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Element A Prior Learning

CBT prior learning for Element A


CBT stands for Compulsory Basic Training. It was introduced in December 1990 with the aim of reducing the amount of accidents amongst inexperienced riders. All learner motorcycle and moped riders must complete a CBT course before riding unsupervised with L plates on the road. At age 16 it allows you to ride a machine of up to 50cc, at age 17 or over it allows you to ride a machine up to 125cc motorcycle (manual or automatic).

The CBT breaks down into five separate elements; it is NOT A TEST, it is a continual assessment and the CBT will take as long as it takes if necessary. Typically, the course is completed in a single day, but it can take longer depending on factors such as the aptitude of the learner, level of previous experience, and so on.

The five elements are as follows:

Element A – Introduction, aims, clothing and eyesight check.

Element B – Practical on-site training, covering bike controls, maintenance, on/off stands, basic machine checks.

Element C – Practical on-site riding i.e.; learning to pull away, stop, slow control, left/right turns etc.

Element D – Briefing on road safety, use of speed, highway code, attitude and behaviour, weather and road conditions.

Element E – On-road riding for a minimum of two hours in radio contact with your instructor.

You will go out for the road ride in pairs as DVSA regulations state that the ratio is a maximum of 2:1 for Element E.

Your safety is our main priority. If we do not feel that you have reached the necessary standard on Element C then we will not put you forward through D and E, please refer to the CBT Student Declaration Form which explains this in more detail.

We must be satisfied that you can ride safely without hurting yourself or anyone else before we can issue a CBT certificate. At the end of the course if you complete everything to a satisfactory standard you will be issued with the CBT certificate (DL196). This is valid for two years; it is a legal document which serves to validate the relevant entitlements on your licence.



This is the ONLY LEGAL REQIREMENT for riding; however, it is STRONGLY ADVISED that you wear protective clothing as well. When purchasing a helmet, you need to check for the EEC mark usually sewn onto the strap or as a sticker on the rear of the helmet. The mark is ECE 22/05 which shows the helmet has passed the legal safety tests.

  • Helmet types

Full face Full face motorcycle helmet – Best choice for facial protection, weather protection and built in visor.

Open face Open face motorcycle helmet – Better vision to the sides and lighter, used for riding off-road or at slow speeds.

Flip front Flip front motorcycle helmet  – Combination of the above, best closed when riding.

  • Helmet Fit

Should fit snugly all around the head. Ask for help from sales assistant. Not too tight as this will cause headaches. Too loose and the helmet may not do its job on impact. Buy a new one from the box, not the display one.

  • Helmet straps

It is a legal requirement to use the strap. You must wear a fastened helmet when sitting, riding or pushing a bike. Straps come in different styles such as double D ring, seatbelt or ratchet bar fastening.  Make sure your strap is properly adjusted.

  • Construction

Three main layers: Hard outer shell – usually made of fibre glass, carbon fibre or polycarbonate plastic. Lining – for comfort. In between the outer shell and lining is polystyrene this acts as the shock absorber.

ONE IMPACT ONLY! On impact the polystyrene will dent and compress. This has then done its job and the helmet MUST be changed.

  • Personal use

Don’t lend your helmet to others, it may not fit properly again, and you don’t know if it’s been dropped.

  • Second hand

We don’t advise buying second hand as you cannot be sure of its history.

  • Cleaning

Use warm soapy water or helmet cleaners. Avoid solvents or strong detergents. * Do not apply paint or stickers as it can weaken outer shell*.

  • Storage

Keep in safe place away from kids, strong sunlight etc. A cupboard is ideal.

  • Lifespan

Manufacturers typically recommend 5 years or so but if damaged or worn out then replace earlier.

  • Visors/Googles

Again will have ECE 22/05 mark or sticker.  It will be anti-scratch coated but if badly scratched must be replaced as it impairs vision. Clean carefully and use common sense when worn in fully closed position.  It can fog up impairing vision, so it may be an advantage to open it slightly. You can get anti fog sprays or inserts to help. Fully tinted visors are not road legal. It is best to stick to a clear visor and use sunglasses in bright conditions.


There are two main protective qualities to look for in motorcycle clothing; protection from impact/abrasion and protection from cold and wet weather.

  • Jackets

Leather Motorcycle jacket – The traditional choice and the best material for abrasion resistance. Should be made from un-stretched cowhide which is heavy duty with double stitching on the seams and zip protected from skin. Look for CE approval on armour on elbows, shoulders and back. The jacket should fit quite snugly and will be designed for purpose. Second-hand is ok if in good condition.

Textile Codura motorcycle jacket – For example, made of Cordura a tough form of nylon. Same things apply; look for CE mark on armour with double layers on impact points. Waterproof lining made from Gore-Tex if you want to ride in all weathers. Textiles are easier to wear and more flexible then leather but less abrasion resistant.

  • Trousers Leather motorcycle trousers

Leather/Textile all the same things apply as for jackets. Jeans are an absolute minimum, however although they look tough they offer very little protection from road or weather. Kevlar reinforced motorcycle jeans are a better choice than normal jeans.

  • Waterproofs Motorcycle waterproofs

The nylon waterproofs should only be worn over other layers as they offer no abrasion protection.

  • Gloves Motorcycle gloves

Leather construction made by a motorcycle clothing manufacturer and designed for purpose. Look for double stitching, double layer on palm, straps with Velcro securing to wrist and knuckle armour etc. Thinner un-lined for summer use, lined (Thinsulate) for warmth in winter and Gore-Tex for winter protection. Gauntlet style gloves offer the best protection for your forearms.

  • Footwear Motorcycle boots

Quality leather motorcycle boots are the best bet. Look for good ankle support/protection, soles with decent grip, armour on impact areas and Gore-Tex lined for weather protection. Military type boots or walking boots that protect the vulnerable ankle area are a good second choice.

The dangers of riding without protective clothing in the event of an accident are serious injuries or worse. Riding in t-shirt or shorts without gloves can lead to horrific injuries even at low speeds. Cold and wet conditions can cause loss of concentration leading to increased risks.

Eye sight test

You will be asked to read a car registration plate at the distant of 20.5 meters (with glasses if you normally wear them). If you are unable to satisfactorily read the number plate at the required distance, then the training would not proceed. You would need to visit an optician to get fitted with proper corrective lenses before re-booking your training.