Its a new year and surely there’s many soon-to-be riders, young or mature that want to experience the road on two wheels. Perhaps it was a New Year’s Resolution or perhaps you’ve been thinking on it for a while, no matter the case- Here’s how to get started!
First, you need to be 17 years of age or older and make sure you have a provisional driving license. If you don’t have one because you’ve never applied for one- it’s very simple. Just find your national insurance number, have £34 in your bank account and apply online with GOV.UK. You’ll be given an ID as part of the application if you’ve never done it before and then you’ll be able to apply for your provisional license.
After you’ve got your provisional license, next you need to look into doing a CBT, your Compulsary Basic Training. You can find a number of instructors and riding schools all over the country that will do CBTs for around £120 and a quick Google search should bring up a number of results around your area so find one that seems popular and has a good reputation. When you’re confident you’ve found a worthwhile instructor, just get in contact with them and talk it out, they’ll be happy to give you any information you need and answer any questions you have. Next thing to do is meet with them on an agreed day and time for your CBT.
The CBT is really easy- You’ll be taken through the workings of a 125cc motorcycle and you’ll be eased into learning it’s ins and outs, from what all the buttons and levers do to riding the bike and how to maneuver it. Your instructor should also provide you with protective gear such as boots, gloves, pants, a jacket, a hi-visibility vest and a helmet. But if you want, you can take your own gear and you’ll only have to wear your instructor’s hi-vis vest. That was the route I personally took, I wanted to be comfortable in gear fitted to me instead of squeezing into something owned by someone else or wearing something a couple of sizes too big. If you’d like to do the same, Ghostbikes.com has plenty of affordable motorcycle kits to choose from.
While you are being instructed don’t think of the CBT as a test, it’s not really, its more of an assessment to see if you’re safe with a 125cc motorcycle. So listen to your instructor and be sensible. But more importantly- relax and enjoy it! Don’t worry if you don’t pass the first time or you need to take an extra lesson, it is a learning experience after all and there’s no shame in going back after a bit of time to reflect on what you’ve learned. You’re taking in a lot of information, learning to use your body to pilot a machine. If you’re not sure you want to sink that much money into it just yet because you still don’t know if Motorcycles are for you- There are many places that offer taster sessions for free, just ring them up and schedule it over the phone.
After you have passed your CBT- congrats! You’re now certified to ride a 125cc or lower motorcycle on L plates and you’ve taken your first strides into the world of motorcycles. Unfortunately you can’t ride on motorways or with a passenger. But if you decide that you enjoy biking and want to further your training, there are a couple of routes available to you, depending on your age, so you can ditch those L plates and get a bigger machine. Keep watch over the Ghost Bikes blog for more information on how to progress on your motorcycle piloting rite of passage.
– MattW at Ghostbikes.com