Element A CBT learning material

Prior learning information for Element A of the CBT

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 16 it allows you to ride a machine of up to 50cc and up to a 125cc motorcycle if you are 17 or over.

The CBT breaks down into five separate elements; it is NOT A TEST, it is a continual assessment and the CBT will run as long as necessary.

The 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 etc.

Element D - Questions on-road riding

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

You will go out in pairs as the ratio here is 2:1.

If you do not get up to 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.

At the end of the day 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. Having taught you we must be satisfied that you can ride safely from A to B without hurting yourself or anyone else before we can issue a CBT certificate.



This is the ONLY LEGAL REQUIREMENT 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 Helmet– Best choice for facial protection, weather protection and built in visor.
  • OPEN FACE Open Face Helmet– Better vision to the sides and lighter, ideal for riding off-road or at slow speeds.
  • FLIP FRONT Flip Front Helmet– Combination of the above, must be 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 usually double D ring, seatbelt or ratchet bar fastening.

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.


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 may weaken outer shell*

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

LIFE SPAN – Manufacturers recommended 5 years but if damaged or worn out then replace.

VISORS – 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 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.


Two main protective qualities; protection from impact/abrasion and protection from cold and wet weather:


  • LEATHER Leather Jacket – The traditional choice and is the best material for abrasion resistance, made from un-stretched cowhide which is heavy duty. Double stitching on seams, 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 ok as long as in good condition.
  • TEXTILE Cordura Motorcycle Jacket – Made of Cordura a super 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 Waterproof Motorcycle Suit– The nylon waterproofs should only be worn over other layers as they offer no abrasion protection.

GLOVES Motorcycle Gloves – Again 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 again 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 soles with good grip, armour on impact areas and Gore-Tex lined for weather protection. Military type boots or walking boots that protect the vulnerable ankle 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 then will be asked to read a car registration plate at the distant of 20.5 metres.

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