Skip to Main Content
Follow Us

Motorcycles and scooters

Mopeds, scooters and motorcycles combine the benefits of motorised transport with advantages of a two-wheeled vehicle in traffic.

Compared to cars, these powered two-wheelers (PTW) are quick, cheap, convenient and produce far fewer CO2 emissions too.

Did you also know that you can now ride your PTW in York in designated bus lanes (where indicated by a motorcycle symbol) and benefit from access to many free dedicated motorcycle parking bays in the city?

See Motorcycle Parking for more information.

PTW registrations are on the increase so many more people are realising the benefits of cheaper motor transport and being able to get on the road more cheaply and quickly without the need for expensive driving lessons.  If you are one of those people or you are thinking about a PTW as your preferred mode of travel it may be worth considering the following: 

You never stop learning

The key to staying safe on the road is to accept that you never stop learning or improving, so make sure you regularly appraise your riding.  There are a number of ways to do this.

Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

Before riding on the public road, you must complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) session. You will receive a certificate of completion, valid for two years, which allows you to ride with L plates. If you don't pass your motorcycle test within this period, you'll need to retake CBT to continue riding on the public road.

When you're looking for a trainer to do your CBT make sure to ask how long you will be spending on the road- by law you must spend 3 hours on the public road to complete a CBT. This does not include time spent riding around their off-road area.  A reputable trainer will not cut corners.

Time to upgrade from a CBT certificate?

If you are riding a motorcycle, scooter or moped on a CBT then consider taking an A1 license.  You’ll be able to lose your L plates, take a passenger and will never need to take a CBT again. It will save you money in the long term and will improve your skill set at the same time.  Anyone aged 17 or over can do this.

Want to ride something bigger than 125cc?

If you think you will want to ride something bigger in the near future, then consider doing an A2 license for medium sized motorcycles.  You need to be 19 years old or over to do this.
If you want the choice to ride any bike regardless of size, then you could move straight to an A license. This is sometimes known as ‘direct access’. You will need to be 23 years old, or you can do an A2 at 19 and then do an ‘A’ test at 21.


Many police forces offer BikeSafe workshops. These are great fun, as you spend time riding with the Police riders, who will appraise your riding. 10,000 people have taken BikeSafe courses and you can find out more about them at

Prices vary between £10 and £50 depending on the force and they are generally aimed at people who already have licenses, though not always.

Off-road riding can improve on-road riding too.

BikeSafe also offer off-road riding days, where you learn specific skills in an off-road environment, which can help improve your riding on the road.

Off-road sport is the most accessible form of motorsport and varies from the skill of slow ‘trials riding’ to motocross racing. There is a huge variety of clubs and groups who organise this and it gives families the chance to socialise together.

1.7 million spectators watch around 55,000 riders attend an average of over 4000 off-road events a year.  These range from schoolboy motocross to high level competitions such as the Maxxis British Motocross Championships.

There are three main off-road sporting bodies- AMCAACU and BSMA.

The Motorcycle Industry Association run subsidised ‘try out’ sessions each year for would be off-road riders. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis. See the MIA's facebook page for more details.


The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) are national organisations which welcome new members to their local motorcycle groups.  You can meet other riders and have your riding regularly appraised.

Enhanced Rider Scheme

Just passed your test? Returning to biking after a few years?  About to upgrade to a bigger bike? 
Many good training schools run the Enhanced Rider Scheme.  This allows you to check your riding skills and provides training to help you improve. There is no test.

Not only do you improve your skills, but you can get discounts on motorcycle insurance once you’ve successfully completed the scheme.

You can find out more at


Thieves go for easy pickings. Lock up your bike and use any ground anchors which are available.  Also get your bike ‘tagged’ if it isn’t already.  Did you know motorcycles, scooters or mopeds which are ‘tagged’ with security marking, they are three times less likely to be stolen?
If there is a ground anchor or something to attach your bike to, use it and make sure it is locked. It might take a couple of minutes, but it is much quicker than sorting out a stolen vehicle.

Wear the right gear

Wear full protective clothing and stop a minor incident from becoming a major one:

New to motorcycling?

You can find out all you need to know at the Get On website, supported by the Motorcycle Industry Association.

Motorcycle parking

Find out where to park your powered two-wheeler in York city centre. More