Frequently Asked Questions
CBT | Full licence
Will the new licencing laws introduced on the 19th January 2013 affect CBTs?
The CBT itself won't be changing. However, any driving licences applied for from 19/1/2013 will have the new 'AM' category for mopeds, replacing the old 'p' category. This is to cater for the new definition of moped which is a bike no bigger than 50cc with a maximum design speed not exceeding 28mph. Generally this means that any moped made after 2003 will meet 'AM' criteria but those before it won't. If you got your driving licence before the change then you'll be bound by the old definition (the 'p' category) meaning you can ride mopeds with a maximium design speed of 31mph.
I have a full car licence - do I still have to do a CBT?
This depends. Everyone has to complete a CBT if they wish to ride a bike bigger than a moped*. If you have a full car licence which was obtained before the 1st February 2001 then you automatically have a full moped licence. This means you can ride a moped without any prior training, nor will you have to display L-plates plus you are able to take passengers. That said, it would be a bit silly hopping onto a moped without some sort of training beforehand - a CBT day is a perfect introduction.
If you took your car test on or after the 1st February 2001 then you will have to complete a CBT. On completion, this qualifies your full moped licence and your provisional motorcycle licence. This means you can ride a moped for the length of the licence without re-taking your CBT every two years. It also means you don't have to display L-plates on your moped and you can take passengers. This is not true of any bike bigger than a moped, however. As a provisional licence holder a CBT will allow you to ride a learner legal motorcycle up to 125cc, but L-plates must be displayed and you cannot take passengers. Your CBT must be renewed every two years.
*current definition of a moped is a motorcycle no bigger than 50cc with a maximum design speed not exceeding 28mph - this relates to category 'AM' on driving licences issued from 19/1/2013. The older definition of moped, relating to category 'p' on older licences allows for a maximum design speed of 31mph.
How long is a CBT certificate valid for?
Once I've passed my CBT can I ride on the motorways?
No. As per car drivers you are not allowed on the motorways until you have passed your full test with the DVSA.
Can I ride a 125cc bike on a car licence?
No. A 125cc bike, regardless of it being a scooter or a geared bike, is classified as a motorcycle and is bound by learner motorcycle laws. This means you need to complete a CBT to qualify your provisional motorcycle licence. Then you can ride up to a 125cc learner-legal bike.
Can I take a pillion passenger once I've passed my CBT?
No. You must take the full test.
How long does a CBT take?
It's a full day. Starting at 9am you'll be finished between 4pm & 6pm depending on the general competency of the whole group.
Do I need to do a theory test before taking a CBT?
No. The CBT is a training day, not a test. Once you've successfully completed all the training you get your CBT certificate. The theory test is only required if you wish to proceed on to a full-licence course.
What do I need to take a CBT?
All you need is a provisional driving licence - we can provide the rest.
I did my CBT on a moped when I was 16. Now I'm 17 do I have to do another CBT to ride a 125cc motorcycle?
No. You can ride a 125cc bike as soon as you're of the minimum legal age (17) without having to do a fresh CBT. A CBT certificate covers all learner-categories of bike for two years, subject to age requirements. That said, if you're getting on to a geared bike for the first time we can offer a short training session on clutch control and gear-changing.
Do you supply helmets?
Yes, although we recommend investing in your own as you'll need one anyway and correct fitting is vital.
Can I use my own bike?
Absolutely, but your bike must be road legal. If it is found not to be (loud race exhaust for example) then your CBT will be aborted and you will not get a refund. We have to consider not only the neighbours but our training licence would be put in jeopardy by allowing illegal bikes onto the site and onto the roads.
I did my last CBT in 2 hours - why does it take so long with you?
That's because we do it properly! Unfortunately there are a few rogue schools out there who can't be bothered to train their pupils properly. This is not only illegal but hugely irresponsible in our opinion. Thankfully the DVSA are beginning to clamp down on the bad eggs in our industry and not a moment too soon.
Can I really learn to ride a bike in one day?
Usually yes. Although that said, we would never allow someone on the road who isn't ready. If you don't quite get up to standard in the first day you'll come back and do a little bit more training. Your course price entitles you up to 8 hours instruction. If you need more than that then additional hours are charged at £25/hr.
