Advice for new Bikers


With the ever increasing amount of cars on our roads, why not try something different in 2016 and get yourself on two wheels. Beat the traffic and congestion we see today and maybe even save yourself some money on fuel by looking into getting a motorcycle today.

Here at MotorCycle Direct, we are keen motorcycle enthusiasts looking to help anyone who is considering starting to ride a motorcycle. Whether you are completely new to biking or looking to get back into it, we have compiled some useful information for you to help make your decision a little easier.

If you don't already have a motorbike licence:

Age 16


You will need to apply for a Provisional Licence through the DVLA. You will then need to take a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) test which is valid for two years. Once this has been passed you are then able to ride your bike on public roads with L plates. You are unable to carry passengers and you can't ride on the motorway. Your moped must not exceed 50cc and should be restricted to 28mph.

After this you are able to take a theory test and then you can take your practical test for a AM licence. This then allows you to ride without your L plates on a motorbike up to 50cc with the same restrictions as before. Your next option is going to be at age 17 when you can take your Motorcycle test.

Age 17


You will need to apply for your provisional licence through the DVLA and take a Compulsory Basic Training test. If you already have a CBT from riding a moped you do not need to retake this. You can then ride any bike up to 125cc. You must have L plates displayed on the bike and as before you are unable to carry passengers and you can't ride on the motorway.

From here you are able to take a Theory Test and then a Practical Test to obtain your A1 licence. With an A1 licence your L plates are no longer required and you are able to carry a passenger. Following on from this, your next option will be to take your A2 test at 19 and ride a bike up to 46.6bhp.

Age 19


If you do not have one already you will need to apply for a provisional licence through the DVLA. Next you must obtain a CBT if you do not have one already. Once you have this you can then ride a bike up to 125cc but you must display L plates, you are unable to carry passengers and you can't ride on the motorway.

You can then go on and take a theory test. If you have held an A1 licence for more than 2 years then you do not need to retake. Otherwise you can take a practical test which when passed will allow you to obtain an A2 Licence. You are now able to ride any bike up to 400cc that doesn't exceed 46.6bhp, you do not need to display L plates and you can carry passengers. After two years or upon reaching 24 you will be able to take your Full Category Test.

Age 24 plus


If you do not have one already you will need to apply for a provisional licence through the DVLA. From here you will need to take your CBT. You would not need to retake your CBT if you have a valid AM, A1 or A2 licence. You can then ride any bike up to 125cc but must display L plates, you are unable to carry passengers and you can't rider on the motorway.

Next you can take your theory test before the practical test. If you already have a valid motorcycle theory test certificate or if you hold an A2 licence then you do not need to retake the theory test. Once passed you are now able to gain an A licence also known as a full motorbike licence. This enables you to ride any motorcycle of your choice without L plates displayed and you can also carry passengers on your bike.

Once you have a motorcycle licence


Your next step is to choose which bike you would be interested in. To ensure you have the correct licence in place, visit https://www.gov.uk/ride-motorcycle-moped/overview for more information.

Safety Tips for New Riders


  • Don't buy a bike that you can't handle. If you haven't ridden a motorcycle for a while or you are new to motorbikes then ensure you get a bike which matches your experience. Bikes nowadays can be a lot more powerful than previously so if you have had a gap in biking then ensure you aren't getting a bike that you can't manage. Make sure that you are able to get on and off the bike, that the handlebars and pedals are all within easy reach, and that the bike isn't too heavy to handle.
  • Purchase a bike with ABS on it. If you don't have much experience biking you may not know the best way to get out of a tricky situation. Having ABS helps you gain control of your bike should you need to stop suddenly which can be extremely useful in an emergency.
  • Ensure you have the correct gear. When riding a bike you are much more vulnerable than if you were sat in a car. You need to make up for the fact that there is less protection between you and the surface or even potentially another vehicle, by having the necessary gear in place. A helmet is an absolute must. Wearing one improves your chances of not suffering a fatal head injury by 60%. Protect your body by wearing leathers and proper boots, material that will protect you in the event of impact and skidding.
  • Be extra careful whilst riding your bike as certain hazards are around which may affect yourself but not other cars. Bikes are particularly vulnerable to things such as gravel, wet leaves, potholes, bumps and objects in the road. All of these things can cause unnecessary accidents so ensure you keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you so you can spot any hazards that may lie in the road ahead.
  • Try to avoid bad weather where possible or find alternative transport. Bad weather can reduce visibility and make the road surface dangerous. If you do have to ride in bad weather ensure that you don't make any sudden manoeuvres and be gentle with your accelerating and braking.

Bikes you can ride purely on a CBT and an AM licence (moped licence)


Direct Bikes - 50cc - Sports Scooter

LexMoto - 50cc Scout

Bikes you can ride on an A1 licence


Direct Bikes - 125cc Spyder Scooter

Direct Bikes - 125cc Sports RS Motorbike

Bikes you can ride on an A2 licence


Yamaha SR400 - 400cc

Kawasaki Ninja - 400cc

Bikes you can ride on an A licence


You can ride any bike on an A licence meaning you can choose from a vast amount of manufacturers including Honda, BMW, Kawasaki Triumph, Suzuki and many more, each offering their own different varieties and models.