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Top 10 maddest A2 compliant motorcycles you can buy right now!

Being the holder of an A2 licence isn't not as restrictive as you may have thought... here are 10 of the more unexpected 49hp or less models

Aprilia RS 660

The news that BMW is developing an A2 licence-compliant version of its monster R18 cruiser got us thinking – what other ‘bonkers’ but A2 compliant bikes are available right now? 

To qualify, of course, a bike has to be produce a peak power figure of 35kW (47bhp) and have a maximum power-to-weight figure of 0.2kW per kilo, which seems to keep things sensible. 

But in addition, larger, more powerful machines (such as the R18, potentially) can also qualify as long as they originally produce no more than 70kW (94bhp) and are fitted with a restriction that reduces this to the aforesaid 35kW. This route is popular for riders who want to buy one bike than ‘derestrict’ it once they qualify for a full A licence rather than buy-then-sell an A2-specific machine.

So, if you go for this latter route, and until BMW come up with their new A2 R18, what other ‘bonkers A2 bikes’ can you buy which have specially developed A2 restrictor kits available? Here’s our pick of 10 of the current best…

Suzuki GSX-S950 (£TBC)

Suzuki has recently announced their own ‘bonkers’ A2 bike – a specially detuned version of the recent 150bhp GSX-S1000 super naked.

Instead called the GSX-S950 but carrying over most of the 1000’s features, it’s been produced, Suzuki say, to provide a ‘big bike’ experience at a restricted output for new riders “before becoming an ideal stepping stone to more powerful machines once derestricted.”

To comply, the inline four-cylinder engine has been detuned to 95bhp with restrictor kits readily available to ensure it conforms to the A2 licence category. It also has a slightly more basic spec 

than its big brother, by way of 43mm non-adjustable KYB forks and Tokico not Brembo brakes to help keep its price down and comes in different colours.

Aprilia RS660 35kW, from £10,150

Another firm to recently announce an A2-specific version of one of its most exciting bikes is Aprilia with its RS660 supersports. The Italian manufacturer says the move has come in response to high demand and has resulted in a slightly detuned, 95bhp version of the otherwise 100bhp parallel twin. Everything else, including the price, however, is exactly the same, from its mouth-watering styling, high quality spec and fabulous handling. Sadly, however, Aprilia have yet to also announce an A2-version of the RS’s sister, ‘naked’ version, the Tuono 660 although we wouldn’t be surprised to see one shortly!

Triumph Tiger 900 (from £11,500)

British brand Triumph is one of the most active of all manufacturers when it comes to making A2-specific versions of its bigger bikes, with four different engines – Bonneville twin, Tiger triple, Street Triple and new Trident 660 all being offered in A2 form – although we’re concentrating on the triples, here. The latest Tiger 900, in deliberately producing the regulation 94bhp, is one of the best A2 adventure bikes as a result, comes in off-road Rally or GT road forms, each with a high spec GT option and can be fitted with an A2 compliance kit as an accessory option by your dealer, which can then be converted back on request.

Triumph Street Triple S (from £8,100)

With the recent updates to the 765cc Street Triple R and RS, the more basic S model is now Triumph’s dedicated A2-version of its brilliant, three cylinder, middleweight naked with a specific, 660cc engine producing the regulation 47bhp when restricted (95bhp derestricted when you’ve passed your test) but otherwise many of the features, style and handling the Street Triple has long been known and loved for including two riding modes, great handling and looks and quality cycle parts. 

Triumph Trident 660 (from £7395)

One of the big success stories of 2021, Triumph’s new Trident revives a great British name from the past in the form of an affordable, entry-level triple that’s also available with an A2 licence compliance kit.

Although similar on paper to the engine of the Street Triple S, in also being a 660cc triple, it actually has a longer stroke, smaller bore configuration for extra torque and midrange at the expense of high rpm peak power.

It also has a slightly lower spec all round to make it affordable. The result, though, is a brilliant, flexible and fun roadster that, again, comes in regulation 47bhp A2 trim when restricted, but fruity, meaty 80bhp form when derestricted after you gain your full licence.

