One of our most asked questions is to do with taking a 125cc bike on the motorway. Here we run through the ins and outs of what you can and can’t do.
Can you ride a 125cc on the motorway?
You can ride a 125cc bike on a motorway but you must hold a full bike licence. That means you’ve taken and passed your test.
You can ride a 125cc motorbike with a car licence. But to do so, you need to have completed your Compulsory Basic Training (commonly called CBT). Your bike must also have L plates on it. The latter means that, as the signs suggest when you join an M-way, you shouldn’t take the 125cc bike on a motorway.
You can’t ride any bike on the motorway that’s got an engine smaller than a 125. It would be too slow and potentially dangerous.
What is the full bike test?
To get a full bike licence, you need to take a theory test and two practical tests. You take the theory test first. Once you’ve passed that, you can take the other two parts. Module 1 is an off-road riding test. Rather than driving through fields and puddles as the name might suggest, this is done on private land somewhere. It includes a slalom and figure of eight, doing a U turn and basics such as putting the bike on its stand.
Module 2 features road riding and an independent ride as well as the instructor asking ‘show me, tell me’ questions and an eyesight test, both of which are similar to those in a car test. You must have passed Module 1 before you can take Module 2.
Can learner drivers drive on the motorway?
Learner drivers can indeed use the motorway in a car. There was a change to the law in 2018 to make drivers better prepared for life on the road. But for a learner to legally take to the motorway, they must be accompanied by an approved driving instructor (ADI) and be in a car with dual controls.
Drivers who hold a provisional licence (ie. they haven’t passed their test) are not permitted to use a motorway in normal circumstances. They can’t drive on a motorway accompanied by an experienced, qualified driver either; it must be an ADI.
How much does the motorbike test cost?
The theory part of the test costs £23. Module 1 is £15.50 and Module 2 is £75 (or £88.50 if you do it on a weekend).
Can you ride a 125cc on a dual carriageway?
Multi-lane roads that aren’t classified as motorways are called dual carriageways. Learners can drive on these and will even be taken on them during their driving test. However, they must be accompanied by an experienced driver.
If you’re riding a 125cc motorbike on L plates and with a CBT, you can take it on a dual carriageway. It’s worth remembering that the national speed limit applies on dual carriageways and motorways (70mph) unless it’s stated otherwise through signposts.
What bikes can I ride with my CBT?
If you’re 16 or over and you’ve passed your CBT, you can ride a 50cc moped. Once you’re 17 or over, with your CBT safely tucked away, you can ride a motorcycle up to 125cc. But you must take your full test within two years or either stop riding or retake your CBT.
If you haven’t taken the CBT, you cannot legally ride a motorbike.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.