Learn to Ride
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It seems more complicated working out what you need to do to ride a motorbike than it is to pass all the necessary tests. Here’s a brief guide.
There are three categories of bike based on engine size. Depending on age and documentation, you may be able to start riding straight away.
(Don’t get confused by the differences between motorbikes and scooters: for the purposes of passing your test, they are treated the same.)
Also it is of upmost importance to remember that motorbike users still need insurance for their vehicle.
First, you must complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course before being allowed out on the road. With this, and a provisional licence, you can ride a moped (defined as less than 50cc and restricted to 28mph) with L-plates.
If you’re 16 and want to ditch the L-plates and move up to the first of four full licences, known as AM, you must take a theory test followed by a two-part practical test comprising Module 1, an off-road manoeuvring test, and Module 2, the on-road exam. It should be noted that at this age you can still only ride mopeds, which are pretty dangerous on today’s roads as they’re too slow to move at normal traffic speeds (which makes it strange that the law allows the least mature and most inexperienced road users to ride them).
By waiting until the age of 17 (even if it means riding a moped on L-plates for a year), you can go for the A1 licence. With CBT and theory in the bag, passing the two modules of the practical test now entitles you to ride any bike up to 125cc without L-plates.
Only when you are 19 or older are you allowed to go for the A2 licence category, which covers motorcycles up to a power output of 47bhp. This includes some decent and interesting bikes, many of which have more power as standard but can be restricted to 47bhp (as long as their unrestricted power output is no more than 94bhp).
Finally, there’s the full A licence, which you can apply for either if you’ve held an A2 licence for two years (in which case you can get one from the age of 21) or, if you’re coming in fresh, you’re at least 24. As with the other licences, the A licence first demands CBT and theory, followed by the two-module practical test.