Explanation of your Compulsory Basic Training course (CBT)

This course is for people who want to acquire a CBT certificate which will allow them to ride up to 125cc motorcycle/moped (50cc for 16 year olds).  This training has to be successfully completed before a motorcycle test can be taken. 
Everyone with a Provisional Licence has to pass a CBT course in order to ride a moped – unless you gained a Full UK licence before February 2001 (though your insurance company might insist that you do) in which case you are allowed to ride a moped (up to 50cc – restricted to a maximum speed of 28mph) without having a CBT or displaying L-plates.
If you have a Full UK licence then successfully completing a CBT course allows you to ride a moped as long as your licence lasts.  If you chose to ride a motorcycle (not a moped) including an automatic motorcycle, then the CBT certificate is valid for two years. 
The CBT course typically lasts a full day and consists of five elements:
  • Element A – Introduction; aims; safety equipment and eyesight check
  • Element B – Practical on-site training – covering machine controls, maintenance, and use of stands.
  • Element C – Practical on-site riding – a series of exercises which allow you to acquire and demonstrate a range of skills – e.g. pulling away, stopping, manoeuvring at low speed (figure of eight, U-turn), use of gears (manual motorcycles only), use of brakes, emergency stop, observations, junctions.
  • Element D – Pre-ride briefing covering legal requirements, vulnerability, positioning, observations, following distances, weather conditions, road surface, hazard perception, anticipation, speed, alcohol & drugs, emotional states, Highway Code, obstructions, roundabouts. 
  • Element E – On-road riding for a minimum of two hours in radio contact with your instructor.
Most Training Schools will offer a choice of hiring their geared or automatic mopeds, scooters or motorcycles. If you chose to use your own bike then it must be in a roadworthy condition, with an MoT (if more than 3 years old), tax and insurance. 
There is a maximum ratio of four students to one instructor except for element E, when the maximum ratio is two students to one instructor.  If there are four students on the course then the instructor will carry out two road rides, each lasting for two hours. The course normally takes a whole day.
The CBT course is training not a test.  You cannot fail.  Many people complete the training successfully in one day.  Some will need longer – in which case many schools offer a reduced rate for the second day.   
You do not need to have passed your theory test in order to do the CBT course.  If you are considering gaining a full motorcycle licence at some point, then don't miss this opportunity to ask your instructor to assess how many days of training they think you will need. 

Things to bring with you:

  • Your UK photocard driving licence.
  • Suitable clothing for riding a motorcycle: hard-wearing jeans (not thin cotton trousers, tracksuit bottoms or leggings); sturdy footwear (not flimsy plimsolls or lightweight fashion shoes) – ideally which provide some ankle protection, such as work boots, strong walking boots or similar; glasses or contact lenses if needed.
  • Remember that you are going to be outside – so consider wearing layers if it is going to be cold.
  • You are welcome to bring your own riding gear, however check with your Training School but most can provide jackets, helmets, gloves, waterproof trousers and hi-viz bibs.