With a newly-gained full motorcycle license in his wallet, Will Sandilands takes the sensible option of easing himself into life on two wheels on the Suzuki V-Strom 250.
Earlier in this magazine you may have read about me taking my bike test (and if you didn’t, read here), so I know what you must be thinking now you’re reading this: “how has this jammy sod managed to land a job testing bikes?” It’s a fair question. Nevertheless, perhaps I am the perfect person to talk about living with the V-Strom 250.
We’ve all got to start somewhere, and for me it’s with the V-Strom, which I am very excited about. It is a surprisingly good size for me (being 6ft 2 and recently adding another X to my t-shirt size); its smaller engine and weight will help ease me in to riding and hopefully reduce the danger caused by inevitable mistakes and, most importantly, it’s an adventure bike which, given my place of work, is vital!
The size thing may seem trivial, and I suppose it is, but I feel far more comfortable on this bike than I did on the 125s or even the larger 600cc naked bikes I learnt on. Perhaps its more to do with the upright seating position, the larger windscreen and other adventure bike characteristics, but ultimately this bike is enjoyable to ride and as a newbie biker, that’s a top priority.
Another priority is safety. As I learnt during the process of taking my theory test, most motorcycle accidents happen in the first few years after gaining a bike license. As you can imagine, once I had passed my test, my mother (she still cares) began warning me of the dangers associated with biking. No sooner had she finished speaking than my older sister was reiterating everything she said and so on through the rest of my non-biker family. It put their minds at ease knowing I was starting out with a sensibly-sized machine. Despite its smaller size I still find the bike stable, it’s incredibly forgiving when riding slowly and on rideouts I’m still not dropping too far behind the bigger boys.
As a first adventure bike the V-Strom 250 works brilliantly. I can take it down my first green lanes safe in the knowledge that’s its lightweight and forgiving nature will go far in making up for my lack of experience; I can go on rideouts with bigger bikes and not feel like I’m holding everyone up, and it will manage long distances for my first proper adventures. Ultimately, this bike is offering me everything I wanted when I decided to do my test and though I am looking forward to sizing up, I am also excited to throw my leg over the 250 this weekend and seeing where I end up!