Getting Started - The Beginners Guide
Getting Started | Beginner Motorcycle and Scooter Training
If you're new to scooters and motorcycles, the laws about what motorcycle test you need to pass to ride different motorbikes and scooters can seem complicated.
Rjh’s Routes to Riding chart breaks down the new motorbike licensing laws, making it easy for you to see the exact path you need to take to get on two wheels!
Note: Your Route to Riding changed on January 19th 2013.
The UK government introduced new motorcycle licence laws from 2013. These licence requirements will only affect new riders who pass their test on or after January 19th, 2013. Let’s take them step by step:
Your Route to Riding
Provisional Motorcycle Licence
You need a provisional Category A licence, either included in your full car licence or as part of a provisional licence. If you don’t already have a provisional driving licence you can apply online here.
You must complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before you ride any moped, scooter or motorcycle on the road. It’s not a motorcycle test, but the instructor will assess your riding to make sure you are safe to ride before you can get your DL196 certificate. We conduct these 7 days a week at Salford in Manchester and only charge £125 in the week and £135 at weekends.
If you have not gained a full motorcycle or moped licence two years after completing CBT, your DL196 is no longer valid and you must repeat CBT.
If you have a full car licence issued before 1st February 2001 you may ride a restricted 50cc moped on the road without L plates (and carry a passenger), but you still need to successfully complete your CBT to ride any motorcycle over 50cc. However, if you have not ridden a motorcycle or scooter before, it is a good idea to complete CBT as a minimum.
You must pass a motorcycle theory test, including a Hazard Perception Test, before taking any practical motorcycle test, even if you have a full car licence. The Theory Test Pass Certificate is valid for 2 years.
But if you have passed a two part moped test or a lower category motorcycle test since 1st July 1996 you need not take the theory test.
Choices after CBT
The new motorcycle licensing laws mean your choices depend partly on your age.
Aged 16 or over: Moped licence
You may ride a moped with L plates after completing CBT, or you could opt for the new AM licence by taking your theory test and then a practical test. This allows you to ride a moped up to 50cc with a top speed of 45 km/h (around 28mph) without L plates, and to carry a passenger.
Even if you decide not to get your full moped licence, we recommend that you do further training after CBT to improve your riding skills and your road sense.
Aged 17 or over: A1 Motorcycle Licence
You can take a 2-stage practical test, after passing your CBT and theory tests, to get an A1 licence. This allows you to ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc (with maximum power of 11 KW) without L plates, and to carry a passenger. Passing a full motorcycle test can also reduce your insurance costs.
After two years of holding an A1 motorcycle licence, you can take another practical test and get an A2 Motorcycle Licence (see below).
Again, even if you opt to ride on L plates after completing CBT instead of gaining your A1 Licence, we strongly advise you to get additional training for your own safety and confidence.
Aged 19 or over: A2 Motorcycle Licence
You can get an A2 Motorcycle Licence, allowing you to ride a motorcycle or scooter with power up to 35KW (46.6 bhp) which will typically mean up to 500cc engine size, or a restricted version of a more powerful model.
There are two ways to qualify for an A2 licence:
If you have held an A1 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test.
You can take the Direct Access route by completing CBT, Theory tests and a practical test.
You are then allowed to ride any A2 category motorbike or scooter without L plates and to carry a passenger.
After holding an A2 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test and get an unrestricted A Motorcycle licence (see below).
Aged 21 or over: unrestricted A Motorcycle Licence
You can get an A Motorcycle Licence, allowing you to ride any motorcycle or scooter of any size or power. There are two ways to qualify for an A Motorcycle Licence:
If you have held an A2 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test.
If you are aged 24 or over, you can take the Direct Access route by completing CBT, Theory tests and a practical test.
You are then allowed to ride any motorbike or scooter without L plates and to carry a passenger.
Passing your test should not be the end of your training. Further bike training will help you ride more safely and enjoy being in control of your motorcycle. RJH Advanced Workshops are one way to improve your riding – and save money on insurance premiums.