Do you do gift vouchers?
When & where do you do your CBTs?
Saturdays & Sundays we use either the car park at Cobam Mission Equipment, Brook Road, Wimborne or Haymoor Middle School, Ashdown Close, Canford Heath, Poole. Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays we use Bourne Valley Community Centre, Herbert Avenue, Parkstone, Poole. But each day starts at the Head Office address in Wimborne.
If I take my CBT on an automatic bike, am I allowed to ride a geared bike?
Strangely yes but we would recommend getting a couple of hours training with us on geared bike operation.
Any more questions? Please CONTACT us!
So what are all these new licencing laws all about then?
On the 19th of January 2013, the government brought driving licence laws inline with the rest of Europe. Called the 3rd European Driving Licence Directive (3DLD), it introduced a raft of changes to motorists including two new licence categories for motorcyclists.
There are now 3 categories; A1, A2 & A.
Category A1 is taken on a learner-legal 125cc motorcycle (11kW / 14.6bhp). On successful completion you'll be able to ride up to a 125cc, 11kW motorcycle without L-plates, be able to take passengers and go on motorways. Anyone from 17-years-of-age upwards can do this category.
Category A2 is taken on a motorcycle of at least 395cc and between 25kW / 33bhp and 35kW / 46.6bhp. On successful completion you'll be able to ride up to a 35kW motorcycle without L-plates, be able to take passengers and go on motorways. Anyone from 19-years-of-age upwards can do this category. A word of warning with this category; If, after passing your test, you're thinking of buying a powerful motorcycle (a Suzuki GSX-R600 for example) and then fitting a restriction kit to it, making it 35kW, you still wouldn't be allowed to ride it. The 35kW must not be derived from an engine more than double its power when unrestricted ie. if the motorcycle is more than 70kW / 93.2bhp in its standard form, it's not suitable for an A2 licence holder. So a bike such as a Suzuki GSX-R600, which produces 93.8kW / 125.8bhp is a no-go.
Category A is taken on a motorcycle of at least 595cc with a minimum power output of 40kW / 53.6bhp. On successful completion you'll be able to ride any motorcycle without L-plates, be able to take passengers and go on motorways. Anyone from 24-years-of-age upwards can do this category.
After two years A1 and A2 licence holders can upgrade to the next category by retaking the Modue 1 & 2 tests on a suitable motorcycle. Alternatively, if you turn old enough to fall into the correct age bracket for a particular category within the two years, you can take both Module 1 & Module 2 tests again on the relevant motorcycle and upgrade your licence that way, but you'll need to do another theory test too.
Will the new licensing laws affect me even though I passed my test before January 19th 2013?
No. The new laws will only affect provisional license holders who take the practical tests after the law changed on the 19th January 2013. Anyone who passed their test before the change will be bound by the previous license laws.
I want to upgrade my A1 / A2 licence - what do I need to do?
If two years have passed since you took your test then you'll need to do another Module 1 & 2 test on the more powerful motorcycle relevant to the licence category you're wanting to upgrade to. You can only go up one licence class at a time - so A1 goes to A2 and A2 goes to A. You can't jump a class so you can't go straight from A1 to A unless you meet the minimum age requirement for category A and you've taken a new theory test.
Upgrading a licence is possible within 2 years as long as you meet the minimum age requirements for the class you're upgrading to, but you must also do the theory test again, as well as the Module 1 & 2 practical tests.
What do I need to take a full-licence course?
I'm 16 - can I do my full licence course?
Yes, but only a full moped licence. You'd be better off waiting until you are 17 and take your A1 licence to start you on your journey to your A licence!
I'm 17 - what category licence can I get?
17 and 18 year-olds can do the A1 licence, which limits the rider to a 125cc motorcycle no more powerful than 14.6bhp for two years, at which point the licence can be upgraded to A2 (46.6bhp) by taking a further practical test on an A2 classified motorcycle.
I'm 19 - what category licence can I get?
19 to 23 year-olds can do the A2 licence, which limits the rider to a motorcycle no more powerful than 46.6bhp for two years, at which point the licence can be upgraded to A (unlimited) by taking a further practical test on an A classified motorcycle.
