Compulsory Basic Training. It’s what all bikers need must get through before they hit the road on two wheels. Today, I completed my CBT with 1-Stop Instruction over at Fairlop (NE London).
The training is basic, beginning with simple safety points (helmets, boots etc), then an introduction to the bikes (location of controls, on-off stand). Before moving onto simple manoeuvres around a car park and then escorted onto the road for final assessment. The CBT can be done on an automatic scooter or a traditional manual 125cc bike. I opted to do the CBT on a manual 125, as my dream is to move up to a proper big bike. 🙂 However unlike cars, passing the CBT on an automatic will still let you ride on a manual 125 afterwards.
This was my first time on a bike, so a little nerve racking. I was initially a bit stumped, as I took my big goth boots along, thinking they’d be best on the bike. However the steel toe caps stopped me changing gear, so I had to switch back to Converse. Not ideal biking footwear, but much easier to control the bike. Clutch control took time to get the hang of, it’s a real knack to use it to fine tune speed, rather than tweaking the throttle.
Overall, I came away very chuffed and can’t wait to get back on a bike now. I can now legally ride a 125cc bike on the road on my own – phaww! My dilemma now, is do I try and find a small bike to build up some experience, or do I continue onto a Direct Access (DAS) course and aim to start on a big bike (500cc ish)?
The first step in my journey to getting on a motorbike is the theory test. Although I have a full car driving license and undertook a theory test many years ago for that, I still have to complete a motorcycle specific theory test. It is in fact very similar to the current car theory test but with the addition of a few motorbike specific questions.
The test starts with a whole bunch of multiple choice questions, mostly general highway code stuff. Then followed by a short passage of text describing someone driving through various scenarios with a sequence of associated questions. Finally there is the hazard perception test, a series of short videos during which you must click the mouse button as soon as you see a hazards start to unfold on the screen. You are scored on the number you spot and how soon you spotted them.
To revise for this test, I read the highway code a few times, run through a few sample tests on the DSA website and watched several sample hazard perception videos on YouTube. The test isn’t hard, but do prepare and read instructions carefully. There is a real lack of motorbike specific practise materials out there, but so much of the car test is shared so ultimately it’s not a big issue. There are numerous places selling practice materials, but if you hunt around there is enough stuff free, like here.
Key Things to Remember
You need a provisional motorcycle license to book the test.
You must take both paper and photo part of your license along to the test.
After passing, your certificate will expire after 2 years. So don’t hang about completing the rest of your motorbike test.