7. Rules for mopeds and motorcycles used in the practical riding test

The rules about the moped or motorcycle you use for your riding test changed on 19 January 2013.

Rules for mopeds

The moped you use for your test must:

  • be a solo machine
  • be no more than 50cc
  • have a top speed of no more than 28mph
  • have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
  • display L plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • be insured, taxed and roadworthy and have no engine warning lights showing

Rules for all motorcycles

The motorcycle you use for your test must:

  • have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
  • display L plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • be insured, taxed and roadworthy and have no engine warning lights showing
  • be suitable for the test you’re taking

Automatic and semi-automatic motorcycles

If you pass your test on a motorcycle with automatic or semi-automatic transmission you’ll only get a full licence for those types of motorcycle.

Age restrictions

There are age restrictions on the category of motorcycle you can use to take your test.

The table below shows what sub-category you’ll need to use for module 2 if you passed module 1 before 19 January 2013.

Your age from 19 January 2013 Sub-category used for module 1 before 19 January 2013 Sub-category used for module 2 after 19 January 2013
16 or over P AM
17 or over A1 A1
17 or over A2 A1
23 or under A A2
24 or over A A

Your licence is only valid for the sub-category of motorcycle you pass your module 2 test on.

Motorcycle sub-categories

There are 3 sub-categories of motorcycles you can use for your test. The sub-category of motorcycle you use affects the sub-categories you can ride after passing your test.

You must use the same sub-category of motorcycle for both modules of the test.

Sub-category A1 (light motorcycle)

Sub-category A1 motorcycles used for tests must:

  • be a solo motorcycle
  • be between 120cc and 125cc
  • be no more than 11kW engine power
  • be capable of at least 55mph

Sub-category A2 (standard motorcycle)

Sub-category A2 motorcycles used for tests must:

  • be a solo motorcycle
  • be at least 395cc
  • be between 25kW and 35kW engine power
  • have a power to weight ratio no more than 0.2kW/kg

If the engine power of the motorcycle has been restricted to fit sub-category A2, the normal unrestricted power can’t be more than double its new restricted power.

If you have an A2 restricted motorcycle, you must bring proof of the restriction to your test, or it will be cancelled. It must be on headed notepaper from a main dealer, official importer or recognised specialist, and must show the motorcycle’s registration number.

A dyno test certificate will not be accepted as proof of the restriction.

Example
If the original unrestricted power of your motorcycle was 60kW, you can’t restrict it to less than 30kW.

Category A (unrestricted)

Category A unrestricted motorcycles used for tests must:

  • be a solo motorcycle
  • be at least 595cc
  • be at least 40kW engine power

Rules for motorcycles with sidecars

You can only use a motorcycle with a sidecar for your test if you have certain disabilities.

The rules for a motorcycle with a sidecar are the same as for a solo motorcycle, but:

  • categories A and A1 can’t have a power to weight ratio of more than 0.16kW/kg
  • passengers are not allowed to ride in the sidecar during the test

Your licence will only be for motorcycles with sidecars if you pass your test in a motorcycle with sidecar.

Motorcycles with variable power modes

It must be clear what power mode any switchable engine control unit (ECU) or variable power device is set to. If you are using one of these, your motorcycle cannot have:

  • interchangeable carburettor heads
  • an exhaust manifold restrictor
  • a hidden ECU

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