If you're confused about all the rules and regulations relating to
riding you bike on the road this guide should help, but please check
your own position with your chosen training centre.
Before you think about training make sure you have a valid licence.
With a full car licence you can learn on bikes up to 125cc. Otherwise
you will need to apply to DVLA for provisional motorcycle entitlement to
be added. A provisional bike licence is valid until 70 years of age (if
supported by a C.B.T certificate). Also make sure
that your licence has your current address on it.
Compulsory Basic Training is the first step everyone has to take.
They will check your documents and eyesight. You can use your own bike
but most riders borrow a training school bike. It involves a mixture of
theory, basic bike control, practice riding on an off road car park area;
it's an ongoing assessment that isn't conducted on a pass or fail basis. It is
usually done in one day.
The CBT course involves five elements:
B. practical on-site training
C. practical on-site riding
D. practical on-road training
E. practical on-road riding
The five elements have to be completed in sequence, although the
order of the exercises within the element can be varied. You will only
move on to the next element when your instructor is satisfied you have
learnt the necessary theory and demonstrated the practical skills to a
safe basic level. Trainees must, by law, receive a minimum two hour
on-road ride in Element E.
When all five elements have been satisfactorily completed, a
certificate of completion, called the DL196, is issued. This is a legal
document which validates the relevant entitlements on your driving
licence. It is important that the holder of a DL196 considers the
- a DL196 certificate validating a provisional moped or
provisional motorcycle entitlement lasts for two years - CBT
will have to be retaken if both theory and practical tests
are not passed within the two year certificate life
- for moped entitlement only, if you pass your car driving
test whilst your DL196 is still current or complete a CBT
course and obtain a DL196 after passing your car test, the
certificate is not subject to expiry, you will therefore
need to keep your DL196 certificate safely. Please note that
this applies to mopeds only, for riding motorcycles as a
learner the DL196 remains valid for two years
Once you have your certificate you are advised to take additional
training to pass your theory and practical tests and qualify for a
motorcycle or moped licence. You must take the DL196 certificate with
you when you go to your practical test.
Check Here for your closest
D.S.A. Approved Training Body.
You now need to take a multiple choice test of about 35 questions
lasting about 30-40 minutes, complete with a series of video clips where
a candidate must pick out developing hazards. There are plenty of books
available to guide you but do do your homework ! Since 1 February 2001, anyone
wishing to take a motorcycle test must pass the theory test before they
can book the practical test. There is no exemption for Car Licence
After the usual pre-test preliminaries e.g. licence and
identification check the examiner will help the candidate with the
fitting of the radio and earpiece.
While accompanying the candidate to the machine the examiner will
explain how the test will be conducted and how the radio equipment
The law requires anyone riding a motorcycle, scooter or moped,
with or without sidecar, to wear protective headgear securely
fastened. The test cannot therefore be conducted unless the
candidate is wearing properly secured protective headgear.
An exemption to this requirement exists for followers of the Sikh
religion if they are wearing a turban.
During the test specific manoeuvres must be carried which
An emergency stop is given on every motorcycle test and can be
given at any time during the test. The candidate will be told the
route to take and the examiner will demonstrate the signal that will
- wheeling / stand exercise
The candidate will be asked to position the machine alongside the
kerb and put it on its stand, then take the machine off the stand
and wheel it across the road in a 'U' turn. (Either a centre or side
stand is acceptable, but a machine without a stand is not suitable
for the purposes of the test).
Via the radio, the examiner will ask the candidate to ride the
machine back across the road. The candidate will be asked to move
off from a parked position and to turn the machine around to face
the opposite way, within the road width.
If the candidate has not had the opportunity to demonstrate their
ability to control the machine at slow speed e.g. at junctions, they
will be asked to ride as if in slow-moving traffic as a separate
After the practical part of the test the candidate will
be asked a question on 'balance when carrying a passenger'.
When the practical test is over, the examiner will tell
you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback
on your test from the examiner, who will then go through
your performance during the test.
If you pass and have a photocard driving licence
issued after 1 March, 2004 the examiner will ask you if
you want your full driving licence issued to you
automatically. If you want to use this service, the
examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the
details and send them electronically to the Driver and
Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given
a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA
will then send you your new full licence by post within
three weeks of you passing your practical test.
If you pass your test but do not want to use this
automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March
2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner.
On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you
need to do next. This involves sending your licence to DVLA
who will then check your application and issue you with a
new full licence.
Once you pass your standard motorcycle test you are
restricted to machines of 25 kW (33 bhp) with a power to
weight ratio of 0.16 kW/kg for two years.
If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for
some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next
test. Your driving report form will also show you where
you made any mistakes.
You must wait 10 clear working days after your
practical test before you can book another one.
If you 16 then this will be your first step. A moped has an engine up
to 50cc with a maximum speed 30mph. Anyone who passed their car test
after 1st February 2001 must now complete a CBT before they can ride a
A strange new idea ! Aimed at commuters who would be happy restricted
to a 125cc bike but we would suggest going straight for the restricted
licence as it won't cost much more and gives you the choice to go for a
larger bike in the future.
If you pass this test you will be able to ride bikes up to 25KW/33bhp
(which covers most cruiser/commuter 250cc bikes.) for 2 years after
which you will be able to ride any bike. You will be able to carry a
passenger and lose the L-plates. The test is taken on a 125cc bike and
this time you will be followed by a Driving Standards Authority examiner
with a one way radio. They will be watching for safe,
confident riding skills including emergency stop, hill starts, u-turns
and the route will include most traffic hazards ie traffic lights,
roundabouts and right turns.
If you are over 21 and would prefer to learn on a larger bike and not
have the 33bhp restriction then this is the route to take. You will have
similar training to that of the restricted licence starting out on a
125cc but will then progress onto a larger (minimum 46.6bhp) bike. Most
training schools prefer a GS500E or similar. You cannot train
independently as the rules say you must always be accompanied on the
road by an instructor in radio contact. Pass this test and you can ride
whatever you like straight away.
If you have taken a restricted licence test and decide you don't want
to wait the 2 years to step up to a larger bike and you are over 21 you
can take this test.
does it cost?
||About £70 - £100 for a days training including test
and bike hire.
||Over 2-4 days £200 - £300
||Over 2-4 days £200 - £300
||Over 2-4 days £250 - £500
||Over 2 days £200 - £400
Due to the changes in legislation which introduced the restricted
licence some manufacturers have produced models specifically to comply
with the 33bhp limit or already have lower power models available.
However some riders prefer to buy a more powerful bike they want now and
fit a restrictor kit and then remove it when the 2 year limit is up.
Most insurers are reluctant to get involved however with such bikes.
This is because:
- they don't seem to reduce performance hugely
- some riders remove them straightaway (shocking but true!!)
- it costs them the same, if it is stolen or damaged, as a full