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5 Reasons More Londoners Should Get A Motorcycle Licence


Matt D · March 20, 2017

If you needed an excuse to get back on your motorbike, or to take your CBT in London, we’ve got plenty! Below are a few reasons we’ve got to persuade you, or for you to persuade your friends to get on your bike in London.

1.You’ll save more time on a motorbike than you might think!

Let’s begin with one of the great downsides of driving or being a passenger in a car; traffic jams. Congestion is a serious issue in London and it’s only getting worse. We’ve all been there – It’s been a long day and you’re sitting in traffic trying to avoid awkward eye-contact with the passenger in the car next to you.

You’re starting to contemplate whether you’ll have to set up camp for the night in your car. Right then, at that moment of complete despair, a motorcyclist comes cruising between you and your new neighbour and disappears off into the distance. It’s infuriating and you wish you could come up with a reason why what they’re doing is wrong. But the simple fact is, if you’re riding a motorcycle then skipping traffic jams is perfectly legal and a piece of cake.

Often referred to as “filtering”, being able to go through stationary traffic is one of the huge benefits of motorbike riding and saves huge amounts of time every day.

The truth is the average time we spend commuting to work in London is increasing every year. The Office for National Statistics have recently released data showing average commute is roughly 54 minutes, rising from 45 minutes 10 years ago. Even saving just 5 minutes a day filtering will add up to roughly 21 hours every year! That’s time you could spend kicking back and relaxing!

Man in a hammock

2.Avoid the dreaded public transport.

Public transport in London is failing to meet the increasing demand being put on it. The idea of your train or bus actually being on time seems like some sort of abstract twisted concept from a futuristic sci-fi film.

This is a particularly sore subject for hundreds of South London commuters. These two words I am about to utter will haunt many of you, and for that I apologise. There is one fine example of failing public transport, here we go: Southern Rail. If you have ever used Southern Rail you’ll know there is essentially no such thing as a timetable system. It’s a game of train bingo with the destinations and times on the board changing every minute whilst everyone tries to work out what’s going on.

But here’s your chance - You can take back control of your commute and travel! Bikes are easy and often free to park even in Central London so you can ride home instead of relying on our stretched public transport system. You won’t have to stand around for an hour knowing you won’t fit on the next train. You have the freedom to control your transportation and avoid the panic of missing your train or bus.

busy london station

3.Science shows riding a motorcycle is actually good for you!

Now I can personally tell you I’ve seen arguments between complete strangers over prawn salads, a pair of shoes and even a Big Mac on my commute home in London before. I’ve seen people swear at each other and even fight. I’m sure you will have seen, or been involved in, similarly bizarre exchanges during your commute.

But sadly research shows there’s actually a much more devastating and far deeper reason why people get so unreasonably defensive and angry on public transport.

Here’s what we know:

Prof Jenny Roberts of Sheffield University has studied the effects of commuting on our mental well-being. In her paper for the Journal of Health Economics, she found that there is a serious effect on our mental health and stress levels caused by a lack of control during commuting.

Whether this is train delays or cancellations, your bus not being on time or even just traffic jams. They all have lasting and hugely negative effects on our long term happiness and mental well-being.

Here’s where riding a motorbike comes in: You can at the very least massively decrease if not completely eradicate the external influences which are proven to cause lasting unhappiness. You are your own boss on the road! You can filter through traffic and bypass train stations completely. No more menacing glares as you inevitably have to invade people’s personal space. No arguments when you ask someone to shuffle up the carriage. There’s nothing but a helmet between you and the world, so breathe in that fresh air and relax.

So there we have it, riding a motorbike will make you happier and the studies back it up!

4. Riding a motorcycle means you’ll become a better, more aware driver.

Taking your motorcycle licence - police

You may think this is a controversial statement, but bear with me here. Riding a motorcycle will almost always mean you will become a better driver. This is a fact.

The outside world seems more removed when you’re in a four wheeled metal cage. It’s easy to forget you’re controlling essentially a one tonne metal box speeding along at 60 miles per hour.

Don’t agree? I’ll ask you a question and you give me the honest answer, ready? Have you ever been on your phone, even just texting or changing a song whilst driving your car? Most people would be lying if they said no.

Complacency and distracted driving is one of the most common causes of collisions on the road.

When riding a bike these influences are not even a consideration. You don’t see motorcyclists quickly taking their hands off the wheel to open a bag of Doritos. Have you ever seen a motorcyclist take their eyes off the road to crane their neck back and shake the ends of a coffee in their mouth?

Diligence and attention to the road is your focus 100% of the time, without exception. You have to remain conscious of your environment and you will get extremely proficient at scouting out any potential dangers. You’re not in a cage; you’re on two wheels in the open and in touch with your surroundings.

5. Get more bang for your buck with a motorcycle!

If you're anything like me, having a high end super car or motorbike seems like something you will only ever be able to buy on Gran Turismo. But a top of the range high performance motorcycle, or even just an amazing looking bike is much closer to a reality than you think!

Here’s a comparison to put things into perspective:

Super Cars:

Lamborghini have just announced the new addition to their Aventador range, the Aventador S. Going 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and with a top speed of 217 MPH.

Total Cost:

The car is expected to come in at £650,000 with optional extras adding to the price substantially. I think it’s fair to say this will price the majority of us out…


Suzuki has recently announced they are launching an upgrade of their infamous and insanely powerful GSX-R1000. The GSX-R1000 is world renowned as one of the fastest and most impressive performance motorcycles. The previous model has managed 0-60 in roughly 2.35 seconds (faster than the Aventador) and has a top speed of 180 MPH.

Total Cost:

It is expected to be in the region of £13,250 brand new! (That isn’t a typo, trust me, it really is that price.)

It’s fair to say comparatively, well, there is no comparison. For the price of an incredible motorbike you could only buy the spare wheels of a supercar. If it’s a thrill you’re after, invest your money wisely and enjoy a face melting ride at a minuscule fraction of the price.

So don't throw your money away!

fun coupons gif

If it’s simply something easy and stylish you want, the perfect answer is a 125cc scooter; maybe a Piaggio Vespa or old school Lambretta. These bikes are the perfect mix between practicality, beauty and a low price tag you can’t get with a car. They’re great for cruising around London’s beautiful old streets and look incredible. we’ve written a list of our favourite 125cc bikes on the market if you want to get your dream started.

There are just a few reasons to get you going, but we have plenty more! Let us know what you think and what you would add.

If you’re feeling inspired then let’s get going! Have a look here if you want to take the next step in your motorcycle career and book your CBT.

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.