CBT (Compulsory Basic Training)
We offer two CBT courses. CBT (beginners or if a previous CBT has expired) or Experienced CBT. Please only book Experienced CBT if you have a valid (but about to expire) CBT certificate AND if you can attend on your own bike.
Due to Covid-19 we no longer loan HELMETS, GLOVES, OR JACKETS for training. Please ensure you purchase and bring your own. You cannot train without these or with inappropriate / unprotective equipment.
- A motorcycle helmet – ECE2205 approved (or the future ECE 2206), damage-free, and correctly fitting
- Motorcycle gloves
- Strong jacket, trousers, and footwear with over ankle protection
Read our FAQs below or see the Gov website for more detailed information however, CBT covers the following 5 core elements to introduce the basic practical and theoretical skills needed to ride a motorcycle safely, under full control.
Element A: introduction
The aims of CBT, making suitable decisions about equipment and clothing and meeting the eyesight rules.
Element B: practical on-site training
How the motorcycle or moped works, what maintenance checks are needed, and getting a feel for the weight and balance of the vehicle.
Element C: practical on-site riding
Carrying out manoeuvres safely and under full control, using the brakes, changing gear, and carrying out observations.
Element D: practical on-road training preparation
Meeting the legal requirements to ride, attitude, positioning, separation distances, speed, anticipating what other road users may do, and preparing for developing hazards.
Element E: practical on-road riding
Riding in typical traffic conditions (including traffic lights, roundabouts, junctions, pedestrian crossings, gradients, and bends), and carrying out a u-turn and an emergency stop.
See what the law says about CBT
Call us if you have any questions about our training procedures across Berkshire, Hampshire, and Surrey.
Prior to attending the CBT we recommend completing the Ridefree training.
Whether you wish to just ride on L plates or undertake training for your full motorbike licence then it is a legal requirement to first undertake a Compulsory Basic Training course and achieve sufficient standard to obtain a DL196 CBT certificate, in order to validate the provisional moped or motorbike entitlement on your driving licence.
The only current exception is if you have passed your car test prior to the 1st Feb 2001 in which case you are able to ride a restricted moped without any training (though we suggest you do – the skills are invaluable)
For riders who may have done a CBT, a DL196 is only valid for 2 years from the date it is issued and so if you don’t pass a full motorbike test in that time and want to carry on riding you need to do a CBT again.
The CBT syllabus is about making sure learners have the skills and knowledge to go out on the road, on their own, to prepare for their riding tests.
At 16 years old you can only ride a moped
– This is known as category AM on your driving licence
– The engine size must be no more than 50cc and the moped must be capable of no more than 28mph
– Mopeds are typically automatics (‘twist and go’) but can have gears.
– At 17 years old or over you can ride a category A1 motorbike
– The engine size must be less than 125cc
– It must have a power output of no more than 14.6bhp / 11KW
– It may have gears or be an automatic.
CBT is a progressive learning course based on continuous assessment. The instructor must ensure that each of the 5 elements of the course has been covered and that the learner has shown that they have the right knowledge and comprehension by performing suitable tasks to demonstrate competence. This includes the classroom as well as the practical riding parts of the CBT course.
It is not possible for a student to proceed to the next element of the CBT if any skill has not been successfully attained. Once a road ride has been undertaken the instructor ultimately has to be reasonably confident that a student is ready to ride on the road on their own.
What makes an instructor happy is seeing a student being willing to learn, moving up the learning curve, and doing it safely.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced the launch of Ridefree – a free online training course that moped and motorcycle riders should complete before taking their CBT. We’ve tried it out and recommend it as a valuable learning tool that will better prepare you for your CBT particularly for those new to the road. Find out more at https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/ridefree/user/login
Read or brush up on the Highway Code. If you are a complete beginner to the road you will struggle if this knowledge is not in place. If you are being driven around by family or friends in a car, take an interest in what is happening on the road and ask questions.
The DVSA Learning To Ride books are also worth a read.
Due to Covid-19 we no longer loan HELMETS, GLOVES OR JACKETS for training. Please ensure you purchase and bring your own. You cannot train without these or with inappropriate / un-protective equipment.
- A motorcycle helmet – ECE2205 approved (or the future ECE 2206), damage free and correctly fitting
- Motorcycle gloves
- Strong jacket, trousers and foot-ware with over ankle protection
- A medical style face mask, buff or motorcycle style wind-stopper covering mouth and nose at your discretion
CBT is a progressive learning course, not a Pass/Fail like the driving test where if you ‘fail’ you have to start all over again.
It is possible to be successfully completed in approx. 6-8hrs of training however, everyone has a different learning curve and if you reach a point in the CBT course where more training is required to master a specific skill then it is necessary to continue to practise that skill until you can move on through the course. If this is required then additional training time will need to be booked and you will pick up from where you left off, for example more site training before being able to get out on the road or more on-road training, whatever is required.
Arriving late. You will not be the only one on a CBT course and to be fair to those who are on time the start will not be delayed for late arrivals and you will not be able join a course that has already started on time.
Arriving tired, not bringing drink and food to keep your energy up, or suitable clothing for the weather conditions.
Not bringing your driving licence. You will not be allowed to continue if you don’t.
Not meeting the minimum eyesight requirements. Check if you can read a number plate at no less than 20.5 metres. You will not be allowed to continue if you can’t.
Unfamiliarity with the basics of the Highway Code. You need to have this knowledge in place to be able to build on it in Element D in the classroom and Element E on the road. This is a very common knowledge gap with young riders looking to get on the road for the first time.
Physical build. Strength is not really required, it is more about technique, but riding a motorbike is still a physical activity. If you are not sure if you would be able to safely sit on a bike, keep it supported and balanced, wheel it round, and take it off the stand please arrange to come and see us where you can try this out before booking a CBT.
Needing more time to develop control of the moped or motorbike in the on-site riding lessons. Everyone has a different learning curve and ultimately the instructor needs you to be safe and fully in control of the machine before you will be allowed to try riding on the road.
Insufficient road, traffic, and hazard awareness skills on the road such that it requires more road training to get these in place to a reasonably consistent standard before an instructor can issue a CBT certificate.
Bring your driving licence, a packed lunch, drinks and be willing to engage. Successful training is a 2-way process. Simply ’being shown’ doesn’t deliver effective learning.