads of research on it and even a guy at work had a nephew who had one and he said he loved it. I was sold – it was The One.
One weekend we had a drive out to the Rocket Centre in Lancashire to go look at one in the flesh. It’s worth saying that the Rocket Centre’s great! They carry loads of stock including bikes, clothing and parts and the staff are really helpful too. Anyway, they got a Duke 125 out for me and I got on…just. It was too big. Gah. I’m only 5’2″ and I was on my very very tippy toes. I just didn’t feel balanced at all. I was properly disappointed. Had I had more confidence, it probably would’ve been ok but it was too soon.
Over the next few days and weeks we talked about buying one and getting it lowered a few mills. That might have been okay but the nail in the coffin was when I did the maths with purchase price and insurance*. Over £1000 to get insured on a £4000 bike. It was too risky. What if I hated it? What if I couldn’t ride it? It was back to the drawing board.
*This was back in 2014, right now you can buy a 2014 KTM Duke 125 from the Rocket Centre for £3999 at 0% APR and 1 years free insurance. Lucky you!