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Before you take to the road on a motorbike, especially in Britain, taking CBT, or compulsory basic training is a must. Just as you would receive driver training with a car, you especially need to complete a bike training course complete with theory and experience.
If you’ve just moved to the UK and want to purchase and learn to ride a motorcycle, completing CBT or compulsory basic training should be first on your list in order to get your operator’s license. You’ll likely receive or be directed to a CBT syllabus and guide that you’ll study from as you go along.
CBT will consist of an eyesight check as well as practical on-site and on-road training as well as practical experience out on the road with the instructor. Instructors of any approved training body will only take you out on the roads once they are satisfied that you know what you are doing. Courses often run just one full day, but they can extend into another half day, if the learners involved need extra time, or if the weather is uncooperative.
What do you need to complete the course?
A provisional license or a full car license with a provisional motorbike entitlement
Your insurance number
Knowledge of the highway code
A sturdy pair of boots—steel toes not necessary.
Some ATBs, or Approved Training Bodies, perhaps bike shops themselves, will provide you with a bike and gear to borrow during the training, if you don’t already have a bike and gear, and some will even offer discounts in their clothing section so you can build up a proper gear inventory of your own.
A note about licenses: the paper counterpart of your license was no longer issued and rendered invalid as of June 2015. Now all you have to do is bring your national insurance number, as your ATB of choice can run the number through their system to check your license online. You do not need your original card for this.
If you’re arriving from a foreign country, check with the DVLA. You may have to apply for a UK counterpart.
Once you complete your CBT to the ATB’s satisfaction and receive your certificate of completion, your training is valid for two years.
Now that you know what you need, go complete the training and have fun riding.