A2 licence dilemma

Ok, bear with me while I explain the situation.
I have been riding for a month now and enjoying it very much. I ride my 125 Maxi Scoot everyday, for commuting if not for pleasure.
My CBT was taken on an auto - a decision I now regret, as I found it easy (the Elite training no doubt), I think I would have been able to handle it on a manual. So at the moment I’m restricted to autos.

I’m thinking that I’d like to go down the A2 route for my full licence, but now think that I should try it on a manual so I’m not restricted to an auto for life.
Of course, this would mean extra training to learn manual gears on a the training centre’s bike, both of which would probably mean an increase in cost of the course/ test. Elite quoted about £450 for 4 days if I took it soon, perhaps less if I left it till later next year when I have more road experience.

To be honest, I can’t see myself getting a manual at all in the near future and will be happy with a decent maxi scooter (e.g. Piaggio X8) which can fit all my shopping, golf clubs, livestock etc. But I don’t like the idea of having a full motorcycle licence and not being able to legally ride a what most people would consider a real motorbike - manual.
I don’t mean to insult riders of maxis, but I can see a time when I go on holiday and the only bike above 50cc I can hire is a manual. Who knows, I might even want to go on a track day at some point :blink:

A couple of things -

  • Will next Feb be too soon to take the test (been riding 4 weeks)?
  • Would I be wrong to take the course/ test on a manual and then go back to an auto for everyday use (and forget what I’d learnt)?
  • Money is/ will be a factor, I don’t/ won’t have much to spare for a while.
  • As I’d like to upgrade my ride (irrespective of power/ cc), should I wait until after the test to get a new one (while the resale value of my current one falls)?

I’d really appreciate some opinions on this; aspects that perhaps I hadn’t considered.

People here are going to to tell you different things, i know people who only have the auto licence and have never regret doing it.

It all comes down to what you feel is right for you.

if you plan to do scoots for the rest of your life then go for it…as is…but if you like two wheels then a real bike…oops a non scooter is a different maybe better, more involving riding pleasure…in my humble opinion…

A cbt is a cbt - it doesn’t mater if you took it on an auto - with a cbt you can ride a manual.

As for the path you want to take, simply ask yourself what you want to use the license for. Personally, despite driving a geared car, after three and half years of riding auto bikes I found it surprisingly difficult to get on with a manual. I could do it, but it seemed like a lot of hassle I could do without given that I had no plans to buy a manual bike.

As for being stuck with autos - remember that an auto license means you can ride bikes with gears - they just need to have an automatic clutch - like this 1300 Yamaha -

New autos are coming out all the time like this 850 Aprilla -

And the same engine will be in this 850 scooter being launched next year -

I would do the test on a manual tbh. It’s not going to take you much longer to learn and you may save a load of cash if you later decide to ride a manual bike.
I thought I’d always ride scoots and have just now decided to get a bigger bike, and I’m so glad I did my test on a manual. Even though it was a scoot though (Vespa T5, manual gears), it means that now I can ride any bike I like. I just toke a 2 hour lesson to get used to the gears on a “traditional” bike and that seemed enough to get started. That cost me £60 with eastside riders (www.eastsiderider.co.uk).
I think I would wait another couple of months and get as much experience as possible. Then you should be able to get through your test after 2 days lessons I think. Being able to use the gears is the easy bit, being a confident aware rider is what they test you on.

garret go for it, go and do a day lesson on a manual, see how you get on, if you get to grips with it you may find it much better than a auto, you may not and might find working throught gears etc hard work.

i love little scoots, great tools for nipping round town…but…they can get boring, same for big scoots, but thats just my opinion, i prefer a geared bike.

whatever you decide, goand do it soon, laws for tests and the test its self changes in oct, you been riding 4 weeks? thats ok…theres people that go and do teh test having never ridden, and pass! so go for it!:smiley: get ya test done then look at getting a bigger scoot/bike.oh i too can vouch for eastsideriders, got me through my DAS 1st time, top lads and lasses!

As Giuliano said (in small writing), a CBT covers you, not what you’re riding.

If you’ve got lots of road-miles on two wheels already, do the DAS.

If not, do the A2 on a geared bike and get experience without having to handle all the power of a big bike. After all, there are lots of smaller-capacity bikes that’ll go plenty quick enough and two years will pass quickly.

Did my CBT on an auto cos i was too nervous on a manual, then i purchased a manual bike on ebay, the only thing is it was in southampton and i didn’t want to pay £100 for some dodgy delivery, so i taught myself how to use the gears on the fly. (it’s basically throttle-off, Clutch-in, change up/down, clutch-out, throttle-on.):wink:

There was alot of stalling at first and at 1 one point i couldn’t get it started at all cos i left it in 7th gear and pressed the kill switch, but i knew if i didn’t get it right i wasn’t going home any time soon. :hehe:

I got it in the end and it was so great coming back on the A3 (no gloves, thin jacket, and jeans, won’t be doing that again. :P)

I passed my A2 license on my own geared bike in august this year and now got myself a GSXR 400.:smiley:

Thank you all for your replies!

@ Giuliano & Mr Chips - For some reason I thought that I’d be restricted to an auto! This could be good news, does this mean that I can get a manual bike now.

@ Leade - inspiring! My first A3 experience was yesterday.

Hmmm… perhaps my initial idea of getting a Varadero is still on :w00t:
Perhaps if I get a better 125, it should be a manual so that I can use it for the A2 test and to get experience on until I take it.

Keep 'em coming.

You have a cbt so you can ride any learner legal bike, geared or auto. You can take the cbt on an auto restricted 50 and then ride a manual 125 (unless you are 16) for example.

Also what i did to get some experience was work a delivery rider for a chinese resturant. Which was great cos the roads in the evening were empty, which meant you could ride like a nutter. :DWhen I got a bit more confident I did a bit of couriering, which got me used to high speed riding, dual carridgeways, filtering and riding-whilst-giving-the-finger-to-the-guy-who-almost-wipes-you-out. :stuck_out_tongue:

All car drivers are buggers. :hehe:

The A3 is brilliant, especially the tree-lined bit at southampton. Lots of bends, national speed limit, no traffic and when you get to the end (if I remember correctly) theres a nice long bended off ramp… :smiley: When it gets warmer again and my bike is sorted i’m going back down there.

The Verdero isn’t a bad bike if you’re tall, but not if you are short. It’s bigger/taller than my 400.

Get yourself a Honda NSR or CBR, their brilliant, they are really light and look great. failing that you can’t beat the Honda CG, cos if it breaks (which it really won’t) you can get parts from absolutley anywhere.

I have only got an auto licence, and I don’t see me wanting to ride a geared bike here in the UK, big maxi-scooters are a hoot!

However I’m going to take my DAS next year so I can hire a bike abroad, in places like South Africa and the US.

So it’s down to whether you want to buy a geared 125 that can do 100kph, and do the test on that (two-year restriction), or jump straight into DAS, and only use it for hiring abroad.

i spent a week doing my CBT and DAS in July. my original intention was to buy a Yamaha T-Max. but as soon as i started my training, i changed my mind and decided to go for a manual test, because i liked the riding feel(instead of sitting on a scooter). it was a good start, but did not go as smoothly as expected: I’ve taken 4 tests since July and finally passed last month, after spending 3 times of my original budget on training. If i went for an auto test, probably i could have saved enough money for a decent bike. i don’t know

I would not worry about ‘forgetting’ about how to use a geared bike, it is much easier to use gears on a bike than a car…

A good rider knows about the bike, for sure, but has a good knowledge of roadcraft as well (more important than in a car), so that should be the main focus of your training, getting safe on the roads…

There are TWO types of CBT, you just have to check which one is ticked on the bottom of your DL169 (CBT Cert.).

If you have moped entitlement you are allowed to ride autos only, however if you have motorcycle entitlement you are able to ride both geared and autos! No doubt you will have the motorcycle entitlement as it seems a little silly for them to give you moped entitlement.

However, I was riding a geared 125 on a moped licence for a little while and when I got a producer nothing was said to me about it being auto or gears! So to be honest I really wouldn’t worry!

With regards to what test to do, personally I would suggest doing the A2 on a geared bike. Who knows when you might need the entitlement of riding a geared bike?

Price wise - I would call around! See if someone can beat the quote. I am designing a new website for a company called Off The Kerb (020 7610 1210), who are based in Fulham. They are going to do my A2 and then my DAS when I am 21 and are really a nice bunch of guys! And I have heard nothing but good things about them!

Good luck!

You have misunderstood the purpose of the boxes - they have nothing to do with manual or auto. A CBT has to be presented with a license to make the license valid. The boxes are used to show which license you are validating when it was issued. There are four options on the cbt that I had - provisional moped (only 16 year olds are likely to have this as mopeds (in law a sub 50cc machine restricted to less than 31mph) is all they can be licensed to ride) - provisional motorcycle - full car/moped - full car/motorcycle.

Mine has the last box ticked as I was validating a license that was full car, full moped, but provisional for all other categories including motorcycle.

I really don’t think it matters if you have a provisional moped licence as when you get to 17 it becomes a provisional motorcycle license as I understand it.

Note that the full car/moped category is there because you can get a full car license at 16 in certain restricted circumstances.

Is that right?

Just out of interest what would they be?

I know this one…you can get a car license at 16 if you are disable to an extent that a car would benefit your transportation needs. I only know this as at 16 my sister can take her driving test, as she has had Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis since birth.

I just had a closer look at my DL196.
The ‘Category Restrictions’ box is empty which, I imagine, means that I’m go! for a manual.

Now the whole choice thing has to start again!

Thanks and have a great time tonight!

You can also get a full hgv at 17 :wink: