The site is only been up a few months and I’ve already had plenty of questions about passing the Compulsory Basic Training or CBT.
In case you were not aware, the CBT allows you to ride either a 50cc or a 125cc moped / scooter at ages 16 in the case of the 50cc machine or 17 in the case of a 125cc machine.
I can only speak for myself, but having been on three of these tests with three different instructors are can give you a decent idea of what happens;
First of all, as you are not licensed you will not be allowed to take your own moped or scooter Unless the machine has been examined and this has been prearranged with the instructor.
Okay, the day is split into two halves. The first half involves a lot of theory and is normally done in a controlled environment.
In my case this was an area of flat land (hard standing) nearing a sports hall. We went into the sports hall first and were given a run down as to the reasons for the test and then shown a couple of safety films. The instructor stresses the importance of high visibility and various other safety factors such as BOLT
From memory that is the only acronym you require to learn.
It’s then outside and onto the small machines provided via the instructor. In every case it was a tiny 50cc machine. You are then told how to start and stop it safely, take the bike on and off its stand and where the various switches and buttons are.
Only after another 10 minutes are you allowed to actually sit on a moped or scooter and pull away. This is normally just a few hundred yards on the safe hard-standing area where this part of the training takes place.
Throughout the rest of the morning you’re encouraged to get familiar with manoeuvrability. You will do figure of eight, breaking, practise turning left and right and learn about topics such as the “lifesaver” – which in essence is one last look before making a manoeuvre into the blind spot to make sure a vehicle is not overtaking you as you’re about to turn.
We then had a break before taking our scooters and mopeds out into the open road in convoy behind our instructor. Putting into practice the theories we had learned in the morning.
Working in traffic is very different, and you are normally on a headphones system connected to your instructors microphone. Don’t worry, he or she will wait to you if you start to get behind and it’s quite common to have to pull over to the side of the road if you can’t all make a right turn at the same time. You won’t be failed for anything like this.
While we’re on the topic of passing or failing your scooter or moped CBT I should remind you that the T stands for “Training” and not “Test”.
In other words it is a case of completing some basic training and not being a complete idiot there is no actual test. However if you prove to be entirely incompetent you will not get a certificate at the end of it so in some respects it’s a test in all but name.
Anyway, back on the open road you will have to practice turning in the road (it was always explained that this was the most dangerous manoeuvre you can do, and for some reason doesn’t require the use of indicators – go figure?)
The instructor will normally keep going until he is confident that you have mastered at least the basics of riding your scooter or moped. This may involve roundabouts and lots of right terms.
At the end of the day, assuming you have not made a complete idiot of yourself you will normally have a quick debrief where a good instructor will point out your strengths and weaknesses. Then he will write the certificate to say that you have completed your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).
In my case I had my own scooter waiting for me at the test centre so it was simply a case of hopping on that and riding home. For many of you it’ll be off to the showroom or searching through the second-hand column of your local newspaper to get your hands on your first machine.
Remember, at age 16 you would be restricted to a 50cc scooter or moped that is capable of no more than 30 mph.
At age 17 with a CBT and no other riding codification you will be able to ride a de-restricted 125cc machine, many of which are capable of close to 60 mph.
If you concentrate and listen to the first part of the day you will probably find the second half of riding on the open road is actually quite enjoyable. I was full of nerves for my first test but ended up really enjoy myself.
Go with an experienced instructor who will do their best to keep you out of trouble and to calm any nerves and worries you may have.
Good luck with your CBT.