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Motorcycle FAQ's

Got a question? Please see below for Auto Trader Bikes' list of frequently asked questions. These cover everything from motorcycle training, passing your CBT test, passing your moped test and getting your motorbike licence. See below, for all your motorcycle needs.

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Auto Trader Bikes FAQ's

Do I need to do a motorcycle theory test before I can take a CBT course?

It is not necessary to do the theory test before you do your CBT - it just has to be completed before taking your test. It is worth taking a look at the Highway-code elements in preparation for your CBT course.

What if I have already passed a theory test for another type of vehicle? i.e. Car, HGV or PSV do I have to take it again?

Unfortunately you do need to do a Motorcycle Theory test even if you have a theory test in another category. The law now requires you to pass a Theory test in the category for which you are being tested.

I have a full car licence, what can I ride?

If your licence was issued before 1st February 2001, then you can ride a 50cc moped, capable of not more than 30mph. Even though you may have little or no experience the law states that you will not need to display L plates, and you can carry a passenger if the motorcycle has a passenger seat and rear footrests. However, riding without any form of training is not to be advised - and a CBT offers a level of training which will include an assessment of your on road skills as well as teaching you control on an off road area... it is highly recommended that you take at least a CBT course before taking to the road. If you want to ride a motorcycle over 50cc, no larger than 125cc, you must take Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), you must display L plates, and you must not carry passengers until you have passed both parts of your motorcycle test.. The CBT certificate is valid for 2 years.

What if my full car licence was issued after 1st February 2001?

Then you will need to take Compulsory Basic training (CBT). If your choice is to ride a moped then your CBT will be valid until the date that your licence expires at 70 years of age. A valid CBT certificate will allow you to ride a motorcycle or scooter no larger than 125cc, but you must carry L plates and you may not carry a passenger. Your CBT certificate will be valid for 2 years from the date of issue.

I have a provisional motorcycle licence, what can I ride?

This is dependent on your age. At 16 years old, once you have completed your CBT you can ride a moped. Over 17 and you can ride a machine no larger than 125cc - but no passengers can be carried and you must display L Plates. The certificate is valid for 2 years after which you will need to re-take a CBT course.

How long will my CBT take?

CBT has no specified time limit. The course should be run so that you are competent and safe to go out on the road. The only prescribed element is the Road Ride which must last a minimum of 2 hours. It is usual that a CBT course will be completed in 1 day - but if you need more time it should be made available to you. Check with your training school how they structure their day and what they do if you need more time - is it included in the cost or will there be an extra charge?

Will I be informed when my CBT certificate expires?

Your CBT certificate is issued by the training school who takes the course. Some training schools will have data base systems which will let you know that you CBT is running out and may invite you back to re-take. However, you will not be officially informed so the onus is on you to ensure that you do not allow this to run out. You will be breaking the law if you ride with an invalid certificate and 'sorry, I did not know it had run out' will not keep you out of trouble.

I have a full car licence, do I need to do a theory test and take CBT to get a full motorcycle licence?

You will certainly need to do both CBT and Theory test before taking your test. Most training schools will check that you have these before booking your test - but if you are booking your own test you will need to make sure that your CBT and theory tests are in place.

Do I need to do a test if I have passed my test on a 125cc machine and ridden for 2 years and wish to ride a bigger motorcycle?

If you have completed your A2 motorcycle test and have been riding a restricted motorcycle (no larger than 33bhp) for 2 years then your entitlement will automatically upgrade to a full category A - which means that you can ride any machine that you choose.

With the new two part testing is it now much harder to pass the motorcycle test?

The 2 part test separates some of the elements which used to be completed on the road and conducts them on an off road area. The Module 1 test is conducted first and then when you have passed this you will go on to do the Module 2 On Road element. Does this make it harder to pass? No, not really. Your training school will teach you the skills required and will take you through the test so that you know exactly what to expect. If you have the basic ability and you are being trainer correctly, then there is no difference in the tests you do now and the single test that you would previously have been expected to complete.

Does the law require me to wear any specific clothing when taking my test?

You will need to wear a safety helmet which conforms to the requirements laid down - but apart from that - no. However, an examiner would take a dim view of a candidate who turns up inappropriately dressed and has the right not to conduct a test if it is believed that it might constitute a risk to the rider. You should always ride in safe clothing and with a strong pair of boots and gloves.

