Congratulations on receiving your provisional licence; you’ve taken the first step to becoming a fully qualified motorcyclist!

Before you can ride a motorcycle of any capacity on the public roads, you need to complete Compulsory Basic Training.

The CBT is a primer course that will teach you the very basics of how to operate and handle a motorcycle as well as basic but important road theory.

The CBT will normally last around six hours and will continue until your instructor is satisfied that you are proficient enough with the safety theory and operation of a motorcycle that you will be able to practice safely under no supervision. For most people, this will take the full six hours, a minimum two of which being on the road.

There is no time limit to the CBT, for some people it can take more than one 6 hour session, but you will only ever be charged once, even on the rare occasion that it does take longer than a day. Again, this is rarely ever the case and with adequate preparation beforehand, most people will complete the session within the six hours.

It is important to note that you cannot “pass” or “fail” a CBT, even if it does take you longer than usual to master the basics of operating a motorcycle. Compulsory Basic Training is just that, a training course, not a test.

“Do I need to do Compulsory Basic Training?”

As the name would suggest, it is compulsory, however there is one exception:

If you obtained a full driving licence before the 1st of February, 2001, you may ride a moped without taking a CBT, meaning that you are limited to a motorcycle with a capacity of 50cc or less and limited to 28mph. If you wish to ride anything quicker than a moped, you are required to take Compulsory Basic Training, though for your own safety it is highly recommended that you take it even if you are eligible to ride without.

Booking and cost of a CBT

Compulsory Basic Training is conducted by licenced and approved motorcycle riding schools, known as Approved Training Bodies.

An Approved Training Body, or ATB is really just the official name for a motorcycle training school. As well as offering the CBT, these are the people who conduct motorcycle lessons as well as the DAS course.

The price of a CBT will vary, though it will typically cost around £80 to £120 and is booked directly through your chosen ATB.

The price can vary depending on a number of factors, the main one being whether or not you have your own motorcycle and gear. If you don’t, you may end up paying more as you’ll need to borrow the required equipment from your ATB. ATB’s may also offer discounted prices if you are willing to take your CBT with other trainees.

On the next page, you will find advice on finding the right instructor, so you have the best experience when taking your CBT and then start taking lessons!

Picking the Right Instructor >