Select the type of bike you’d like to ride to find out about how to get started:
Ideal for getting through traffic and cheap to runTo be classed as a Moped, the bike needs to have a maximum engine size of 50cc and a maximum speed of approximately 31mph. You need to be at least 16 years old to ride a moped. You must display 'L' plates and you can't carry passengers on a 50cc moped unless you have a full motorcycle licence. NO CAR LICENCE: If you don't have a car licence, you must complete a compulsory basic training (CBT) course before you take to the roads on a moped, and will need to retake the CBT every 2 years to keep riding one. WITH CAR LICENCE: If you do have a car licence and you passed your driving test before 1 February 2001, you can ride a moped without completing a CBT. If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 February 2001, you must complete a CBT course to ride an moped and confirm your full moped licence, which means you won’t have to take CBT every 2 years to continue riding a moped.
125cc Motorcycle less than 14.6bhp (A1)
Nippy and fun around town but still really economicalTo ride a bike with an engine size between 50cc and 125cc, and power up to 14.6bhp (11kW), you must be at least 17 years old. NO CAR LICENCE: If you don't have a car licence you must be 17 and have a provisional motorcycle licence. To ride with 'L' plates you just need to take the compulsory basic training (CBT) but with just a CBT you can't ride on motorways or carry passengers. You will also have to retake the CBT every 2 years. If you're under 19 and want to get rid of the 'L' plates, carry passengers and use motorways you can take your A1 Licence theory and practical motorcycle tests. WITH CAR LICENCE: If you have a car licence, you still need to take the compulsory basic training (CBT) to ride a 125cc bike. Even with a car licence and CBT, you will still have to ride with 'L' plates, you won't be able to use motorways and you can't carry a passenger. You will also have to retake the CBT every 2 years. To get rid of the 'L' plates, carry passengers and use motorways you will need to take the relevant theory and practical motorcycle tests, such as Direct Access (A).
Motorcycle up to 47bhp (A2)
If you're between 19 and 24, this is the final step before a big bikeIf you're between 19 and 24 years old, you can take your A2 (medium) motorcycle licence which will allow you to ride a bike with power up to 47bhp (35kW). If you're 24 years old or over, it generally makes more sense to skip the A1 and A2 and take the full Direct Access test (see below) so you can ride any bike you like. STARTING OUT: You will need to complete the whole process, and take a compulsory basic training (CBT), followed by the theory and A2 practical motorcycle tests. WITH A1 LICENCE: If you have already taken your A1 licence (light motorcycle), when you reach 19 years old you can upgrade this to an A2 licence by taking the A2 practical motorcycle tests.
Full Bike Licence (Direct Access)
Ride whatever bike you likeTo get a licence to ride bikes of unlimited power and size, you must be at least 24 years old. DIRECT ACCESS: If you have a car licence, or just a provisional licence, to ride big bikes you will still need to complete the whole test process, starting with a compulsory basic training (CBT), followed by the motorcycle theory and Module 1 and 2 practical tests. The practical test is split into 2 parts, with Module 1 focusing on maneuvers and Module 2 on road riding. You must pass Module 1 before you can take Module 2. WITH A2 LICENCE: If you already have an A2 licence (medium bike), you can upgrade to a full A licence when you reach 24 by taking the practical tests on a big bike.