I have been riding motorbikes for over 30years, in that time I've seen great changes in motorcycle design and performance. My first bike was a Yamaha RD 250 LC, it was a great little bike and pretty fast for its time.

The Yamaha RD 250 LC was launched in 1981 and was the first learner legal bike (at the time) which could actually do a real proper 100 mph. I remember going to see the bike with my old man, sitting on it for the first time and starting it up, my old man shouted 'what are you waiting for take it for a spin around the block'. The lad who was selling it put his thumbs up and gestured for me to take off, which I nearly did when I let out the clutch. I'd only rode a mates Garelli 50cc moped which was like riding a lawnmower, so this was a big step up. There was no CBT's in those days you just put on the L plates and rode.

I loved the bike that much I rode it round the block a dozen times, it was a speed machine for a small bike. Needless to say I bought it and still remember following my old man part of the way home, it didn't take very long for me to get fed up and burn passed him. The first thing I did when I got it home was give it a clean and polish, then stood back and admired it.  

I only waited a couple of weeks before putting in for my motorbike test, I wanted to get on the motorway and see what the bike could do. There was no theory test in those days just a few questions about the highway code, the practical was riding round the block, the examiner jumped out when you least expected it and barked out what to do. I passed, still remember pulling off the L plates and going straight on the motorway. The motorbike helmets at the time were not great and thought I was going to lose it and my head. No speed cameras then just had to watch out for motorway police.

The bike had a comfortable seat, I bought some coloured sheepskin from Cardiff Market and made a seat cover for it which I thought set the bike off. On the weekend my mates and I use to ride to Barry Island which was a good ride, long country roads and an even longer coastal road. On one occasion I had a mate on the back and opened up the throttle down the long winding country roads, he was holding on like a limpet and screaming. On the coastal road I hammered it and felt his grip tighten even more and his screams got louder. When we arrived at Barry and pulled up, he got off the bike took off his helmet and patted me on the back. He was buzzing and told me it was a better ride than any Roller Coaster.     

The bike did a lot to motorbike speed in the 1980’s and was considered too fast for the L plate rider, which brought about a change in the law and L plate riders could only ride up to a 125cc bike. The RD 250 LC just has a certain something and was one of the coolest learner bikes of the period. I enjoyed riding mine, used it for travelling to work and going away for weekends with the lads who had slower bikes which I took full advantage off by showing off. Yes every boy racer had to have one and when they had it they had to go very fast and they had to do wheelies on it, I did and enjoyed riding that great little bike. 

Yamaha RD250LC

 

If you’re thinking of getting yourself a Scooter or Motorcycle here are the basic requirements.

To ride a Scooter, learners must :

  • Be 16 or over
  • Hold a provisional licence
  • Complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)
  • The CBT certificate (DL196) is only valid for a period of 2 years. If the rider does not pass a full motorcycle test within that period the CBT will need to be retaken.

Learner riders must observe the following rules:
  • The rider must display full size L-plates front and rear
  • The rider is not permitted to carry pillion passengers
  • The rider is not permitted to ride on the motorway
  • At 17 or older riders can ride a Moped, Scooter or Motorcycle up to 125cc with provisional entitlement. Alternatively de-restricting a Moped-Insurance & DVLA will need to be notified.