Sometimes it can be a bit confusing as to what training course you should take and what qualifications you need before jumping on a motorcycle. It’s very different to driving a car where it’s essentially one test and one licence you need to drive a whole host of cars.
This blog should help you understand where you’re at and which training course is right for you.
I have never owned a motorcycle, motrorcycle licence, or completed any training:
Compulsory Basic Training or CBT
is the most basic requirement you need before riding a motorcycle of any kind on public roads. The course is usually over a single day and will consist of a number of practical and theoretical learning activities. The purpose of this training is to ensure you can ride safely on your own and allows you to start practising for a full licence.
Once you have completed a CBT the motorcycle you will be able to ride will depend on your age at the time of passing:
- If you pass at age 16 than you will be able to ride a moped up to 50cc.
- If you pass at age 17 or older than you will be able to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc (with an engine power up to 11kW).
Completing just the CBT will mean you CANNOT ride on motorways or carry any passengers. You MUST also display L-plates at all times.
The CBT lasts for 2 years during which time you will have to take your full moped or motorcycle test to continue riding or take another CBT after the 2 years end.
Find out more about CBT
I want to get a motorcycle licence:
Before you take any training or even think about acquiring any form of licence you must ensure you have completed and passed the Motorcycle Theory test. A pass certificate is valid for 2 years. You will be required to complete another Motorcycle Theory test if you are upgrading to another licence after holding your current licence for longer than 2 years.
See our recent blog for Motorcycle Theory Test Practice.
I just want to ride a moped, tricycle, or quad bike without L-plates:
Whilst riding with a valid CBT you have an opportunity to gain the AM Licence. It is aimed at those 16 and over and successful completion will enable you to ride mopeds, scooters, tricycles, and quad bikes up to 50cc with an engine power of up to 4kW. You will not need to display L-plates and you can carry passengers.
You are NOT allowed to ride on motorways. You CANNOT ride anything higher than 125cc (anything between 50cc and 125cc must display L-plates).
I want to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc without L-plates:
If you are looking to ditch the L-plates, carry passengers, and ride a motorcycle up to 125cc (with an engine power up to 11kW) AND are aged over 17 then the A1 Licence
is for you. Most people choose to remain with the L-plates and just the CBT for the lifetime of the basic training (2 years) as they would then be old enough to take the A2 test which would be the first Full Licence you’re eligible for.
But the A1 Licence means you can ride up to 125cc without L-plates, carry passengers, and ride on the motorway.
This licence CANNOT be given to 16-year-olds and must be acquired whilst holding a valid CBT.
Find out more about the A1 licence
I want to ride a motorcycle up to 35kW:
The A2 Licence
allows you to ride motorcycles with a power output of up to 35kW. It is only available to riders aged over 19 and there are two methods of attaining it. To be eligible to take the A2 test you must either:
- have held an A1 Licence for two years, or
- complete your CBT and apply for the Direct Access route.
In both instances the student must be 19 years or older.
Once acquired, you will be eligible to ride a motorcycle without L-plates, carry passengers, and ride on the motorway.
You must take the A2 test on a motorcycle with a power output over 20kW.
Find out more about the A2 licence
I want to ride any motorcycle I want:
The complete motorcycle licence, or the A Licence, will allow you to ride unrestricted motorcycles. There are a number of restrictions as to who is eligible to gain a full licence.
To apply for the A Licence you must either:
- have held an A2 Licence for 2 years and be at least 21 years old, or
- apply via the Direct Access route and be at least 24 years old.
Hopefully by now you know which course and licence is right for you, so feel free to get in touch with us
to discuss booking your training.