We’ll not pick them out here, but Triumph also offer its retro twins, the Street Twin, Street Scrambler and both T100 and T120 Bonnevilles with A2 kits.

Yamaha Tracer 7 GT (from £9002)

Japanese giant Yamaha’s activity in providing A2 kitted versions of its bigger bikes is all focused around its brilliant, ‘CP2’, 689cc parallel twin, which powers not only the fun-packed MT-07 roadster but also its retro-styled variant, the XSR700, the brilliant adventure/trail version, the Ténéré 700 and the more sport-touring Tracer 7.

Of the bunch, however, because more is always better, we’re picking out the top spec Tracer 7 GT here. It’s a brilliant bike, too – versatile and fun but also in this GT spec coming with 20-litre side cases, higher, wider touring screen and special comfort seat.

In derestricted form it produces a lively 72bhp at 8750rpm, but fitted with the optional official A2 restriction kit that’s reduces to the regulation 47bhp at a slightly lower 7500rpm.

Kawasaki Versys 650 Grand Tourer (£9199)

Apart from its retro W800 and dedicated A2 Ninja and Z400, Kawasaki also offer kitted versions of its larger 650 twins to comply with the A2 regulation. These include the Z650 roadster and Ninja 650 sportster but our pick of the bunch again, if we’re most interested in larger, madder bikes, is its adventure sports all-rounder, the brilliant Versys 650 – and specifically the fully-loaded version, the Grand Tourer.

The unrestricted version produces a lively yet versatile 67bhp from its 649cc parallel twin along with a fine-handling, comfortable chassis that’s such a great all-rounder you’ll wonder why anyone needs a bigger bike.

In A2-kitted form that’s reduced again to 47bhp but it’s still enough to be a hugely versatile machine. While in Grand Tourer form, with panniers, top box, fog lights, inner bag, 12v socket and hand guards it’s arguably the best A2 tourer you can buy.

Ducati Hypermotard 950 (from £11,085)

Italian exotica experts may be kings when it comes to high performance but they also offer a number of A2 compliant models, either based around a kitted version of its latest 950cc V-twin, as featuring not only in the new-for-2021 Monster but also the Supersport 950 (although oddly not the Multistrada 950) or it’s more retro, novice-friendly Scrambler 800.

Being just 73bhp means the Scrambler family is relatively easy to convert to A2 spec with the use of a kit but the more powerful 110bhp 950s are also available in 35kW form with our pick of the bunch being the slightly looney, supermoto-style Hypermotard.

BMW F900XR (from £9830)

Introduced in 2020, derived from the F850 parallel twin powertrain and inspired by BMW’s larger, four cylinder ‘adventure sports’, the S1000XR, the F900XR proved an instant hit for its combination of competent 105bhp performance, brilliant manageability and handling and classy style – all at a competitive price (unless you go mad with the BMW’s usual options list).

Best of all, though, it’s also available in detuned, 95bhp form making it eligible for an A2-compliant 47bhp restrictor kit until you pass your full test. And if you don’t fancy a half-faired sports-tourer – and don’t want the forthcoming, full bore A2 R18 – BMW’s F900 is also available in roadster F900R form, again with an A2 option.

Indian FTR1200 (from £12,295)

American newcomers Indian have already blasted some with through the feathers of US rivals Harley-Davidson with its impressive range of big V-twin cruisers and its1200cc Scout family have already proved a big success, too, so it’s no surprise that the smaller bikes are also available in A2 restricted form.

A bigger surprise all round is its Scout-derived, flat track-inspired, 120bhp, performance ‘retro roadster’, the FTR1200, which delivers a kind of ‘American Monster’ thrill-packed experience in an appealing style all its own and available in three trim levels including multi riding modes, TFT screen, carbon, Akrapovic pipe and more.

Best of all, though, it’s also been substantially updated for 2021 with new 17in wheels/tyres (replacing the previously criticized 19/18in combo), engine mods and more and is also available in A2 compatible, reduced power, 70kW form which can then be further restricted to 35kW