Requirements for booking a CBT
To be eligible to take your CBT, you must be at least 16 years of age and first have a National Insurance Number and a UK issued provisional license. One thing that not many people are aware of is that when you apply for a provisional license, you are in essence telling the DVLA (even if you haven’t) that you have read and understand the UK Highway Code. After you receive your Provisional License and can provide your instructor with your NI Number, you can now book your CBT.
Booking your CBT
Most (AvscoBikeCourses Included) CBT schools offer their students the loan of a suitable vehicle and equipment (equipment includes helmet, jacket, gloves) as included in the training fee. Typically, they will ask that you attend the training wearing sturdy boots and jeans of your own. However you can attend the training in your own gear, provided that it is motorcycle specific with suitable padding, protection and wind shielding.
Always be aware that the only wind protection you have while riding on two wheels, is your clothes and (possibly) a small windshield. The point here is that you will get VERY cold depending on the time of year. We personally recommend that you bring along a hoody or loose fitting trousers (tracksuits, joggers) to wear underneath your jeans or protective jacket to ensure that you remain warm and endure less distractions while on your training course.
Taking Your CBT
Be aware that your CBT is NOT A TEST. This means that it is nigh-on impossible to fail. Don’t get me wrong, you can still fail, but it’s often a matter of ‘can you ride a bicycle without falling off?’ - AvscoBikeCourses are currently running on a 98% pass rate, and the very few that failed in the past were people that had next to no sense of balance or lacking a general understanding of the way that roads and traffic works.
All of that being said, your CBT will include the following elements:
- Introduction and Eyesight Check
- Practical on-site training
- Practical on-site riding
- Practical on-road training
- Practical on-road riding
You will progress through each element as and when your instructor is happy and confident that the group are riding confidently and safely. There are no time-limits on this training course and the duration could be anything up to a full day depending on you and your group’s capability.
If you take your CBT at 16 and finish the training, you are now legally certified to ride up to a 50cc vehicle. This is typically Scooters and motorcycles that fall into the moped class of limited power & top speed of approx. 28mph. However it is possible (albeit more expensive) to ride a geared, sporty 50cc motorcycle and still remain legal. Be careful though, as a lot of these types of 50cc motorcycles are unrestricted and include power-enhancing alterations. Riding a vehicle that has been power-enhanced whether by derestricting, big bore kits, etc, while on only a CBT at aged 16 will result in your insurance not being valid in the event of an accident, not to mention that you aren’t legally allowed to ride it as these change the vehicle classification from moped class to motorcycle class – moped being the only classification of vehicle that you can ride at 16 on a CBT.
In other words, Enhancements generally increase the displacement of your vehicle above that of 50cc – which is the maximum at 16. Thus you will be illegally riding, unlicensed and uninsured while doing so if you were to purchase then ride a derestricted, power enhanced vehicle.
On your 17th Birthday, your CBT automatically upgrades to have a power limit of no greater than 125cc engine size that produces no more than 15bhp (14.7bhp/11kw)
If you take your CBT at 17, you are allowed to ride a motorcycle or scooter with a power limit of no greater than 125cc engine size that produces no more than 15bhp (14.7bhp/11kw)
While on a CBT at 16 or 17, you are not permitted to ride on motorways or ride with a passenger. You are also required to display L Plates while riding on the road...
Purchasing a Motorcycle, Scooter or Moped
As a general Rule of Thumb, it’s a good idea to seek out motorcycles that are labelled as “Learner Legal” as this means that it is/should be legal for you to ride on a CBT (50cc at 16 and 125 at 17 still apply here).
If you aren’t worried about the cost or are in immediate need of independent transport then getting a 50cc at 16 years old is a good idea. However, these are entry level vehicles that do not give out much power and you can expect that most car drivers are going to over take you out on the road.
A lot of learners prefer to take their cbt at 16 and wait until their 17th birthday before getting a 125cc, as a 125cc is generally all you will need provided that you don’t lust for power and speed.
While looking for a bike or scooter that takes your fancy, you will surely notice that 125cc vehicles are not simply just scooters. They can range in style from scooters to naked sports bikes or even dual sport off-road/on-road motorbikes.
