Firstly, here’s a little summary of why I personally had the feeling of dread when it came to getting on the road. Most of my riding experience has been off-road. Now I’ve been riding since the age of 5 and as soon as I could ride a pushbike my dad was like, “Right let’s get a motor on it”. The feeling of dread comes in here, as I hadn’t put my leg over two wheels for about 4-5 years but I have always wanted to own a road bike.
So let’s get stuck into more detail about what you might need to getting on the road and enjoying the freedom that two wheels brings.
Before you can do any tests you will need to apply for a provisional license which will allow you to take your first steps and do the CBT and Theory Tests. Now if you hold a full UK driving license then great – you are one step closer.
The Theory is the first step you need to take, however, this can be done before or after the CBT. Now there are two parts to the theory test which include:
- multiple-choice questions
- hazard perception – a video test about spotting hazards on the road
You book and take them as a single test. You have to pass both parts to pass the test. Below are the books I used to brush up on my knowledge:
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)
The CBT is the first stop (practically) for anyone looking to get their Motorcycle License. The CBT isn’t really a test. The instructors run you through some manoeuvres and rules of the road to make sure that you are competent for the road riding part of the CBT. However, even though it isn’t a test, the instructors can still decide to end the training for you if they feel that you are a danger not only to others but yourself on the road.
Some of the manoeuvres that the CBT involves are:
- Riding in a straight line
- Riding in a slow and controlled manner
- Using both brakes
- Riding a figure of eight
- Carrying out emergency braking
- Doing U-turns
- Carrying out rear observation
- Riding out bends safely
- Changing gears
From my experience, I found the CBT a very useful part of the journey to getting on the road. It got me familiarised with being back on a bike and feeling comfortable. Although the company I chose to go with, didn’t include the last part of the above list, which I wasn’t really happy about. So don’t be a donut, like I was and make sure to the research when picking who you go with.
Once passing your CBT you can ride a 50cc moped. If you are 17 or over, however, you can ride a 125cc scooter or motorcycle with an arm ripping 15bhp on tap. With both of these options, you will need to display learner plates. Now don’t get too carried away, you still can’t do things like ride on motorways or carry a passenger, not that you would want to on a 50 or 125cc motorcycle.
Now, this is where the testing gets somewhat more complicated and splits into categories but don’t worry! I have done the research so you don’t have to, I will explain the different types below:
Now I don’t think this is a route many people go down. It is basically a license that allows you to ride a motorcycle up to 50cc, without learner plates and also allows you to carry a passenger. However, if you are carrying a passenger, unless its someone very small, don’t expect to get anywhere very quickly. To get your AM license you must have completed a CBT and then a further theory and practical test.
With the A1 license, you would be able to ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc and you guessed it, limited to 15bhp. You will also now be able to carry a passenger and won’t need to display your L plates. To get an A1 license there will be a theory test and a 2 stage practical test. After holding this license for two years, a separate test can be taken to progress onto an A2 license.
This is where things start to get really exciting! At the age of 19, you can take the theory and practical tests to get an A2 license. With an A2 license, you can ride bikes up to 46 bhp. One of the great things about the A2 is, if you have your eye on a bike that has more power than this, you can get a kit that will allow you to restrict and limit the power to 46 bhp.
The A license is the end goal here. Now, unless you are 24 or over then you can skip all the other licenses and go straight for the A license. Again its a theory test and a two-stage practical, then you can ride whatever you want. If you are under 24 but have been on the A2 license for two years, you can take an extra test to upgrade to the A license.
I hope all of the above makes sense and has helped some of you out, now go out there and enjoy the ride…pun fully intended. If you have any questions that I didn’t answer about licensing here, don’t hesitate to contact.