Bike and Moped Licences
Information on all Motorbike and moped licence questions. Minimum test requirements and the processes that you need to take to gain your road licence
Motorcycle and Moped Licences and Practical Driving Test
There are several different ways that you can get your licence, depending on your age and the type of bike or scooter that you wish to ride. The following information should make it easier for you to make an informed choice on the best way for you to acquire your licence in accordance with your personal circumstances. From the vehicle requirements and age restrictions to descriptions of the theory and practical tests, we have all the information to help you find the best way of passing your driving test.
Minimum test vehicle requirements for mopeds and motorcycles
Any vehicle you present for use in a motorcycle or moped riding test must by law meet minimum test vehicle standards. Vehicles that don’t meet the minimum test requirements are not suitable for the purpose of taking a test, and your test may be cancelled.
Minimum test vehicle requirements for mopeds
The moped you use for your practical test must:
Have an engine capacity not exceeding 50 cylinder capacity (cc), and a maximum speed of 50 kilometres per hour (kph) which is approximately equivalent to 32 miles per hour (mph)
Be equipped with pedals to be able to drive the moped forward, if the moped was used before 1 August 1977
Routes to getting a Moped Licence
Minimum test vehicle requirements for motorcycles
If your motorcycle is less than 75 cc it is not acceptable for the practical motorcycle test.
If you pass your practical test on a motorcycle with automatic or semi-automatic transmission, this will be recorded on your licence. Your full licence entitlement will be restricted to motorcycles in this category.
There are two different types of categories:
Category A1 (light motorcycle) - a solo motorcycle between 75 and 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kilowatts
Category A (standard motorcycle) - a solo motorcycle between 121 and 125 cc, capable of exceeding 100 kph (62.1 mph)
A Category A licence will restrict you for a period of two years to riding bikes with a power output no more than 25 kilowatts (33 brake horse power) and a power to weight ratio no more than 0.16 kilowatts per kilogram. After two years you may ride any motorcycle.
However, if you are over 21, you may take a Category A Direct access test, which allows you to ride any size of motorcycle immediately.
Vehicles used for the accelerated access and direct access schemes can have an unspecified engine capacity of at least 35 kilowatts (46.6 brake horse power), with an unspecified speed.
Motorcycle with a sidecar
Only candidates with certain disabilities can use a motorcycle and sidecar combination for the test.
The requirements for a motorcycle with a sidecar are the same as for a solo motorcycle, but:
Categories A and A1 must not exceed a power to weight ratio of 0.16 kilowatts per kilogram
Passengers are not allowed to ride in the sidecar during the test
The licence you receive from this test will only allow you to use this combination of vehicle.
Speedometers on imported vehicles
Under the Construction and Use Regulations 1986 (regulation 35) any motor vehicle used on or after 1 April 1984 needs to be capable of indicating speed in both mph and kph. Vehicles used for a test must display speed in either mph and kph or mph only. Vehicles displaying speed in kph only are not acceptable. Overlays on speedometers are not allowed.
Routes to getting a Mototcycle Licence
The Hazard Perception Test
Research has shown that the more experienced riders and drivers scan the road better and recognise much earlier the clues that show a hazardous situation is developing and therefore start to take action before the danger occurs.
The DSA have now extended the Theory Test by adding a Hazard Perception Test. It’s taken at the same time as the Theory Test and takes about an extra 15 minutes.
During the test candidates are shown a number of moving video clips filmed from the motorcyclist’s point of view. Each clip contains one or more developing hazards.
The candidate will be asked to indicate as soon as they see a hazard developing which may result in the motorcyclist taking some action, such as changing speed or direction. The sooner a response is made the higher the score.
The pass mark is 43 out of a possible 50.
Hazard perception is the ability of a rider or driver to make an early identification of situations where some form of avoidance action might be necessary, such as changing speed or direction. It involves techniques such as
Selecting a safe separation distance
Using an appropriate speed
Planning well ahead
Having good anticipation
You can take a practise theory test by clicking here
The Practical Test
You must provide all of the following valid documents:
Your driving licence with the correct provisional entitlement - both the photocard and counterpart document or a valid UK passport to support a paper licence
Your compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate (DL196)
Your motorcycle theory test certificate
If you hold a full moped licence and wish to upgrade to a full motorcycle licence, or if you are 21 years old and wish to upgrade your motorcycle licence, you are exempt from the CBT and theory test.
