The road to riding : Part 1 – The CBT


Whether you fancy riding to meet your friends at a biker café on a Sunday, heading to a local festival or bike event, or doing a classic road trip like the North Coast 500, the dream to ride motorcycles starts somewhere for all of us. No matter what style or capacity bike you have your eyes on, if you fancy winding country lanes or urban streets, everyone has to gain the right license before they can make the dream a reality. 


Whatever your route, getting on a motorcycle that first time can be daunting and exciting all at once. What if I stall at some traffic lights? And then tumble slowly over…? In front of everyone…?! What if I pull an accidental wheelie?! Well yes all that can happen BUT it can also be the gateway to meeting fantastic friends and finding your freedom. 

The road to riding can seem a bit confusing so read on for how to get started…


Provisional licence

Apply online for a provisional licence with ‘category A’ provisional motorcycle entitlement. This will cost around £34.


Don’t turn up in shorts and flip flops! Wear sensible boots, jacket, gloves and jeans and bring a helmet that meets BSI 6658 and ECE 22-05 standards. Many training schools can hire items out.


Before the CBT starts you must be able to read a number plate at a distance of approx 20 metres. If you fail the eyesight test the course won’t continue so if you normally wear glasses or contacts then make sure you wear them!


The CBT is the first step on the journey and the bare minimum training that every rider must take in order to get on the road. 

What happens on the CBT?

The CBT lasts almost a full day, depending on how quickly you learn and the instructor deems you safe to progress to the next part. You’ll cover both theoretical and practical aspects of riding. The CBT isn’t a pass or fail but to get your certificate your instructor must be happy you’ve met all the standards of the training!

You can expect to cover:

Then, you’ll progress to the next part which is:

You need to pass both parts of your practical test within 2 years of taking the theory test or you’ll have to start all over again. 

How much does it cost?

This is dependent on the training school you choose, but budget £130-£150 for your CBT.

After you’ve completed CBT, you can ride with L plates on a:

Once you have the CBT, you could be heading out on the Herald Classic 125 or the Brat 125!

Want to be free of those L plates or increase the power? Read our Part 2 blog coming soon for the next step…