I like this a LOT Kate and defnitely want to read on. One of the intriguing things for me (don’t know if it’s intentional, presume so) is that, despite the ‘mate’ I don’t 100% know what sex the narrator is at this point – either woukd be of interest.
I entirely agree with Bella’s tweaks, the following are my own reactions and are to be ignored at will
“But I mustn’t scan the garden for shadows within the darkness” seems a bit … poetic? “mustn’t look like I’m looking” seems more natural to me.
Not sure you can ‘kick the engine into life’ to start and turn off with a key ignition.
“The road empty in both directions, I moved off” (Sorry – I don’t like re-writing but can’t explain – again, suggestion)
As an aside, “leaning forwards” doesn’t quite work; but you can leaning to steer, and grip tank with knees. ‘Slaloming’ between cars (not sure about other bikes. My bike experience is mostly as a pillion on an old bike, but I have been pillion on a much faster one, hurtling down Mont Ventoux).
Like the conjunction of ‘barbed wire’ and ‘belly’ and some other cracking descriptions.
Helmets have plastic visors – definitely no glass!
Woul likely also wear gloves and so take helmet off, stuff gloves inside and hold by the straps or bottom frame ove forearm.
As I said, a lot of excellent acrion and set up for much more to come.