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What Is A CBT Bike Test?


Tony W · February 24, 2022

What is a CBT Bike Test? Well, let's start by clarifying that it's not actually a test. It is a course designed to ensure you have proper control of your motorcycle and are ready to take to the road safely and confidently. Technically you cannot fail. If you don't meet the required standard on the day, you will be invited to return to complete the course.

In preparation for the CBT (or Compulsory Basic Training) you should ensure that you have a good basic knowledge of the highway code and be familiar with road traffic signs.

What Is A CBT Bike Test?

Your trainer will start the day in the classroom and during this part of the course, they will determine your level of knowledge. If it's not up to standard then the trainer or instructor will have the right to stop your participation and you may have to pay for another course, so make sure you are prepared.

Having used RideTo to select your chosen training school, there are several items you must have before attending the training;

  • A Motorcycle helmet - It must meet UK safety standards and therefore will need to be CE certified. Most training schools can provide one for you on the day, but please check before attending the CBT Bike Test.
  • Boots - Either dedicated motorcycle boots or sturdy boots that cover your ankle. Arrive in training shoes or sandals and you’ll be turned away, and lose your fee.
  • Gloves - Motorcycle gloves are a must, as they offer the appropriate level of protection. The gloves don't have to be expensive and there's a big range to choose from. You can see some of our best choices in the RideTo store.
  • Jacket & Trousers - A leather or textile motorcycle jacket is best, but a heavy jacket will suffice and layers underneath will be a good idea. Again motorcycle-specific trousers are a wise investment, but the training school will allow heavyweight jeans.

If the weather is wet on the day, the training school will have at least a waterproof jacket available for you to use. But be prepared, the training happens regardless of the weather, unless the instructor deems it to be unsafe.

When you arrive at the CBT, the trainer will start with an eyesight test, before outlining the structure of the day and taking any initial questions. The course itself is broken into five key elements;

  • Classroom Training - An full introduction to motorcycle controls. Highway Code and road traffic sign refresher with some roadcraft theory too.
  • On-Site Training - The instructor will get you accustomed with your motorcycle or scooter and it's a chance to get hands-on with the controls. You’ll be taught basic vehicle safety checks, putting and taking it off its stand, wheeling the motorcycle around and finally starting and stopping the engine.
  • On-Site Riding - This is where you get to ride a motorcycle or scooter in the safety of the training area away from the road. The instructor will ensure that you are comfortable in setting off, changing gear, manoeuvring and stopping. You’ll learn and work on observation skills whilst getting comfortable on the bike.
  • On-Road Preparation Training - In this section, you will learn about the legal requirements to ride on the road and the instructor will concentrate on topics such as speed, road positioning and hazard anticipation.
  • On-Road Practical riding - Now it's time to get fully into riding in typical traffic conditions. You will encounter various road layouts including junctions, traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrian crossings. The instructor will also ensure that hills and bends are included, as well as the compulsory u-turn and emergency stop.

What Is A CBT Bike Test?

During the day you will be riding with a maximum of four learners to one instructor On-Site and just two learners per instructor on the road. It's an intensive day, and you’ll be given plenty of breaks to take it all in. But with such small groups per instructor, you’ll pick things up quickly and there's plenty of time to ask questions and clarify points, nothing is rushed.

Once the instructor is happy that you are competent to ride on the road unaccompanied, you will be issued with a Certificate of Completion. This entitles you to ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc in size whilst displaying L plates. The CBT bike test is valid for two years, and if you haven’t progressed onto a full motorcycle test within that time, you will need to retake a CBT before continuing to ride with L plates.

The CBT bike test is a fun day where everything is taken at a relaxed pace to ensure that you are a confident and competent rider.

Ready to book your CBT? Start Here.

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.