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Bikers News

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Getting a Licence

There are different ways you can get a licence to ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter, depending on your age and the type of machine you want to ride.

Moped Licences

You can hold a provisional licence from 16 years old, but it is only valid when the compulsory basic training (CBT) has been completed with an approved training body. This certificate is also valid for motorcycles once a rider is 17 years old . The full moped licence gives provisional motorcycle entitlement, but not to people under 17 years.

Motorcycle and Scooter Licences

You have to be at least 17 years old before you can hold a provisional motorcycle licence which allows you to ride a moped, motorcycle or scooter as a learner with L plates. A provisional licence issued before 1 February 2001 is valid for two years. Licences issued after 1 February 2001 are valid until the rider is 70 years old.

After a CBT course is completed anyone over the age of 17 years can ride a bike up to 125cc unaccompanied, and displaying L plates.

Now’s the time to think about getting a full motorcycle licence.

The Theory Test

Before taking the Practical test you must pass the Theory Test for Moped and Motorcycle Riders at a local DSA theory-testing centre, even if you already hold a licence for other vehicles. The test includes a number of Highway Code questions and some simulations of traffic scenes in a Hazard Perception Test.

For more information about the theory test or to have a go online visit the DSA website.

What test do I need to take to get a full licence?

There are three categories of full licence

  • Category P - moped
  • Category A1 - restricts riders on a bike up to 125cc ( 11kW / 14.6bhp)
  • Category A - Standard Motorcycle

The practical test must be taken on a bike between 121cc and 125cc and capable of at least 100 kph. After passing the test a rider can only use bikes up to 25kW (33.3bhp) for two years, but you can discard L plates and carry a passenger. After two years you can ride a bike of any size.

What is Direct Access?

Category A - Large Motorcycle

People over the age of 21 years who have completed CBT and a theory test can follow the direct access route. The test is taken on a bike with a power output of 35kW (46.6bhp) and it allows the rider to use any bike once they have passed.

The Test

The practical motorcycle test is made up of lots of different elements, an eyesight test, vehicle safety questions, a test of driving ability, a test of specific manoeuvres carried out on the road and questions about riding with a passenger.

Visit DirectGov to find out more about the testing standards and what you will be expected to do to get your licence.

Follow the steps to pick the right route to get your bike licence