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A Duffer's Guide to Getting A Licence + Newbie Biker Links

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Bendy
Mrs Sensible



Joined: 10 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: 15:17 - 23 Sep 2004    Post subject: A Duffer's Guide to Getting A Licence + Newbie Biker Links Reply with quote

As it's one of the most commonly asked questions, I thought I'd try and summarise...

Arrow First things first - you need your provisional driving licence. To get this, pick up a form from the post office, fill it in and send it to the dvla with some money. Sorted. If you already have a car licence, it should include provisional motorbike entitlement. Have a look on the papery bit and make sure.

CBT (Compulsary Basic Training).
Everyone has to complete this before you can ride a bike or ped on the road. It consists of a day, half farting around a carpark riding around cones, and half out on the road with an instructor. It's not really a 'test' as such, more just some basic knowledge to make you slightly less likely to kill yourself. It's pretty hard to fail, and not only is it a legal requirement, it's also a bloody good idea.

You can find your local CBT place in the yellow pages - ring them up and have a chat. A CBT usually costs around 60 - 100 and can include hiring one of their bikes for the day, plus helmet and gloves if you don't have them yourself.

Be aware that you can take your CBT on a scooter (automatic) or a geared bike, so think about what you intend to do in future - may as well do it on a geared one if you have any intention of ever riding something other than a scooter, although the certificate is valid whether you went auto or gears.


Arrow You are 16 years old.
If you are 16 and have completed your CBT, you can ride a 50cc, restricted to a top speed of 30mph, bike with L plates. Note that this doesn't *have* to be a moped, there are geared 50cc bikes out there as well. If you intend to get a geared 125 when you hit 17, might as well get the practice in now. Thumbs Up


Arrow You are 17 or older.
If you are 17 or over and have completed your CBT, you can ride up to a 125cc bike with L plates, provided the bike is restricted to make no more than 14.6 horsepower - that's why you'll often see 'learner legal' being thrown around in adverts.

While you are on L plates you cannot take passengers and you cannot ride on motorways.


FULL LICENCE

[edit=g]This is now out of date thanks to the EU 3rd driving licence directive thingy - we will try and get it updated soon - while you're waiting, have a search as there's plenty of info on this forum.[/edit]

More paperwork first. You need to make sure you've done your theory and hazard perception test before you can do your full motorbike test. These can be booked through the DSA site (www.dsa.gov.uk). Doesn't matter if you've done it before for your car licence, you have to do it again for your bike.


Arrow Riders under 21 years of age.
Because you are young and therefore irresponsible, you have 2 choices of test that you can take - the A1 and the A (restricted).

The A1 licence allows you to ride a bike up to 125cc / 14.6bhp. So basically lets you get rid of the L plates, but that's all. Fairly pointless really.

The A (restricted) licence is what you want. You'll sit this test on a 125cc bike, and when you pass it allows you to ride any bike you like providing it is restricted to 33bhp. Yes, you can restrict an R1 to 33bhp if you want to.

After 2 years of riding at 33bhp, you are free to ride any power of motorbike you like.


Arrow Riders 21 or over.
Once you're 21, you can of course do either of the 2 options above if you want to, but you also have the option of sitting your Direct Access (DAS) test.

This test will be taken on a bike of at least 46.6bhp (usually a commuter 500) and when you pass you're allowed to ride anything you like - there is no restriction period.

If you reach the age of 21 during your 2 year restriction from sitting your A (restricted) test then you can dive in and do a DAS test to get rid of the restriction - this is called Accellerated Access.


TRAINING

Not going to go into massive detail here, but presuming you've set out to get your full bike licence, there are essentially 2 ways to go about it:

Arrow L plates
Get yourself a little cheap bike, whack the L plates on it and spend some time getting used to riding. Book a few lessons with an instructor to brush up on the fine points of the test if you like, or just teach yourself.

Arrow Intensive
Don't bother buying a 125, book yourself in for several days intensive training with your test at the end of it. Some people get this confused with DAS but there's no reason you couldn't do it for your restricted licence. Though, to be fair, this option is better for people who already have some road experience as you spend your time learning about riding the bike, not learning about which lane you're meant to go in at roundabouts.

Be aware that if you're doing DAS, you can only ride the 500cc bike with L plates when you're with an instructor. So the intensive route is usually the way to go.


PRACTICAL TESTS

Since April 2009 the practical test has been split into 2 'modules'.

Module 1 is called Specified Manoeuvres.

This is the offroad manoeuvres section of the practical test. This test involves pushing the bike into a bay backwards, a slalom, a figure of 8, high speed avoidance ('swerve'), u-turn, slow riding behind examiner and an emergency stop.
Avoidance and emergency stop are both high speed manoeuvres, to be performed at 50kph/32mph. This is why Module one has to be performed at the offroad test centre.

Module 2 is called the Road Riding Test.

