What to expect during the Compulsory Basic Training

As it is not a test you cannot fail the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and in effect there is not a time limit to how long it takes (though usually about 6-7 hours). Instead the training is built around the completion of five elements. Do make sure that you check with the training school as to what will happen in terms of whether you will have to pay extra costs if you are not ready to receive the certificate after the first day.

The cost of a CBT course will cost somewhere in the region of £100 though this can vary depending on area. As with most things shop around and make sure you are clear of any ‘hidden extras’.

All CBT’s must take place at a Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved Training Body (ATB) which should have a good level surface for on site training.

Most training schools will be able to supply the bikes and safety equipment so all you need to do is bring your provisional driving licence (both parts) and a positive attitude. If you do want to bring your own bike (via a friend or trailer) you will need to bring insurance documents and log book as well as L plates for the bike.

At the end of each of the five elements the instructor should check that all participants have understood the contents before proceeding to the next part.

The five elements of Compulsory Basic Training

Element A: The first element will cover the aims and objectives of the CBT course. As well as your licence, your eyesight will be checked and you must be able to read a number plate from 20.5 metres (67 feet) in the case of old style plates, and 20 metres (65 feet) for the newer style plates (those that have two letters followed by two numbers). It may be worth checking that you can read characters from this distance before booking your CBT as you will not be able to continue should you fail the eyesight check.

The element will also contain an informative insight into the use of correct clothing and equipment (such as helmets) and general road safety.

Element B: The second section will focus on introducing an understanding of the machine controls, daily and weekly checks, how to get the bike on and off the stand, wheeling the bike and learning how to use the brakes. There will also be an exercise in starting and stopping the bike. Before the next stage the final demonstration may concern the safety position to adopt when sitting on the bike.

Element C: The third element will be the fun bit and consists of a series of exercises actually riding the bike on site. This will include throttle control, use of gears and clutch (if applicable) braking (including emergency stops) manoeuvres (such as slow riding and simulated turns with appropriate use of indicators) and observation skills (like when to use a lifesaver).

Element D: Will be a classroom section preparing for the road riding element. It will cover a range of safety issues including: weather awareness, road surfaces, traffic conditions, Highway Code, hazard awareness and correct rider attitude.

Element E: Is the road riding section and will last two hours. You will only be allowed out in the road if the instructor is confident that you are capable and have understood all the previous elements. You will be in radio contact with your instructor and there should be a ratio of 2 students to 1 instructor. Successful completion of this and therefore all of the other elements will result in obtaining your CBT pass certificate (DL196).


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