If you’re getting your motorcycle licence at the earliest age possible (15 years and 9 months) then you’ll be restricted to an AM licence level. This enables you to legally ride a 50cc moped or motorcycle with L plates and no pillion passenger or access to motorways.
If you’re older and planning to get your motorcycle licence, you’re able to get a higher level motorcycle licence (A1, A2 or full A level). Each of these licences has a different power restriction associated with them – please check the chart above to learn more.
Before you start training for a motorcycle licence you’ll need a provisional licence or a full driving licence. You’ll also need to pass a sight test to ensure you can read a number plate from a 20 metre distance – this can be done with contacts or glasses, but you’ll need to wear these when riding if you wore them for your sight test.
There is no legal requirement for you to take further training to advance to a higher grade of motorcycle licence – the age restrictions associated with each licence level are designed to provide a gap in which you should attain more confidence and skill as you ride. However, taking further training to become competent at carrying a pillion passenger, ride on the motorway or ride a higher powered bike is advisable for your own and your passenger’s safety on the roads.
CBT isn’t a test that you pass or fail; rather it’s a training course that is designed to provide you with the basic skills needed to ride a moped or motorcycle safely on the road. You need CBT certification for all levels of motorcycle licence. To become certified, you simply need to book a CBT course with a recognised motorcycle training school such as Phoenix Motorcycle Training, successfully complete the course and once you have reached the required standard, your trainer will provide you with your CBT certificate
CBT certification is required for all levels of motorcycle license. Once you have achieved CBT certification, there is no requirement to take this training again as you apply for higher grades of motorcycle license.
Provisional licences are obtained from the DVLA . You need to be 15 years and 9 months old (or older), able to read a number plate from 20 metres away, provide some form of valid identification (birth certificate, passport or similar) and give your address for the past three years. Provisional licences currently cost £34.00 and are sent within a week of applying for them.
Phoenix Motorcycle Training courses are all-inclusive, so we provide the correct powered machine, safety equipment, insurance, and fuel. The only thing you need to bring is yourself, wear sturdy shoes (trainers are not acceptable) and a packed lunch for the day. If you’d like to ride your own motorcycle or moped, please contact us before booking your course.
Because Phoenix Motorcycle Training courses are all inclusive, there is no need to have your own motorcycle or moped to take any of our courses.
Some insurance companies recognise further training in motorcycle skills by reducing their yearly premiums. As this varies from company to company it is advisable to check with your insurer before booking an advanced course if this is the main reason you want to train to enhance your motorcycling skills.
Your attitude as a motorcycle rider can have a vast impact on how you handle your machine, speed and awareness of traffic conditions. Extreme emotions such as anger, stress, intense sadness or happiness can affect your concentration, awareness of your surroundings and judgement of road conditions. It is important to ride your motorcycle or moped in the right frame of mind. Taking some time to do this before you mount your motorcycle or moped is beneficial for you and others on the road. Doing so will help you avoid dangerous situations and spot hazards before they become life or limb threatening.
No. Once you have achieved any level of motorcycle licence, you are able to continue riding on that licence and sticking to the relevant powered motorcycle or moped as long as you keep your licence valid with regular renewals (every ten years until you are 70 years old and then you must self-certify your fitness to still ride every 3 years after the age of 70).
To progress through the motorcycle licence levels, you have to take a theory test and a practical test. Practical tests are taken on machines that have a power rating relevant to the motorcycle licence you wish to obtain. Although there is no legal requirement to take any training on a higher-powered machine, doing so will increase your chances of passing the practical test for that level of licence on your first try. Failing a practical test (module two of all motorcycle licences) means you will have to wait ten working days before re-sitting this test module.
To become a qualified and certified motorcycle trainer and teach others to ride, you will need to successfully complete a seven-day motorcycle trainer course. On completion of this course, you will then sit a test at Cardington in Bedfordshire. Once you successfully pass this test, you will become certified to train people for their CBT certification and instruct motorcycle riders training for their full motorcycle licence (Direct Access Scheme – DAS). For further information about how to become a motorcycle trainer, please see our Advanced Courses.
In some cases, we are able to adapt one of our motorbikes or give advice on how your own motorcycle should be adjusted to enable you to ride safely. If the DVSA have no issues with your driving licence and your disability doesn’t stop you from riding an adapted machine, we will be happy to assist you to reach your motorcycling goals.
Wearing a safety helmet when riding a motorbike is essential for your personal safety, and a legal requirement for riding a motorcycle on the road. Only if you are a member of the Sikh religion and wear a turban for religious purposes are you exempt from wearing a motorcycle helmet. Your motorcycle helmet should meet the basic safety standards listed below:
- UNECE Regulation 22.05
- British Standard BS 6658:1985 carrying the British Standards Institution (BSI) Kitemark
- A level of safety accepted by a member of the EEA that provides a level of safety and protection equivalent to BS 6658:1985; it must show a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark.
