Top 10s

Top 10 A2 legal motorcycles of 2019

If you’re about to complete your A2 motorcycle test but don’t know which bike to buy after, check out our best ‘ready to ride’ A2 machines for newbies.

So you’ve completed or are about to complete your A2 motorcycle test, nice one. Now, for the hard job of choosing an A2 legal bike - which is a bit of a minefield. Have no fear though, here at Visordown we like to keep it simple. The bikes we’ve selected will be ready to ride so long as you’ve got the correct A2 licence documents.

The reason for selecting 46.6bhp or less motorcycles is down to a couple of things. Firstly, you're going to be aged between 19 and 24, and chances are you have a fairly modest budget. Smaller (sub 500) cc bikes are not only cheaper to buy but also help you to save money on insurance. Secondly, you’re going to make mistakes as you grow and improve, and lighter sub 500cc bikes are far more forgiving. 

We’ve covered everything from sportsbikes, adventure machines, and nakeds. There are even some tips on why each bike would or wouldn’t suit you. 

Kawasaki Z400

Price: from £ 4,999

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Kawasaki Z400 Quick Specs

Engine

399cc 4 stroke parallel-twin 

Weight

167kg 

Tank size

14kg

Power

44bhp

Seat height

785mm

Who’s it for?

With an eagle-like pointed front end and sharp Sugomi body lines, the Z400 will appeal to those who want to look like a bit of a badass while saving plenty of money on petrol - thanks to its pokey and efficient parallel-twin motor. Granted the Z400 isn’t conventional-looking, but it will certainly turn some heads.  

What to love about Kawasaki Z400?

The handling characteristics on all Z series bikes is lovely, and the Z400 is no different. This is a proper bike for a proper rider. The brakes are great and the engine loves to be revved - giving a mighty howl as it pings up to the redline. 

And the seat is thin and low, making this machine breeze to mount. 

What’s not to love?

OK, the looks might not suit all, but for anyone who’s bold and different then this is the machine to go for. 

Yamaha MT-03

Price: from £ 4,999

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Yamaha MT-03 Quick Specs

Engine

321cc parallel-twin

Weight

168kg

Tank size

14 litres

Power

42bhp

Seat height

780mm

Who’s it for?

This Yamaha MT-03 doesn’t hold anything back. If this bike were to choose to be a Jedi or a Sith if would 100% join the Sith. From the Dark side of Japan, it was born, and people who are alternative will love this machine. It’s not all form over function though, as the MT would make a great everyday bike and can be fitted with soft panniers if required.  

What to love about Yamaha MT-03?

It has the rather whacky and exciting DNA of its bigger cc brothers the MT09 and MT07, just wrapped in a small practical fuel-efficient package. And it’s upright empowering seating position allows easy handling - ideal for a new rider. 

What’s not to love?

This is a very competitively priced motorcycle and certain components make that clear such as the dash and stamped rear lever. For longer jaunts the seat can get a little tiresome, but we think this Yami is really designed for B-roads and the urban playground.    

KTM 390 Duke

Price: from £ 4,749

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KTM 390 Duke Quick Specs

Engine

372cc single-cylinder

Weight

149kg (dry)

Tank size

13.4 litres

Power

43bhp

Seat height

830mm

Who’s it for? 

Whether you like carving through the urban jungle or hitting up some country lanes, this light-middleweight KTM would be a fine option. The 390’s exposed exoskeleton frame has nothing to hide, and the bike would suit a sly hooligan perfectly. 

What to love about KTM 390 Duke? 

Hands down this is one of the most aggressive looking light-middleweight nakeds on the market, and it comes packed with technology e.g. TFT dash and Bosch ABS with supermoto mode (allowing for rear-wheel drifting). 

The single-cylinder motor packs plenty of punch, and it helps to give the 390 a proper supermoto feel. 

What’s not to love?

Seat height is considerably higher than it’s competitors, so the Duke might not fit all. 

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Price: from £ 5,499

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Kawasaki Ninja 400 Quick Specs

Engine

399cc parallel-twin 

Weight

168kg

Tank size

14 litres 

Power

44bhp

Seat height

785mm

Who’s it for? 

With its ZX-6R inspired looks, the Ninja 400 certainly looks like the real deal supersports machine - with handling to match. But, with raised clip ons and a relaxed ergonomic seating position it will fit most types of riders. The Ninja 400 is for people who need a bike that is a capable track weapon and comfortable daily mile muncher. 

What to love about Kawasaki Ninja 400?

Compared to its predecessor, the Ninja 300, the new bike is lighter and more powerful, with a redesigned trellis chassis and upgraded motor. What’s not to love about better handling and more power? 

What’s not to love?

Sadly, no TFT dash on this green machine. Although the NInja 400 is such a blast you won’t care. 

Honda CBR500R

Price: from £ 6,099

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Honda CBR500R Quick Specs

Engine

471cc Parallel-twin

Weight

192kg

Tank size

17.1 litres

Power

46bhp

Seat height

785mm

Who’s it for?

