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  • Writer's pictureACBT London

Should I buy a 125cc motorbike?

Updated: Jun 9

Should I buy a 125cc motorbike after CBT? Or, should I just jump straight in to DAS?

AJS Cadwell 125cc motorcycle and a Suzuki SV650cc motorcycle
Do I buy a 125 or go straight to DAS?

A very common dilemma that people face is whether to invest in a 125cc motorcycle after passing CBT or whether it is best to go straight into the DAS (Direct Access Scheme) or PAS (Progressive Access Scheme) training programmes to pass the motorcycle test. We have another blog post that explains the different licences available to you in the UK

This isn't something we can answer for you as each person is different and has different training needs and/or objectives. So what we will attempt to do with this post is to advise what we think is the best course of action and to explain why.

650cc Suzuki SV motorcycke
650cc Suzuki SV "A" Licence category motorcycle

First let's look at any benefits or drawbacks from heading straight over to the big bikes.

The image shows a 650cc Suzuki SV. This is the type of motorcycle we use for training as it meets the criteria for the "A" (unrestricted) licence.

It is a twin cylinder petrol engined bike producing 75hp and weighing around 200 kg. The average 125cc motorcycle produces somewhere in the region of 12-14hp and weighs around the 120kg mark. This means that making the jump from a small bike to one these is not an inconsiderable challenge. At the same time, the turning circle isn't as tight as a 125 but it is a much more stable riding platform with better brakes and handling.

Your motorcycle test involves Module 1, a test of control, and Module 2, a test of your driving skills. We have other blog posts explaining Module 1 and Module 2. If you are aiming to pass the motorcycle test ask yourself how able you would be to pass an official test of control with the experience you currently have of riding motorcycles. Then ask yourself if your standard of driving is up to the test of being scrutinised by the examiner. Answer both questions honestly and then consider whether you would be ready to move straight into the DAS training programme. How you answer these questions will have a direct bearing not just on your chance of passing the test but also on the length and therefore cost of doing so. The motorcycle test is not easy to pass but neither is it difficult. It is as easy to pass as it is to fail. Sadly, people underestimate how difficult the test can be and overestimate their ability. We will always be open with you with honest advice. After all, our reputation is directly linked to your success!

We are often asked how much our DAS and/or PAS courses are. We cannot answer that as we do not have standard courses. Our training is bespoke, based around each individual, so one training plan is not the same as another. Every person is different and we take care to work with the individual designing a unique training course taking into account each trainee's experience and training needs. If you feel ready to move on your first step is to complete this form so we can begin to form an understanding of your experience. More information about our training courses is on our website.

But, to 125 or not 125, that, after all, is the question. As a general rule of thumb an experienced rider could consider moving from CBT standard to DAS level. Ready to go? We will need to assess your ability. Complete the form so we can make arrangements!

125cc AJS Cadwell motorcycke
A 125cc learner legal motorcycle

So is it worth buying a 125cc motorbike? Is it not just a waste of money? an extra expense in the interim between CBT and DAS? In our opinion the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

For an inexperienced rider we would always recommend riding a 125cc motorbike before embarking on the "big bike" training. There is no substitute for experience and this can only be gained one way. Hours in the saddle in varied traffic environments and conditions are invaluable for anyone thinking of passing their motorcycle test.

A "learner bike" is just that. A machine with the purpose of allowing the trainee to practice the skills and techniques learned on our CBT course. We teach beyond CBT with techniques designed to look forward to the time when a trainee decides to pass the test. We have built into our learner courses our experience of advanced motorcycle training to make a better, safer rider, but also to allow the trainee to use the skills that will be needed to pass the test.

Owning your own bike allows you to practice those techniques each and every time you ride so that by the time you take the next step you are much further down the line in terms of development. On the other hand, not riding regularly can lead to knowledge fade and to the build up of "bad habits" that can hinder effective development.

Honda CG125 motorcycle
Honda CG125. A memorable motorcycle

Bearing the above in mind, it may still seem like a false economy to purchase a small motorcycle for what could potentially be a short period between CBT and test.

As you may be aware your CBT certificate lasts for a period of two years, a time window to allow a trainee to gain sufficient experience to pass the test.

As stated above experience is invaluable. Some express an intention to pass the test "as soon as possible" but disregarding the importance of experience can be a misjudgment.

Another benefit of a 125cc is that, curiously, they are less subject to depreciation. It is very possible to buy a learner motorbike and sell it some months or even a year later for virtually the same price. Remember, your learner bike does not need to be anything fancy. It is a tool, a means to an end. Your 125 will never be your dream bike but it will always hold a special place in your riding history. I will never forget my humble Honda CG125, the first motorbike I ever owned!

A mere £1000 can secure a bike good enough to give you all the experience you need whilst at the same time being an effective everyday tool for commuting or travelling. It can be seen as an investment in your future and giving you the opportunity of building a motorcycle insurance history that can see cheaper insurance later. And insurance, like it or no, will form a very important part of your decision making process when thinking about the purchase of that first big bike.

In summary, our opinion is that the benefits of a buying and owning a 125cc motorcycle far outweigh any perceived drawbacks so, go for it, dive in and enjoy the ride!

To start riding a motorcycle in the UK you first need a CBT. Don't have one? Book now!

Not sure if you're ready for CBT? Try it first without pressure!

Been away from motorcycling for a while or need to build your confidence? Have a look at the range of courses we offer here: ACBT London courses 

Many people are impressed by our excellent reviews and our exemplary customer service record. You can find our reviews on Google and Trustpilot. Our training environment is friendly, welcoming and a safe space for all. Get to know us on our website.

Gift cards

Give the give of motorcycle training with gorgeous personalised e-Gift cards! Whatever the season and whatever the reason you cannot give a better gift than the gift of safe motorcycling. We have a range of e-Gift cards that may be ordered direct from our website and redeemed against our training courses. Simply choose the value of the voucher and personalise it with your own message, we do the rest!

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