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Having got the bike bug, which most intelligent people get once they have completed a CBT, the arguments start at home and either you have to sell the furniture or a young child and buy excitement. Swim in shark infested waters, do a bungie jump on a piece of elastic which is much too long, or get a motorbike. Personally, we think the bike is the best, in fact only, option.
If you are over 17 and want to take the full test you will, in addition to the CBT, need to pass your theory test. If you book it yourself it will cost £23. If we book your theory test for you there is an admin fee of £10. You can book it by visiting www.dsa.gov.uk. After passing your theory test you will be trained to get you ready for your practical test.
All practical tests consist of two parts or modules. Irrespective of the size of bike, the tests are the same whatever the bike. To determine which bike you will use will depend on two things. Your age and the length of your inside leg.
Module One takes about ten minutes or so and is conducted off road at the Test Centre in Shrewsbury, just around the corner from our own centre. The off road test area is about the size of a football pitch. Our own training site is about the same size, if anything a little wider. In fact we have seven sites so we are never short of space. During your Module One you will complete a series of slow riding exercises, a swerve avoidance test and a controlled, or emergency, stop. You must pass Module One before taking the next module, which surprisingly is called Module Two.
Module Two is all on the road and lasts about thirty five to forty minutes.
Passing your test on a 125 cc bike will allow you to carry a pillion passenger and ride on a motorway. You will never automatically graduate to a larger bike and, if you pass your test you will receive an A1 Licence and the power of your bike will be limited to 11kw (14.6bhp) Thats pretty tame but could reach motorway speeds but it might struggle to ride up the side of Mount Everest two up.
If you are aged between 19 and 21, you can take your test on a bike of at least 395cc and which has a power output of not more than 35kw (46.6bhp). This is called the A2 Licence. Unlike earlier legislation you can not restrict every bike to under 46.6 bhp. You can only restrict a bike down to 46.6bhp provided it is less than 93.5 bhp to start with.That means for example you cannot restrict a Honda Fireblade as it is too powerful in the first place. For the training and test we currently use Kawasaki ER5s (500cc) which began life with about 50 bhp. Think of a bike you could comfortably use for cummuting from Shrewsbury to Chester each day, with the odd trip down the motorway to Wolverhampton, and, although you could use it to carry a passenger, it might get up to the foothills of Everest but it's not designed to tour the world.
An A Licence is for riders who are at least 24 years of age, (however this can be obtained if you have passed your A2 and held this for 2 years from the age of 19yrs but they will need to retake mod one & two on 595cc bike). This is called Direct Access. In the minds of the Department for Transport, the A Licence gives you direct access to a big bike. You see, there is a bit of sense in there somewhere. The test machines we use for Direct Access are Kawasaki ER6s. They are 650cc bikes and produce around 70 bhp.These are great mid size bikes. They easily reach motorway speeds and are regularly used by friends of ours for trips across Europe.
What you do after that is entirely dependent upon what you want your bike for.
Our instructors have a mix of bikes. We have some who are sports minded and like racing, others who like a gentle world trip who favour the armchair comfort of a big tourer.
Direct Access will put you on the road and from then on the world is your oyster.