Compulsory basic training (CBT) syllabus and guidance notes

Element C: practical on-site riding

Carrying out manoeuvres safely and under full control, using the brakes, changing gear, and carrying out observations.

About this element

In this element the learner will begin to ride their vehicle. By the end of the element the learner should have developed enough basic skill to allow them to ride their vehicle safely before they go out onto the road – with their trainer – on element E.

The overall outcome of this element is that a learner should be able to:

  • demonstrate a range of core riding skills
  • show they’re fully aware of what is going on around them as they carry them out

In working toward these outcomes, the trainer may choose to introduce the techniques of all-round observation, blind-spot checks and so on, from the beginning.

This approach is the most effective way to make sure those skills become automatic.

However, it is also recognised that learning how to handle a motorcycle or moped for the first time can be challenging. In these circumstances a trainer might decide it is too much to ask the learner to start thinking about observations and blind-spot checks until they have achieved a reasonable level of stability and confidence. Either approach is acceptable.

Whichever is used, by the end of the element the trainer should be reasonably confident that the learner has demonstrated the appropriate competence.

C1. Carrying out manoeuvres safely and under full control

What must happen

The learner must receive suitable instruction, demonstrations and coaching to allow them to carry out each of the following manoeuvres safely and under full control:

  • moving away
  • riding slowly
  • riding in a straight line and coming to a controlled stop
  • riding a figure of eight
  • carrying out a u-turn
  • bringing their vehicle to a stop in an emergency
  • carrying out simulated left and right hand turns

Instruction must include explanation or demonstration of:

  • when and how to apply controlled braking
  • using both brakes
  • when and how to change gear
  • what to do if the engine stalls as appropriate in each manoeuvre.

What the learner must know and understand

The learner must know and understand that:

  • to coordinate the use of balance and positive steering with the smooth and appropriate use of the throttle, clutch where applicable and brakes to make progress and change direction safely
  • what to do if their engine stalls during a manoeuvre
  • how they would adjust their braking technique to deal with changing road and weather conditions

What the learner should be able to do

To show that they’ve reached the required standard, the learner should be able to move away and ride their vehicle:

  • slowly
  • in a straight line and come to a planned stop
  • through a figure of eight
  • through a u-turn
  • through simulated left and right hand bends and turns
  • come to a fully controlled stop as in an emergency

while:

  • maintaining full directional control of their vehicle at all times
  • making controlled use of both brakes
  • changing gear smoothly and appropriately without interrupting progress

C2. Observation

What must happen

The learner must receive instruction, suitable demonstrations and coaching to make sure they understand:

  • how to safely carry out rear observations and why it is important to carry them out before any manoeuvre
  • the vital importance of making ‘blind-spot’ observations
  • how to use a systematic approach such as the Observation - Signal - Manoeuvre (OSM) and Position - Speed - Look (PSL) routine and how it will help to minimise the risk to themselves or other road users

Learners must be allowed to practise the specified manoeuvres, with guidance, feedback and coaching from the trainer, until the trainer and learner are happy that they will be safe when they are taken on the road.

What the learner must know and understand

The learner must know and understand that:

  • how their ability to see what is happening on the road behind them may be affected by the design of their helmet, the position they adopt on their vehicle and the limited field of view covered by their mirrors
  • that these factors will result in ‘blind-spots’; areas where other road users could be hidden from them
  • that failing to be aware of other road users is a significant cause of crashes involving motorcycles or mopeds
  • that, as riders, they are just as likely as the drivers of cars, buses and trucks to fail to see cyclists and pedestrians
  • that by learning to use a systematic approach such as OSM/PSL consistently they will minimise the risk to themselves and other road users

What the learner should be able to do

To show that they’ve reached the required standard, the learner should be able to:

  • make sure their mirrors are adjusted to provide the best possible view to the rear when they are seated on their vehicle
  • ride through simulated left and right hand turns while carrying out appropriate all round observations.

It’s not possible for a learner to demonstrate full competence in the use of OSM/PSL within the limits of the on-site training environment. It will only be possible for the trainer to assess whether they’ve fully grasped the system when they ride on the road in element E.

However, at this stage, the learner should be attempting to make all-round observations as a routine part of the way they negotiate simulated junctions and bends.