A CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) is a legal requirement for riding a motorcycle / scooter in the UK up to a maximum of 125cc, it’s the first step toward getting a full licence. CBT has five separate elements or sections, all of which must be completed. The sequence and content is specified under UK Law and monitored by the DVSA.

Element A of a CBT will begin with an Introduction about the Course and why it was brought in (Dec.1990). It then covers all aspects of protective clothing, including helmet types, choice, and fit, (including why helmets range in price from £50 to £600).

Element B of a CBT will cover motorcycle controls (throttle, brakes etc.), what they do, how they work, and how they’re used. Daily and Weekly simple maintenance checks are explained, along with the use of stands and wheeling the machine. At the end of this element we’ll cover pre-start checks, and starting and stopping the engine.

Element C of a CBT gets you moving on the bike, and consists of a series of exercises on the training area (i.e. off-road), using all of the bike’s controls. This includes Braking Exercises, Slow-Speed manoeuvres, Emergency Stop with Simulated left & Right Turns procedures amongst others. The objective of this element is to increase your skill and confidence levels to the point where you feel completely comfortable riding the bike through any of the exercises.

Element D of a CBT is a discussion on the topics of personal safety whilst on the road, and the legal requirements that apply to UK roads and vehicles.

Element E of a CBT is where we go out on the road. Taking in a wide variety of road and traffic systems, the ride must last for a minimum period of two hours (this is a legal requirement). You’ll be accompanied at all times by an instructor (on a separate bike), who will be in radio contact with you throughout the ride.

If your riding is considered safe, then at the end of Element E, and following a final debrief, you’ll receive the DL196 Certificate, which will allow you to ride unaccompanied on L-plates on a motorcycle / scooter up to a maximum of 125cc.  The DL196 is valid for two years to allow sufficient time for you to prepare for your full licence test.

If, after that two years you decide you don’t want to take a Test – and if you want to continue riding, then you must undertake another CBT (Renewal) Course to ride for a further two years.

Some guidelines around the CBT:

A CBT is not a test, it’s an Assessment carried out by a qualified Instructor. There is no Pass or Fail, however all exercises in all Elements must be satisfactorily completed in sequence. In practice this means that having difficulty with one part of an element simply means that we continue working on that issue until you’re competent and confident with it.

There is no time limit to completing CBT. Some Trainees may complete it in one day, others may not i.e. ‘Client Centred Training’. The idea is that a Trainee will learn at their own rate, without being pressured to finish or berated if they don’t ‘get it’. If this takes longer then – basically – that’s the way it is and we’ll help you through it all.

Potential Trainees must however realise that to come to a professional Academy for training which is road-related – then you must have read and at least understand the Highway Code. This won’t be in the form of an Instructor asking you if it’s been read – and accepting a ‘yes’ as credible – but by asking simple questions which will require a simple answer, to prove this vital road safety booklet has actually been read.

The aim of the CBT is to develop your riding to the level where you are competent and safe to ride unaccompanied on the road, in any traffic conditions. As such, your safety and the safety of other road users is the paramount objective of CBT – not the time it takes you to complete the training.

Feel free to email with any questions you may have.