Your Learner Checklist


So, you have made the decision that you want to get onto two wheels as opposed to four. It can be a scary decision venturing into a new motoring world but to help you out we have put together some useful information in the form of a checklist, to ensure you are ready for all aspects of the motor biking world.

Licence


When getting your licence to ride a bike you will need to apply for a Provisional Licence. The rules are different if you have held your licence since before 19/01/2013. If you do not have a licence then you will need to apply for this through the DVLA. Your provisional licence will cost you £34 which is payable to the DVLA through their website. You will need to provide personal information, including another form of identity such as a Passport. You will need to include on your application the 9 digit passport number. If you do not have a valid passport then you will need to visit the website to find out more information. With you application you will also need to supply a photo of yourself, signed on the back however if you have supplied your Passport to the DVLA then this is not necessary. Once your application is complete, send it off to the DVLA and await for your new provisional licence in the post. For more information on the types of bike licences visit advice for new bikers page.

Booking your CBT (Compulsory Basic Training)


Once you have received your provisional licence, the next step you need to take is to book your CBT test. Research the nearest Training Centres to yourself and book in for a test. You won't need to take a CBT test to ride a moped if you have passed your car driving test before 1st February 2001. The CBT test includes an introduction, eyesight check, on-site training and riding and on-road training and riding. The test costs roughly around £120. The CBT is valid for two years, which if you have not passed your moped licence in this time then you will need to retake your CBT test.

Booking Lessons


After taking your CBT test there are lots of different licence options which depend upon your age. If you are Aged 16 or over and have passed your CBT test you may want to consider getting a full AM moped licence, this way you won't have to retake your CBT test every two years. This will also increase your riding skills and road sense. If your aged 17 and over, you can take a two stage practical test after your CBT and theory tests which will enable you to gain an A1 licence. At aged 19 or over, you are able to take a test for your A2 licence. If you have held an A1 licence for 2 years you can take another practical test, or you can take the Direct Access route by taking a Theory and Practical test after your CBT and this will gain you an A2 licence. If you are aged 21 or over, and had an A2 licence for more than 2 years you can take another practical test, or if you haven't you can take a theory and a practical test after your CBT which then gives you a full motorcycle licence. Theory tests can cost around £30, Off Road Tests around £15 and On Road tests around £75. Many training centres include packages of training and test combined for one price. These differ depending on the licence you are wanting to obtain. Training places may also be able to provide a bike for you to use however some may expect you to have your own bike to use.

Insurance


Having the correct insurance in place once you have passed your CBT is very important. If your insurance is not accurate then this may cause problems when it comes to making a claim should you need to. There are different types of Insurance available as a Moped Owner as listed below:

Third Party Only (TPO)


This is the minimum level of cover required by law in the UK. It includes liability for damage or injury to a third party and also any damage to property.

Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT)


This will cover you for the points under TPO as well as cover for Fire, the theft of your bike and also any damage caused to your bike from theft or attempted theft.

Comprehensive


This covers you for all of the above with the addition of Accidental damage to your motorbike, Vandalism and also any medical expenses you may incur as a result of an incident.

Choosing your bike


Once you have passed your CBT there is no doubt you will want to gain some freedom as soon as possible however it's important to not rush in to buying a motorbike and ensure you give thought into which one you want to invest your money in. Before buying a bike it can be important to check the bike has a log book and service history and details of any work that's been carried out. It can also be worth having an expert inspect the vehicle for you. Many breakdown services offer this kind of service for a small amount, which can be worth paying for future benefit. When viewing the bike check for any visible damage to the bike such as scratches, scuffs, dents and also check there is no visible damage to the exhaust, handlebars or foot pedals if there is this should be questioned. For more information and advice visit our tips on buying a motorbike page. For information on which bike is best for you visit our Top 10 Bikes for Learners blog post.

Bike Gear


Before you can set out on the road you need to ensure you have the correct gear. The most important item of all is a new Helmet. It is recommended that you buy a helmet from new and not second hand, the reason being that you can't be sure of what damage the helmet has gone through prior to you buying it. You also need to consider you are going to be paying for what you get, so going for the cheapest option in the market may not benefit you in the long run. It is recommended that you also try the helmet on before you buy, particularly if it is your first ever helmet, you may need to try different brands and styles before finding the one that suits you best. For this reason research your nearest biking shop and get an expert to fit you a helmet. Apart from Helmets, it's also very important to ensure that you have the correct protective clothing on whilst riding your motorbike. If your not keen on kitting yourself out in full leathers then consider motorcycle jeans which have a Kevlar lining and armour built into the material. Lightweight jackets are also a good option if you are not keen on a big protective jacket although you should take into consideration how warm your jacket will keep you. Although you may still only be travelling at less than 30mph, regardless of this if you come off it is going to hurt. When it comes to any kind of protection, leather is always best, so ensure you consider this when buying other gear such as gloves and trousers. Protective motorbike Boots are also a good idea as your lower leg can be prone to injury particularly if you were to come off your bike or skid sideways, to ensure that it is protected. In the summer months it is often tempting to get on your bike in as minimal clothing as possible to feel the cool air however this is not the best idea. Opt for lightweight options such as motorcycle jeans and a lightweight motorbike jacket.