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HOW TO GET A MOTORCYCLE LICENCE IN THE UK – PART ONE

Have you always wanted to get your motorcycle licence in the UK? Perhaps you’ve been putting it off because you weren’t sure where to start? Do you find the many steps to getting your motorcycle licence in the UK overwhelming?

Well, we got you friends. With this new series of “How to get your motorcycle license in insert country“, we aim to take the guess work out of it. We’re bringing the experts right to you. 

MEET OUR EXPERT

Laura Smith is a fully qualified motorcycle instructor for RMT Motorcycle Training and founder of
sister company, Women Only Motorcycle Training based in Redditch in the U.K.  www.WOMT.co.uk.

 

Women only motorcycle instructor Laura Smith

LAURA SMITH

Motorcycle Instructor + Founder of Women Only Motorcycle Training

www.WOMT.co.uk

In this article, Laura has mapped out the steps required to get your motorcycle licence in the UK.

Laura was disheartened to hear of so many women who had been putting off getting their motorcycle license because of bad experiences with other training schools. Or they lacked confidence in learning a new skill and didn’t want to be judged or put down.

Keen to change this in any way she could, she set up Women Only Motorcycle Training. Not to alienate women or split gender, but to encourage those that had bad experiences or lacked confidence to go through their motorcycle training journey with support and encouragement.

How to get a motorcycle licence in the UK women only motorcycle training CBT

These are Laura’s steps for:

How to get a motorcycle licence in the UK – Part One

Be the woman who decided to go for it. Are you in?

Women Only Motorcycle Training

INTRO in getting a motorcycle license in the UK:

Passing your motorcycle test in the UK

Passing your motorcycle test in the UK involves several steps, including taking a 2 part motorcycle test, which was first introduced in 2009.

So whilst I explain the route through, I’ll try and keep it straight forward and hopefully you won’t fall asleep!

STEP 1 Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) in the UK:

How long does the CBT take and How much does it cost?

The first thing you need to do is a CBT. A Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course is the firststep towards your full license. Usually CBT’s are advertised as a “one day course”, giving the impression that it’s just an attendance course. However, if you’re not up to the safe standard that is required to obtain your CBT certificate, then you’ll be invited back for further training.

The cost for a CBT varies greatly in the UK. Depending on how many days you need, your location and the quality of the training school.

This course is jam packed with information that needs to be understood by the student. If you haven’t ridden before you might find it difficult to learn all the syllabus exercises in a single day.

Imagine trying to learn a new language in one day? In fact usually just 6 hours! That’s a big ask,even for those with a photographic memory!

CBT options

At Women Only Motorcycle Training (part of RMT Motorcycle Training) we offer a 2 day CBT course. It’s the same course as the one day version, but spread over 2 days, making learning less pressurised and more enjoyable. To find out more click here https://womt.co.uk/cbt/

Alternatively, if a 2 day CBT is out of your price range, I recommend trying a taster session first. An hour on a motorbike before your CBT, to give you an idea of what it’ll be like on the day, your ability and whether of course, you’ll enjoy it. Those that have not ridden before often have a preconceived idea of how riding a motorbike will be, I know I did!

How to get a motorcycle license UK Women Only Motorcycle Training

After the CBT

After you have obtained your CBT certificate, you can then ride independently on the road (excluding motorways) up to a 125cc, displaying L plates front and rear but you cannot carry a passenger. If you are 16 years old, you can only ride up to 50cc. The CBT certificate is valid for 2 years.

The CBT course is made up of 5 elements:

ELEMENT A

An introduction to the course and a discussion on helmets and clothing

ELEMENT B

● Introduction to the motorbike including the 5 basic controls
● A discussion about bike maintenance
● Taking the motorbike on and off the stands
● Pushing and wheeling the bike
● Starting and stopping the engine

ELEMENT C

Off road training, this includes:
● Pulling away and stopping
● Slow control; figure of 8 and U turn
● Gear Changing
● Controlled braking
● Emergency Stop exercise
● OSM PSL (Junction work)

ELEMENT D

This Element consists of roughly 1 hour spent in the classroom, Q&A on The Highway Code and road
safety

ELEMENT E

A minimum of 2 hours on the road, going through various road scenario’s. These include roundabouts, traffic lights, normal starts (pulling away) and a hill start, in town riding, as well as an on-road U-turn and Emergency stop practice.

NOTE

At the moment students do not need to complete a theory test to do their CBT.

Theory Test

Once you have your CBT and whilst you continue with your training for your motorcycle licence, you need to pass a theory test. You cannot pass your motorcycle test without passing your
theory test first.

There are 50 multiple choice questions and there’s also a hazard perception test. In this test, you’ll see a series of video clips. A time frame is given to click when you see the potential hazard. The longer it takes you to spot the hazard in the video clip, the less points you score. Also if you click too early, or over click, you won’t score any points.

There are plenty of smartphone apps to help revise and study for your theory test.

The test should cost no more than £23, if you book directly through the Government website https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test

Your theory test is also valid for 2 years.

Licensing Categories

There are lots of different motorcycle categories and this can be confusing. Let me explain the different motorcycle categories so you know which one applies to you.

AM Motorcycle License

This allows you to ride a moped (50cc machine) with a maximum speed of 28mph! You can take this test from the age of 16.

A1 Motorcycle License

This allows you to ride up to a 125cc machine (Power output: Up to 11 kW ) .
You can take this test from the age of 17.

A2 Motorcycle License

This allows you to ride anything up to 47bhp or roughly a 500cc machine. There are restrictions you can put on larger powered machines, to allow motorcyclists to ride in this category, but it has to be in a certain power range (for example you could not restrict a Honda Fireblade as its power output is too big).
You can take this test from the age of 19.

A Motorcycle Licence

This allows motorcyclists to ride ANY size machine with no restrictions.
You can take this test from the age of 24. Or if you are 21 years old for example and have already had your A2 licence for 2 years, you can opt for progressive access; allowing you to take your A licence before you turn 24.

Direct Access Scheme (DAS)

Direct Access Scheme allows students to ride larger machines during their training, but only with a qualified instructor. If you have a CBT and want to do your A license category, you need to pass your test on a larger machine.
Depending on your ability, the amount of training you need may vary. Most students need around 3 -5 full days. A training day with RMT Motorcycle Training, is from 9am – 4pm.
How to get a motorcycle license UK Women Only Motorcycle Training
We have found these work best as progress is made throughout the day. We also run a pay-as-you-go system, rather than intensive courses. This takes the pressure off students that may be struggling with their training. A
break away from the bike can make a huge difference!

All our students start training on a 125cc. We only move students up to the larger powered machines (650cc for category A students and restricted 650s for category A2 students) when we are sure all
the skills are set. This way, students are far less likely to have any issues on a more powerful machine. Once they are riding the larger machine, this should really only be about familiarising themselves with the bigger bike and having more practice.

Motorcycle Tests

In the UK, there is a 2 part motorcycle test. The Module 1 (known as Mod 1) which is conducted in a controlled environment, called an MMA (Motorcycle Manoeuvre Area) and Module 2 (Mod 2).

Stay tuned for Part Two of Laura Smith’s expert advice on how to get your motorcycle licence in the UK and what to do next.

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Want to be a Legend?

You can click on any image in this article to share it to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email it to a friend. Or you can be oldschool and holler about it from your bike while you’re stopped at a red light beside a fellow biker.

You can even go one better and grab yourself some Motowitch Merch to rock in the wild.

Help us out and spread the word as we have so many more incredible motorcycle women to introduce you to.

UP NEXT
Laura Smith’s

“How to get a motorcycle licence in the UK – PART TWO” next week

Sign up to our mailing list below so you don’t miss out.

Do you have some useful words of advice for new riders?


Share your wisdom in the comments below. 

 

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Laura Smith

Laura Smith

Motorcycle Instructor and Founder at Women Only Motorcycle Training

Laura Smith is a fully qualified motorcycle instructor for RMT Motorcycle Training and founder of
sister company, Women Only Motorcycle Training www.WOMT.co.uk

Laura was disheartened to hear of so many women who had been put off getting their motorcycle license because of bad experiences with other training schools. Or they lacked confidence in learning a new skill and didn’t want to be judged or put down.

Keen to change this in any ways she could, she set up Women Only Motorcycle Training. Not to alienate women or split gender, but to encourage those that had bad experiences or lacked confidence to go through their motorcycle training journey with support and encouragement.

Qualifications and achievements:

● RoSPA advanced rider – Gold
● IAM advanced rider
● DVSA certified CBT instructor
● DVSA certified DAS instructor
● DVSA certified ERS instructor
● Advanced Trainer
● Helps and trains customers on RMT’s European motorcycle training trips
● Organises and leads female focused tours and charity rides.

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