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How long does a CBT take?

Jas Murphy November 26, 2020

Whether you simply want to ride a 50cc moped or scooter, or you dream of one day taking to the open road on a classic Norton or Harley Davidson, Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is the starting point of your training.

Before you can take your CBT motorcycle training, you’ll need to hold a provisional driving licence or a full driving licence. If you’re 15 years and 9 months or older, you can apply for a provisional licence.

We’re often asked, “how long does a CBT take?” and the answer is often dependant on the individual. Everyone is different and training times for CBT courses vary. You can usually expect a CBT course to last for a day and certification can be achieved in this time. Your instructor will keep you informed about your progress throughout the day and help you improve in any areas that may be needed to reach the certification level.

How hard is it to pass a CBT?

People learn at different speeds, and some will find certain parts easier than others. There are 5 parts to the CBT and all qualified CBT instructors need to take students through a standard curriculum to ensure they understand and master all the necessary skills before they can approve your DL196 (CBT) certification. Training courses can be tailored for student’s skills and great instructors not only help you focus on areas that you need to improve in, but they also make the training fun. Most of the students at Phoenix Motorcycle Training schools learn how to ride a motorcycle and pass their CBT courses on the first try and within a single full day of training and practice.

If you take a little longer to learn, that’s OK too. Everyone learns at a different pace and we all find some things harder than others. Try not to put pressure on yourself to learn within a certain time frame as this can be counterproductive for your training and make it even harder to master two-wheeled travel! There is no point trying to rush through your motorcycle training course. It takes time to master new skills and become competent enough to ride safely.

How long is a CBT test?

It helps not to think of CBT as a test. There is no strict pass or fail test; riders who aren’t ready after one day keep going until they achieve the correct standard.

How long does it take to learn to ride a bike?

Once you have CBT under your belt, you can choose to progress your training and move on to more powerful bikes. The progressive approach to learning allows you to begin riding as early as 15 years and 9 months of age. After passing your CBT, you can take to the roads but have a few restrictions. You can’t take passengers, you can’t use motorways and you’re not allowed to ride a moped, scooter or motorcycle with a higher engine power than 50cc. Your CBT certification remains valid for two years. After just one year you can decide to take your AM motorcycle licence test.

After riding on an AM licence for a minimum of one year, you can take an A1 licence test without any further motorcycle training, two years later the A2 licence test and then another two years later, the full ‘A’ licence test when you’re 21. The progressive approach to a full motorcycle licence takes around five years but means you can obtain a full licence at 21 years old, rather than 24 years old if taking the direct access route to a licence.

If you want to learn to ride later if life, there is a more direct route. Once you’ve got your DL196 (the CBT certification) you can move straight on to the highest licence level possible for your age. This means, if you’re 24 years old or older, you can undertake full licence training, often referred to as direct access motorbike training (DAS). This allows you to become licensed for the highest-powered motorbike you can ride for your age group. Direct access motorcycle training enables you to train for the highest-level motorcycle licence for your age. DAS courses, regardless of the licence level you are aiming to achieve, last anywhere from 3 to 5 days.

Really great motorcyclists never really stop learning. Constantly building on your skills increases your enjoyment and safety when you’re out on the road.


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