Compulsory Basic Training is a legal requirement
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), is a legal requirement for all wishing to ride a motorcycle or moped* on UK roads. This basic motorcycle training course was designed to ensure that learner riders have the necessary riding skills to safely ride a motorcycle or moped unaccompanied on the road. On successful CBT completion, a DL196 Compulsory Basic Training Certificate (valid for two years) is issued by the instructor.
Compulsory Basic Training is generally offered as a one-day motorcycle training course, delivered via an Approved Training Body (ATB) and by a suitably qualified motorcycle training instructor. Where Compulsory Basic Training Candidates are not meeting the required standards and not yet safe to ride unaccompanied on the road – duration of training can be extended as required. On completion of Compulsory Basic Training, a novice rider will be able to ride unaccompanied, but without pillion passengers and not on the motorway. Post-CBT, new riders must display ‘L’ plates (‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear of their machine. These cannot be removed until motorcycle theory, Module 1 and Module 2 tests have all been passed.
Compulsory Basic Training was Introduced in December 1990
Compulsory Basic Training was introduced in December 1990 in an effort to address the high accident and fatality rates amongst new riders. Prior to this a learner rider could buy a motorbike and be riding unrestricted on public roads without any knowledge, experience or training. Whilst a look at pre-1990 accident statistics tell a stark story, of greater relevance are the quantum accident statistic improvements since the introduction of Compulsory Basic Training.
With a valid CBT certificate, at 16 years of age a learner can ride a moped and if 17 years or over, a motorcycle up to 125cc with a power output of no more than 11kW.
Whilst Compulsory Basic Training follows a prescribed syllabus, most good ATB’s will deliver the course per individual candidate learning needs. Also important is the instructor to student ratio and whilst four students per instructor is fairly common, a more effective ratio is two CBT students per course. This preferred ratio naturally affords a more personal, tailored and effective training experience.
Element A - Introduction
Element A is a CBT course introduction, covering what to expect, along with a brief about motorcycle clothing, general safety and comfort.
Element B - Practical on-site training
Element B runs through an introduction to motorcycle controls and how they work, along with manual handling and motorcycle safety checks.
Element C - Practical on-site riding
Element C moves CBT training to off-road practical riding instruction, where riders are taught how to ride the motorbike within the relative safety of an off-road training area. Candidates learn how to use ‘slow control’ during a variety of practical exercises, along with instruction on gears, brakes, observations and junctions.
Element D - Practical on-road training preparation
Element D, which is usually classroom based includes briefing on the Highway Code, staying visible on the road, defensive riding and generally what can be expected whilst riding on the road.
Element E - Practical on-road riding
Element E is the on-road part of Compulsory Basic Training and takes the form of a two hour road-ride, where candidates will experience a wide variety of roads, junctions and traffic scenarios.
Each Element must be covered in full and students must demonstrate a good understanding and practical skills in order to progress through the course. If a learner does not achieve the desired standard during Element C they will not progress to riding on the road (Element E). Where there are areas of weakness during Element E, CBT candidates will require more instruction before a CBT DL196 certificate can be issued.
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is only the first basic step and learner riders are encouraged to undergo further motorcycle coaching to be more fully safe on today’s busy and congested roads. Progressing to a full motorcycle test is wise.
* The only remaining exception to Compulsory Basic Training is for those who passed a car driving licence prior to 2001, which in most includes a full 50cc moped entitlement – but to ride a higher capacity machine still requires a CBT.