Insure Your Vehicle
Learner Legal vehicle insurance is probably as cheap as insurance will be for you for a long time. When you reach a certain age, your insurance costs will drop drastically however if you are still quite young and aspiring to Ride, then you still shouldn’t fear as it is seldom very expensive for new riders. Ofcourse this can change depending on your vehicle, though right now we are talking about learner legal insurance which is typically as much as you would pay a month for a phone contract.
As an example for the reader, I, The writer of this page, currently ride a 125cc scooter (aspiring to move onto a Suzuki Marauder Custom/Cruiser 125) and I currently pay £32 a month for insurance. This, alongside the £3 petrol I pay a week to get to and from AVSCO Ltd from home, really doesn’t add up too much.
Ensuring your vehicle is taxed and has a valid Mot
Ensuring that your learner legal vehicle is road taxed is quite simple and cheap as well! It costs £17 for road tax on motorcycles and scooters up too 125cc. If your vehicle is no older than 3 years, you don’t have to worry about mots just yet, at least not until the 3rd birthday of your vehicle.
When you need to tax your vehicle, ensure that it is insured & MOT’d (If it requires an mot i.e older than 3 years old). Once it is insured, you are able to pay for your vehicles road tax online or at any post office. When paying for your vehicle’s road tax, whether in a post office or online, you will need to have specific paperwork to hand. Read here for more information: https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax
Ensuring your Vehicle is MOT’d
If your motorcycle or scooter is no older than 3 years old, then it is exempt from having an MOT just yet. However, if you have an older motorcycle or scooter then you are required, by law, to keep a valid MOT up to date on any vehicle used on the road. This means having to take it to a garage and sit down with a cup of tea while a VOSA approved person gives vehicle the annual inspection. If you’re worried about failing an MOT, then it may be a good idea to have extra budget when booking your MOT as most garages, Avsco Ltd included, offer a free retest if the bike is repaired & represented for a retest within 14 days of the initial failure. Don’t be let down if still you do not pass, just simply talk to your mechanic about the steps you should take now to legally, and safely, get back out on the road.
NOTE: Your MOT has a ‘carryover’ limit of 4 weeks. This means that, for example, if you retake your MOT 2 weeks before it expires, this will give you a year and 2 weeks until you have to renew it. Likewise if you get your MOT 1, 3 or 4 weeks before the expiration date.
Get the RIGHT Gear!
I’m sure it goes without saying that riding on two wheels, whether scooter or motorcycle, it can be quite dangerous. This is why you should prioritize good quality gear over good looking gear. The equipment that it is widely acknowledged as the things you need to wear when riding are as follows:
> A Helmet that fits correctly (Legally required!)
> A wind proof, water proof and padded jacket.
> Wind proof, water proof, protective trousers. Denim jeans are standard procedure in the UK which is better than shorts or tracksuits, but still not as protective as you should be looking for. Kevlar Jeans are better, if you must maintain your style while remaining safe.
> Safety Gloves. These are typically wind proof and water proof, though what you should be looking for is a pair with straps at the wrists, are warm and comfortable, fit correctly and come with knuckle studs or similar protection.
Now one thing that I see a lot of riders miss out on, is riding boots!
> Motorcycle Boots. Avoid steel toe caps, though leather boots without metal inside are suitable for riding. Avoiding steel toe caps is the decision that decides whether or not you keep your toes after an accident! If you stop in the middle of the road to turn right, chances are your feet will come down to the floor. This puts them in serious danger of being ran over, and trust me, you do not want to be wearing steel toed boots if this happens. Anything sturdy is good for riding, as it will protect your ankles. If you have trouble feeling the gear shift lever when you use it, then consider wearing motorcycle specific branded boots, that are protective however have thinner material by the toes where your feet will be making contact with the gear lever.
Lastly, When purchasing gear, look out for the labels!
Boots – CE EN 13634
Motorcycle jackets, trousers and suits – CE EN 13595
Impact protectors and body armour – CE EN 1621
The European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 1989, requires any clothing or personal equipment sold to provide protection from injury, for example motorcycle clothing, to comply with the relevant European Standard. To comply, the gear has to be independently tested and certified. The manufacturer is then issued with a CE (Conformité Européenne) label which shows that the motorcycle clothing conforms to the relevant European standard. The clothing or gear must carry a permanently attached CE label with the number of the Standard.
Similar labels can be found on motorcycle security products, click here for more information on motorcycle security.