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Do I need Compulsory Bike Training (CBT) to Ride a Motorcycle?

Do I need Compulsory Bike Training (CBT) to Ride a Motorcycle?

Compulsory bike training (CBT) is a mandatory training course for provisional licence (Category A) holders to ride a motorcycle or moped on public roads in the UK. Compulsory bike training (CBT) helps riders learn about bike control and road safety. It allows riders to practise while preparing for a full moped (Category AM) or motorcycle (Category A1) license test. You do not have to pass the theory test before undertaking a CBT course. 

CBT is not a test that you could pass or fail. It is a whole day learning course with a series of exercises and assessments to enhance the rider’s knowledge and abilities. The certificate confirms that the learner motorcyclist has achieved the required satisfactory standards in road safety. The participants are awarded DL196 (CBT Certificate), which permits them to ride on public roads unaccompanied for the period of the next two years.  

After completing the CBT, you can ride a moped up to 50cc (Max speed of 28mph) if you are 16 years of age and a motorcycle of 125cc and power output of up to 11kW at the age of 17 or over. You must display an L number plate in England and Scotland or L or D number plate in Wales. You cannot ride on motorways or carry a pillion passengers. Your CBT certificate is valid for only two years. You have to pass your full motorcycle driving licence test, or you will have to retake the CBT course or stop riding. You could be fined up to £1000 and six points on your driving license if caught without a valid CBT certificate.   

All CBT holders should read the Highway Code, which helps them prepare for the theory and driving test.  

Exemptions from Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

There are certain circumstances, however, in which prospective motorbike riders may be
exempt from taking CBT. They are the following:

  • If the rider wishes to operate a moped (up to 50cc) and passed their car driving test before 1 February 2001
  • If the rider wishes to ride a motorcycle and possesses a full moped licence from passing a moped test since 1 December 1990
  • If the rider has a full motorcycle licence for one category and desires to upgrade to another
  • If the rider is operating their vehicle on certain offshore islands
  • If the rider wishes to use a trial e-scooter; all of these scenarios are free from the need of completing CBT

But in summary, aside from a few minor exceptions, CBT still remains a mandatory course for men and women who wish to use a moped or motorcycle on the road in the United Kingdom. The training is designed to ensure that riders are able to control their vehicles safely and responsibly and is one of the preliminary steps crossed, prior to attempting a full moped or motorcycle test. If these requirements are not met, you risk the result of substantial fines, penalty points on your licence, or worse, tragedy on the road.

Although we may not like them at times when they slow us down in getting what we want (whether it be obtaining our licence or making it to our destination quicker when in a rush), remember still that traffic laws are in place to facilitate the safety and well-being of all individuals on the road, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and, of course, you. These laws are designed to regulate the behaviour of drivers and other road users, in order to as efficiently as possible reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Traffic laws are also ratified to establish a sense of orderly conduct on the roadways. Controlling the flow of traffic, preventing congestion, and making it possible for people to ultimately reach their destinations safely and efficiently are all the primary purposes of traffic laws. Therefore it is best practice for you to obey them always so that we can all be comfortable, secure, and courteous on the roads.