How Do I Pass Pre-Learner Test in Australia?

Wannabe rider has question about licensing requirement

Dear WRN,

Im a would-be bike rider pondering the possibilities. Ive enjoyed the thrill of pillioning so much Im considering getting personally behind the wheel, well… handlebars.
A question for starters: If you have absolutely nil experience and are not licensed to ride on the road you must pass the “pre-learner” test (six hours over two days) in Australia before you attempt the Knowledge Test which will grant you a learners license.
Im finding it hard to see how one can successfully complete the pre-license test knowing nothing at all. Granted I am in Australia and things may well be different here than in the U.S.
Do people just have to keep retaking the course until they gain enough competency to pass it?Apologies if this is a dead-obvious question.
Sydney, Australia

WRN Editor, Genevieve Schmitts, response:
No apologies needed, as it doesnt seem obvious to me. What I do see is that there is a difference between what the U.S. requires and what Australia requirements are. In the U.S., the MSF Basic RiderCourse requires a person have no experience. The curriculum is geared towards complete beginners.

Im posting your question here so our Australian readers/riders or those who know the answer to this can provide first-hand knowledge of how to pass this test and become a motorcycle rider in Australia. Thanks!

If you know the answer to this and/or can provide firsthand knowledge, post your comment below. I will review it and let you know when your response is posted. Thank you.

10 thoughts on How Do I Pass Pre-Learner Test in Australia?

  1. G’day! I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and just recently acquired my L’s. All I had to do was study the ride safe book that you can get from your local licensing center. Once done, just walk in to licensing center, pay to do an online test (you’re allowed something like five wrong answers) once passed, pay for license, part of that cost will cover your first lesson. Find yourself a shadow rider—they have to have at least four years experience—and ride your bike as much as you can. Do your test for your P’s when you feel ready. Go for it girl!

  2. I am in the process of getting my RE motorbike license in Brisbane right now (October 2016). I did my learner’s in September online. I currently hold an open driver’s license so found the online test really easy and completed that in about 10 minutes. The rules have all changed since the 1st of October though regarding how many learner hours you need to complete on the bike before you can get your RE license as apparently people were previously doing one-day courses as complete beginners, getting their RE licenses by the end of that day, then hitting the road and finding they knew nothing and were having accidents.Therefore, the Old Government changed the rules and you have to log more hours on the bike now if you obtain your learner’s after October 1, 2016. Old Government’s website has the info you need to know. I have had five lessons now at a very reputable motorbike teaching center on one of its 125ccs and have been told by my instructor I should be able to take my QRIDE course after two more lessons. It has been expensive, but the lessons are two hours and one-on-one instruction, and I’d rather spend the money to feel confident and know what I’m doing than spend less and freak out when I get on the road on my own bike.I bought a Yamaha V Star 650A Classic and because it’s a bigger bike (but the only bike I ever want to own, hence why I bought it) I want to feel confident. The course has been worth it and I think about how many driving lessons I had to do to get confident enough to get my car license all those years ago and it is comparable to that so I’m ok with the cost.Good luck getting your license. There are heaps of great resources online including info on the QRIDE course. Google is your friend!

  3. Ozgirl, sometimes not having any previous experience is actually a good thing because you don’t have any bad habits that the instructors have to deal with so really don’t panic. You have to do the theory first to get the learners licence at the RMS and that covers your road rules and theory peculiar to riding a motorcycle. Once you have that, you then book into the two day course which you will cover theory and practical, learning about proper brike handling, emergency braking, cornering, etc. All of this is done in an area off the public roads so you are in a safe environment. Day two you will go out onto the road and your instructor will follow you. You will need to have your full riding gear and if you don’t have your own bike, you can hire through the school. Once you have done your two day course, you then take your ticket that you will get to the RMS and exchange it for your learner motorcycle licence. You then have 12 months to get your Red Ps otherwise you have to do the two day course again. Before the 12 months runs out, you book in for the MOST – Motorcycle Operator Skill Test. That is a one day course at the end of which you will have to pass a test to prove your skill level and if you pass, you get another ticket which you take to the RMS and then you have your Red Ps. You are on the Reds for a year and then go to Greens unless you are a mature rider in which event you go straight to your blacks.

  4. Hey there. It’s been many years since I got my bike license and it was much easier then. I live in Victoria and I know that the rules are getting harder and harder. One of my friends teaches beginners and I know the school does have bikes for learners to use, so you don’t have to have your own. It all costs money of course.It is certainly worth getting your license but I was reading an article today that said bike riders (motorbikes and push bikes) have more than a 10 percent chance of being in an accident compared to car drivers.Just drive defensively and think that all the drivers can’t see you.

  5. Queensland has slightly different rules to the southern states. You only have to answer 30 questions to obtain your learners permit. You can then ride accompanied by a rider with an Open R class license or hold an Open RE class for 12 months. You must display an L plate. You then go to QRide to obtain your RE license which allows you to ride unaccompanied but restricts the size of the bike you can ride to a LAMS size bike. The QRIDE is a full day course that you must be able to complete a slow ride, slalom, counter-steer exercise, emergency braking, braking and a figure-eight. If you want to upgrade to a bigger motorcycle (open class) then you must go back and redo the course in 12 months on an open bike. It will not be long and Queensland will introduce a licensing system the same as the southern states.You will find that all QRide providers also offer training for beginner riders and they also supply the motorcycle.

  6. As a person who had not ridden a motorbike for many years i found the pre-learner test very thorough in its preparation of new riders via videos/discussion and techniques prior to actually getting on the bike. If you went there without any prior knowledge of motorbikes at all I think it would take a few tries before you passed the test, and you would still be unprepared to head out on your own on the road. Having someone who already rides who is able to give you an introduction to the bike e,g. location of clutch/gears/brakes etc., would be very helpful. I found that reading through the beginners info on this website was a big help, as was the “Ride like a Pro” instruction DVD.

  7. Wow! I am gratified by the responses here and top info. Thanks so much to all. Siobhan and El, cheers for your great input; I didn’t realise that as unlicensed riders we could still attend outside training courses. This puts a whole other slant on the picture – great stuff! Can’t say that I will make it to quite the Harley level of the bike I’ve been fortunate enough to pillion on, but being in the drivers seat is a lure that is just too much to resist. Cheers again for all your help guys.

  8. Hi Genevieve,Sibohan is correct. I had not ridden before so I had a one-on-one lesson with Hart Rider Training School and practised heaps and then another one-on-one lesson before I completed the pre-rider course. You can do a group session as well and their instructors are excellent.Go ozgirl! It is worth it.

  9. Hey there Genevieve,Siobhan from Byron Bay in NSW, Australia here!The answer to Ozgirl’s query is yes, you will have to retake the test if you are deemed not yet competent, but the learner riding course is absolutely 100 percent prepared to train riders who have had zero experience sitting on, controlling and navigating a bike. All trainers are wizards and will guide even the slowest learner through every step of the process.She also most likely won’t be alone in her inexperience, as many beginners start right there on day one of the training course. Why not wrangle a friend to do the course too, if she is worried, and then they can enjoy their new bloody awesome skills together!Hope this helps. Lots of love from Down Under!

    1. Hi Sibohan! Thanks so much for answering for me! This make sense. Hope she gets started on her journey soon. All the best to you.

Scroll to Top