How to Take the Nerves Out of Your First CBT

What Do You Need To Book a CBT and How Much Is It?

Before you even pick up the phone to book your first Compulsory Basic Training course, also known as a CBT, you will need to at least own a provisional driving licence. If you don’t already own one, you can easily apply for it online.

The price does vary for your CBT, but there are plenty of centres dotted around the country to choose from. You can pay anything from £175 depending on where you book. My colleague Max and I booked ours with CamRider at Corby.

CamRider Motorcycle Training logo - click to head to their website.

Taking your CBT can be a daunting experience for some, especially if you’ve never ridden a scooter or motorcycle before.

The night before my CBT I found myself frantically googling blogs and watching a ton of YouTube videos so that I knew what to expect.

Gearing Up For Your CBT

On the run up to the day, we needed to think about the gear we would be wearing. Neither of us has ridden a bike before, so we both wanted to be as safe as possible.

Legally, you must wear a helmet that complies with British Standard Institution Regulations. According to The Highway Code, you are also recommended to wear full protective safety gear.

Wheels to Work HQ's collection of helmets.

As it was our first time on scooters and we knew we would be out on the open road, Max and I chose to wear safety gear from head to toe – jacket, trousers, gloves, boots and a helmet. Luckily, working for Wheels to Work Silverstone means we have access to all the gear.

After a “trying-on” session in the office, we finally settled on what we were going to be wearing. One thing I would say is that it is important to make sure your helmet fits you properly – tight but still comfortable!

The Morning of…

On the day of the CBT, we both arrived for a 9am start. We had a quick chat with the team at CamRider, cup of tea in hand, and started our day. Most of this early part was educational; learning how to stay safe on the roads and the importance of wearing safety gear.

We also ran through the Highway Code and the instructor asked us a variety of questions. Max and I, with our experience as car drivers, were able to answer them all with relative ease. However, if you are a non-driver, I would suggest you familiarise yourself with the Code. It’s always good to have the knowledge!

Practice Makes Perfect

After a quick break for lunch, we went outside to begin the practical side of the day (thankfully, it was a warm sunny day!). Initially, we were learning on a geared 125cc motorcycle but, as neither of us had ridden a motorcycle before, it became apparent that this would not work out.

We both swapped over to an automatic 50cc scooter, however this wasn’t a problem. Being employed at Wheels to Work means we need to be well-informed with our Piaggio fleet, so becoming more familiar with scooters could only be a good thing.

We started manoeuvring around cones, doing slow figure of eights and emergency stops. Then it was U-turns; our instructor wanted us to focus on controlling our pace using the brakes.

We practiced this for a short while – great fun, but we couldn’t wait to get out on the open road!

The Ride

You are required to be out on the open road for 2 hours in order to finish your CBT. Our instructor took us on a back route from Corby to Kettering, which almost immediately involved going across a roundabout. We both had earpieces in so that our instructor could tell us what to do and where to go.

I led the way on the way over to Kettering and Max led the way back. We had a lot of twists and turns, going through a housing estate and onto country roads, practicing different speeds throughout.

For the first time, I realised just how vulnerable you can be on two wheels. Our instructor insisted we learn to own our space on the road and always be aware of our surroundings. This is a learned skill, and made me realise how much I drive my car on auto-pilot – quite scary!

I really enjoyed being out on the road and tried to take the time to relax. We had a short drive through Kettering, a brief stop to talk over the route we had just done, and then we were back out and heading home to Corby.

The day was over before we knew it, and both Max and I got issued with our CBT Certificate.

We were slightly disappointed we couldn’t learn on the geared bike, but there’s always next time…we were still happy with passing it on an automatic 50cc.

Getting Back Out There After Your CBT…

A few weeks after, we were inevitably keen to get back out on a scooter. Luckily, the opportunity arrived when our mechanic needed us to test drive some scooters that had arrived. He took us around Silverstone where Wheels to Work is based. It was only a short journey but one that reaffirmed our enjoyment on the scooters.

This week, Mark from Spyder Motorcycles took Max and I out for another run on the scooter so that we could test drive an electric Super Soco CPx. We were out for almost an hour and it was an incredibly enjoyable experience – read our blog and review about it here. It felt good to build up our confidence and gain some more experience.

Hiring a scooter is easy to do, and we help you throughout your hire term with us.

Don’t feel daunted if you have no experience on the road; we are here to help you, encourage you and make you feel confident and safe on the road.