If you want to simply drive a car we all know that at 17 you can take some lessons, pass a theory test then take a practical test and go thrashing off in your dads Ferrari. Sadly bike licencing isn’t quite as straightforward but it isn’t as complicated as you might think. Here are a few pointers to get you on the road as smoothly as possible.

Sixteen years old

You can legally ride a 50cc moped at 16. All you need is a provisional licence, a suitable road legal machine and a CBT certificate, plus of course insurance.


Compulsory Basic Training, or CBT, is a basic one-day course to get you safely on the road. If you’ve never even sat on a bike before there’s no need to panic, the CBT is aimed at complete beginners, so don’t be afraid.

The CBT takes a full day and covers all the stuff you need to know to get you out on the road. You’ll learn how a bike/scooter works and what the controls do, how to look after it, how to control it at slow speeds etc. You’ll gain confidence in the safety of a training pad and learn at your own pace. Once your instructor is happy they’ll get you out on the road to practice your new found skills. At the end of the day you’ll be awarded a DL192 certificate, which means you’re deemed safe to be let out alone. The CBT lasts for two years and can be repeated, or move on to the ‘proper’ test.

Seventeen or older?

Get to 17 and you can automatically step up to a slightly more powerful 125cc bike or scooter. If you want you can also take a Motorcycle Theory test and the A1 practical test. Like all the practical tests, it’s a two part test, passing it allows you to carry a passenger but you’re still limited to a 125cc until you hit 19.

Nineteen and above?

Now you can start to gain some meaner wheels by taking the A2 test (you’ll need a Theory test as well). Get that pass certificate and you can ride up to a 46.6bhp bike and take a
pillion. Your bike choice suddenly becomes much more appealing.

24 year old or over

At last you’re old enough to ride the bike of your dreams! Whilst your rich school friend has been driving daddies sports car for seven long years you’ve had restrictions as to what you can ride…well not any longer. You can finally take your ‘A’ test.

If you’re new to this riding lark and fancy doing a DAS (Direct Access) you’ll need a Motorcycle Theory Test and CBT before taking your Mod 1 and Mod 2 tests. If you’ve been riding, or progressing through the licences you’ll already have a CBT and possibly Theory Test already, so take a few lessons and get that test booked...