Finding a Training Centre
Last time we went through obtaining a licence and booking and completing the motorcycle theory test (Part 1 can be found here). This time we will look at taking a CBT. If you only plan to ride a 50-125cc moped or scooter you could skip the theory test altogether and head here once you have your provisional licence.
The first thing to do is to find where you will take your CBT. For me there were a lot of different training centres offering the service in my area so it was a case of doing some research and speaking to people who had recently done motorcycling courses. I went with Camrider in Norwich and received an excellent service and training throughout but look online and ask about in your area to find the best place for you!
Compulsory Basic Training
For my CBT all clothing and accessories were supplied by the course as well as a bike and insurance. I had already bought my own helmet so I took that with me but really all you need is yourself! The class consisted of 4 people including me, of different ages and experience levels. Some were renewing their certificates (a CBT is only valid for 2 years) whilst another was taking his for the first time on a 50cc scooter. For my part I chose a geared 125cc bike as it was always my intention to progress onto the full DAS course afterwards.
The bike I was given was a Sinnis Trackstar 125cc. It was my first time on a motorcycle and this was a great introduction. The Trackstar doesn’t really feel much like a small moped it has the style of a motorcycle and I think makes a good transition vehicle into a larger bike.
After spending the first part of the morning in the classroom going over some basic theory and taking a look at the bike controls, we went to an off-road area to learn the basics of actually riding. I found myself in the position of being the least experienced of the group but the instructor took plenty of time to get me familiar with the motorcycle. I think that is the key thing as a complete beginner, to take your time and not feel pressured into keeping up with others who may be more advanced, simply enjoy the experience and you’ll get there!
After riding round an enclosed area, practicing gear changes, U-turns and slow speed control around cones all morning, we returned to the class room for more theoretical preparation before the afternoon’s road ride. The road ride part of your CBT is the final component before being given your certificate and usually lasts around 2 hours. You won’t be expected to ride like an expert simply to be safe and demonstrate a basic competence with your bike. We were split into groups of 2 so we had close interaction with an instructor. The ride took us into a variety of situations from quiet residential areas to busier town streets. We practiced emergency stops, U-turns and safely pulling over. I felt like after that first day I had already experienced a wide variety of situations I may encounter on the road.
Take your time and enjoy it!
Again if your skill level is still not quite there just take your time. On my course there was the option to come back for an additional afternoon and work on your weak points if that’s what was needed to get you on the road and feeling confident.
It was quite a long day around 8 hours in total and I felt surprisingly tired at the end of it but I had my CBT and had experienced road riding for the first time. From here I was free to take a 50-125cc moped onto the road with L-plates if I desired and if that is your goal, this is all you have to do! If you have been considering getting on 2-wheels why not give it a try?
For me it was just the beginning as from here it was time to begin my DAS (Direct Access Scheme) course and move onto more powerful machines. We will look at the course and follow my progress through the training and tests next time!
Other blogs in this Motorcycle Training Series are:
Please note: The views shared are that of the author and are not neccesarily that of Lexham Insurance Consultants Ltd.