Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)


Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

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Before you can ride your motorcycle / moped on the road with L plates, you must complete Compulsory Basic Training ( CBT )

Compulsory Basic Training is a course of “training” and, importantly, not a “test”! It is usually one day in duration, though there is no set time for how long it will take, some people will complete it quicker than others.

The course is designed to be your first step into motorcycling in a relaxed and safe environment! The whole aim of the CBT is to introduce you to a motorcycle and give you the necessary skills and knowledge to ride a motorcycle unsupervised at the end of the course!

The goal, is to provide you with the training that “you” need, be it for a geared or automatic machine!

Your CBT involves the following five elements which must be completed in sequence:

Introduction (Element A)
– the basics explained and an eyesight test

Your instructor will explain the basics and not go into complicated issues. Wherever possible your instuctor will use examples to help explain the points they make.

You’ll have your right to ride mopeds or motorcycles checked. If necessary, your instructor will explain what you need to do in order to get this right – for example, apply for a provisional motorcycle licence.

At the end of this element you should understand the purpose and content of CBT.

Overall, the element will cover:

  • An overview of CBT
  • Equipment and clothing
  • Eyesight check

Practical on-site training (Element B)
– an introduction to the motorcycle, including its controls, safety checks, starting and stopping the engine….

This element introduces you to the motorcycle.

You won’t start riding the motorcycle in this element, but you’ll get hands-on training. At the end of this element you’ll be able to show knowledge of how the motorcycle works and should have a feel for the weight and balance of it.

This element will cover:

  • Motorcycle controls
  • Basic safety checks and use of the stands
  • Wheeling the motorcycle and braking to stop
  • Starting and stopping the engine

Practical on-site riding (Element C)
– developing the basic riding skills, including stopping, brakes and gears…

In this element you’ll begin riding a motorcycle. By the time you have finished this element you’ll have developed enough basic skills to allow you to ride a motorcycle under control.

This element will cover:

  • Riding in a straight line and stopping
  • Riding slowly
  • Using the brakes
  • Changing gear
  • Riding a figure of eight
  • A Controlled Stop, as though in an emergency.
  • Rear observation
  • Turning left and right
  • U-turns
  • Essential techniques including:
  • Rear observation
  • The ‘observation – signal – manoeuvre’ (OSM) routine
  • The ‘position – speed – look’ (PSL) routine

You will then practise these practical skills until your trainer is happy that you’ll be safe when you are taken out onto the road.

Practical on-road training (Element D)
– preparing for the on-road element, including anticipation, observation, and positioning.

Having carried out theory and practical training off-road, your trainer will now prepare you for the on-road element of CBT.

This element will cover the information you need to ride legally and safely on the road – it will be the foundations on which you build your motorcycling career.

During the next element, parts of this theory may be reinforced in practical situations.

This element will cover:

  • The Importance of being visible to other road users.
  • Legal requirements of riding a Motorcycle
  • Vulnerability of motorcyclists
  • Speed
  • Highway Code
  • Anticipation
  • Rear observation
  • Road positioning
  • Separation distance
  • Weather conditions
  • Road surfaces
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Attitude
  • Hazard perception

Practical on-road riding (Element E)
– at least two hours accompanied road riding with a certified instructor to demonstrate that you can cope safely with a variety of road and traffic conditions.

This may be longer depending on each individual’s training needs.

This is the final element of the CBT course. You’ll ride out on the road with your instructor, and possibly with one other trainee, for at least two hours. You’ll be in radio contact with the instructor at all times. You’ll have to prove that you can cope safely with a variety of road and traffic conditions.

Expect your instructor to stop from time to time to discuss some aspects of your riding. They will also explain how the theory you have learnt should be put into practice. Your riding will be assessed constantly by your Instructor. They will sign a certificate of completion (DL196) when they are happy that you are safe to continue learning alone.

This element will cover:

  • Traffic lights
  • Roundabouts
  • Junctions
  • Pedestrian crossings
  • Gradients, including hill starts
  • Bends
  • Obstructions
  • U-turns
  • An emergency stop

On successful completion of all five elements, you will receive a DL196 (CBT Certificate). This entitles you to ride a solo motorcycle up to 125 cc, or with a power output of no more than 11 kW.

However, you:

  • Must be at least 17 years old (16 for a moped)
  • Display L plates (D plates in Wales) to the front and rear of your motorcycle
  • Cannot ride on motorways or carry a pillion passenger.

As a learner, you will then have two years to pass the theory and practical tests before the DL196 Certificate expires. If you don’t pass both tests within these two years, then you will need to complete another CBT course to continue riding as a learner.