What is Compulsory Basic Training (CBT Training)?



Your motorcycle Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is a training course designed to teach a complete novice the basic skills required, to ride safely on the road. CBT training is not a test and cannot be failed. All learner motorcyclists and moped riders must satisfactorily complete CBT before riding on the road.

The course is made up of 5 elements which are completed in order. You will need to complete each element in turn and will not move on to the next until the instructor is satisfied you have understood what has been taught.

There is an in-depth discussion of the 5 elements of CBT here. But read on for a quick overview of what to expect.

Element A – Introduction to CBT

Firstly an eyesight test, then a general introduction to the aims of compulsory basic training and a safety clothing and helmet discussion.

More about Element A

Element B – Learning the controls of the motorcycle

Next an introduction to the controls on your motorcycle. Some guidance on basic safety checks, and then you will be taught how to wheel the bike and use the stand

More about Element B

Element C – Practical off-road riding 

This is where you finally start learning to ride, you will be in a controlled and safe off-road area and will practice:

  • Riding in a straight line
  • Stopping smoothly
  • Riding slowly
  • Changing gear
  • Correct observations
  • Riding a figure of eight
  • Emergency stops
  • U-turns
  • Left and right turns

More about Element C

Element D – Road briefing and safety talk (classroom discussion)

General session covering how to ride safely and be seen by other road users. You will learn about the highway code and the rules of the road. In addition, you will be taught the correct road positioning  This section generally takes about 45 minutes.

More about Element D

Element E –  Practical on-road riding 

Finally! You are on the road. You will be in radio contact with your instructor and will be expected to demonstrate the skills learned in the previous elements. You will be taken on a variety of different roads and will need to show you can deal with a variety of road and traffic conditions safely.

More about Element E

That’s it!

If your instructor is happy you have completed all the elements to a competent level you will be issued a DL196 certificate.

If you want to know what it actually feels like to do a CBT, have a look at the story of this new riders CBT test 

Q. How can I find compulsory basic training near me?

A. We have the UK’s most comprehensive and accurate training school directory right here.

Q. How much is compulsory basic training?

A. It is generally between £100 and £130. At most training schools this will include the use of a scooter or motorcycle, a helmet and safety clothing. Always check what is included before making a booking.

Q. How long does CBT (compulsory basic training) take?

A. Most people will complete the course in a day. However, there is no set time limit and your instructor will not issue a certificate until he is satisfied that you are safe to ride on the road unaccompanied. You may be asked to return the next day for further training if necessary. Read more about how long a CBT takes.

Q. What can I ride after gaining my CBT?

A. Age 16 – Max 50cc with L plates

A. Age 17+ – Max 125cc with L plates

Q. When did compulsory basic training start?

A. Compulsory Basic Training was introduced in 1990 to help reduce the very high accident rate among inexperienced motorcyclists.