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Motorbike Licence Types

Posted by Don Brown on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
A motorbike licence in the UK is classified by three different categories.  The categories are primarily defined by the engine size, power, and speed of the bike that can be operated.  The requirements for each type of bike licence are discussed below.  

Category P

Category P is a moped licence.  It limits the rider to machines of 50cc or less with a design speed of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).  A provisional moped licence can be obtained at 16 years or older.  As with a provisional motorbike licence, the rider cannot ride on motorways or carry pillion passengers.  Riders must take a compulsory basic training (CBT) course and receive a DL196 (CBT test certificate) before they may operate a moped on the road.  The same DL196 is valid for motorcycles as well for riders over 17 with the proper provisional motorbike licence.

Category A1

Category A1 comprises what are generally termed "light motorcycles," with an engine displacement up to 125cc and power output limited to 11kW.  The practical test for an A1 bike licence must be taken on a motorcycle between 75cc and 125cc.

Category A

The standard category A bike licence permits the rider to operate a bike restricted to a power output up to 25 kW and a power to weight ratio up to 0.16kW/kg.  After two years of riding, the size restrictions are lifted.  The test for category A is taken on a bike between 120cc and 125cc that can reach 100km/h.

Direct Access

Riders over 21 who have passed the CBT test and motorbike theory test may proceed directly to an unrestricted full motorbike licence by taking the practical test on a machine with a 35kW power output or greater.  The CBT training may be done with a light bike or a larger motorcycle.  Riders may practise for the practical test on a larger bike if wearing fluorescent or reflective clothes and accompanied by a certified instructor.

Accelerated Access

Riders over 21 still in the 2 year restricted period may accelerate the time to a full licence by passing the practical test on a larger (>35kW) bike.  They may practise for the test on larger bikes under the same limitations as noted for direct access trainees in the previous section.

No matter which type of motorbike licence you seek, it helps to know ahead of time what requirements, bike sizes, and limitations are involved.

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