Mainland Motorcycle School Ltd > Our Courses > Beginner or Basic Handling Tests for learners licence

Basic Handling Test (Practical part of learners licence)

DSC06651.JPGThe first step to getting your motorcycle learners licence is to obtain your Basic Handling Certificate with us. This is a practical test completed on a fully geared bike. The price varies depending on the amount of training required to meet the standard to pass. Below is a list of options to choose from designed for ones that have never ridden before right through to those that are currently riding and are already skilled on a motorcycle.

Please Note:
The test changed on the 1st of November to require a higher standard to pass the Basic Handling Test to match the law changes to power to weight bikes (Lams approved) Click here>>> for list of LAMS approved bikes.

Below is a video (click on Picture) of what is required to complete the Basic Handling Test. Please have a look at it, as it will give you an idea of the level required to pass, and how much training you may need.

There is more to it than in the video, but that can be covered on the day. See bottom of page or click here>>> to see more about the test.


1. Basic Handling Test for intermediate level riders

basic_cropped.JPGCan already ride a geared motorcycle, but may need more practice to pass the test.

This option is for riders that can already take off and change gears comfortably and can corner with confidence. As the test is a lot more complex than before November 1st 2012, we have extra time available in this option to get used to a new bike and to lift your skills further to the pass the test. 

Total time 1& 1/2 hours. This is conducted on a fully geared motorcycle, so you will need to be confident on a geared motorcycle. If you are not sure if this is enough time, maybe it has been awhile since you have been on a bike, or you can take off, change gears but pretty novice like, please look at the next options.

Click here>> to book online

Click here>> to book or for more information.

2. Beginner or novice option

basic_cropped.JPGHave no or limited experience on a geared bike

This option is for new riders or ones that have limited experience on a geared bike or moped. This may be enough time for novice riders to pass. New riders (never ridden or moped only) will most likey have to come back for more time. We limit the training to 2 hours, even if that is not enough time to meet the standard to pass the test, as any longer than this can be too much in one session and riders can start making more mistakes rather than improve.

Total time 2 hours. If you need more time to meet the standard to pass the test, we will need to rebook you at another time for more training and to sit the test.

Click here>> to book online

Click here>> to book or for more information.

Can I use an automatic motorcycle to complete the Basic handling Test?

2009-New-design-Scooter-Moped-Scooter-50cc-3-.jpgAll basic handling tests will be conducted on a fully geared motorcycle, unless you supply your own automatic motorcycle with a current WOF and Rego. Note: You cannot use a moped, pit bike or pocket bike.

NZTA have changed the rules on the use of automatic motorcycles being used for Basic Handling Tests. We are not able to supply an automatic motorcycle for use in basic handling tests. You can supply your own but it must be registered as a motorcycle not a moped.

There are two reasons:
First, if a rider passes the basic handling test on an automatic motorcycle, they are then able to get their learner licence and straight away ride a LAMS approved motorcycle. This is potentially dangerous as they may never have ridden one before or may be well below the minimum standard required in the basic handling test on a geared bike. Although a rider may pass the test on an automatic bike, this does not mean that they could even come close to passing on a geared bike. Second, it is unfair for one rider to pass the test on an automatic motorcycle, while another rider may fail the test because he completed the test on a geared bike, when he could have passed on an automatic bike.

It also raises the issue of safety and logic. Why would a rider want to pass the test on an automatic bike, then go out and buy a geared bike? If a rider does not believe that they can pass the test on a geared bike at speeds of around 20 kph, why would they think they are going to be safe to ride at road speeds well above that? At Mainland we are concerned about the safety of our clients, and highly recommend that all riders use a geared motorcycle to complete the test, as the learner licence allows you ride LAMS approved motorcycle up to 660cc.

On 1 November 2012 , changes came into effect to strengthen the basic handling skills test (BHST) and improve the safety of motorcyclists.

The basic handling skills test consists of four stages:

  • basic turn and stop
  • figure of eight and park
  • linking figures of eight
  • increased speed and emergency stop


Each stage is broken down into varying combinations of the following tasks:

  • move off
  • straight ride
  • corner
  • stop
  • park


In completing the tasks above you will be assessed against the relevant assessment items below:

  • looking in the correct direction
  • signalling correctly
  • making head checks before changing position
  • lateral position of motorcycle
  • control of motorcycle
  • using appropriate speed
  • parking observation
  • parking movement.


Click on Picture below to see animation of test.