Congratulations on your decision to start along the path to becoming a motorcyclist. Motor biking is extremely popular in UK with an estimated 1 million motorbikes taxed for use on the road each year, accounting for about 2.6% of the road population. Each year many thousands of people start to learn to ride a motorbike and for the majority of people it all starts with the CBT (Compulsory Basic Training)
Most new learners will have to undertake CBT to be able to ride a two wheeled vehicle legally on the road, although there are a few exceptions. Completing the CBT only qualifies you to drive up to a 125CC moped or scooter with learner plates, if you want to be able to drive without the learner plates or drive a faster motorbike then you will have to pass both the motorbike theory test and practical test.
After completing your CBT you have up to two years to pass your full motorbike test (both the theory and practical parts) and gain your full licence or you will have to re-take your CBT again.
You can click on our interactive map of the UK below to find a motorbike CBT training center in your area.
If for any reason the map isn’t working you can find the training centers available in your area in the links below.
- East Anglia
- East Midlands
- North East
- Northern Ireland
- North West
- South East
- South West
- West Midlands
Here in the UK the rules and regulations as to which type and size of motorbike you can drive is dependent on both your age and the type of licence you hold. As soon as you turn 16 in the UK you can apply for a provisional licence and then after completing your CBT you are eligible to drive up to a 50cc moped with learner plates. On your 17th birthday you will then be able to ride up to a 125cc motorbike or scooter with learner plates. If you would like to have the leaner plates removed then you will need to pass your A1 Motorcycle test.
When you are 19 you can ride up to a 47bhp motorcycle providing you pass your CBT and then pass your direct access A2 Motorcycle test. At age 21 you are now eligible to ride any size motorbike you like providing you have completed your CBT, have held an A2 licence for at least 2 years and then pass your direct access category A test. The age of 24 is the where the age restrictions end and you are automatically eligible to ride any size motorcycle you like providing you first complete your CBT training and then pass your direct access category A test.
Once you have completed your CBT your next step on the path to gaining a full motorcycle licence is to take and pass your Theory test. The motorbike theory test consists of two parts, a multiple choice question test and a hazard perception test. YOU NEED TO PASS BOTH TO PASS THE THEORY TEST!
The multiple choice test lasts for 57 minutes and you will be given 50 questions to answer. You need to score at least 43 out of 50 in order to pass this part of the test. The motorcycle theory multiple choice question test will contain a lot of the same questions as the standard car theory test but be prepared as there will also be some questions specifically for motorbike users that do not appear on the car theory test.
The hazard perception test consists of a series of 14 video clips featuring everyday road scenes. Each clip will have at least one developing hazard (one of the clips will have two) that when you notice you must click the mouse of the computer. The earlier you notice a hazard developing the higher the score you will receive, with a maximum of 5 points available per hazard. In order to pass the test you will need to score at least 44 out of 75 possible points. This test is the same for both potential motorcyclists and car drivers.
Just like the CBT after successfully passing your motorbike theory test you have 2 years in which to pass your practical test otherwise you will need to retake your theory test again.
Unlike the motorbike theory test there is no exact pass or fail targets. Instead the practical test instructor will be checking to see that you can ride safely in different road and traffic conditions and that you show an understanding and correct usage of the Highway Code.
In order to undertake the practical test you must first have completed both your CBT and theory test. The practical test is split into two separate modules, an off-road module and an on-road module. You must first pass the off-road module before you can proceed to the on-road module.
The off-road module consists of a number of manoeuvres that must be executed correctly to show that you can safely handle the motorbike. It will typically last for around 20 minutes and takes place in a safe enclosed off-road area called a motorcycle manoeuvring area.
The on-road module will typically last for around 40 minutes and consists of an eye sight test, safety questions, road riding and independent riding sections. For the road riding section you will be followed around by the instructor and asked to perform various manoeuvres whilst riding around. For the independent riding section you will have around 10 minutes of completely solo riding on the road to test your ability to safely ride your motorbike whilst making your own decisions. At the end of the on-road module your instructor will tell you whether or not you have now passed your practical test and if you have, congratulations you can now claim your full motorbike licence.