Motorcycle Tests. What Bike Can I Ride?

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As there are so many tests, rules and regulations these days over what bike you can ride at what age so i thought i would help break it down for you all.

I am 16 years old. What can i Ride?

Before your 16th birthday it is a good idea to apply for your provisional licence sending it all off in the post to DVLA (the forms are downloadable online or from the post office) as it can take some time for the documents to come through. When you have received your provisional licence you can now do your CBT (compulsary basic training). The CBT is described below as to what you do and how to go about booking it. After you have completed your CBT you can ride any 50cc moped on the road with L plates but cannot take a passenger.

I am 17+ years old. What can i ride?

At the age of 17 you have a couple of options as to what tests you can do. If you still wish to just ride a 125cc scooter/bike you can continue doing your CBT every 2 years and stick to these bikes with l plates and without taking a passenger.

On the other hand you can take a "125cc bike test" and ride ANY motorcycle restricted to 33bhp. If you do take this test for the first 2 years you have to ride a bike which is restricted to 33bhp but do not have to have L plates and can take passengers. However the good thing is after 2 years of taking the test you can take the restrictor out of the bike and you automatically have a full licence!

I am 21+ years old. What can i ride?

At the age of 21 or over both the above options are available or you can jump straigh in and take the full motorcycle licence (DAS) and ride any bike.

I have a full driving test. What can i ride?

If you passed your driving test before February 2001 you can ride a 50cc moped without L Plates and can take a passenger but this is all. If you wish to ride a larged cc motorcycle you will have to take one of the options above. If you passed your test on or after 1st February 2001 you will have to take a CBT to ride a 50cc moped on L Plates or take one of the other options above.

CBT explained:

Compulsary basic training was introduced in 1990 to help reduce the very high accident rate aong inexperienced motorcyclists. A CBT course involves 5 elements: 1) Introduction 2) Practical on-site training 3) Practical on-site riding 4) Practical on-road training 5) Practical on-road riding. The 5 elements have to be completed in sequence. You will only move onto the next element when your instructor is satisfied you have learnt the necessary theory and demonstrated the practical skills to a safe level. Trainee's must, by law, receive a minimum 2 hour on road ride in element 5. When all elements have been satisfactorily completed a certificate of completion, called the DL196, is issued. This is a legal document which validates the relevant entitlements on your driving licence. It is important that the holder of the DL196 considers the following point:

  • a DL196 certificate validatinga provisional moped or a provisional motorcycle entitlement lasts for 2 years - CBT will have to be retaken if both theory and practical tests are not passed within the year year certificate life.
  • For moped entitlement only, if you pass your driving test whilst your DL196 is still current, or complete a CBT course and obtain a DL196 after passing your car test, the certificate is not subject to expiry, you will therefore need to keep your DL196 certificate safely.Please note that this applies to 50cc mopeds only, for riding motorcycles as a learner the DL196 remains valid for 2 years.

There are several centers all over the country to take these tests please see below for places local to St.Ives, Cambridgeshire.

The 125cc Test Explained:

The best way to start the 125cc test is to ensure you have a CBT to start with (read above). Once you have done your CBT you are ready to do some training. The training involves manouvers, emergency stops, and riding safely on the road. All of these are carried out on a 125cc motorcycle. Depending on how much previous experience you have with motorcycles will depend on the amount of training you will need. The trainers at the center will usually be able to assess how much you will require once they have seen you ride.

If you have passed your CBT it is usually a good idea to purchase 125cc motorcycle to practice on and get the hang of riding it and practising what you have been taught but you will need L Plates on. This will probably save you money in the long run on lessons, and when it comes to passing your test you can always part exchange it for a larger motorcycle.

As well as doing a practical test a theory test is needed also. This is carried out at the same centers where car theory tests are carried. The theory test is 50 questions on motorcycle riding, maintainence and rules/regulations and has a hazard perception test which is identical to that of a car theory test. The theory test is needed before the paractical test can be taken and as sometimes there is a long wait for these it is best to get it booked asap after your CBT whilst doing your training.

The practical test itself is made up of lots of different elements, an eyesight test, vehicle safety questions, a test of riding ability, a test of specific manouevers and one question about riding with a passenger.

The tests are carried out at a test center (same as a car test) and you will have a radio attached to you with the test examiner following you on either a motorcycle or in a car speaking to you. At your test you must present both parts of your licence (paper and card), a valid CBT certificate DL196 and a pass certificate for your theory exam.

Before you actually start your practical riding test you will be asked to read a number plate to proove you can meet the eyesight requirements. You will also be asked 2 machine safety check questions before moving away (you will get told about these when training).

After the usual pre-test preliminaries e.g.licence and ID check the examiner will help the candidate with the fitting of the radio and earpeice. While accompanying the candidate to the machine the examiner will explain how the test will be conducted and how the radio works.

During the test specific manouevers must be carried out which include:

  • Emergency stop excercise: an emergency stop is given on every motorcycle test and can be given at anytime during the test. The candidate will be told the route to take and the examiner will demonstrate the signal which is to be given.
  • Wheeling / Stand excercise: The candidate will be asked to position the machine alondside the kerb and put it on its stand, then take the machine off the stand and wheel it across the road in a U turn (either a center or side stand is acceptable but a machine wittout a stand is not suitable for the test).
  • U-Turn Excercise: Via the radio, the examiner will ask the candidate to ride the machine back across the road. The candidate will be asked to move off from a parked position and to turn the machine around to face the opposite way, within the road width.
  • Slow ride excercise: If the candidate has not had the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to control the machine at slow speed e.g. junctions, they will be asked to ride as if in slow moving traffic as a seperate excercise.

After the practical test the candidate will be asked a question on balance when carrying a passenger.

If you pass and have a photocard driving licence issued after 1 March, 2004 the examiner will ask you if you want your full driving licence issued to you automatically. If you want to use this service, the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within three weeks of you passing your practical test.

If you pass your test but do not want to use this automatic service, or have a licence issued before 1 March 2004, you will be given a pass certificate by the examiner. On the back of the pass certificate it tells you what you need to do next. This involves sending your licence to DVLA who will then check your application and issue you with a new full licence.

Once you pass your standard motorcycle test you are restricted to machines of 25 kW (33 bhp) with a power to weight ratio of 0.16 kW/kg for two years.

If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes.

You must wait 10 clear working days after your practical test before you can book another one.

The full motorcycle test explained:

For this test the same procedures apply as the 125cc test, however usually the test is taken on a 500cc motorcycle. You can only take this test if you are over the age of 21, and you have successfully completed your CBT and Theory Test.

Most motorcycle training courses do Direct Access Training (DAS) which maybe over a week or weekend and will include a CBT and test at the end. This is for the biker which wanted to be on the road yesterday!

Below i have included a list of training schools which you can take tests, training lessons or CBT's in Cambridgeshire if you are from this area.

Absolute Rider Training Ltd, 48a Kneesworth Street, Roystom, Herts, SG8 5AH, 01763 247363. Training done at Bassingbourne Village College, South End, Bassingbourne, SG8 9DW

Bike Sense, 23 Westwood Avenue, March, Cambs, PE15 8AX, 01354 650284, Training at City Church, Cheddars Lane, Cambridge & Pulsar Light, Coldhams Business Park, Norman Way, Cambridge

Camrider Motorcycle Training, Unit 25 London Road Industrial Estate, London Road, Sawston, CB2 4EE, 0845 8383766 Training done at address

Euro-Rider (reccommended!!!), 7 St.Cristophers Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0JD, 01954 719591 or 07711938926. Training at Bourne Airfield, The Broadway, Bourne

Fenland Motorcycle Training, C/o West Walton Motor Company Ltd, Elm Road, Wisbeach, Cambs, PE13 2TE, 01945 465400 Training at Mill Road, Walpole Highway, Wisbeach.

Taz Goldstar Motorcycle School, 60 Northfield Road, Market Deeping, PE6 8LG, 07950 471508, Training at Manor Farm Community Center, 70 High Street, Eye, Peterborough

A D S Motorcycle Training, 4 Hazel Close, Shefford, Beds, SG17 5YE, 0800 0265506, Training at Technical Resin Bonders, 12 Clifton Road, Huntingdon

Eclipse, 193 Bargate Road, West Row, Bury St. Edmunds, IP28 8PW, 01638 715743

Buzz Rider Training, 25 Manningham Road, Stanwick, Northamptonshire, NN9 6TF, 01933 460889 or 07855 404001

CSM, 37 Second Drove, Peterborough, PE1 5XA, 01733 775577

Micks Motorcycle Training, 122 Parkway Gaywood, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 4QQ, 01553 770009

Bike Wright, 184 Boston Road North, Holbeach, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE12 8AG, 01406 490267

Apex Motorcycle training, Oxney Road, Peterborough, PE1, 01733 567478

Look out for your nearest Local Motorcycle Training center and get on two-wheels today!!!!

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