For anyone who admires the looks of the CBR 1000RR Fireblade, this baby blade looks just as stunning. For people who care about quality and craftsmanship, and are willing to pay a premium for it look no further.  

What to love about CBR500R?

The presence the 500R has on the road is impressive, with its aero fairing it looks like a Fireblade. It’s built like a Fireblade with few expenses being spared. But the CB500R is far more comfortable and usable than its bigger bro. It requires very little effort to hustle from side to side and has a huge 17-litre fuel tank, allowing for the miles to be crunched and the fun to never end.  

What’s not to love?

At over £1000 more than most of its competition, it’s a big price to pay, especially if you’re on a limited budget. And it’s a bit on the chubby side at just over 190kg’s.   

Yamaha R3

Price: from £ 5,299

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Yamaha R3 Quick Specs

Engine

321cc Parallel-twin 

Weight

167kg

Tank size

14 litres 

Power

42bhp

Seat height

780mm

Who’s it for? 

With styling similarities to MotoGP M1, the R3 will appeal to people who value a sporty aesthetic. And with the R6 just out of reach for A2 licence holders, this bike is the next best thing. 

What to love about Yamaha R3?

By far one of the sportiest looking lightweight supersports out there, with its inverted 37mm fork, high revving engine and lightness, the R3 is a proper thrill ride.  

What’s not to love?

The front brake does leave a little to be desired but is more than adequate for general road use. 

Suzuki V-Strom 250

Price: from £ 4,899

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Suzuki V-Strom 250 Quick Specs

Engine

248cc parallel-twin

Weight

188kg

Tank size

17.3 litres

Power

25bhp

Seat height

790mm

Who’s it for? 

For somebody who wants a bike that can handle anything you throw at it, and keep on marching forward. Suzuki has always built impressive workhorses and the 250 Vstrom is just as hardy as a shetland pony. For anyone who fancies an adventure without a 240kg bike to worry about then this machine might appeal. 

What to love about the V-Strom 250?

The price tag of the V-Strom 250 makes it one of the cheapest lightweight adventure bikes on the market. Plus, it’s manageable, lightweight and unintimidating, and it looks far bigger than its actual cc would lead you to believe. 

What’s not to love?

The compact 248cc motor isn’t going to set your world on fire in terms of outright power and acceleration. 

BMW G310 GS

Price: from £ 5,320

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BMW G310 GS Quick Specs

Engine

313cc Single-cylinder 

Weight

175,5

Tank size

11 litre

Power

34bhp

Seat height

835mm

Who’s it for? 

Being of Bavarian origin, the G310 GS would suit someone who enjoys an aesthetically reserved, functional and efficient motorcycle. It’s lightweight makes it accessible to a younger demographic, and even to older people returning to motorcycling. 

What to love about BMW G310 GS?

It’s well built, reliable and comes in some pretty awesome colour options. And it isn’t a touring bike made to look like a GS, as it has a larger 19inch front wheel and 180mm of suspension travel to cope with the rough stuff. 

What’s not to love?

Perhaps it does look a little bit dorky, and that everyone who rides a GS310 is called Derick (which is a perfectly good name). Jokes aside, it’s still a cracking motorcycle.

Honda CB500X

Price: from £ 6,069

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Specs

Engine

471cc parallel-twin 

Weight

197kg

Tank size

17.7 litres

Power

46bhp

Seat height

830mm

Who’s it for? 

Ideally for anyone who’s looking to get a bit more bang for buck, and conquer the urban jungle as well as the actual jungle, well, maybe not the actual jungle... but certainly a greenlane or two. With its 19-inch front and wheel and increased suspension travel, the 500X can crossover from tarmac to dirt and back again seamlessly. I should know, as I’ve ridden the thing and it’s bloody brilliant.  

What to love about CB500X?

A polite and fun 471cc motor combined with an empowering and comfortable seating position makes the CB500X a comfortable smile factory. And it’s darn flickable too. 

So long as the off-roading isn’t too extreme it will effortlessly glide from one style of the road to the next - aided by its Dunlop TrailMax tyres. Oh yeah, and it has a fuel gauge. Big win! 

What’s not to love?

For a nudge over six grand it’s not exactly cheap. 

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

Price: from £ 3,999

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Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Quick Specs

Engine

373cc Single-cylinder 

Weight

148kg (dry)

Tank size

9.5 litres

Power

44bhp

Seat height

835mm

Who’s it for? 

Hipsters? Maybe, but this can be for any cool cat who cares not about being the fastest person on the streets, but more about looking the absolute business. The Vitpilen, or White Arrow, isn’t a mile cruncher, it’s instead a short hop pleasure ride.  

What to love about Husqvarna Vitpilen 401?

With Bybre disks and calipers, and WP front suspension, the Vitpilen is a proper steal at £4,000. The barebones styling is shared by no other bike on the market, and up close the bike scream quality. 

What’s not to love?

I say the Vitpilen 401 is a short hop pleasure machine because it’s fuel tank is tiny. Keep this puppy in town and you’ll be just fine. Also, pillion passengers might feel uneasy on the thin and short unhandled tail. 

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