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Frequently Asked Questions

I have a full car licence - do I still have to do a CBT?

This depends. Everyone must 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.

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.

How long does a CBT take?

It’s a full day. Starting at 0830am you’ll be finished between 1630pm 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 and suitable motorcycle gloves- we can provide the rest.

Can I use my own bike?

Yes, but your bike must be road legal and in a roadworthy condition.

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!!! At ALBA Motorcycle Training Academy we RAISE the standards.

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 charges will apply.

When & where do you do your CBTs?

We operate 7 days a week. On our excellent approved DVSA training pads.

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.

I don't understand all the different licence categories...

On the 19th of January 2013, the government brought driving licence laws in line 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 i.e. 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 Module 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.

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 have a valid theory test certificate.

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 have a valid theory test certificate and retake the Module 1 & 2 practical tests.

What do I need to take a full-licence course?

You need a provisional driving licence, a valid CBT certificate and a valid DVSA Motorcycle theory test certificate.

I'm 16 - can I do my full licence course?

Yes, but only a full moped licence (AM). 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.

I have a full car licence - do I still need to take a theory test?

Yes. The motorcycle theory test is slightly different in content. You can book your theory test by calling 0300 200 1122 or online. You can find practice theory tests online.

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!

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 a false statement.

What happens if I fail?

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?!

Untrue, 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.

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 and quality for money around. We would strongly advise that you visit any Training school including ourselves to check out the quality of the facilities, instructors and motorcycles.

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 a more expensive option.

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