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Lois Avery

Learning how to ride a moped or motorbike


Before you can ride a moped or a motorbike on UK roads, you’ll need to take Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).

Woman with bike helmet

The CBT is a one day training programme which enables you to drive a moped or motorcycle for two years on an L plate or D plate in Wales.

In these two years you need to pass the full motorcycle test, otherwise you’ll have to take the CBT again to keep on riding.

Watch the video to see what to expect from the CBT and read on below for more details about the course.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says that anyone wanting to ride a moped or motorbike has to take the CBT, but there are some exceptions.

If you have a car driving licence and passed your driving test before 1 February 2001, you don't need to complete a CBT to ride a moped.

You also don’t need to take the CBT if you have:

  • a full moped licence from passing a full moped test after 1 December 1990

  • a full motorcycle licence for one category and want to upgrade to another

There are a few more exceptions on GOV.UK.

The CBT is the first step to two wheels and will allow you to go on and take the full motorcycle theory and practical test.

What the course involves


The course is divided into four elements.

Element A

Eyesight check – your instructor will ask you to read a number plate from a distance

Equipment check – your instructor will go over the basic safety equipment, including helmets and clothing.

Element B

This’ll be an introduction to the motorcycle/moped. You’ll learn how to start and stop the engine, stand the vehicle correctly and will cover the basic controls like brakes, speedo and throttle.

Element C

This part of the course involves learning how to ride on-site at the motorcycle training centre. It covers basic manoeuvres, safety checks, emergency stops, slow control of the bike and turning.

Element D

The final part of the course puts everything from element C into practice on the road.

You have to demonstrate to an instructor that you can ride on the roads in a two hour test. You’ll be accompanied and receive instructions through an earpiece for most of it.

At the end of the day, providing you’re deemed to be a safe and competent rider, you’ll receive an official DVLA certificate to show you have passed the Compulsory Basic Training.


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