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Learning to ride a motorcycle in the UK

Posted by Howard Trott on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 Under: Motorcycle Riding Skills
The CBT Course (Compulsory Basic Training)

CBT is arranged so that you progress through a series of elements. You will only move onto the next element when your trainer is satisfied you have learn't the necessary theory, and demonstrated the practical skills to a safe basic level.

What are the elements ?

Element A - Introduction to CBT
Element B - Practical on-site training
Element C - Practical on-site riding
Element D - Practical on-road training
Element E - Practical on-road riding.

Within each element, the trainer is free to deliver the training in the order which is felt to be appropriate for you.

Trainer to trainee ratios

During your CBT you my be accompanied by other learners up to a maximum ratio of
4 to 1 - During on-site elements
2 to 1 - During the on-road element.

Types of trainer

CBT can only be given by ATBs (Approved Training Bodies) using trainers who are either
- DSA (Driving Standards Agency) assessed certified trainers or
- Down-trained certified trainers.

DSA assessed certified trainers

Every ATB must employ at least one trainer who has successfully attended DSAs CBT assessment. They're called Cardington assessed trainers and can
- Provide CBT training and issue DL196 certificates
- Down-train other trainers within the ATB.

Down-trained certified trainers

These trainers have been down-trained by the Cardington assessed trainer, and are qualified to provide CBT training, including issuing the DL196 certificate at the end of the course.

After CBT - Motorcycle Tests


This is essential so you practise 
- On as many types of road as you can
- On dual carriageways where the national speed limit applies
- In all sorts of conditions (even in darkness).

You'll be asked to ride on a variety of road types during the on-road test module. Don't just concentrate on roads near the test centre or the exercises included in the tests. When you practise try not to
- Obstruct other traffic. Most drivers are tolerant of learners, but don't try their patience too much
- Annoy local residents, for example by practising emergency stops in quiet residential streets.

Your theory test

The theory test will gauge your knowledge and understanding of riding theory and hazard perception. A sound knowledge of the theory is essential to a better understanding of practical riding skills.

The practical tests 

The practical test is split into two separate modules. A full motorcycling licence will only be issued when both modules have been passed.

Module 1 - Is an off-road specified manoeuvring test, including an avoidance exercise, a U-turn, a slow ride and a controlled stop.

Module 2 - Is a road riding test, including an eyesight test, two questions about carrying out safety checks on the motorcycle, and a question about balance when carrying a pillion passenger. Your examiner will follow you on a motorcycle or occasionally in a car. You will be fitted with earphones under your motorcycle helmet and a radio receiver on a waist belt. This will enable you to hear the examiner's directions while riding on the road. You'll be given directions clearly and in good time. You should ride in the way you have been taught by your trainer.

You must
- Hold a current theory test pass before either module can be taken
- Pass module 1 before taking module 2  
- Use the same category of motorcycle for both modules 1 and 2.

The  Enhanced Rider Scheme

The DSA, in partnership with training experts and leading insurance companies, have developed a package of training known as the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS). The scheme is intended to benefit all motorcycle riders who have a full motorcycle licence, irrespective of riding experience, including those who have just passed their test. Those who undertake further rider development under the scheme, will receive considerable insurance discounts from those insurance companies who have signed up to the scheme.

In : Motorcycle Riding Skills 

Tags: learning to ride  motorbikes  motorcycles  l plate rider  cbt  motorcycle tests   
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