Before you can get onto two wheels, they are a few things that you must have and there are also other things that you must consider.
If you are new to or relatively new to motorcycling in the UK. Firstly you should check:
Before you can start training, you must have one of the following licences:
• full UK car licence or
• a provisional UK car licence with valid provisional motorcycle entitlement or
• an EU licence with a valid UK counterpart (D58/2) showing provisional motorcycle entitlement (under additional UK provisional entitlement)
If you have the photocard licence, you must have both parts of it, both the photocard and the paper counterpart licence (D740).
If you have no licence at all, you will need to collect form D1 from the Post Office and apply for one, or you can apply online.
If you have a licence from outside of the UK please visit the following page of the Directgov web site.
2. Automatic or manual
Secondly, you must consider the type of motorcycle that you want to ride.
3. Ride as a learner or get a full bike licence?
The third thing you need to think about is whether you want to ride as a learner, or if you want to go off and get a bike licence straight away. If you just want to ride as a learner, then all you need to do is take a Compulsory Basic Training Course. CBT allows you to ride up to a 125cc motorcycle (providing your licence allows you to do so) for a period of two years as a learner rider if you are over seventeen years of age, or a 50cc moped at age sixteen. If you are sure that you want to get a bike licence straight away, then please move onto section 4. If you do decide to just take CBT, please be aware that you will have to take your motorcycle theory test and practical test within two years, or you will have to take another CBT course to carry on riding. If you are not sure whether you want to go for your full bike licence or not, then just start with the CBT as you will be much clearer about your objectives once you have taken this course. If you decide after CBT that you do want to go on and get your licence, just upgrade within two weeks and your overall package price will work out to be the same. Ideally, you would go off and do your test as soon as you can because you will be that much safer on the roads. CBT is after all just basic training as its name suggests.
4. Which licence?
The third choice you need to make is about what licence you want to get. There are three different categories of motorcycle licence that you can achieve. Before you can go for one of these, you will need to have taken CBT and passed a motorcycle theory test. You can either do these separately, or you can book them all as part of an intensive course culminating in your practical test on the last day. Age is a factor as to what options you have and is governed by law.
At 16 years old you can obtain a provisional licence and on passing your CBT you can ride a 50cc moped on ‘L’ plates.
At 17 years old or above, a CBT will normally allow you to ride a bike or scooter up to 125cc with ‘L’ plates.
If you are 17 or older you can take a (A1 Licence) module one and two tests on a 125cc bike and on passing have a full bike licence, but restricted to a 125cc only.
If you are 19 years old or older you can take a (A2 Licence) module one and two tests on a 500cc bike (restricted to 46bhp) and on passing have a full bike licence, but restricted in power to 46bhp, approximately 500cc.
24 years old and over you have the option to go for a licence with no restrictions straight away. The Direct Access (DAS), module one and two tests will be taken on a large bike (600cc+) and on passing have a full bike licence with no power/size restrictions.
If you have held an A2 licence for two years then there are options to take the next test up before the age limits above.
Whichever course you take, prior to your tests, you must successfully complete the DSA ‘Theory Test’ and hold a valid CBT certificate, but don’t worry, we can give you plenty of help, advice and learning materials too. Please visit our Eshop section, where you can get all the necessary study materials including books, CDs, DVDs and mock tests.