What is a CBT?

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Compulsory basic training (CBT) was introduced to help reduce the high accident rate among inexperienced motorcyclists. A CBT must be completed before a learner moped or motorcycle rider is allowed to ride on the road with L-plates.

Upon successful completion of this you’ll be allowed to drive up to a 125cc motorcycle for 2 years, on L plates. You can either stick with this and redo it every two years, ride a 125cc motorcycle or scooter for a while to gain some extra experience, or go directly onto the Direct Access from here.

What does CBT involve?

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The CBT course involves five elements:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Practical on-site training (Bike Maintenance, Controls etc).
  3. Practical on-site riding.
  4. Theory / Highway Code.
  5. Practical on-road riding.

The five elements have to be completed in sequence, although the order of the exercises within the element can be varied. You will only move on to the next element when your instructor is satisfied you have learnt the necessary theory and demonstrated the practical skills to a safe basic level.

When all five elements have been satisfactorily completed (this may take more than one day), a certificate of completion, called the DL196, is issued. This is a legal document which validates the relevant entitlements on your driving licence.

Once you have your certificate you are entitles to ride anything upto a 125cc motorcycle or scooter, providing you display L plates.

Where and how much?

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We have many different Training Centres, from the Midlands to Middlesex.

What do I need to bring?

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  • Whatever the weather, you must wear the correct clothing on the day.
  • You need to wear long trousers (jeans are fine), and sturdy footwear (strong shoes or boots).
  • We supply helmets, jackets, gloves and waterproof over-trousers if you do not already have your own. Waterproof clothing is strongly recommended, as your course will continue if it rains or not.
  • If you normally wear glasses or contact lenses, you will need to bring them to read a registration plate at a minimum distance of 66 ft (20 metres).
  • You will need to bring your UK licence (photocard), and you also need to know your National Insurance number.  If you have an old style licence, you will need to bring a valid passport. The document must be original, as photocopies are not accepted.

Identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic fluid.

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Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

Identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.

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Identify where to check level, i.e. dipstick or sight glass. Explain that level should be between max and min marks. For dipstick remove dipstick and wipe clean, return and remove again to check oil level against max/min marks. For sight glass, ensure glass is clean when checking.

Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam.

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Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.


Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working.

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Operate brake, place hand over light or make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc, or ask someone to help.

Show me how you would check that the horn is working on this machine (off road only).

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Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).

Show me how you would check the operation of the brakes on this machine.

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Check for excessive travel on the brake lever and the brake pedal and for unusual play or sponginess.

Show me how you would check the operation of the engine cut out switch.

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Operate switch, without the engine being started.

Show me how you would check the operation of the front brake on this machine.

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Wheel the machine forward and apply the front brake.

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light and explain when you would use it (if fitted).

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Operate switch (turn on ignition and dipped headlights if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Show me what checks you would make on the steering movement before using the machine.

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Handlebars should be free to move smoothly from full left lock to full right lock without any control cables being stretched, trapped or pinched and without any snagging between moving and fixed parts.

Tell me how you would check that the lights and reflectors are clean and working.

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Explanation only: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), identify reflectors. Check visually for cleanliness and operation.

Tell me how you would check the condition of the chain on this machine.

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Check for chain wear, correct tension and rear wheel alignment. Tension should be adjusted as specified in the machine handbook. Drive chain should be lubricated to ensure that excessive wear does not take place.

Tell me how you would check your tyres to ensure that they are correctly inflated, have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

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Correct tyre pressure settings can be found in the owner’s manual. Pressures should be checked using a reliable gauge. Tread depth must be at least 1mm deep, forming a continuous band at least 3/4 of the breadth of the tread and all the way around. There should be no lumps, bulges or tears.