On the day of your module 1 test, you will be asked by the examiner to demonstrate your riding ability on either the left-hand or right-hand circuit. The standard off-road layout may change because of local conditions on the casual sites.
Module one includes the following specified manoeuvres and generally takes around 20 minutes to complete:
Wheeling the machine and using the stand
Doing a slalom and figure of eight
Cornering, hazard avoidance and controlled stop
A slow ride
The emergency stop
More about motorcycle practical test specific manoeuvres -
Emergency stop exercise
An emergency stop is given on every motorcycle practical driving test and can be given at any time during the practical test. The candidate will be told the route to take and the examiner will demonstrate the signal that will be given.
Wheeling / stand exercise
The candidate will be asked to position the machine alongside the kerb and put it on its stand, then take the machine off the stand and wheel it across the road in a ’U’ turn. (Either a centre or side stand is acceptable, but a machine without a stand is not suitable for the purposes of the test).
Via the radio, the examiner will ask the candidate to ride the machine back across the road. The candidate will be asked to move off from a parked position and to turn the machine around to face the opposite way, within the road width.
Slow ride exercise
If the candidate has not had the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to control the machine at slow speed e.g. at junctions, they will be asked to ride as if in slow-moving traffic as a separate exercise.
There is a minimum speed requirement of 50 kilometres per hour (approximately 32 miles per hour) for the hazard avoidance and emergency stop exercises.
If you demonstrate riding skills of a dangerously incompetent level during module 1, you will not be allowed to take module 2.
If you pass module 1 you will receive a test pass certificate which you must bring with you when you take module 2.
Module 2 (on-road riding)
As with Module 1 you must take with you all the necessary documents including yout Module 1 pass certificate.
You must be using the same category and size of bike in both modules.
Module two is the on-road module and typically takes around 40 minutes. This module includes the eyesight test, the safety and balance questions and the road riding element that will cover a variety of road and traffic conditions.
You’ll be asked to carry out normal stops, an angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle) and, where possible, a hill start. The examiner will normally follow you on a motorcycle, using a radio to give you directions.
You’ll be fitted with a radio receiver and then you’ll be taken outside for the eyesight test which consists of reading a number plate from a distance of about 20 metres. If you fail this (after a third attempt) the test will not continue.
If you pass the eyesight test you will be asked two motorcycle safety check questions, one ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’. One or both questions answered incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.
After a briefing and radio test you will then go out onto the road with the examiner following you and giving you instructions.
You’ll be riding through various road and traffic conditions and performing a number of manoeuvres in various situations such as
Pulling up on the left behind a parked vehicle and moving off again when it’s safe to do so
Left and right turns onto and off main roads
Hill start (if possible)
Your examiner will watch you and will be looking to see if you
Make appropriate progress along the road
Keep up with the traffic while keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front
Show confidence and good judgement
Choose the correct speed for the type of road, density of traffic and weather
React correctly to road signs and speed limits
Be aware and react correctly to what other road users are doing, including pedestrians, cyclists and animals
You will pass if you show that you can
Comply with correct road procedure
Obey traffic signs
Carry out the set exercises correctly
You should not be over-cautious. For example, you must not ride too slowly as you could be holding up other traffic and you must not stop and wait when it’s safe and normal to proceed.
Back at the test centre the examiner will tell you if you have passed or failed. You instructor can be present at this point. Your driving test report will identify areas where any mistakes were made
If you fail your module two test, you must wait 10 full working days before being able to retake the module.
Reasons for Failing
On the fail sheet, given out by DSA, the examiner can check 47 different boxes as a fault.
You can fail on 1 serious fault, 1 dangerous fault or a combination of driving faults of which you are allowed up to 15 (up to 5 in Mod 1 or up to 10 in Mod 2). However, four driving faults in the same box will result in a serious fault, and therefore a fail.
Some examples of serious and dangerous errors are
Dangerous or illegal manoeuvres or actions such as turning right or changing lanes without looking over your shoulder
Failure to obey traffic signs such as No Entry signs, speed limits, or traffic lights
Failure to cancel an indicator leading to a potentially dangerous situation
Failure to observe lane markings
Riding too slowly where it was safe to ride more quickly
Pulling out in front of another vehicle at a junction
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