2021 Yamaha MT-25 - Should we allow 250cc on a CBT in the UK?

The new 250cc Yamaha MT-25 has launched, but only in Indonesia for now. Should it be in the UK, with a tweak to licence laws?

Yamaha MT-25 2021

YAMAHA has launched the MT-25, a parallel-twin 250cc powered motorcycle aimed at the average rider who wants a bit of the eye-catching ‘Dark Side of Japan’ range in Indonesia. 

This MT-25 is a sort of halfway ground between the learner-friendly MT-125, and A2 stepping stone MT-03 (appreciate it’s a good motorcycle in its own right, but the sales of the MT-03 don’t exactly dictate it’s much more than a means of progression up the chain).

Powered by that parallel-twin engine, the 2021 MT-25 generates 35.5hp of peak power and has a 6-speed gearbox. Braking power is provided by front & rear disc brakes, with dual-channel ABS - whilst suspension and comfort on the road are handled with the inverted forks and a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock unit. 

WATCH our Yamaha MT-03 road-test

Yamaha MT-03 review | Visordown road test

You’ll also find the latest LED lighting unit all around, with a digital instrument cluster completing the tech offerings. On the styling front, there are updated graphics, new air scoops, and tank cover on this 2021 model. You can pick up the MT-25 in three colours: metallic blue, metallic black, and matte grey. 

All things considered, the MT-25 sounds like a great bike for a beginner motorcyclist - and for a price of RS 2.87 lakh, equivalent to around £2,870 (it would probably be over £5,000 in the UK), it seems priced as a perfect option for a UK novice. 

The question has to be asked, then: why wouldn’t this be something for learner riders to jump on in the UK? Perhaps at 17 you ‘unlock’ the 125cc, then at 19, you can move to your A2 licence - or a 250cc on a CBT? In Indonesia, where the MT-25 will be found, you can ride a 250cc right off the bat.

Should a 250cc motorcycle be allowed on a CBT?

The current licensing laws for motorcycles in the UK are renowned for being some of the strictest and most in-depth in the world, and for the right reasons. You can’t just turn up on the day, fill out a straightforward exam and do a few U-turns in the car park for your ticket to ride - it’s a full-on 4 part affair (if you include the CBT and Theory test with the 2 modules). It’s adequate for giving you a solid base of knowledge when completed in full, but the CBT has almost become a loophole of re-taking every two years to be on the road, rather than progressing upwards as intended. Is the main problem the time it takes to get the full licence, the total monetary cost, or all of the above?

If you’ve ridden a 125cc motorcycle on the road you’ll know it can often be a bit of a daunting endeavor on the bigger roads, which is exactly where doubling your available horsepower would come in useful. In fact, it would be far more than just useful, I’d even say much safer. 

In my opinion, a 250cc would offer far more safety on the roads - knowing you have that extra bit of tech (typically better brakes), and that bit more power to reach 60, or 70 on a dual-carriageway, and stay out of the way of lorries and vans - which are limited to your maximum speed if you’re full tuck and going downhill. 

It’s unlikely to change anytime soon, of course. The CBT is being discussed for changes as it’s hardly become the platform for learning and testing aptitude as the licensing authorities were expecting; whilst the Mod 1 and Mod 2 are actually quite good at testing you on the basics of handling your motorcycle, provided you’ve sought adequate training. 

So what do you think, allow 250cc/300cc motorcycle on a CBT over 19 years old? Or just keep it as it is - it has almost become a right-of-passage, after all. Let us know on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - we want to know your thoughts!