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Training and Licences

Riding a motorcycle or moped

Current rules around riding came into force on 19 January 2013. You can watch a video about these motorcycle or moped rules. This details which type of bike you can ride and at what age. You can also view the information on Riding a motorcycle or moped on the GOV.UK website.

Mopeds and motorcycles can present environmental advantages on some journeys. They are a sensible means of transport for many journeys. Especially where public transport is limited and walking or cycling unrealistic.

Motorcyclists represent a large proportion ofthe number of road casualties. They make up less than 1% of Cornwall's road traffic. However, motorcyclists have accounted for 25% of fatal casualties since 2003. The Road Safety Unit provides information and advice on motorcycling in Cornwall. They provide this with a view to making motorcyclists more aware of the dangers, and safer on the roads.

Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

All learners must complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course before they can ride on the road. CBT must be completed if:

  • you wish to ride a moped, scooter or motorcycle
  • you wish to ride with or without a sidecar

The only people exempt from taking CBT are those who:

  • passed their car test before 1 February 2001 and wish to ride a moped up to 50CC
  • have a full moped licence gained after 1 December 1990
  • have a full motorcycle licence

Course content

The course teaches basic motorcycling skills. This includes:

  • the importance of having the right equipment and clothing
  • familiarisation with the motorcycle and its controls
  • emergency stop and rear observation
  • riding defensively and correct road positioning
  • how to ride safely in a variety of traffic conditions.

Course requirements

All learners will need a valid provisional licence

If using your own bike you will need:

  • a valid MoT (if appropriate) and
  • insurance certificate.

Some insurers may insure a rider from the beginning of their CBT course. If you are unable to get insurance from the start, your training provider will normally be able to let you use a suitable bike. This will be insured for trainee riders.

You will also need:

  • Transport to and from the training centre. You are not legally permitted to ride without your CBT certificate.
  • Adequate protective motorcycle clothing including
    • a helmet
    • gloves
    • boots
    • clothing suitable for riding in all weather conditions

Course completion

On successful completion of the course a Certificate of Completion (DL 196) is issued. This allows you to use your licence to ride on the road as a learner. You can use this to prepare for your practical test for a full licence. Keep the certificate as the police can ask to see it.

The CBT is valid for two years. If you do not pass the Theory and Practical road tests within this time, you will need to re-take CBT if you wish to continue riding on "L" plates.

Further training

CBT teaches only basic safe motorcycling skills. The further training courses aim to build on these skills. They can greatly assist even those with years of riding experience. They will help you to learn:

  • defensive riding skills
  • the essentials of how to pass the test

Those wishing to take courses to gain their full licence must hold:

  • a provisional licence
  • a valid CBT certificate
  • a Theory certificate

The Theory test is now required for all provisional motorcycle licence holders. This includes those who hold a full car licence.

There are a number of test options available to you if you want to gain a full licence. This is dependent on your age and the size of bike you wish to ride.

For more information visit the Driving Standards Agency website. They have lots of information on:

  • licence requirements
  • testing and
  • finding training agencies

Alternatively, you can call The Road Safety Unit on 0300 1234 222


Return to Road safety - motorcyclists