The aim of CBT is to help develop the skills you need to learn to ride a motorcycle/scooter and get you to a safe standard so you can ride unsupervised on the road as a learner.
TIP 1: CHECK YOUR EYES
We test each candidates eyesight before commencing the course. If your eyesight isn’t up to standard, you’ll certainly not be passing the CBT course because you’ll not be able to start it.
TIP 2: RIDE A BICYCLE
Balance is an important skill when riding a motorcycle. If you don’t have good balance, it’s unlikely you’ll complete your CBT and will require further training. If you have lots of experience riding a pushbike, then this shouldn’t be an issue, if you haven’t, ask to borrow one and practice. You should practice riding:
- as slow as possible whilst maintaining balance
- one-handed whilst signalling
- maintain balance whilst looking behind
- riding on the public highway will give you the experience of junctions, spotting road signs and general roadcraft.
TIP 3: REVISE THE HIGHWAY CODE
You can attend a CBT course as a complete novice, but you will be required to know the rules of the road. Thoroughly read the Highway Code so that your knowledge is up to standard, you will be tested on it! You will not be required to know UK-related sections such as motorways; However, you need to know all relevant sections to ride in Guernsey, for instance, filter junctions, yellow lines, traffic lights etc.
If your knowledge of the Highway Code is not up to standard, for safety reasons, you’ll not be able to undertake the final on-road element. Cheat sheets are not going to help you out on the road!
You can access the Highway Code online here
TIP 4: CLOTHING
You’ll be spending most of the morning outside, and when riding a motorcycle, it can get cold or hot. The last thing you want is to be more concerned about how you feel rather than concentrating on CBT. Local dealers have a wealth of experience and can guide you on appropriate clothing.
TIP 5: GET TO KNOW YOUR BIKE
Depending on whether you are attending the CBT course to ride a manual or automatic, you’ll have all the applicable controls explained to you for your particular motorcycle by the instructor. If you’re riding a manual transmission bike, gaining as much knowledge prior to the course will certainly prove beneficial, though not required. Have a read up on motorcycle controls so that you know where they all are and also clutch control.
TIP 6: LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO
This might sound obvious, but a lot of new riders will look at the floor just in front of them. If, when riding, you keep looking at the kerb because you’re afraid of hitting it, the chances are you will – it’s called target fixation, and it’s something you want to avoid doing. Remember, look where you want to go and not where you are. Looking where you want to go is also important as it helps in spotting hazards in good time. This is something to keep in mind before and during CBT, particularly for manoeuvres such as the U-turn and figure of eight.
TIP 7: OSM PSL Routine
One area that students often struggle with at first is the OSM PSL routine. Spending time studying it prior to CBT will help you as this is a compulsory part of CBT. You must be able to demonstrate this as part of element C, which takes place on the training pad as well as element E, the road ride. You can learn more about the OSM PLS routine here.
TIP 8: MAKE MISTAKES SAFELY
You’ll be attending CBT with little to zero previous experience, so you will, of course, make mistakes. The final element, E, is where safety really counts as you’re out on public roads. The instructor is looking to see that you’re not a danger to yourself or other road users, so even if you go the wrong way or take the wrong exit at a roundabout, try your best to do it safely. This means checking your mirrors, indicating, shoulder checks and cancelling indicators. As long as you’re safe, you should be good for a pass.
TIP 9: WEATHER
When attending CBT you should have waterproof trousers if rain is forecast, they are also useful if it is cold as they offer an extra layer of wind protection to keep you warmer. For hotter times of the year ensure you bring water with you to hydrate. You will still be required to wear appropriate clothing so you will get hot!
BEING NERVOUS ABOUT THE DAY
Being nervous is normal, but you will find that you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed in no time. It’s always good to try and prepare as much as possible, but CBT is designed for total novices, and you’re not expected to know anything other than the Highway Code.
The key really is to listen, have fun and when you make mistakes, don’t get stressed and dwell on them. You’ll be given plenty of opportunities to try again.