Before you can ride a bike or moped on pubic roads in the UK you need to complete your CBT training. These course usually only take a day or so to complete, and cost under £150, making them an affordable and easily accessible way to take to the roads.
Table of Contents
A completed CBT allows you to ride:
- a moped if you’re 16 or over
- a motorcycle up to125cc and with a power output of up to 11kW if you’re 17 or over
You will still need to display L plates (or D plates if you are in Wales).
Once you have completed your CBT you have up to two years to perfect your riding skills enough to take your big bike tests, or you can simply choose to complete a CBT course and carry on with your L plates.
In order to give yourself the very best chance of success on the day, follow our guide on getting ready for your CBT
What do I need to bring?
There are some important pieces of documentation that you will need to have with you in order to take part in the course. These include:
- Your valid UK provisional or full driving licence
- If you have an EU license, you will need to bring your EU licence photo card, as well as a returned D9 form which must have been applied for received in advance of the course date.
- If you are planning on bringing your own motorcycle on the day, you will need to bring your MOT certificate, proof of valid road tax and your L plates. You must have your insurance documents with you, but not all insurance companies cover training so do be sure to check with them before attending. It is advisable to use the school’s bikes as you have paid for it as part of your course.
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you will need to have these with you too, as you will need them during the practical parts of the test.
What do I need to wear?
Every time you go out on your motorcycle you will need to wear a helmet by law, and it is recommended that you wear other types of specialist items to protect you while you ride. Start as you mean to go on by ensuring that you are wearing the right clothing for your initial motorbike training. Every course should supply helmets, high visibility vests and gloves, but if you would like to bring your own they must comply with BSI, CE or ECE standards.
You will need to wear:
- A thick jacket – choose one made from leather or heavy denim that will protect you against abrasion and impact
- Thick trousers – again choose leather or heavy denim to protect your legs against scratches and abrasions
- Sturdy shoes or boots – ideally made from leather and with the ability to support your ankles. Do not turn up in trainers or plimsolls as your may not be allowed to train.
- Weather appropriate clothing – some of your training will be held outside so be sure to wear thermals to keep you warm in winter, waterproof clothing in the wet and layers of lightweight materials in the warmer months. Do not wear shorts.
What do I do on arrival?
Like any educational course, it is important that you turn up on time, with all of the correct paperwork and equipment you need and be ready and willing to learn. To ensure that your day goes to plan, remember the following:
- You must not be late as if you miss the first part of the course you will not be allowed to train. To avoid this happening always leave extra time for your journey, and look up the location of your training school well in advance.
- Plan your journey in the days before your course date and be sure that you have researched the best route of travel.
- Double check all of your training information before you leave. Make sure you have the correct date, time and location and that you have all the documentation that you need.
How best can I prepare for the course?
It’s always useful to do a little homework before taking part in any kind of course. While the instructors will take you through all the elements of the course during the day, there is some research you can do at home to make you all the more knowledgeable. If you can, try to:
- Revise the Highway Code. You can pick up a printed copy or research online
- Learn more about the basic theory of riding a motorcycle and the legal requirements for riders in the UK
- Research and read more about the 5 elements of the CBT
- Watch CBT training videos on Youtube or from the DVSA to give you a better understanding of what to expect on the day.
What does the CBT involve exactly?
The training course is made up of 5 different parts – or elements – that are addressed and completed throughout the day.
Element A consists of an eye test where you will need to read a registration plate at a distance of 20 meters. This part also covers the objectives of the CBT, and reinforces the importance of fully understanding the Highway Code as well as your legal requirements as a motorcyclist and the importance of well maintained equipment and safety clothing.
Element B introduces you to the bike and teaches you how to use it. This element will cover the different motorcycle or scooter controls, how to park and stand your bike safely, learning proper balance and braking, how to stop and start the bike and how to carry out basic maintenance and safety checks.
Element C is where you are taught some basic practical riding skills using useful manoeuvres around your training grounds. These include riding in a straight line and a figure of eight, using both brakes, changing gears, carrying out an emergency stop, rear observations, signalling and how to handle bends safely.
Element D helps you to understand how to put the theory into practise on the road and covers tuition on road positioning, safe distances between other vehicles, visibility, riding in various road conditions and how to anticipate danger and ride defensively.
Element E is the most advanced of all the elements, this portion of the course covers more technical aspects of riding including navigating crossroads, roundabouts, pedestrian crossings, bends, obstructions and traffic lights. You will also need to demonstrate the ability to carry out a U-turn and bring the bike to a complete stop in an emergency situation.
You must complete all of the different elements in order to complete the test.
Above all, relax and enjoy the day.