The most frequently asked question on how to learn to ride a motorcycle
Learn from the questions other motorcycle learners ask: These are the enquiries we answered in the two weeks prior to publishing this series on topics surrounding ‘how to learn to ride a motorbike’. If you have a query not covered here, drop it to us at the bottom of the page! We’ll answer it here.
“I’m 19 and have a CBT, is there any point in doing an A2 license or shall I wait?”
This is all about personal preference and cost.
Some people get their provisional license (‘do a CBT Test‘) and then choose to ride a 125 until they are 24. In the long run, it’s likely to save you money as you’ll just need to re-do your CBT test every two years. For other people, it also saves a lot of time and aggravation, trying to sell old bikes and find restricted ones, changing insurance etc. However, others are itching to get on a bigger bike as soon as they can. Either way, road experience is good for you to eventually end up getting your full license.
“Can I get a bigger bike and restrict it until I get my A license?”
Absolutely! This is a great way to save the faff of changing bikes and insurance often.
If the bike originally has less than 70kW of power output, you could have it restricted at a garage and provide the paperwork to your insurance. Then, when you’re able to, you can get your A license, de-restrict the bike and then inform your insurance again.
“I have a car license; will this help me?”
If you got your car license before 1st February 2001, you will be able to ride a 50cc moped without taking any tests. If you do not fall into this category or want a bigger bike license you will need to take the tests.
Whilst having a car license doesn’t give you any preferential treatment when it comes to tests, it will help you to learn to ride a motorcycle. Well, up to a point: You’ll likely find the theory easier as you will already know the Highway Code and road experience means you’ll react better in situations and just generally be less nervous. All road experience is good!
“I wear glasses, will it hurt and do I have to wear them?”
Part of your MOD2 test requires you to read a number plate from 20 metres. If you need glasses to drive or have announced them to the DVLA as you cannot read a number plate from 20 metres without them, then you must wear them always when riding.
Don’t worry about them hurting, look out for helmets with grooves by the eye-ports, they are made specifically for glasses and sunglasses and nearly all the major brands accommodate this. Remember, your helmet needs to be comfortable and well-fitting, so if your glasses don’t fit, don’t buy it!
“Can I just do these tests with no training?”
Technically, you can do these tests with no training, as there is no minimum number of lessons you need.
Your instructor will likely speak to you about your experience and recommend a course of action. We’d recommend that you learn to ride a motorcycle before your test as it is highly unlikely that you will fully know how to control a motorcycle: you won’t have had enough legal road experience without an instructor, and it is in your interest to be as competent as possible.
“Can I take my tests on the same day?”
Absolutely, you can take your tests on the same day. But, there are a few ‘buts’.
There are some advantages to this, such as taking less time off work. However, if you fail one test, such as your theory, you would not be able to move on to the next stage. This pressure often gets to people and can be exceptionally costly. We’d recommend taking your theory test and then booking training. Splitting your MOD1 and MOD2 tests out to each end of the week (e.g. Monday and a Friday) allows you to have maximum training time and means you can cancel your MOD2 test if you do not pass, as you need to give three working days’ notice to get a full refund. You can do this online between 6am and 11.40pm here.
“What if I fail?”
Sometimes something can happen in one of your tests that is either unavoidable, or you just don’t deal with correctly. If you fail any of your tests, you need to wait three working days before booking it again.
Equally, if you fail a test and you have your next ones booked, as long as it is three working days until the next test, you can cancel it online and get a refund. You can do this online between 6am and 11.40pm here.
If you failed your theory test, don’t be disheartened. You are not going to get all of the same questions again and the paperwork will tell you areas that you need to improve. Revising little and often is helpful and putting it into practice will help you remember certain things. Look out for road signs on all your journeys and test yourself, you can even download the Highway Code as an app! Speak to your instructor if you have failed in MOD1 as they will be able to give you training to stop you making the same error.
If you fail MOD2 you must wait ten working days before booking your test again, this will give you enough time to have more training.