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What is CBT Training?

CBT Training is the minimum level of qualification you need to ride a motorcycle. But take note, a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) licence isn’t always necessary. Below is all the basic information you need to know about the CBT licence and training.

Bike and instructors enjoying training

What do I need to book my CBT training:

The CBT licence is the foundation you need for riding a motorcycle. It is usually the very starting point of getting on two wheels. If you fit the criteria below, you can take your CBT training. You will have to book your training before you can legally ride a moped or scooter under any circumstances. So, you can book your training if:

  • Have a provisional driving licence. If you don’t have this, you can apply for one here.
  • Be 16 years or older.
  • Be able to read a number plate from 20 meters away. If you wear glasses, you can have these.
  • Don’t already have a full motorcycle licence. If you do, you won’t need to take any more CBT training.
  • Don't have a car driving licence which was valid before 1 February 2001. If you do, then we’ll explain what this means for you below.

Who doesn’t need to take a CBT licence:

There are some special circumstances which mean you do not need a CBT licence. If you meet the criteria below, you won’t need to carry out CBT training.

  • Want to ride a 50cc moped and you passed your car driving test before 1 February 2001.
  • want to ride a motorcycle and have a full moped licence which you got from passing a moped test since 1st December 1990.
  • Already have a motorcycle licence for one category and you wish to upgrade to a further licence.
  • If you wish to only ride on some offshore islands, you may not need a CBT licence. The best place to check is the government website here.

What previous experience do I need to pass my CBT training?

Because it is compulsory basic training, you are not expected to be an expert. It is CBT training, not a CBT test. However we would highly recommend that you can ride a bicycle before booking in your CBT training. Being able to ride a bicycle will give you a really good idea of how a motorcycle works. You will understand the balance needed to be on two wheels and how to manoeuvre a two wheeled vehicle.

Other than that, come into the CBT training with an open mind and ready to learn! They’ll teach you everything you need to be a great motorcycle rider. We’ve talked further down about what we would suggest learning before you arrive.

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What can I ride once I’ve completed my CBT training:

This will depend on your age. If you are 16 years of age when you completed your CBT training, you can ride a 50cc moped. If you have taken your CBT training when you are 17 or older, you will be restricted to a 125cc scooter. We’ve written an article on our favourite 50cc and 125cc motorcycles you can ride on a CBT licence. So have a look and decide what you like!

You will have to renew your CBT licence every 2 years. So you will have to make the choice when you come near the end of the 2 years whether you want to just retake your CBT training, or to move onto a further licence. Once you have a further licence this will open you up to bigger and more powerful motorbikes.

How should you prepare for the CBT training?

The best way to prepare for your CBT training is to research exactly what it is the CBT will involve. We would advise that you read what happens in the training first. Our very own Tom got his CBT licence recently, if you want a first hand experience, have a read of his blog!

You should also make sure you have a comprehensive read of the UK highway code. If everything goes well in your training, you’ll get a chance to go out on the roads and have a ride around. You will be taught the theory basics however it’s always best to come prepared to make sure there isn’t anything you don’t understand.

What do you have to do in the training?

There are 5 parts to your CBT training. It’s something we’ve gone into details about here. The training day is broken down into the following:

  • The introduction and eye test. This is just taking you through the very basics and checking that your eyesight is good enough to ride.
  • On-site CBT training - This is the theory section where you will be taught about the vehicle and the maintenance checks you can take.
  • The On-site CBT riding - You’ll be taught how the bike works and how to ride it.
  • On-road CBT training - This will involve the theory for riding a motorcycle on the road. It will also be a roundup of everything you’ve covered so far.
  • On-road CBT riding - This is the final element bringing together everything you’ve been taught. You will be given a chance to ride on the roads and showcase your skills.


If you're looking to get onto two wheels but not sure where to start, why not take our getting started survey

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This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.