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What you need to know
My friend has been riding a 125cc bike on a provisional licence for years!
Why should I get a full 125cc motorbike licence?
Licence categories for mopeds and motorcycles

Providing you have a valid CBT certificate and you always display your L plates (and/or D plates in Wales) you can ride indefinitely on a provisional licence.

This is because once you have satisfactorily completed your CBT, it’s possible to ride a 125cc motorbike for two years before having to complete CBT again. Therefore, it is possible for riders to continue to renew their CBT every two years, so long as they continue to display L plates.

On a provisional licence, you are restricted to riding a motorbike or scooter up to 125cc (which can reach speeds of up to around 65mph) so long as you are 17 or over. You cannot carry passengers and have to display your L plates on a permanent basis.

However, on successful completion of your motorbike test*, you can ride on the motorway (subject to a suitable vehicle) and carry a pillion passenger.  

The most important thing to check on your motorbike insurance policy documentation is whether there is an additional excess or endorsements for inexperienced riders (as there might be for inexperienced drivers on a car policy). The term ‘inexperienced’ may vary from insurer to insurer so check carefully!

* Refer to Licence categories for mopeds and motorcycles below for full details
The Highway Code states that: 

To ride a moped, learners MUST

  • be 16 or over
  • have a provisional moped licence
  • complete CBT training

You can then ride unaccompanied on the public road a two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), with L plates (in Wales either D plates or L plates, or both, can be used), for up to two years.

You MUST first pass the

Category AM (moped) – minimum age 16

  • two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h (28 mph)
  • three- or four-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed over 25 km/h (15.5 mph), up to 50 cc and with a power output not exceeding 4 kW.

Category A1 – minimum age 17

  • motorcycles up to 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kW
  • tricycles with a power output not exceeding 15 kW.

Category A2 – minimum age 19

  • motorcycles with a power output not exceeding 35 kW.

Category A

  • unrestricted motorcycles with a power output over 35 kW (minimum age 24 under direct access, or 21 under progressive access)
  • tricycles with a power output over 15 kW (minimum age 21).

Progressive access is a process that allows a rider to take a higher-category practical test if they already have at least two years’ experience on a lower-category motorcycle. For example, if you have held a category A2 licence for a minimum of two years, you can take the category A practical test at age 21. There is no requirement to take another theory test.

If you want to learn to ride motorcycles larger than 125 cc and with a power output over 11 kW, you MUST meet the minimum age requirements, satisfactorily complete a CBT course and be accompanied by an approved instructor on another motorcycle in radio contact.

To obtain your full moped or motorcycle licence you MUST pass a motorcycle theory test and modules 1 and 2 practical tests on a two-wheeled motorcycle.

You MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger or pull a trailer until you have passed your test. Also see Rule 253 covering vehicles prohibited from motorways.
Whatever your requirements, 1st Choice Insurance is here to help.  Call our friendly, experienced team on 0800 078 7003 - 0300 600 0603 for a no obligation quotation or use our quote form.