Have you always been a bit of an adrenaline junky? Have you got the need for speed? Here’s everything you need to know about taking your motorbike test.
If you are under 21 years of age and already hold a full driving licence, or are happy ride a bike or scooter of 125cc or less then you’ll need to make sure you complete your compulsory basic training (CBT). In these classes you will learn all about the legislation and safety requirements which are crucially important when you own a bike.
When you are riding a motorbike not only do you have to hope that others on the road are “thinking bike”, you also have to be alert at all times and size up dangerous situations that could occur. Appropriate clothing is another point which should be covered on your CBT. If in the unfortunate event you do come off the bike, it’s imperative that you are wearing the right clothing or you will likely end up with a serious injury which would otherwise so easily be avoided. Bike maintenance will also be looked at. Being able to adjust the way you ride the cycle way to match the current road conditions is really important. Parking and off road manoeuvring are perhaps things that will get better with experience, but bikes can be very heavy so it’s important to grasp the basics on the CBT. Also covered will be appropriate braking technique, which is one of the most important aspects of riding. If you brake too harshly you will cause problems to other road users and may struggle to stop in wet conditions.
Alternatively, if you’re over 21, you can ride any type of machine if you pass a Direct Access Scheme (DAS). You will need to have completed a CBT prior to this test or you can do this at the same time as taking your DAS. The whole process takes around 3 or 4 days. The DAS can only be taken if you are over 21 and will mean you can ride any size of bike. You will be trained on public roads, usually on a 500cc bike, and be in full radio contact with a qualified instructor riding behind you.
After completing the DAS this is where the fun really begins. If you hold a full licence and have lots of experience on a bike you can opt for an advanced course which offers a further look at your safety and observation/survival skills. These usually take place on faster, out of town, roads to really test your riding skills and prove you are king of the road.
Christopher Morris is a riding enthusiast who writes articles on behalf of www.thebikerstore.co.uk.