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How to get into biking…

Friday, September 17th, 2010

For those of you who always had that itch to try riding motorcycles but never really understood the routes into getting your license then allow me to explain…

(Where I use engine CC and BHP the actual laws governing these rules are in KiloWatts of power, but for all practical reasons people on the ground use bhp and engine cc to determine power output.)

No matter who you are you now need a CBT certificate to get onto a motorcycle.  The CBT stands for compulsory Basic Training and consists of basic theory training, off road bike handling training and on road experience.

The day is usually fairly casual and the theory is informative rather than something like the car/bike theory test you need to do for a full license.  By mid afternoon you’re comfortably riding a motorcycle or scooter around under your own steam on the roads.

With the CBT you are allowed to ride a 125cc geared motorcycle as long as you display L plates.  Part of the condition of wearing L plates is that you are not permitted on Motorways nor are you allowed to carry pillion passengers.

A Honda CBR 125 motorbike.

A CBT certificate needs renewing every 2 years unless you attain your full motorcycle license within that time frame.

The typical way forwards at this point is to go for the “standard bike license”.  You need to apply to and pass the motorcycle theory test [You’ll need it even if you have a car theory test].   A recently introduced mini practical test that is known as the “Brake and swerve” or “don’t hit this cone” test.

  Following that you have a typical practical test in a similar fashion to a car driving test except that your examiner will be following you on his or her own motorcycle behind you.

When you pass this test you are free from the L plate restrictions and are allowed to carry pillion riders, however the motorcycle that you choose to ride needs to have a power output of less than 33 brake horse power [A 125cc bike in essence or a larger bike that has been restricted] for a period of 2 years after you attain your “standard bike license”.  This is so that you can gain real on road experience without having so much power that things can get out of hand .  After the 2 years you are free to ride any motorcycle irrespective of power.

If you are over 21.

If you are over 21 and you have your CBT and you want to ride powerful bikes straight away then you can undergo the  “Direct Access Scheme”.  You do your training on a 500cc motorbike and typically take your test on one too.

A Kawasaki ER-5, a typical 500cc test bike.

Once you pass that you can ride any bike that you can afford to insure!  So, what if you’re 20 when you do your standard license and turn 21 and want to ride the big bikes?

In that case you basically do a DAS but it’s called an “Accelerated Access Scheme”, you do another test on a 500cc bike and if you fail then it does not affect your “standard motorcycle License”.

Any questions leave them here or on our facebook page two of our staff members at ghostbikes.com are doing their CBT at the moment, if there are any decent crash photos then I’ll get them on our facebook page.

Kawasaki ER-5
Kawasaki ER-5
Kawasaki ER-5
Kawasaki ER-5

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