Motorcycles and safety equipment

As a motorbike instructor, you may train riders using their own machines, or you may work for an approved training body (ATB) that has a fleet of training bikes. Either way, you have a duty of care to make sure that all the bikes used for training are fit for purpose. This means that they should be legal, safe to ride and suitable for the rider.

Matching the bike to the rider

As well as being roadworthy, the bike needs to be suitable for the rider. The rider should be able to sit on the bike and reach the floor safely. All controls should be within easy reach. The rider should be able to take the bike off and put it on its stand and push it without difficulty.

Are your bikes suitable for practical tests?

To be used on the test, training bikes need to have a speedometer that measures miles per hour (mph) and they need to be suitable for the test being taken. There is a list of bikes and their test categories on GOV.UK.

What about insurance?

You’ll need insurance that covers the training of provisional licence holders, unless you specialise in post-test training only.

Are L plates needed?

If you’re teaching learner riders then, as a minimum, you need to fit L plates (or D plates in Wales) that are visible from in front of and behind their bikes.


You should make sure that helmets are a good fit and have never been dropped or knocked – if they have they may no longer be safe and you’ll need to replace them. Visibility aids should be worn. Responsible instructors also make sure that other equipment, such as protective clothing, suitable footwear and gloves, is provided when learners do not have their own.

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