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DAS Training: How to Turn Motorcycle Dreams Into Reality Faster

Vic Womersley December 14, 2022

If you’ve decided riding a motorcycle is for you, chances are you want to be on a bike quickly. The Direct Access Scheme is the fastest way to do this, no matter what your age. DAS training for motorcycle licences was set up to get people on two wheels faster, but safely.

Unlike learning to drive a car, you can’t get your mate or your parents to teach you. Riding a motorcycle is inherently different to driving. No one sits beside you, and you have full control over your machine from the first lesson.

Learning to ride with a qualified DAS instructor lets you gain the necessary skills quickly. DAS training lets you move from your CBT certification to the highest level licence possible for your age.

The beginning of DAS training for new riders

Back in the 80s, motorcycle licencing rules were fairly lax. If you passed your driving licence, you also had a licence to ride a 250cc motorcycle! As a result, motorcycling was fairly dangerous. Learning to ride was optional and lots of riders didn’t have the skill needed to stay safe on the road. In fact, motorcyclists were 30 times more likely to die on the road than other motorists.

Various methods for reducing fatalities were tried. First of all, the DVLA limited the power of learner motorcycles to just 125ccs. A few years later, carrying pillion passengers became a no-no for learners and Compulsory Basic Training was introduced.

In 1997, the Direct Access Scheme, or DAS training was introduced. So were various licences and related power-to-weight restrictions for each licence type. Unsurprisingly, the additional training helped motorcyclists become safer on the road. Fewer motorcycle accidents and fatalities have shown the inherent benefits of learning to ride a motorcycle before being let loose on the road.

What is DAS Training?

DAS training is the motorcycle tuition you’ll need before attempting the motorcycle licence test. The training is designed to suit your age and the level of competence you’ve already reached from gaining your CBT certification.

One path to gaining a full motorcycle licence takes you through all of the licence types. You’d learn to ride at the tender age of 16. As you grow, you work your way up the licence types, progressively increasing the power of your motorcycle as you age. This way of learning to ride a 600cc bike (or higher) takes approximately five years.

The other path to a full motorcycle licence is the DAS training path. You’ll still start at the same place, with a CBT certificate. However, after you’ve gained your CBT, you can train for the highest-powered motorcycle available to your age group.

Your path to a motorcycle licence

Sometimes, the easiest way to explain something is with a picture. This chart shows the fastest way to get the highest level motorcycle licence for your age.

Licence TypeAge
Size of training bikeRequirementsSize of bike you can ride after passing training
CBT16+up to 50cc for 16 or up to 125cc if you are 17+Provisional or full UK driving licenceup to 50cc for 16 or up to 125cc if you are 17+
AM16+50ccCompulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test on an all powered 2-wheeled moped.50cc or a vehicle in the light quadracycle category
A117 to 19125ccCompulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test
A219 to 24+250ccCBT, theory and practical test or 2 years’ on A1 licence and a practical test35Kw (approx. 550 – 600cc)
A24 +
or after holding an A2 licence for a minimum of 2 years
600ccCBT, theory and practical test
or 2 years’ on A2 licence and a practical test
Any sized bike
DAS Training is the fastest path to your highest-level motorcycle licence for your age.

How long does DAS training take?

How long DAS training takes depends very much on the learner. Some people learn faster than others. Most of the students we take for DAS training learn all they need to know within about 3 to 5 days.

At Phoenix, we tailor our full licence training days to our students. We’ll help you improve your motorcycle skills in your weaker areas. Our aim is to help you become a well-rounded rider who is safe on the road, able to comfortably enjoy motorcycling, and, of course, pass your motorcycle licence test.

In some cases, it may take you longer than five days of training to gain the skills you need to confidently pass your motorcycle licence test. We’ll happily to work with you to can achieve your motorcycling dreams as fast and as confidently as possible.

When will I take my motorcycle licence test after DAS training?

All motorcycle training centres do this differently. Some schools train their students and then book the test slots as soon after the training as they can. At Phoneix, we work hard to ensure your DVSA test is as close to the completion of your training as we can make it.

We arrange test slots for our students in advance of DAS training. We then work backwards from the testing dates to determine your training days. This means the skills and knowledge learned in training are still fresh in your mind when the time comes to test for your licence.

Our aim for Phoenix Motorcycle Training students is to build skill, safety and enjoyment on the road. A happy and confident rider is much safer than an apprehensive and indecisive rider. This is why Phoenix’ DAS training is as much about safety and enjoyment as it is about learning the skills you need to handle a motorcycle well.


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