Understand the January 19th changes

Understand the January 19th changes

Age 19-20 - 47 bhp max: the A2 licence. This is where the rules become slightly complex. From the age of 19, you are permitted to take an A2 test (which must be taken on a bike of at least 395cc, with a power output of between 25kW/33bhp and 35kW/47bhp). If you don't already hold an A1 licence you will need to do a CBT beforehand, as always, and pass a theory test, before you take the practical test.

Upon passing, the rider is restricted to bikes with a limit of 35kW/47bhp and a power-to-weight ratio of no more than 0.2kW/0.26bhp per kg, for two years. The power-to-weight ratio is an important qualification because it makes drawing a distinction between 'can ride' and 'can't ride' more nuanced than a simple bhp cap. In real terms, it imposes a minimum weight of 175kg for any bike using the full 47bhp, dashing hopes of super-lightweight 250s making a mockery of the bhp limit. 

It's relatively straightforward to restrict a bike, meaning you are not necessarily ruled out of riding the bike of your dreams - unless you are dreaming of anything 'more than twice' as powerful. Any bike originally making more than 94bhp is still out of reach of the A2 licence.

You will need to hold the A2 licence for two years before you can move on to a full A licence. Examples of A2 permissable bikes include: Honda NC700Kawasaki Z800eBMW G650GS.

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