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A Guide to Getting A Licence

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A Guide to Getting A Licence

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:16 pm

Arrow First things first - you need your provisional driving licence. To get this, pick up a form from the post office, fill it in and send it to the dvla with some money. Sorted. If you already have a car licence, it should include provisional motorbike entitlement. Have a look on the papery bit and make sure.

CBT (Compulsary Basic Training).
Everyone has to complete this before you can ride a bike or ped on the road. It consists of a day, half farting around a carpark riding around cones, and half out on the road with an instructor. It's not really a 'test' as such, more just some basic knowledge to make you slightly less likely to kill yourself. It's pretty hard to fail, and not only is it a legal requirement, it's also a bloody good idea.

You can find your local CBT place in the yellow pages - ring them up and have a chat. A CBT usually costs around 60 - 100 and can include hiring one of their bikes for the day, plus helmet and gloves if you don't have them yourself.

Be aware that you can take your CBT on a scooter (automatic) or a geared bike, so think about what you intend to do in future - may as well do it on a geared one if you have any intention of ever riding something other than a scooter, although the certificate is valid whether you went auto or gears.

Arrow You are 16 years old.
If you are 16 and have completed your CBT, you can ride a 50cc, restricted to a top speed of 30mph, bike with L plates. Note that this doesn't *have* to be a moped, there are geared 50cc bikes out there as well. If you intend to get a geared 125 when you hit 17, might as well get the practice in now. 🆙

Arrow You are 17 or older.
If you are 17 or over and have completed your CBT, you can ride up to a 125cc bike with L plates, provided the bike is restricted to make no more than 14.6 horsepower - that's why you'll often see 'learner legal' being thrown around in adverts.

While you are on L plates you cannot take passengers and you cannot ride on motorways.


More paperwork first. You need to make sure you've done your theory and hazard perception test before you can do your full motorbike test. These can be booked through the DSA site (www.dsa.gov.uk). Doesn't matter if you've done it before for your car licence, you have to do it again for your bike.

Arrow Riders under 21 years of age.
Because you are young and therefore irresponsible, you have 2 choices of test that you can take - the A1 and the A (restricted).

The A1 licence allows you to ride a bike up to 125cc / 14.6bhp. So basically lets you get rid of the L plates, but that's all. Fairly pointless really.

The A (restricted) licence is what you want. You'll sit this test on a 125cc bike, and when you pass it allows you to ride any bike you like providing it is restricted to 33bhp. Yes, you can restrict an R1 to 33bhp if you want to.

After 2 years of riding at 33bhp, you are free to ride any power of motorbike you like.

Arrow Riders 21 or over.
Once you're 21, you can of course do either of the 2 options above if you want to, but you also have the option of sitting your Direct Access (DAS) test.

This test will be taken on a bike of at least 46.6bhp (usually a commuter 500) and when you pass you're allowed to ride anything you like - there is no restriction period.

If you reach the age of 21 during your 2 year restriction from sitting your A (restricted) test then you can dive in and do a DAS test to get rid of the restriction - this is called Accellerated Access.


Not going to go into massive detail here, but presuming you've set out to get your full bike licence, there are essentially 2 ways to go about it:

Arrow L plates
Get yourself a little cheap bike, whack the L plates on it and spend some time getting used to riding. Book a few lessons with an instructor to brush up on the fine points of the test if you like, or just teach yourself.

Arrow Intensive
Don't bother buying a 125, book yourself in for several days intensive training with your test at the end of it. Some people get this confused with DAS but there's no reason you couldn't do it for your restricted licence. Though, to be fair, this option is better for people who already have some road experience as you spend your time learning about riding the bike, not learning about which lane you're meant to go in at roundabouts.

Be aware that if you're doing DAS, you can only ride the 500cc bike with L plates when you're with an instructor. So the intensive route is usually the way to go.


We've said it before and we'll say it again... it's really best not to spend too much money on your first bike. There's a fair chance you're going to drop it and there's also an element of not knowing what you want (how can you, you've never ridden anything before?).

You can pick up a boring and unattractive 125 with tax and mot for about 500 if you're smart and look in the ads. Use it for a few months, look after it and you can probably sell it without making a loss. It really is the smart thing to do - you're in this for the long term so don't blow all your cash at the first stage. Money saved on the learner bike can be put towards passing your test and think how much cooler you'll look without L plates. 🆙

Everthing you need to know about your CBT

Biking Myths; Fact and Fiction

Free L Plates


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Registration date : 2008-03-14

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Re: A Guide to Getting A Licence

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:24 pm

There are tests for 3 types of full entitlement on your licence (as opposed to provisional entitlement with a CBT),

Class A
No L plates, allowed to take Pillions and to ride on Motorways. Unrestricted motorcycle choice afterwards.

Requirements: Over 21, Valid CBT Certificate of Completion (DL 196), Valid Motorcycle Theory Certificate. Test taken on a motorcycle of at least 35kW (46.6bhp) - usually a commuter 500.

Class A1
Restricted to 125cc bikes a power output of up to 11kW (14.6 bhp). Allows you to take off L plates, have pillions and ride motorways.

Requirements: Over 17, Valid CBT Certificate of Completion (DL 196), Valid Motorcycle Theory Certificate. Test taken on a machine between 75cc and 125cc.

Class A2
No L plates, allowed to take Pillions and to ride on Motorways however are restricted to sub 33bhp (25kW) bikes with a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg for two years - not including any periods of disqualification. After the two years there is no restriction.

Requirements: Over 17, Valid CBT Certificate of Completion (DL 196), Valid Motorcycle Theory Certificate. Test taken on a machine over 120cc but not larger than 125cc and capable of at least 100kph.

All the test are identical in the the skills you are expected to demonstrate.

The course for a Class A licence is called Direct Access for people on a restricted licence

However if you have a Class A2 licence and can't wait for an unrestricted licence you can take the Class A as soon as you are 21 and it is referred to as Accelerated Access

So AA and DAS are identical except for your starting point, with DAS you start with a provisional and with AA you already have a full motorcycle entitlement, albeit restricted.

The only reason to take the AA when you are 21 is to get rid of the 33bhp restriction on your licence. Personally I don't think it is worth the costs involved.

The power output of an engine is measured in kilowatts (kW) or brake horse power (bhp). A kilowatt is the metric measurement of brake horse power. One brake horse power equals 0.75 kilowatts.


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Registration date : 2008-03-14

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