Wearing a helmet when you ride is a legal requirement (please see above), but it is also wise to wear the right clothing when you ride a motorcycle or moped – a crash can be extremely serious, even more so if you’re not properly equipped.
Visors or goggles are a must – these will protect your eyes from insects, wind, rain and dust particles. It is advisable to wear a visor on your helmet, or goggles if you have a visor-less helmet, even if you normally wear spectacles when you ride.
Clothing should be made from leather, hard-wearing nylon or other man-made material and have additional protection for shoulders, elbows, and knees. It’s wise to look for all-weather options as riding when wet and cold is not only uncomfortable, it can make it difficult to concentrate on the road and traffic conditions.
Gloves are essential kit, as are riding boots. Riding without protection for your hands or feet can result in serious damage if you come off your bike – even at low speeds. Gloves and boots should be tough, waterproof, and supple enough to allow you to move freely and operate all the controls on your motorbike or moped.
Additional clothing, such as earplugs to reduce noise, or wearing another layer of clothing such as thin gloves and woollen socks in cold weather is also advisable.
You are legally able to carry a pillion passenger once you have obtained a full motorcycle licence (A1, A2 or A level) AM level licenced riders are not allowed to carry pillion passengers or ride on motorways.
It is advisable to either take additional training before you carry a pillion passenger on your bike, or choose your first pillion passenger wisely – someone who is experienced at riding pillion or rides a bike themselves should be able to help you learn and adjust to the extra weight and change to braking, corners and sharp turns. Inexperienced riders and pillion passengers can be a recipe for accidents.
Knowing when you are ready to take a pillion passenger and another person’s life in your own hands – literally – is a difficult decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Having an extra rider on your motorbike makes a huge difference. You’ll need to adjust for the extra weight when braking, taking sharp turns and moving around corners. Any additional weight that you’re not ready for or have adjusted to will send your motorcycle or moped off balance.
It’s advisable to take a short course on carrying a pillion passenger, or carefully selecting your first pillion passenger to become comfortable with the changes it will make to the way you ride your motorbike or moped.
If you’re going to carry a load on your motorbike, you must make sure that the load is secure and the motorbike isn’t overloaded.
Look at your motorbike handbook for information about how best to safely carry loads. You can buy specialist luggage and load-securing equipment, such as panniers, tank bags, top boxes and luggage racks, at motorbike supplies shops. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or ask for specialist help to make sure you use the equipment correctly.
Use the same tips as when carrying passengers to prepare your bike for carrying a load and when riding with a load.
Full motorcycle licence holders – A1, A2 and A types – are legally allowed to ride their motorbike or moped on the motorway. AM licence holders are restricted from riding on the motorway or carrying pillion passengers.
Motorcycle Theory tests (module 1) precede the practical test (module 2). Theory tests can be booked through our website, or directly with your closest DVSA testing centre.
Theory tests are taken in two parts:
Part 1: A 50 question multiple-choice test, taken on a touch screen that must be completed within 57 minutes and a score of 43/50 or above achieved to pass.
Part 2: A hazard perception tests consisting of 14 different clips when potential dangers are identified with a click of the mouse. The faster the hazards are spotted, the higher your score will be. You must achieve a score of 44/50 or above to pass. The test currently costs £23.00.
Congratulations on achieving your motorcycle licence! If you haven’t purchased a motorcycle already, you will need one to start riding regularly. You’ll also need to organise registration and insurance for your bike. A helmet and protective clothing are also needed before you hit the road.
It’s good to get into the habit of taking a quick walk around the bike or moped before mounting it for a long or short ride. This will ensure both you and your bike are ready for the intended trip.
- Look at tyres – pressure may need to be adjusted for longer journeys.
- Check lights are clean and working properly
- Check your fuel level, if there’s not enough for the intended trip plan when and where you will refuel.
CBT certificates are valid for two years from the date of being awarded one. If you achieve your motorcycle licence before your CBT certificate expires, there is no requirement to obtain another one. However, if you do not get a full licence within that allotted time, you will need to renew your CBT certificate by re-taking the CBT training.
Motorcycle licences come with different engine size and age restrictions, so the type of licence you can obtain is largely dependent on your age and if you’ve already got a motorcycle licence, how long you’ve been riding for. The chart below shows which ages and engine sizes pertain to each licence type.
|Licence Type||Minimum Age||Size of training bike||Licence requirements||Size of bike you can ride after passing training|
|AM||16+||50cc||Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test on an all powered 2-wheeled moped.||50cc|
|A1||17 to 19+||125cc||Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test||125cc|
|A2||19 to 24+||500cc||Theory and practical test (CBT must have already been obtained to completed these tests ) or 2 years’ experience on A1 motorbike and a practical test||35Kw (approx. 550 – 600cc)|
|A (full motorcycle licence)||24 + (or after holding an A2 licence for a minimum of 2 years)||600 cc||CBT, theory and practical test at 24 years of age or older, or hold an A2 licence for minimum of 2 years and pass a practical test at age 21 or older||Any sized bike|