New Bike Licence Rules

If you’re mad about bikes, but haven’t got your bike licence yet, you might want to take the following into serious consideration. Put another way, get on with it sharpish.



If you’re planning on getting on to one of these, the licencing situation is about to make
it more complicated, especially if you’re under 24 years-old

If you are learning to ride a motorbike with a view to getting your bike licence, and particularly if you are aged between 16 and 24, and planning to take your practical test next year, then you need to know about changes to the licensing regime that are taking place. Take a deep breath now – this ain’t as simple as it should be…

From 19 January 2013, the moped and motorcycle licence categories and the rules about which mopeds and motorcycles can be used to take a practical test are changing. These changes arise from a European Directive adopted in 2006 which aims to improve road safety and harmonise definitions of vehicle categories and rules across Europe. Of course the cynical might suggest that it’s actually aimed at keeping potential riders confined to nice little cars.


The moped and motorcycle categories will change to:

Category AM, minimum age at 16 with the following characteristics:

  • 2-wheeled vehicle, speed 15.5 – 28mph (25km/h – 45km/h)
  • 3-wheeled vehicle, speed 15.5 – 28mph (25km/h) and up to 50cc but below 4kW
  • a light quadricycle – without load and rider under 350kg and up to 28mph (45km/h)

The moped you use for your test will have to:

  • be a 2-wheeled vehicle
  • not exceed 28 mph or 45km/h
  • up to 50cc and below 4kW engine power

Minimum age for this test and category remains at 16.


Category A1, minimum age 17 with the following characteristics:

  • no more than125cc power and up to 11kW
  • power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.1kW/kg, including motor tricycles up to 15kW

The motorcycles you use for your test will have:

  • an engine capacity of 120 – 125cc
  • capable of a speed of at least 56mph (90km/h)
  • engine power of up to 11kW
  • no sidecar

Category A2, minimum age 19 with the following characteristics:

  • power not exceeding 35kW with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.2kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power

The motorcycles you use for your test will have:

  • an engine capacity of at least 395cc
  • engine power of at least 25kW and up to 35kW
  • no sidecar

Progressive access: upgrade A1 to A2 must hold a full category A1 licence for a minimum of 2 years and must pass a practical test. The feasibility of an alternative training option is currently under review.

Direct access: minimum 19 years and have a valid theory test certificate and take the practical test.

Click the image to dowload as a wallpaper

Category A, minimum age 24 (21 for progressive access)

  • any motorcycle (including tricycles over 15kW)

The motorcycles you use for your test will have:

  • no sidecar
  • an engine capacity of at least 595cc
  • engine power output of at least 40kW

Progressive access: Hold an A2 for a minimum of 2 years – take either a practical test or the debated training option, if it’s made available.

You will need to have a valid theory test certificate before taking your first practical motorcycle test and unless you are taking the progressive access route, you must have a valid theory test certificate before you can take any subsequent practical motorcycle tests.

So – you’ve got 11 months to get your bike licence before these changes kick in. Jump to it.

This is what happened when we put our advertising chap through his bike licence.

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