It can be difficult knowing exactly what you can and can’t ride before getting that all important A type motorbike licence.
So let’s start off with the basics and find out exactly whatyou are allowed to ride at what age and how you can progress to more powerful engines.
Age : 16 - AM Licence
Once you reach the age of 16 you can start your journey into the motorbike world, at this point you will be allowed to take a CBT(Compulsory Basic Training) test and on completion of this test you will be allowed to ride a 50cc moped by yourself without a pillion passenger, L-plates at this point are mandatory until you pass both the theory and practical moped tests.
You are not as limited to choice as you might think at this point, the moped market is huge and there are great manufacturers which provide excellent motorbikes such as:
Typically the cost of a CBT ranges around the £100 mark.
Age: 17-18 – A1 Licence
At this age you are trusted with a bit more power under your belt and without any motorbike type restriction. Once you pass your CBT plus an additional theory and practical test (which are based on the content you learn during the CBT) you will be allowed to ride a light motorcycle (up to 125cc) that does not exceed a power output of 15kW or a power-to-weight ratio of 0.1kW per kg.
You are also allowed to ride motor tricycles which output no more than 15kW of power.(1)
The cost of this licence widely varies and is based on your previous experience with motorbikes as the less you know, typically speaking,the more days of training you will need to be able to pass the test.
It also varies slightly if you use your own bike or rent one from the education centre you are using, we expect the cost of an A1 Licence to range between £380 to £780.(2)
Age: 19-20 – A2 Licence
Now you start to gain access to more powerful motorbikes, hang on though because this process is a little more complicated than previous licences.
If you currently hold an A1 licence then at the age of 19 you will be allowed to take a practical test, on a bike of at least 395cc engine size and of power output within the range of 25kW – 35kW, to acquire your A2 licence.
However if you do not currently have an A1 licence then you can take a direct access route which is the same process as above apart from you will need to pass an additional theory test and a CBT beforehand.
Upon successfully completing all of the required tests you will be allowed to ride standard motorbikes up to a limit of 35kW output power and a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW per kg. You are also not allowed to restrict a motorbike which is more than twice the power of the legal limit.
The average price for someone to get the A2 licence would be around £731 however you can knock off £131 if you have an A1 licence which brings the total to £601.
Age: 21-23 & 24+ – A Licence
This is it, the full and unrestricted A licence which will allow you to ride every motorbike under the sun. There is a progressive and direct access route for this licence and both have different age requirements.
Progressive route – Age 21-23
Once you reach the age of 21 you are eligible to hold the unrestricted A licence, however this is only possible if you have held the A2 licence for a minimum of 2 years and pass a further practical test.
Direct Access Route – Age 24+
The law has recently changed with regards to when you are allowed to take a direct access test to get your unrestricted A licence, you will now need to be at least 24 years old to take the DAT and if you do not have the A2 licence then you will need to complete the CBT and take a theory and practical test.
The typical price of taking the direct access route for your A licence will set you back £505-£885 depending on your riding experience as you may need additional training sessions.
There you have it, once you have scaled this mountain you will be able to ride every motorbike imaginable without any restrictions. For a better idea of what you can ride why not check out the following links:
This post cites information from reputable sources: