Are you thinking of buying a motorbike? Before you can ride it on the road, you will need to follow the Highway Code by completing a Compulsory Basic Training course, also known as a CBT. Once you have passed the CBT you will be permitted to ride unaccompanied on the public road on a motorcycle up to 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kW. You must also ride with L-plates for up to two years.
What does the CBT involve?
The CBT course is designed to equip motorcyclists with the basic skills they need to ride safely on the road. Attendees are given a basic introduction to road safety and must carry out an eye test. They then have to do practical training, which teaches them how to control a bike, how to use gears, how to stop and start and how to carry out relevant safety checks.
During the CBT course, motorcyclists have two hours accompanied on the road with a certified instructor. The instructor ensures that motorcyclists have the knowledge and skills to drive safely on the road and have a full understanding of the basics.
If you successfully complete the CTB course, you will be given a DL196 certificate that permits you to ride a motorcycle solo up to 125cc, providing you are at least seventeen years old. You must display L-plates on the front and rear and must not carry passengers or ride on the motorway.
Getting your full motorbike licence
After passing your CBT, you will have two years to pass the theory and practical test to gain their full motorbike licence. If you do not pass within this time period, you will be required to retake your CBT.
In order to gain your full motorbike licence you will need to first pass a theory test. This involves answering multiple-choice questions and completing a hazard perception test.
Once you have passed your theory test, you will be able to take your practical motorcycle test. It is recommended that you read up on the Highway Code and have formal training beforehand.
There are two types of full motorcycle licence. The first is a light motorcycle licence (A1) that restricts riders to any bike up to 125 cc and a power output of 11 kW. The standard motorcycle licence (A) restricts you to riding a bike up to 25 kW and a power / weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW / kg for the first two years. However after this period you can ride any size of bike.
Highway Code rules for motorcyclists
All motorcyclists and pillion passengers must wear protective helmets. Helmets must comply with the regulations and should be fastened securely. This applies to riders of motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, tricycles and quad bikes.
Motorcyclists are advised to wear eye protectors that comply with the regulations. If they eye protectors are scratched or poorly fitted, it can limit their view and cause potential hazards. It is also recommended that you wear ear protection, as well as strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing that will help to protect you if you are involved in an accident.
Motorcyclists with a full bike licence are only permitted to carry one pillion passenger who will be required to sit astride the bike on a proper seat. They should sit forward, with both feet on the footrests. You should not carry a pillion passenger if your motorcycle is not designed to do so. Provisional licence holders are not permitted to carry a pillion passenger.
This section is all about making sure you are visible to other road users when riding in the daylight. Motorcyclists should wear a light or brightly coloured helmet, as well as florescent clothing or strips (often found on motorcycle jackets). Even with the right clothing, it is important to take extra care as other vehicle drivers may not see you or be able to judge your distance or speed correctly.
This section of the Highway Code explains what you should wear to make sure you are visible to other road users in the dark. It is recommended that you wear reflective clothing or strips to improve your visibility. These will reflect the light from the headlamps of other vehicles, helping them to spot you from a longer distance.
Section 88 of the Highway Code for CBT and motorbikes is all about manoeuvring. It is important that you are aware of what is behind and to the sides of you before manoeuvring. In traffic queues, you should always look for pedestrians crossing between vehicles, as well as vehicles changing lanes and emerging from junctions.
Make sure you position your bike so that the drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Always take great care and when filtering in slow-moving traffic, keep your speed low.
We hope we have answered any questions you may have about the Highway Code for CBT and Highway Code for motorbikes in this article. If you would like any more information, feel free to get in touch.
Image credits: One-Stop-Down and Natesh Ramasamy