3. Motorcycles and mopeds you can use for the tests

There are 4 subcategories of mopeds and motorcycles.

In both tests you must use:

  • the same subcategory as the licence you’re applying for
  • a vehicle with the same type of transmission (manual, automatic or semi-automatic)
Subcategory Moped, tricycle or quad bike Light motorcycle Standard motorcycle Unrestricted motorcycle
Licence category AM A1 A2 A
Minimum age of rider 16 17 19 24
Engine capacity Up to 50cc 120 to 125cc At least 395cc At least 595cc
Maximum speed Up to 28mph 55mph or above - -
Engine power - Up to 11kW 20 to 35kW At least 40kW
Power to weight ratio - - Up to 0.2 kW/kg -
Power to weight ratio if you use a sidecar - Up to 0.16kW/kg - Up to 0.16kW/kg

Rules about your motorcycle or moped

The motorcycle or moped you use for your tests must:

  • be a solo machine - you can only use a sidecar if you have certain disabilities
  • have a speedometer measuring speed in miles per hour (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

Automatic and semi-automatic motorcycles

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

Engines with restricted power

If you restrict the engine power of a motorcycle to subcategory A2, the restricted power must be at least half the unrestricted power.

You must bring proof if you’ve restricted a motorcycle to subcategory A2 - if you don’t your test will be cancelled.

The proof must:

  • be on headed paper
  • be from a main dealer, official importer or recognised specialist
  • show the motorcycle’s registration number

You can’t use a dyno test certificate as proof of the restriction.

Motorcycles with sidecars

You can only use a motorcycle with a sidecar for your tests if you have certain disabilities. You can’t have a passenger in the sidecar during the tests.

Your licence will only let you ride motorcycles with sidecars.

Motorcycles with variable power modes

If you’re using a switchable engine control unit (ECU) or variable power device, your motorcycle can’t have:

  • interchangeable carburettor heads
  • an exhaust manifold restrictor
  • a hidden ECU - it must be clear what power mode the motorcycle is in