Learning to ride a motorcycle – Advice for getting started

Looking for advice on learning to ride a motorcycle or scooter?  How do you get started on two wheels?  Tony Walters from RideTo, the UK’s #1 Platform For New Riders and Ride To Work Day supporters, is here to help.

learning to ride a motorcycle

Why should you ride a motorbike? There are many reasons to travel on two wheels, some are down to practicality and economics, others are about freedom and well-being. At RideTo we help thousands of learner riders each year to fulfil their needs and dreams, here are some reasons why we think you should learn to ride a motorbike.

Avoid Public Transport

Practicality is a great place to start. If you commute into a town or city, a motorbike is the perfect way to avoid sitting in nose to tail traffic. Getting from A to B is so much quicker! Parking is easier too and very often free. Scooters are particularly popular as you also generally have somewhere to store your helmet and clothing under the seat. There is something very satisfying about pootling through city traffic with no hindrance. Another consideration since the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is the ability to avoid travelling on crowded public transport, with all the inherent risks that may bring with it. A motorbike is the ultimate social distancing transport tool.

Save Money

Motorbikes and scooters are also easier on your bank balance. They are cheaper than a car of a similar age, insurance is usually much less too, as is the learning and qualification process. Many small capacity motorbikes and scooters are very frugal when it comes to fuel, and of course put out much less pollution. Electric motorcycles have been making incredible advances over the last few years, and although generally more expensive to purchase initially their ongoing running costs are very low. They don’t have the usual components that wear out or require maintenance, other than tyres, brakes and suspension. In fact looking after an electric motorbike or scooter is not dissimilar to a bicycle! They cost pennies to charge, and can be left doing that whilst you carry out your day’s work.


Of course a big positive to learning to ride a motorbike is the freedom that it brings. It might sound a bit of a cliché, but riding a motorbike truly is unlike any other form of transport. Someone very profound once stated that “Driving a car is like watching a movie, riding a motorbike is like being in the movie” and they were spot on. Motorbikes have proved to be a very good tool for positive mental health. We speak to so many riders who gain a real mental benefit from riding. Blocking out everything but the riding itself is a fantastic way to unwind from a tough day, or lift your mood.

But how much does it cost to learn to ride?

The answer to this often asked question is “probably less than you think”. The minimum requirement to get on the road is the CBT test, or Compulsory Basic Training to give it its full title. This one day course will establish the basics for riding on the road and the instructor will determine if you are ready to do so. It’s not a test as such, the training school will endeavour to bring you to the required standard on the day. A CBT will usually cost in the region of £130. Be wary of CBT’s that are very cheap, often you’ll need to go back a second time, at extra cost of course.

When you move onto a bigger bike, or go straight to the Direct Access Scheme, costs will be higher due to the level of training, time on the road and the use of bikes. As a rough guide a full 4 day DAS course from scratch including a CBT and test fees will start at around £700-£800. You also have to consider the Theory test, which costs £23.


Once you’ve decided to go ahead and learn to ride, and you’ve studied which course is best for your needs, just visit RideTo.com to find your nearest training school.  Before you know it you’ll be a fully-fledged member of the motorcycling community.

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