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Motorcycle Training Academy

Rider Training

As you are probably aware more and more people (both men and women) are taking to or returning to two wheels. Motorcycling is one of the most enjoyable pastimes available, it gives you independence, freedom of expression and makes you glad to be alive. Someone once described it as follows “. If you are driving a car it’s like watching a movie – if your riding a motorcycle it’s like being in the movie”. Motorcycling is not just about being a commuter or a form of inexpensive transport. It is as much to do with a lifestyle choice, lifetime friendships formed and the social interaction with one of the most congenial groups of people you are ever likely to meet. Naturally being competent and safe when you are on the road is the most important part of motorcycling and with that in mind the Phillip McCallen Motorcycle Training Academy was started in 2005.

We are able to supply training from Learner to Advanced as well as refresher courses for those returning to motorcycling. All of our instructors are DOE approved and trained to the highest possible standard. As they are all keen motorcyclists themselves they understand the needs and concerns of those wishing to take up motorcycling or those returning to it after some time away. Remember that motorcycles today are more powerful than they were some years ago and a refresher course is the best way to return safely to our roads.

We are able to take you through Theory Coaching, Practical Off Road Manoeuvres and then training for your Practical On Road Test. With our mobile unit this training can be covered either in Lisburn, Newry, Armagh or Craigavon. We supply our own motorcycles, insurance, waterproof / safety clothing, gloves and helmets if required and have bike to bike radios for constant communication / guidance between instructor and student. Lessons are from £25 per lesson or gift vouchers are available. To arrange your lessons please ring 07803600556 and Paul will arrange them with you or to obtain gift vouchers for a loved one please ring 02892662886 and any of our team will be only too happy to assist.

Our Training Academy has it's own Facebook page at:

Please note;

From the 21st of February 2011, a valid Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) Certificate is required to ride unaccompanied on public roads for the following licence holders:

1. Moped (Category P) and motorcycle (Category A/A1) provisional licence holders who were issued a licence on or after 21st February 2011.

2. Full moped (Category P) licence holders by virtue of passing a full car test (Category B) on or after 21st February 2011.

From 21st February 2012, all provisional moped and motorcycle holders will be required to have a valid CBT certificate to continue riding unaccompanied on public roads.


(Q) Where can I get my provisional licence from?
(A) You can get the application forms from any post Office or by calling the D.V.L.N.I.

(Q) How many parts are there to the test?
(A) There are four parts to the complete test. The first is the CBT (Compulsory Basic training) then a Theory Test followed by the Off Road Manoeuvres and then finally the Practical On Road Test. You have to complete each in that order and cannot apply for the next test until the previous one has been passed.

(Q) How long does it normally take to get all four parts completed?
(A) You can take things at your own pace but it would normally take approximately three months to complete all four parts.

(Q) How many lessons would I need to take?
(A) Again it will vary on how much experience you have or do not have. For a total novice 10 or 12 lessons would not be unexpected.

(Q) Do I need my own bike or can you supply one?
(A) We can supply everything you need from a 125cc bike, safety / waterproof clothes / helmet / gloves. You may use your own bike if you wish.

(Q) How can I hear instructions when I am on the bike?
(A) We can supply bike to bike radios so you are permanently in touch with your instructor.

(Q) Do I get instructions as part of a group?
(A) No, we teach a maximum of two pupils at a time. One to one tuition can be arranged for a small extra cost.

(Q) What size of a bike will I be taught on?
(A) Depending on age depends on what type of bike you can use, 16yrs 50cc, 17yrs 125cc 19 to 21yrs can use a bike that has no more than 35kw and 49bhp a bike maybe restricted to this as long as it is not less than half its natural power so a bike with its power output at 71kw CAN NOT be restricted. Anyone who is 24yrs can learn on a machine of any size as long as accompanied by a fully qualified motorcycle instructor.

(Q) What size of a bike can I ride when I get my test?
(A) The bike size you are permitted is measured in BHP (brake horse power) not cc. The limit in BHP is 33 and most bikes you may consider can be restricted. An example of this would be a 865cc Triumph Bonneville or 650cc Kawasaki Versys.

(Q) Do I have to display "R" plates when I pass my test?
(A) Yes "R" plates have to be displayed for a period of one year from passing your test, if you have completed either the A2 or A tests then there is NO 45mph restriction.

Licence Changes 2013

Changes to bring UK driving licences in line with those around the EU mean new rules for Motorcycle Licences and tests from 19th January 2013. The key changes are:

  • A new “progressive” model that limits riders under 19 to motorcycles up to 125cc and riders under 21 to a new category - approximately up to 500cc.
  • An end to automatic “upgrading” of A1 and A2 licences without taking a further test.
  • The minimum age for doing Direct Access training and getting a licence allowing you to ride any motorcycle will go up from 21 to 24

If you already have a motorcycle licence, your entitlement to ride will not be affected. But if you haven’t yet taken your test, or if you don’t have a full licence, here we detail the new rules.

You will still need to have a provisional licence and a certificate of completion of CBT (DL196) before you are allowed to ride any moped, scooter or motorbike on public roads in the UK. The only exception is if you gained a full car licence before 2001, in which case you may legally ride a moped with L plates (or D plates in Wales). However, we strongly recommend that you do CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) as a minimum before riding any powered two wheeler on the road.

If you’re aged 16, you will still be able to ride a moped (up to 50cc engine capacity) after CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). But you will still have to ride with L plates unless you take a full Moped test – theory and practical. In any case, we recommend that you do some additional training after CBT.

If you’re aged 17-19, you will be limited to a new category A1 licence that allows you to ride a motorbike or scooter only up to 125cc. You will need to complete CBT and then pass theory and practical tests to get an A1 licence. Again, until you have the A1 licence you won’t be allowed to ride without L plates or to carry a passenger. Having the full licence will also make you a better rider and bring your insurance premiums down.

From 19-21 you can get a category A2 licence. This allows you to ride larger motorcycles, up to 46.6 bhp – typically that means up to 500cc. If you don’t already hold an A1 licence you will need to do CBT before taking the theory and practical tests.

After you have held a category A2 licence for two years, you can move on to bigger motorbikes with a category A licence, but from 2013 you will need to take another test.

You must be over 21 to hold a full (category A) licence. However, if you start learning to ride after 19, you will be limited to a category A2 licence for 2 years after passing your A2 test, regardless of your age.

Direct Access to a category A licence – which means training and taking the test on a bigger motorcycle – will only be available to riders aged 24 or over (currently 21 and over). You will still need to have a provisional licence and a certificate of completion of CBT (DL196) before you are allowed to ride any moped, scooter or motorbike on public roads in the UK. You may however ride a 50cc Scooter without a CBT or L-Plates  if you passed a car test before 2001.