A2 Motorcycle Driving Licence in UK - Motorbikes You Can Choose to Meet the Specifications

Motorcycle Licence Categories

The motorcycle driving licence is being split into different categories. These categories are primarily based on the power, engine size, and speed limit of the motorbike. There are specified requirements for each of these categories. Before getting on to our topic of discussion related to A2 licence compliant motorbikes, we will first have a brief overview of the types of motorcycle licences in UK.

The basic licence of "Category P" is the moped licence. In this category, the riders are restricted to handle only machines less than 50cc and the speed should not be more than 50 km/hour. The eligibility to obtain Category P is 16 years of age. With this licence, riders cannot ride on major motorways or carry pillion passengers. The next is "Category A1" which specifies handling only light motorcycles with engine displacement not more than 125 cc and the power restricted to 11kW. The speed limitation is 55 mph. "Category A" is the standard category, which permits the riders to handle bikes with power output of 25kW and the power to weight ratio of less than 0.16kW/kg. There is also option of "Direct Access" licence in which individuals who are over 21 years of age and passed the CBT test as well as motorbike theory test can directly proceed to apply for unrestricted motorcycle licence by passing the practical test.

Now, we will discuss more about the sub-category A2, which is standard motorcycle licence and the restrictions for the vehicles used are:

  • It should be a solo motorcycle.
  • The engine displacement should be at least 395cc.
  • The engine power needs to be in between 25kW and 35kW (i.e., 33 bhp and 46.6 bhp)
  • The power-to-weight ratio should not be more than 0.2kW/kg
  • There are some manufacturers who are producing custom-designed models meeting all the specifications for A2 licence and also there are some others available, which are the restricted version of the existing models. However, if the engine power of the motorbike is getting restricted to meet the specification, then the rule is that the unrestricted power of the machine should not be more than double of its restricted power. If a restricted power motorbike is being brought in for the test, then you need to carry the proof of restriction from the dealer with proper identification or otherwise it will get cancelled. However, the dyno test certificate will not be considered as the proof of restriction.

    Motorbike Choice

  • BMW G650GS
  • Gilera Fuoco 500
  • Brough Superior
  • Honda models; FX650, NC700, Shadow, SLR650 and VT750S
  • Husqvarna TR650 Terra and Strada (restricted), TE511, and TE449
  • Kawasaki models; ER5, ER6-N, ER6-F, VN900, Versys (restricted models) and W800
  • KTM Duke 690 (restricted model)
  • Moto Guzzi V7
  • Suzuki models; GSX650F, SV650, Gladius, VZ800, VL800, (restricted models) and GS500
  • Yamaha models; MT-03, XT660R, TMAX, XT660Z Tenere, YP400 Majesty etc.
  • Below is a review some of the major models in the above list:

    BMW G650GS

    The BMW G650GS is a highly featured all-roadster machine, designed to deal with all types of terrain. The engine power is within the compliance limit of A2 motorcycle specification with 50 hp at 6500 rpm and the torque at the peak is of 44 ft-lb at 5000 rpm. It also has a highly fuel-efficient model and the bike is low-weighted, which makes it easy to be handled. The motorcyclists generally consider Gilera Fuoco 500 as a car with a couple of wheels missing. Fuoco is a performing machine with very good engine specifications as well as ensuring maximum riding comfort.

    BMW G650GS Motorbike

    Honda SLR650

    Honda SLR650 is an A2 licence compliant roadster to be purchased, which has an SOHC air-cooled motor. This model copes up well with the city riding conditions. One drawback noted of SLR650 is that some bikes suffer from the poor condition of wheel bearings. Honda Shadow on the other hand is a cruiser roadster machine. Shadow features a liquid-cooled 52-degree V-twin engine, starting from 125 cc above engine displacement.

    Honda SLR650 Motorbike

    Husqvarna TR650 Terra

    Husqvarna TR650 Terra has a 7.5-inch suspension, 652cc single-cylinder engine. The tall, off-road ready design of the wheels makes it capable to comfortably ride over merely anything in its way and makes it comfortable to ride on off-road cruise too. Kawasaki ER5 is commuter model manufactured by the Kawasaki Corporation, Japan. It is powered with a liquid cooled DOHC 498 cc four-stroke engine, which has got 50 bhp (37 kW) power. The top speed of the model is about 185 km/h. To be compliant with the A2 specifications in UK, it can be restricted to 25 kW. The Kawasaki VN900B is a stylish cruiser bike, which has got similar appearance to that of Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. It consists of a liquid cooled 903 cc (55.1 cu in) V-Twin engine with a torque of 3,700 rpm and five-speed transmission.

    Husqvarna TR650 Terra Motorbike

    KTM Duke 690

    KTM Duke 690 is a comfortable and stylish roadster with liquid cooled 4-stroke engine and spark ignition. The performance is of 51.5 kW, which can be restricted to meet the A2 specifications in UK. One of the major features of this model is the contact-less, fully electronic digital ignition system. Moto Guzzi V7 holds a classic design of the cafe racer motorbikes in 1950s and with all the modern features incorporated. A powerful 750cc, 90-degree V-Twin engine and with the six-split spoke aluminium wheels; V7 racer puts together class and craftsmanship.

    KTM Duke 690 Motorbike

    Suzuki GSX650F

    Suzuki GSX650F is basically a sports bike with 656 cc engine, which is liquid-cooled with a power of just over 80 hp (60 kW), which can be restricted and torque of 12,500 rpm. It has 6-speed transmission with a chain drive. Yamaha MT-03 got introduced into the market in year 2006, which is a single-cylinder design with a high-torque engine. Yamaha TMAX combines the motorcycle performance with that of the convenience of a scooter. There are parallel twin cylinder and water-cooled 499 cc engines with fuel injection technology.

    Suzuki GSX650F Motorbike

    Which A2 Motorcycle should I choose?

    Make sure that you are choosing the right model from a reliable dealer only in order to be sure that your machine is compliant with the specifications put forth by the Driving Standards Agency. It is also important that in case of the above-mentioned or any other restricted models you purchase; you get the authentic proof of the restriction made.

    BE CARFUL: Speed = Life threatening Danger.
    Speed = Points on your licence.

    SECRET FORMULA: Adiquate Motorbike clothing = Life saving and enjoyable riding.

    Happy and safe riding!
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