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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

What you can drive


What motorcycles you can ride

A moped has a maximum design speed not exceeding 50km/h (approx. 31mph). It has an engine capacity no greater than 50cc and can be moved by pedals, if first used before 1 August 1977. A learner motorcycle has an engine up to 125cc and a power output not exceeding 11kW

Full motorcycle licence

There are two types of full motorcycle licence:

  1. a light motorcycle licence (A1), which restricts riders to any bike up to 125cc and a power output of 11kW. The practical test must be taken on a bike of between 75cc and 125cc
  2. a standard motorcycle licence (A), is obtained if the practical test is taken on a bike of over 120cc but not more than 125cc and capable of at least 100km/h per hour. After passing the standard motorcycle practical test, you will be restricted for two years to riding a bike of up to 25kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg. After this you may ride any size of bike

Direct and accelerated access

Riders age 21 or over, or those who reach 21 before their two year restriction ends, have other options.

Direct access

After taking CBT and the theory test, the practical test may be taken on a motorcycle with a power output of at least 35kW. A pass allows you to ride any size of bike. All or part of the CBT course may be taken on either a learner bike or a large bike. You may practice for the practical test on bikes larger than the learner bike specification provided:

Accelerated access

Riders who reach the age of 21, while still within the two year period where they are restricted to maximum 25kW machines, but who wish to ride larger bikes need to pass a further test on a motorcycle of at least 35kW. They may practice on bikes over 25kW under the same practice conditions for direct access riders. You will revert to learner status while practicing (on a motorcycle greater than 25kW) although test failure will not affect your existing licence.


Learners who wish to ride with a sidecar can practice on a combination with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg. On obtaining a standard licence, you will be restricted to a combination with the same power/weight ratio for two years. At age 21 learners may, only within direct or accelerated access, practice on a larger combination, but the test must be taken on a solo bike (although physically disabled riders can use a combination).

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