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The Correct Motorcycle Licence Category

Motorcycle licence category

The Correct Motorcycle Licence Category

You must have correct category

Holding the correct motorcycle licence category for what you intend to ride is extremely important and is the responsibility of the rider. 

There is no mitigation for ignorance, a rider could be prosecuted for riding illegally. Ensure that you know the rules and regulations prior to riding on the public road.

Old style motorcycle licence

If an old motorcycle licence category is held that has not been updated or upgraded for some time, it is recommended to look at the DVLA licence comparison website. This will help to translate what you have on an old style licence.

You must know what the rules and regulations are now and not go by an old style driving licence. There are no grandfather rights that will allow you to ride a motorcycle (over 50cc) without a CBT certificate with L Plates.

Have a valid UK driving licence

If you wish to ride a moped or motorcycle on the road you must hold a valid full or provisional UK driving licence and only ride a machine equivalent to the category held on the driving licence. This must be applied for from the DVLA. 

The licence categories are shown below. There may be other rules regarding each category, these definitions are only a guide and may change.

MOPEDS

This allows riders who are 16 years of age or over to ride a moped with a category AM or P (older licences).

Category AM

You can ride a 2 or 3 wheeled vehicle with:-

  • A maximum design speed of over 15.5 mph (25 kph) 
  • But not more than 28 mph (45 kph)

Miscellaneous information. This category also includes light quad bikes with:-

  • Unladen mass of no more than 350 kg (other restrictions apply)
  • Maximum design speed of over 15.5 mph (25 kph)
  • But not more than 28 mph (45 kph)
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Category P

You can ride a 2 wheeled vehicle with:-

  • A maximum design speed of over 28 mph (45 kph) 
  • But not more than 31 mph (50 kph).
  • Its engine size must not be more than 50cc, if powered by an internal combustion engine

Category Q

You can ride a 2 wheeled vehicle with:-

  • An engine size not more than 50cc 
  • If powered by an internal combustion engine
  • A maximum design speed of no more than 15.5 mph (25 kph)

MOTORCYCLES Category A1

You can ride light motorcycles with:-

  • An engine size of up to 125cc
  • A power output of up to 11kW
  • A power to weight ratio no more than 0.1kW/kg

This category also includes motor-tricycles (trikes) with a power output up to 15kW

To take an A1 test

The following information applies:-

  • Minimum age of rider – 17 years old
  • Engine capacity between 120-125cc
  • Must be capable of 55 mph
  • Engine power up to 11 kW
  • Power to weight ratio if using a sidecar – up to 0.16 kW/kg

Category A2

You can ride motorcycles with:-

  • A power output up to 35kW
  • Power to weight ratio not more than 0.2kW/kg
  • The motorcycle must not be derived from a vehicle of more than double its power

You can also ride motorcycles in category A1

To take an A2 test

The following information applies:-

  • Minimum age of rider – 19 years old
  • Engine capacity at least 245cc
  • Engine power up to 20-35 kW
  • Power to weight ratio – up to 0.2 kW/kg

Category A

You can ride motorcycles with:-

  • A power output more than 35kW 
  • Or a power to weight ratio of more than 0.2kW/kg
  • Motor-tricycles with a power output more than 15kW

You can also ride motorcycles in categories A1 and A2

To take a Category A test

The following information applies:-

  • Minimum age of rider – 24 years old
  • Engine capacity at least 595cc
  • Engine power at least 50 kW
  • Power to weight ratio if using a sidecar – up to 0.16 kW/kg

European Driving Licence

You cannot complete a CBT course with a European driving licence.

If you wish to ride a motorcycle in the UK as a learner, you must hold a provisional motorcycle licence and undergo a CBT course

The CBT certificate will need to show your driving licence number that consists of 16 digits (5 letters, 6 numbers and then a combination of 5 letters and numbers). The exception for this is a Northern Ireland driving licence.

To obtain a provisional driving licence visit the DVLA website or visit your local post office for further information.

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