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I ask because it's a little complicated here in the UK, and was wondering how it works elsewhere.

Here you can ride a 50cc scooter on just your full car driving licence provided you're over 21 with no further training at all required.

If you're 16 or over, you're eligible to take the CBT (Compulsory Bike Training) test. It's a full day where you learn theory, basic control, and then a couple of hours out on the roads. This is done on a 125cc machine with manual gearbox (usually a Honda CB125).

Then, once you've passed that, and very few people fail, you have other options.

You can ride on your own, up to a limit of 125cc, so long as you display 'L' plates to signify you're a learner rider. This is to practice for your test.

If you take further lessons on, and pass the test on a 125cc machine, manual or automatic, you can dump the learner plates and ride a maximum 125cc for 2 years before the restriction is lifted and you can ride more powerful machines or...

You can take what is called Direct Access, where the latter lessons, and the test are taken on a 500cc machine, and if you pass you are entitled immediately to ride any machine you like. But obviously only the lessons and the test can be taken on the 500cc, as you're limited to 125cc when not accompanied by the instructor.

Hope that made some sense!

Oh, furthermore I forgot to mention that if you take the test on an automatic (which I intend to), you're also limited to riding automatics only.
 

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the system here in oz is similarly complicated too.

ill give it my best shot...here goes....

at 17years and 9 months of age (don't ask why the 9 months, i've no idea)
you can go to the motor registry and apply for your learners liscense. once you have passed a computerised test, you then have to pass a pre learners practical test ,8 hours training over two days covering theory on day one, and practical riding on a closed area on day two (usually on a 250cc bike).

once you have passed this test, you go back to the registry and they issue you with a Learners permit. this allows you to ride a "learner aproved motorcycle" on oz roads. you have to display a yellow plate with a black "L" on it.

many years ago any 250cc or under bike was learner legal. but this has now changed to a more seisible power to weight ratio based system where some 600cc bikes are now learner legal. too many learners were killing themselves on suzuki RGV 250's and the ilk.

you have to hold the Learners license for a minium of 3 months before you can book a Provisional test. this involves another Pre Provisional test. (yet another two days testing and another computerised knowlege test). if you pass this test you then go back to the registry office, and pay for the provisional liscense. you have to ride for two years on this provisional license. all this time you must continue to ride a "learner aproved motorcycle" you must display a "P" plate during this two year period.

the first year it's a red "P" on a white plate, the second year it's a green "P" on a white plate.

assuming that you make it through this 2 year phase without loosing your license, you then go onto a full license. you can then ride any size / power bike that you want.

ps.. even 50cc scooters require a bike license in my state!

"hops onto soap box"

there is one other thing (with witch i do not agree at all). if you are over 30 years old, and have a full car license, you can skip all the L and P plate stuff, and go jump straight onto an R1 or similar. there are zero restrictions on what you can ride.

now, in my mind, just because you have managed to survive till the age of 30, and have a full car license, does not mean that you know how to ride a bike on the road!

"hops off soap box"

sorry for the long post, but that's how it's done here, atleast in my state.
other states differ, as theres no uniform system between all the states here!

hope i made some sort of sense here.

jason.
 

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Here in Washington State, you can ride a 50cc scooter provided you're over 18 years of age and have a regular drivers license. Anything above that requires a motorcycle permit and then license. You can also take three days of classes, and if you get through it, you can waive the permit and license testing, and just get your motorcycle license.

There is no size limit on the motorcycle license. Same license gives you 125cc or 1500cc. The classes are usually done on 250cc starter bikes.

Crazy times, eh?
 

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In North Carolina you can ride anything under 50cc (Yamaha Zuma 50cc is included) with no license as long as you are 16. Don't even have to be a licensed car driver. It's different from state to state. Also no need for registration or tag. Scooter is not to go over 35 miles per hour.
 

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In Texas, you can ride a 50cc scoot at 16 years old with a standard driver's license and an "MX" (M=motorcycle endorsement; X=moped restriction). The moped-only endorsement requires only the written portion of the motorcycle exam. Anything over 50cc requires a full motorcycle endorsement.
To get the full endorsement, you need to take a written exam and a driving test. The driving test requires that you have a licensed person ride your bike to the test point and you drive a road course on the bike while your friend drives the examiner in a car behind you. Or you can take the MSF/Rider Safety course and then take just the written portion. The card from MSF waives the driving portion of the exam.
 

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In British Columbia Canada, you can ride a 50cc with a regular drivers lisence. At 17 (?), once you have your regular drivers lisence, with restrictions lifted, you can apply for a restricted learners MC lisence after passing the computer road safety test. You must then pass a parking lot MC control course... breaking, slalom, slow speed control, then you get your regular learners. Once you have that for a month, you can go for a road test, and if you pass, you become fully lisenced. Now, if you do the test on a scooter like the Majesty, they restrict you to scooters, and if you should ever want a clutched MC, you need to re-do the road course.
 
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