It's basically just normal road riding with a hill start and an angled start.
You go out, the examiner follows you and tells you where to go over the headset.
It takes around 40-45mins, it includes the eyesight test ('read me that number plate there'), and the 'show me, tell me' questions (eg. 'Show me how you would check that the lights are all working on this vehicle' 'Tell me how you would check the oil level on this vehicle')
Up to date questions are available here
They should all be common sense, you will usually be asked one 'show me' and one 'tell me' from the list.

Module 1 currently costs 10, and Module 2 70 (82 evenings and weekends).

You must pass Module 1 before you can take Module 2. Both modules require a valid CBT certificate and Theory test pass.

More info on the new test from the DSA here: http://www.dsa.gov.uk/Category.asp?cat=405



FIRST BIKE

We've said it before and we'll say it again... it's really best not to spend too much money on your first bike. There's a fair chance you're going to drop it and there's also an element of not knowing what you want (how can you, you've never ridden anything before?).

You can pick up a boring and unattractive 125 with tax and mot for about 500 if you're smart and look in the ads. Use it for a few months, look after it and you can probably sell it without making a loss. It really is the smart thing to do - you're in this for the long term so don't blow all your cash at the first stage. Money saved on the learner bike can be put towards passing your test and think how much cooler you'll look without L plates. Thumbs Up


Last edited by Bendy on 13:32 - 11 Aug 2009; edited 2 times in total
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Bendy
Mrs Sensible



Joined: 10 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: 17:55 - 23 Sep 2004    Post subject: Reply with quote

Useful articles for newbie bikers.

Bikes.
Arrow Some musings on paying for the whole thing.
Arrow Ste's guide to buying a secondhand bike.
Arrow G's thoughts on choosing your first bike.
Arrow MarJay's guide to 400cc sportsbikes.
Arrow Craig's guide to 500cc bikes.

Gear.
Arrow All about helmets.
Arrow Leathers vs. textiles.

More to come.

http://www.begin-motorcycling.co.uk/ele.htm - all you could ever ask to know about your CBT.

http://www.smartbiker.co.uk/myths.htm - Biking myths; fact and fiction.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/fyn/search.php - DSA website where you can check availability of your local centers.


Last edited by Bendy on 10:38 - 10 Jan 2012; edited 2 times in total
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BlueNinja
Trackday Trickster



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 12:55 - 18 Dec 2004    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely top posts there! thanks for the info! Thumbs Up
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kawakid
World Chat Champion



Joined: 15 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: 22:52 - 15 Mar 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good advise to me.

I am new to biking ie 33 (an old man), have had full car since 17 though.

I did my CBT in a day, never ridden before, but was pretty much advised to do direct access.

However I just want to get some road experience before doing it, so i've bought a Honda CG 125 on a 51 plate, didn't cost the earth (previously written off bike, but repaired).

Just going to work on this getting my experience.

Would rather drop this, then when I pass and get an expensive bike.
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bench9
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 02 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: 15:58 - 02 Apr 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

mondeokid wrote:
I am new to biking ie 33 (an old man), have had full car since 17 though.

I did my CBT in a day, never ridden before, but was pretty much advised to do direct access.



I too am new to all this biking lark, and just like yourself have just passed my cbt and bought my first little runaround - its a groovy yamaha rxs100 and shes a right little screamer. Can't wait till I can afford/am confident enough to take the direct access and lose the L-plates. Any advice from anyone on things to concenrate on getting right for the test would be great, thanks.
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Jayman
Derestricted Danger



Joined: 07 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: 15:10 - 11 Apr 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

wicked info. Im 17 and have just passed my restrcited licence test (got me a Suzuki gs500e and it's true what they say, been riding little over 4 months and dropped it allready!)

I would have loved that info when i was learning, the only critisism is that its so complicated to get into biking, other than that i love it.
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sandman
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: 23:05 - 28 Jun 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

great informative post- good job!
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cunni
Spanner Monkey



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 13:57 - 28 Jul 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some information for after you pass you test!

How to Stay Safe and Ride Fast!

Check out this link for Riding Tips and Advice. Many people have commented on how useful it has been to them!
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keti
Two Stroke Sniffer



Joined: 01 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: 19:35 - 08 Aug 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa, really informative post there - cheers! Is there any chance of anyone pointing me in the direction of some info about insurance? I.e. what things they take into account, what they mean by insurance bands, e.g. what does an NU11 band equate to in money terms? Very confuzzled!

Thinking
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Bendy
Mrs Sensible



Joined: 10 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: 00:20 - 09 Aug 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't really make generalisations about insurance prices since it depends on so many variables...

- Your age
- Your sex
- How long you've had your licence
- What bikes you've previously insured
- Your no claims bonus
- Where you live
- What your job is

And probably loads more.

Best thing is to just phone around, and I mean Every Single Number in the back of MCN. Once you start getting sane quotes, start playing one company against another until they won't go any lower.
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Adam.I
World Chat Champion



Joined: 23 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: 19:57 - 13 Aug 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does that really work Bendy, playing one company against the other? Well done on the information, but I just have a quick question; as I'm 19 and five months I can take the A1 license(?), and once I pass that, I can instantly take the Accelerated Access as I will be 21 within them two years, is this right?
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Gimboid
L Plate Warrior



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: 03:27 - 20 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

enrique86 wrote:
Does that really work Bendy, playing one company against the other? Well done on the information, but I just have a quick question; as I'm 19 and five months I can take the A1 license(?), and once I pass that, I can instantly take the Accelerated Access as I will be 21 within them two years, is this right?


The Practical Test for the A1 and A (Restricted) are identical, there really is no point anymore in taking an A1 test, and Im not sure if you can go for Accelerated Access from a A1 licence.

Basically the A1 licence came into play before this restriction lark, and served for people who just wanted rid of their L plates on their 125, since you can now do a restricted test on a 125, which later becomes a full licence, theres no reason for anyone to ever take an A1 test.

You can only do the Accelerated Access ONCE you've hit 21.

Example:

1) At 16 you get a CBT, at 17 you do your theory and A (restricted) Licence, you can now ride a bike up to 33bhp (250cc ish, or bigger bike with restriction kit fitted), two years later (When your now 19) your licence becomes fully un-restricted, and you can ride any motorcycle. This is the only way to get a full motorcycle licence by the age of 19-21

2) At 20 you Get a CBT, do your Theory and take your Restricted A licence, at 22 your two year restriction runs out, and you are then able to ride any size motorcycle

3) At 20 you Get a CBT, do your theory and take your Restricted A licence, at 21 you go to the DSA on a Big Bike (average 500 commuter bike) from a training centre, and take your "Accelerated Access" test, this test, is... identical to a normal 21yr old taking an Class A test. you are then licenced to ride any size motorcycle.
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NSR_KID
Renault 5 Driver



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: 22:10 - 20 Nov 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Razz
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bidman
Crazy Courier



Joined: 01 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: 13:35 - 05 Dec 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to let you know incase its confusing some people the DSA have now decided to call the restricted licence (33bhp) the A2 Thumbs Up
Dan
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MattyB
Borekit Bruiser



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: 18:41 - 05 Jan 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the links, i learnt alot Very Happy
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critical_technique
Nova Slayer



Joined: 08 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: 02:15 - 17 Jan 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks just what I needed

big thumbs up to you lot
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samomighty
Scooby Slapper



Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: 04:36 - 03 Feb 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey im new to this forum but could anyone tell me how much it cost's roughly to take an A2 restricted test and do you need to do the cbt before or can you do it at the same time as the A2? also is it hard?
thanks sam
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Groove
World Chat Champion



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: 14:53 - 03 Feb 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

CBT was inculded in my 4 day course Thumbs Up

Mine cost 455 with test, 4 days, bike hire etc

Test isnt hard if your capable and have listned well Thumbs Up I got 3 minors
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syl
World Chat Champion



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PostPosted: 17:54 - 04 Feb 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

samomighty wrote:
hey im new to this forum but could anyone tell me how much it cost's roughly to take an A2 restricted test and do you need to do the cbt before or can you do it at the same time as the A2? also is it hard?
thanks sam


You have to do the CBT before you can do the practical test. You also have to do the theory test. The current price for the A2 test is 55 (that's the bit that the government takes) plus the cost of any bike hire / insurance / instruction that you decide to take. It's no easier / harder than any of the other driving tests.

Read the DSA website.
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samomighty
Scooby Slapper



Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: 18:03 - 04 Feb 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks so should i just do my cbt now to get it over with?

sam
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need4speed
Derestricted Danger



Joined: 28 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: 10:34 - 28 Feb 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi im nearly 17 and so can take my catergory A test soon and i have been saving my money up for a long while now thanks for the post regarding licsensing it helped alot, what i was wondering is is it worth me buying a smaller bike to do the CBT and catergory A test on while im learning and then buy a larger bike after having got my liscence? also can you derestrict a CBR 600 to 33 bhp? and if not what would be a good subsitute instead of one ? thanks
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Fadel
Trackday Trickster



Joined: 06 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: 16:41 - 28 Feb 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derestrict a CBR to 33BHP?Razz

You can buy restrictor kits for alot of bikes but I have also heard this isn't always the best thing to do as it could run rich / lean and cause problems not 100% sure though but yea you can Smile
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Dragonfly
Super Spammer



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: 19:19 - 04 Mar 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

lucky enough there no cbt in northern ireland "yet"
but there will be one soon, so get your test out of the way asap.
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derbisenda16
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: 23:43 - 14 Apr 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fadel wrote:
Derestrict a CBR to 33BHP?Razz

You can buy restrictor kits for alot of bikes but I have also heard this isn't always the best thing to do as it could run rich / lean and cause problems not 100% sure though but yea you can Smile


Restricting a bike which can create 100+ BHP to 33BHP Is never a good idea but it can be done with anybike..Most restrictions come in the form of Carb inlet rubbers which restrict the flow.
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Fadel
Trackday Trickster



Joined: 06 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: 15:02 - 15 Apr 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erm..... Ya don't say Confused
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