Motorcycling in London
Preparing for your Compulsory Basic Training
Are you about to take or renew your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) in order to ride a motorcycle? If so, this free, short online course will help you to feel more prepared and confident on the day, and includes essential information from the Highway Code.
Learn about road positioning, traffic signs and correct behaviour at junctions and roundabouts. Find out what a 'lifesaver' is and the importance of wearing proper protective clothing. The course can be completed on computer, tablet or mobile device.
Approved training providers
You'll need to complete your CBT to ride a motorcycle or scooter. This can only be provided by qualified instructors working for a training provider approved by the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA).
All approved training providers delivering CBT must include a classroom-based theory element, and a minimum of two hours' on-road riding at a maximum of two riders per trainer.
To find an accredited training provider in London, visit the Motorcycle Industry Association website.
TfL's free practical training courses
Sign up for a free, one-to-one motorcycle skills session to develop your urban riding and become safer and more efficient on London's roads.
The sessions are entirely tailored to you. Ride the routes you use most frequently or find most challenging, choose the start and end locations, and take the session at a time and date to suit you.
Sessions are 2 hours long, available 7 days a week between 06:00-19:00 across all 33 London Boroughs.
To book your free session, get in touch with our qualified trainers:
Beyond CBT: Skills for Delivery Riders
Whether you are preparing to star work as a motorcycle delivery rider or courier on London's busy streets, or simply looking to develop your riding skills, Beyond CBT will help you to become safer and more effective in your role.
- The Highway Code
- Motorcycle maintenance
- How to secure and ride with a load
- How to use a satnav system on the move
Put your skills into practice during our free one-day course. To book your session, get in touch with our qualified trainers:
Sign up for a BikeSafe-London Rider Skills Day to boost your biking ability and improve your safety on the road. Run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service, these courses offer expert advice, including an observed ride on urban and rural roads with police motorcyclists. They will offer guidance on everything from cornering and filtering to spotting hazards and making yourself visible.
This course has already helped thousands of riders to improve their riding skills and confidence, helping to reduce motorcycle casualties on London's roads.
This one-day course costs £45. Courses take place at the Ace Cafe, Bushey Sports Club, Chigwell Sports Club, Imber Court, The BikeShed and The Warren.
For more information and to book, visit the BikeSafe-London website or call 02476 408 034.
The following companies offer a discount on their motorcycle insurance for riders who have completed either 1-2-1 Motorcycle Skills or BikeSafe-London.
Safer Motorcycling in London
In addition to our high-quality training courses, we are working to improve motorcycle riding standards in the Capital in the following ways:
- We are developing a new Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) standard for those companies that make deliveries by motorcycle, to improve their operational standards. We will encourage all companies who operate their own motorcycle fleets, or use self-employed riders, to gain FORS accreditation and to send their riders on our Beyond CBT: Skills for Delivery Riders course
- We are seeking to improve the quality of the mandatory motorcycle training that riders must complete, by working with the Motorcycle Industry Association to increase the number of accredited training providers in London, as well as exploring how changes can be made to the way motorcyclists are licensed and the penalty offence system
There are number of training courses offered by other organisations available to suit different abilities. Each is designed to make you a better and safer rider.
IAM RoadSmart offers a number of courses, including an Advanced Rider course, which are quality-assured by the DVSA.
RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Training
Theory and practical instruction for responsible riding, which leads to RoSPA's nationally recognised Advanced Riding Test.
DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme
A scheme to check your motorcycle riding skills and provide training to help you improve.
A scene management and immediate aid training course for riders, should they come across a motorcycle collision. Includes advice on maximising your visibility to other road users. The course is delivered by operational fire and ambulance responders to the public at fire stations across London.
As a motorcyclist you can use:
- All bus lanes on the Transport for London Road Network (also known as red routes)
- Some bus lanes on other roads.
Be aware that each London borough has its own rules about using bus lanes, so check the sign at the start of each bus lane.
Information and maps for using motorcycles in London's bus lanes
Personal protective equipment
Helmets are required by law and must be worn at all times when riding a motorcycle. The SHARP rating system will help you to choose a helmet that fits correctly and which offers the best possible protection. More information can be found on the SHARP website.
Although helmets are the only protective equipment required by law, it is strongly recommended that you wear other appropriate protective clothing when riding, such as sturdy trousers, jackets, gloves and boots.
For more information and to download the essential guide to protective gear for bikers, visit Gov.uk's page on Motorcycle helmet law.
In order to ride a motorcycle or scooter of any type, you must first obtain a provisional licence and complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course. There are then several licence categories covering different types of motorcycle and the age of the rider.
Find out more about motorcycle licence requirements.
Certain legal requirements must be obeyed when riding a motorcycle.