So you’ve got your Provisional License, you’ve got through your CBT and you’ve passed your Theory Tests. What’s next? Well, you’ll want to get some extra training. You may decide to stick with the instructor you had done your CBT with but it’s best to check online around your local area to see what different instructors offer for the different levels of courses. Which course you take at this point your age is a big deciding factor in what avenues you can take into acquiring your big bike license. So I’ll start with a brief description of the tests and then go through the age brackets, starting with the youngest and work through to the oldest.
The tests are divided into two halves- the MOD 1 and the MOD 2.
The MOD 1 is very much like a CBT, just on a bigger bike. It’s where you’re leaning the basics of the machine; how to start it, how to maneuver it, gears, braking, emergency stops, where all the switches and levers are, what they do, a bit of basic maintenance but most importantly- you’re learning how to handle the machine safely and how to ride it safely in an off-the-road safe space.
The MOD 2 is the part of the test where you’re out on the road, taking everything you’ve learned and putting it into practice. So relax, if you’ve gotten this far then you’ve already proven to your instructor that you can do it. Go with the flow and let your training tell you what to do.
So what kinds of training and tests can you take? See which age bracket you apply to and get plenty of training with your instructor in the same category before taking on the tests.
Age 17-19: At this age bracket you can take your A1 License. Sorry guys, I’m afraid you won’t be progressing to a bigger, meaner bike this time. But what this does mean is that you are fully licensed with a 125cc motorcycle. You won’t need to retake a CBT after it expires after two years, you won’t need to retake Theory Tests after that expires as well. You also get to remove your Learner plates, ride with a passenger and use the motorway [as long as you’re riding something over 50cc].
Age 19-23: In this age bracket you can go for the A2 License. When training for and taking these tests you’ll be on a bike with at least 395cc with a power output between 26.8bhp and 46.6bhp with a power to weight ratio up to 0.2kW per kg. Keep this in mind before buying the first good looking 400cc bike you lay eyes on and maybe consider getting the same kind of bike you learned on. Those are more or less your limitations on what you’re allowed to ride with a max power of 47bhp. Once again, after passing these tests, you can ditch the L-plates, take a passenger and you won’t need to renew your license every couple of years like with the CBT. But! After two years of experience riding at this level you can upgrade and take your tests for your full unrestricted A License without having to wait until you’re 24.
Age 24+: At this age you can go straight to your unrestricted A License via DAS, the Direct Access Scheme. At this level you’ll be training and taking your tests on a machine with at least 595cc with a power output of at least 40kW or about 54bhp. After passing the tests for this license type, you’ll be completely unrestricted and you can ride whatever you like. But this is where I ask you to be sensible. You might have been waiting to jump right onto a 1000cc bike you’ve had your eye on since the beginning but do give it some thought. Perhaps stick to a bike at 600cc or 750cc for a while longer and get some more experience to get used to the speeds, how sensitive the controls are and heavier weights of the bike before jumping on that 1000cc animal.
And those are the paths you can take to getting into the world of motorcycles. I hope you’ve found this as helpful as I’ve found it enjoyable to talk about. Ride safe, everyone!
– MattW at GhostBikes.com