Before you can don your leathers and hit the road, Easy Rider style, you’ll need to pass your motorbike test.
There are a few hoops to jump through, but if you’re prepared, you’ll be a fully-fledged biker in no time.
Apply for a motorbike licence
Before you can take any test, you need to apply for a provisional licence. This is the same licence as the one that lets you drive a car. If you already have that - or a full UK driving licence - you can skip this step.
If you have a full driving licence, you may be entitled to ride a 50cc moped without any additional training. This’ll depend on when you passed your driving test.
The provisional licence costs £34 if you apply online, or £43 by post. After your application, it should take 1-2 weeks for the licence to get to you.
Passing your motorcycle theory test
The motorbike theory test follows the same format as the driving theory test:
You can take practice motorbike theory tests to brush up on your knowledge.
How much does the motorbike theory test cost?
The bike theory test costs £23 and should take around an hour to complete.
You’ll need 43/50 on the multiple-choice round and 44/75 on the hazard perception round in order to pass. You’ll know if you passed or not straight after the test.
When you pass, your theory test certificate is valid for two years.
Compulsory basic training (CBT)
Every would-be biker needs to take basic training before they can take lessons on the road.
The CBT involves a day’s ride where you learn the basics of using the bike. It’s not a test – it’s a training day.
How much does the CBT cost?
A CBT tends to cost around £130, but the price can vary between instructors. Use GOV.UK to find your nearest training body.
The CBT covers a number of important of on- and off-bike topics, including:
The on-road part of the training should take at least two hours to complete. The full course usually lasts the entire day.
It’s difficult to “fail” a CBT, as you’re not being tested. However, if the instructor feels that your riding is dangerous, they could refuse to give you a CBT certificate.
As with the theory test, your CBT certificate is valid for two years.
Once you’ve completed your CBT, how you learn to ride the bike is up to you. You can:
Intensive courses can cost anything from £400 to £900, depending on your level of experience.
Regardless of how you decide to learn, the point is to be safe and confident on the road. Only when you think you’re suitably prepared should you take your practical test.
Practical motorbike test
The practical test is split into two modules. Module one is an off-road riding test that covers a number of the basics including:
Module two is an on-road riding test that covers topics such as:
Aside from the independent riding, you’ll be instructed through an earpiece for the duration of the test.
You can get a full breakdown of what’s covered on GOV.UK.
How much does the practical motorbike test cost?
Module one costs £15.50 and module two costs £75 (£88.50 on weekends).
Both modules together should take little over an hour, and you need to pass both to be given a full licence.
Upgrading your licence
The time has come at last to get your motorbike licence become a true biker. Things are a little more complicated for bikes than they are for cars, however.
The kind of motorbike licence you get depends on a few things, and changes the kind of bike you ride.
The requirements here are in addition to passing your theory and practical tests, and completing your CBT:
||Motorcycle types allowed
16+ years old
||Moped up to 50cc, top speed 28 mph
17+ years old
Up to 125cc, maximum power 11KW
19+ years old
Up to 500cc, maximum power 35KW
21+ years old; held A2 licence for two years
||24+ years old
Once you have your motorcycle licence, you can officially rip off those L-plates and hit the road! Take a look at our favourite biking routes for inspiration.