Motorcycle and moped tests

3. Motorcycles and mopeds you can use for the tests

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

Subcategories of motorcycles and mopeds

There are 4 subcategories of mopeds and motorcycles.

In both modules of the test, 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 4kW 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

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

You can restrict the engine power of a motorcycle so that it fits within subcategory A2 (20 to 35kW). You can’t restrict it below half its original power.

Example If the unrestricted power of the motorcycle is 60kW, you can’t restrict it any lower than 30kW.

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 number plate (registration number)

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

Motorcycles with variable power modes

If you use 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

Electric motorcycles

You can use an electric motorcycle or moped if it both:

  • has the same engine power as the petrol version
  • can keep that power for at least 30 minutes

This is known as the ‘continuous power rating’ - you can check this with the manufacturer.

If you have a disability

You can 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.

You might be able to use a different vehicle if you’re disabled - contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before you book your test.

DVSA customer services
Telephone: 0300 200 1122 (option 02)
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges