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The Driver's Handbook

Obtaining your learner's permit - Motorcycles

Learning to ride a motorcycle

Learner's Permit

  • Must pass the Basic Rider Safe course
  • 18 years or older
  • 17 years or older if you hold a Provisional car licence
  • 16 or 17 years if you reside in a prescribed locality.
    In this case a restricted learner’s permit is issued to only ride for the following purposes:
    • To attend tertiary education, vocational education or training, or within the course of tertiary education, vocational education or training.
    • For work purposes, or
    • To participate in a sporting activity.

R Date Class Licence
Provisional or Full

  • 19 years or older
  • pass Advanced Rider Safe course
  • hold motorcycle learners permit for at least 12 months

R Class Licence

  • hold R-Date class for two years

If you would like to start riding a motorcycle you must first attend a Rider Safe course.

Rider Safe is a compulsory motorcycle rider training course for all novice motorcycle riders. It provides tuition for the basic and advanced motorcycle skills necessary for the road. Rider Safe is run by experienced motorcycle riders who have undergone specialised instructor training.

The Rider Safe course also provides the opportunity to determine your riding aptitude before buying a motorcycle.

If you do not hold a current driver's licence you must first pass a theory test that can be undertaken through the myLs online course or at a Service SA Customer Service Centre.

Payment for the course must be made at a customer service centre before attending Rider Safe.

You must hold your motorcycle learner's permit for a minimum period of two years, regardless of your age and regardless of whether you already hold a driver's licence.

You must pass an Advanced Rider Safe course before you can be issued with a motorcycle licence.

You will be restricted to an R-Date licence for the first twelve months of your motorcycle licence, refer to the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) section.

Depending on your individual circumstances, different scenarios can apply if your learner's permit is disqualified.  Please telephone 13 10 84 for details.

The Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS)

Under the scheme, R-Date licence holders are allowed to ride motorcycles with an engine capacity of up to 660 ml with a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 150 kw/t.

The South Australian Government Gazette contains a list of approved motorcycles. More information is available on the My Motorcycle Licence page.

In order to meet the definition of a Learner Approved Motorcycle, the motorcycle must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a motorcycle on the approved list of motorcycles by notice in the Government Gazette;
  • Have a power-to-weight ratio of 150 kilowatts per tonne or less;
  • Have an engine capacity of 660ml or less;
  • Be the standard model and variant as specified on the approved list; and
  • Not been modified in any way that increases its power-to-weight ratio.

Learner's PermitLearner's Permit

If you hold a learner's permit for a motorcycle and are under the age of 25 years, you must not ride between midnight and 5am, regardless of whether you hold a driver's licence for another class of vehicle, unless you meet the exemption criteria.

The Rider Safe Course

The Rider Safe Course

Basic Course

This course is delivered in two half-day sessions (session A and B over two days).

In Session A you will learn basic motorcycle control skills including riding in a straight line, basic braking, cornering, gear shifting and some bike control theory.

In Session B your learning will build on from session A by interacting with other bikes on the riding range. This session covers more advanced bike control theory and traffic skills. A practical skills assessment will be conducted at the end of session B.

On successful completion of the Basic Course, you must present the endorsed Approval to Obtain a Learner’s Permit form at any Customer Service Centre within 12 months to obtain a learner’s permit. Failure to do so will result in you having to sit the basic course again. The permit is valid for two years and you must carry your permit at all times whilst riding.

Advanced Course

This course is delivered in one half-day session (Session C).

In Session C you will learn advanced bike control skills with emphasis placed on road riding skills and traction theory. A practical skills assessment will be conducted at the end of the advanced course.

On successful completion of the Advanced Course, you must present your Certificate of Competency at any Customer Service Centre to receive your R-Date Licence. This licence entitles you to ride a motorcycle on the learner approved motorcycle scheme list.

After completing a 12-month period riding on a Restricted R-Date Licence, you may apply for an unrestricted “R” class licence. This licence is required if you wish to ride a motorcycle of any power to weight ratio.

The Returning Rider Course

The Returning Rider Course is a voluntary course aimed at people who hold a motorcycle licence but have not ridden for at least 5 years.

The course is designed to refresh your riding skills, techniques and awareness. It is not a test.

The session involves both theory and practical components that have been developed by experienced motorcyclists who have undergone specialist instructor training.

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