The road to becoming a proficient motorcyclist and gaining your motorbike licence starts here. You are far from alone in doing this, as the annual number of UK residents who begin to learn how to handle a motorcycle runs into thousands. The starting point for most of these people is with the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).
Motorcycle Compulsory Basic Training
Almost all of the people who are just beginning to learn how to ride a motorbike need to start out with the CBT. Those who don’t need to take this training are those in the following situations; car drivers who passed their driving test before February 2001, licensed moped riders who passed their full moped test after 1 December 1990, licensed motorcycle riders who want to upgrade their category, residents of certain islands. If you believe that you don’t need the CBT then it is advised that you check the current regulations to confirm this. If you do take this training then you will be able to ride a moped or scooter up to a certain size and will need to use learner plates. In order to move onto the next stage and use a more powerful bike and ditch the learner plates you need to take your motorbike test. This comes in two parts – theory and practical – and you need to take the first of these tests in the two years after you complete your CBT. If you delay too long then you will have to take the CBT again.
What You Can Ride and When
Once you turn 16 the current UK legislation states that you can apply for a provisional licence and take your CBT. Once you complete this training successfully you can use a moped of up to 50cc as long as you use learner plates. Anyone who is 17-19 can ride on a machine of up to 125CC as long as they have completed their CBT. In these cases, passing your tests doesn’t alter the maximum size of bike you can ride but it does let you use it without learner plates. For those over 19 the restriction on the power of the motorbike is partially lifted after they completed their practical and theory tests. The age at which all of the restrictions regarding size are lifted for fully licensed drivers is 24.
The Motorbike Theory Test
You will probably want to get started on your theory test pretty quickly after you take your CBT. There are two parts to this; the multiple choice section and the hazard perception test. In order to pass the theory test and move onto the practical test you need to have passed both of these. In terms of the multiple choice element, this will see you taking on 50 questions in 57 minutes. In order to pass the motorcycle theory test you will need to get at least 43 of those 50 questions right. It is similar to the car theory test but there are questions which are only for those people who are aiming for a motorbike licence. The section concerning hazard perception involves 14 different video clips of common driving situations. You need to use the mouse on your computer to click on the appropriate onscreen hazards. Most video clips will have one hazard while one of them will show you two, giving you 15 hazards in total. The points you earn will be based on how many hazards you spot and how quickly you do so. You can achieve a maximum of 5 points on each hazard, so the total maximum score is 75. To pass this test you need to score a minimum of 44 points.
The Motorbike Practical Test
Once you pass the theory test you will know have 2 years in which you can use your theory test pass certificate in order to book a motorcycle practical test. So, to get to this stage you need to have passed your CBT and then your motorbike theory test. In this test there is no set score to aim for the way there is in the theory section. Instead, you will go out on the road with a qualified instructor who will assess how well you handle the bike in the traffic situations you come across. You will need to show here that you can ride in a safe manner while complying with the Highway Code. This test comes in a couple of different sections; off-road and on-road. The on-road element comes first and involves showing that you can handle the bike. This should take around 20 minutes in a special manoeuvring area. After this, the on-road element should take 40 minutes or so and will cover your eye sight test, a number of safety related questions and the actual riding element. The instructor will assign you certain manoeuvres to carry out and you should expect around 10 minutes of solo riding time.