Published 25 January 2023
Last updated 25 January 2023
In this blog we’ll look at why getting a full motorcycle licence is important.
So, you’ve been riding for about a year and your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course is just a distant memory. You enjoy the feel of your bike on the open road and the freedom it gives you. Best of all you know you can keep riding until your CBT certificate expires. You don’t have to do any more training if you don’t want to.
The snag is that there are some very good reasons why you should think about getting a full licence.
To help you consider the advantages of a full motorcycle licence, we’ve put together some handy advice:
- The first point might be obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Your CBT certificate only lasts two years. Once it expires, you’ll have to take the course again. That’s a lot of hassle and expense for something you have already been through once. Completing further training and passing your test will not only provide access to a wider range of machines that suit your style of riding and
your lifestyle - it’s a licence for life. There is an amazing bike out there for everyone. When you pass your test, you unlock your ability
- If you’re aged 24 and over and only have CBT, your choice of motorcycle is limited by law. That might be great for people who only make short trips, but for riders that need (or want) to travel longer distance, it can be very limiting. But passing your test and being able to travel on all types of roads to a destination of your choice brings a huge amount of freedom. Your new skills will be used in every way, whether you are travelling for pleasure or commuting for work
- No full licence – no motorway riding. While it’s true that this will not be at the top of every rider’s agenda, riding on motorways is a helpful option for commuters and leisure riders alike. Motorway riding can help you get to your destination quicker; but it also gives you the option of taking a route to suit your mood and the weather
- You cannot carry passengers if you do not have a full licence. Riding with friends and carrying a pillion is one of the joys of motorcycling. It reduces your carbon footprint and saves money
- Finally, CBT is a structured training course that covers the basics. By getting your full licence, you’ll be investing in developing the additional skills required to ride at a more advanced level. Taking further training and passing your test will make your riding smoother, improve your machine handling, increase your ability to read the road, improve your confidence and make you safer on the road. What’s not to like…?
One in a pillion
OK, so that’s just one set of things to consider if you’re still riding on CBT. The list is not exhaustive and what is important to you will be affected by your personal circumstances.
If you do decide to train for a full licence, you’ll need to understand the different routes to qualification. GOV.UK has a useful set of diagrams that show what you’ll need to have at each stage of the process. There’s also plenty of information on the Safe Driving for Life Advice pages, as well as in the Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Ride and the Official DVSA Guide to Riding – the essential skills.
Alternatively, if you’re just starting out and want to know all about CBT, check out Ridefree.
Ridefree was Developed by DVSA, National Highways and other partners. If features a combination of 6 eLearning modules and an enhanced version of the CBT syllabus. Better still, it’s based on evidence and tailored to the experiences of real learners and real trainers.