I'm over 24 - what category licence can I get?
You can do the A licence, which has no restrictions attached to it.
Where are the Module 1 & 2 tests conducted?
Module 1 has two options. The DVSA will conduct tests in the Poole VOSA station on a part-time basis on Wednesdays. The other option is Lee-on-Solent at the purpose-built Multi-Purpose Test Centre (MPTC). Being so far away is hardly ideal and rather than dedicating a days travel to do a test lasting 10 minutes, and the extra cost this would represent, we can incorporate one of the module 2 days as the ride there, doing the test and riding back. This will offer the candidate some exciting real-world riding experiences as the roads encountered offer a variety of different challenges.
Module 2 can be taken at either Poole, Dorchester or Lee-on-the- Solent.
There's been a lot of press about candidates crashing whilst doing the avoidance exercise in Module 1 - what's going on?
The accidents appear to be because the candidate has applied the front brake during the swerve maneuver. This is never a good thing in the dry, let alone the wet which is when the accidents are predominantly occurring. We can't imagine any instructor worth their salt who would teach this to a pupil therefore we can only surmise people are turning up for their tests without adequate instruction beforehand.
We have trialled a variety of different methods for this exercise and have settled on one effective technique which is straightforward and safe. We also build the candidate up to full speed in steps, minimising risk.
Finally, our A2 and A category training bikes are all equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), further minimising the risk.
I have a full car licence - do I still need to take a theory test?
Do I have to take a theory test before beginning my training?
Not essential but recommended. We can't get either module test for you without it!
How many days training should I have?
Our standard course length (shown on our courses page) is usually suitable for most people. If you require further training we offer a discounted rate of £100 / day.
How long is each day?
Riding a motorcycle can be mentally exhausting and as such we try and limit the day to a maximum of 5 hours in the saddle. This does vary but generally you'll start at 10am and finish around 3pm, with breaks in between.
Where do we meet each day?
We're based inside Minster Mechanics, Units 1 & 2, 28 Brook Road, Wimborne, BH21 2BH.
Do you supply helmets?
Yes, but we do recommend investing in your own as correct fitting is vital. You're going to need one anyway! Let us know if you need to borrow a school helmet.
Do you have a good pass rate?
We have an excellent first time pass rate as we try and take our candidates way beyond test standard and include instructional techniques not usually taught at other schools. It may sound clichéd but we really do pride ourselves on doing the job properly and making safe riders. Some schools advertise a 98% pass rate - challenge them on that and ask for proof. The National average is a 66% first time pass rate and we're higher than that but 98% is, erm, crazy?
What happens if I fail?
Eek! We try and keep that word out of our vocabulary! If you are unlucky and don't get through first time you'll have to wait 3 clear working days for Module 1 and 10 clear working days for Module 2. You'll pay for the test fee plus any instructional time beforehand (if any is required).
I've heard the examiners have a quote of passes and fails - is this true?!
Absolutely not! If you show them a good, confident and safe ride you'll get through. We'll show you how.
One school I called says they can get me through in 3 days even though I've never ridden before - why can't you?
How anyone can turn a complete novice into a safe, competent rider in 3 days is a complete mystery to us. We won't sacrifice our reputation just to get business.
I'm quite short - can you help?
Yes! We have a specially lowered Yamaha XJ6N ABS for A-licence pupils. This usually allows for riders 5'1" and over. That said, we invite all potential pupils under 5'4" to come and sit on the bikes first before making a decision.
Prices vary wildly from school to school...
We try and remain competitive but we don't want to sacrifice quality or cut corners. We think our prices represent the best value for money around.
Can I use my own bike and if so will I get discount on my course?
Yes and yes. Make sure your bike is on the DVSA list of approved bikes for test. We discount the saving on fuel and insurance - currently £10 per day.
Will my course be 1-to-1 with my instructor?
Sometimes yes but more likely there will be two pupils to one instructor. If you would prefer 1-to-1 then this can be arranged but will be more expensive.
Do you do gift vouchers?
It's natural to be nervous but our instructors have seen it all before and are well prepared! They'll put you at ease right away.
Any more questions? Please CONTACT us!