50cc Scooters and Motorcycles
Technically termed as 'Mopeds', these vehicles fall under the following criteria:
- A maximum speed of 50 kilometres per hour, or 31 miles per hour
- The engine capacitiy does not exceed 50cc.
There is no restriction on what the vehicle looks like, so mopeds can either be geared motorcycles or scooters.
Who can ride 50cc vehicles?
You can only ride a moped if you are at least 16 years old. A provisional licence and CBT entitles you to ride on the road as a learner with L-plates (D-plates in Wales) but you can't carry a passenger or go on a motorway (due to the maximum speed limitations, we highly recommend that you avoid dual carriageways as well). If you want to ride a moped on the road without displaying L-plates you must take and pass a theory and practical driving test. However, if you passed your driving test before February 2001, then you can ride a moped without taking a CBT course.
125cc Scooters and Motorcycles
Scooters and motorcycles between 50cc and 125cc are perfect for anyone over 17 wanting to get on the road. Learner-legal 125cc vehicles must not have a power output that exceeds 11kW
Who can ride 125cc vehicles?
Anyone wanting to ride a 125cc vehicle must be at least 17 years old, and you must have a provisional licence and completed the relevant CBT course. This will let you ride on the road with L-plates (D-plates in Wales) but you can't carry a passenger or go on a motorway- a 125cc vehicle is usually perfectly adequate on dual carriageways. If you want to ride without L-Plates then you can take your full Motorcycle riding test.
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)
All new users of motorcycles need to complete Compulsory Basic Training, commonly called a CBT. This is regardless of whichever engine capacity the vehicle holds, the restriction of which depends on your age.
Before you book your CBT, make sure you have your provisional drivers licence, and if you are taking the test on your own vehicle make sure that it is insured and you have the appropriate riding clothing (helmet, gloves, padded clothing)- for insurance your insurer will often provide a cover note which is subject to you completing your CBT. Your instructor can and will stop you from taking part in the course if you, your clothing or your vehicle do not pass for roadworthiness. Also, it is illegal to ride your vehicle on the road before completing your CBT, so don't ride your bike there.
A CBT course contains five elements: Introduction, on-site instruction and training, on site riding, instruction and training on the road, and riding on the road. There are no examinations, and the training is not based upon a testing environment, however each element is taught in sequence and the instructor will only move onto the next element once you have shown you have the necessary skill and knowledge to do so. The on-road riding element must also be two hours minimum - so make sure you have enough petrol to finish the course.
On completion of your CBT, your instructor will give you a certificate (a copy of which should be sent to your insurers), which will remain valid for two years. If you take your CBT on a twist'n'go vehicle, you are still entitled to ride geared bikes up to the maximum cc depending on your age. Once your certificate has expired you will need to take another CBT course, unless you have decided you adore the world of motorcycling and take your Full Motorcycle Test. Also, if you pass your driving test withing the 2 years then the CBT certificate will not expire for scooters and motorcycles under 50cc (or 'mopeds').
Whilst you can take a CBT at the age of 16 it will affect what bike you are able to ride. If you are 16 years old you are only able to ride a 50cc Scooter or Motorcycle however if you are aged 17 years and above you are able to ride up to the maximum provisional capacity of 125cc.