I just want to ride a small motorbike what do I need to do?

You will need to take an A2 test on a motorcycle of 125cc. (After doing CBT and getting a Theory test pass). On successfully passing your Module 1 & 2 tests you will be able to ride a machine no larger than 33bhp. Your licence will automatically upgrade to allow you to ride a bike in excess of 33bhp after a 2 year period - but of course you can stay riding a smaller bike if you choose to do so. If you do not think you will ever want to ride anything larger than a 125cc machine then you can take an A1 Light Motorcycle test. All the processes are the same but on passing you will only be able to ride a machine no larger than 125cc and this will not upgrade after 2 years.

Is there any difference between in content or timing of the A1 and A2 test?

No matter what licence you are testing for - A1, A2 or Direct Access the test is exactly the same and you will need to complete the same elements - CBT, Theory, Module 1 and Module 2.

I want to ride a big bike, around 600cc, what do I need to do?

There are 2 ways to get onto a larger capacity machine. If you are under 21 years old then you will need to take an A2 test and ride on a restricted motorcycle (no larger than 33bhp) for 2 years after which you can choose the bike of your dreams - with no restriction at all. If you are 21 years old or older the n you have a choice as to how to get that full A licence. You may take the route just described and ride on a restricted bike for 2 years - or you can take a 'Direct Access' route. With this option you will take you Module 1 and 2 tests on a motorcycle in excess of 46bhp and when you pass you will get immediate access to any machine you choose. If you have an A2 licence you can take this route as soon as you are 21 years old.

If I am taking a Direct Access test can I practice on a big bike (larger than 46bhp) on my own if I have a valid CBT?

To practice for your test on a bigger bike you must be accompanied by an official, qualified DSA instructor when you ride on the road. You cannot be accompanied by a friend with a licence no matter how long they have ridden for or how experienced they are.

I took my CBT on a 50cc moped but never took a moped test and I would now like to ride a 125cc bike. What do I need to do?

If you were 16 when you started riding a moped and now want to get on a bigger bike you will need to check your driving licence and make sure that it has Category A Provisional status. If so as long as your CBT is still valid you can ride any bike no larger than 125cc with L Plates but cannot carry a passenger. If you do not have Category A Provisional status then you need to send off your licence to have it added. Remember - when your CBT expires it will need to be renewed to carry on riding.

I took my CBT on an automatic scooter. Can I ride a motorcycle with clutch and gears?

It is the case that a CBT is valid for moped or 125cc no matter whether it was issued to someone riding an automatic or a gear and clutch machine. As long as the CBT is valid you can change from a twist and go scooter to a geared bike without needing to re-do a CBT.

I took my full licence test on an automatic scooter. Can I ride a motorcycle with clutch and gears?

As with a car licence, if you have taken your test on an automatic you may only ride on the road on an automatic machine. If you wish to ride a geared bike then you will need to re-do your test. A valid CBT and Theory test pass will be required, but these are not specific to either transmission type - so if your certificates are valid from your automatic test then these can be used to get your geared test pass.

I'm 16 years old, and I've completed my CBT. Is there a test I can do to ride a bigger bike?

You have only one power option and bike type at 16 years old and that is to ride a moped (no larger than 50cc restricted to 50kph). You can take a moped test which will allow you to ride without L plates and carry a passenger.

I have a Full Car licence. Do I need to change it, to add provisional motorcycle entitlement to it, before I can start training for a Motorcycle Licence?

In nearly every case you will have the correct entitlement on your licence - however it is wise to check as DVLA have been known to make mistakes!

I have a provisional licence, issued a few years ago. Will I need to change it or renew it before I start training for a Motorcycle Licence?

Many older provisional licences had a 2 year limit on Category A, motorcycle entitlement. The good news is that the 2 year limit no longer applies, but you MUST have it renewed by D.V.L.A Swansea if it has expired, otherwise you will not be able to ride anything larger than a 50cc moped, even if you have a valid CBT Certificate.

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All content is supplied by the MCITA. All MCITA members comply with Standards designed to ensure a consistent level of safety, service and training quality as an assurance to anyone taking motorcycle training for the first time, wishing to improve their skills or trying out a new aspect of motorcycling.