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MCN  says:

Poll: Should you be able to ride whatever bike you want at 17?

Motorcycling licence laws are set to change yet again in January 2013 and motorcyclists starting at the age of 17 could potentially have to take three separate motorcycle tests before they're allowed to ride an unrestricted motorcycle on the road. This is what the new laws mean: Anybody under the age of 19 and at least 17 years old must pass a test and...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (25 September 2012 17:44)

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Jun 11

Posts: 22

ewanhind says:

MCN have got it right

@Rogerborg, MCN are correct, the test at age 17 is for the new A1 category, see if you want the source. They're also right about the 2 years - see Category A2 and A 'staged access'. You're right that Direct Access age will be 24 not 25.

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Nov 11

Posts: 203

jimbo8098 says:

Skills based

The whole reason they brought it into play was because plonkers bought a fast bike and didn't know how to ride it and spilled. The test should be based on how you perform. If you can perform on a 125 and can handle the extra power , why not? It would be good to take advanced training and get that kind of thing. If you can ride a small bike within the realms of the law and well , then why not give it a try and , if you can cut it , get licenced to drive it.

It seems fair to me. People who know what they are doing and aren't just speeding all over the place on an R125 should be given a bit more leeway when it comes to the test. If they can perform to the standards of an advanced instructor on a "big" bike , then there shouldn't be any problem.

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Sep 12

Posts: 1

Admiral95 says:

I am 17 and think there should be a similar system to the one there is now. It should be 33bhp for 2 years then unrestricted, with no direct access option. It stops the midlife crisis inexperienced riders from having superbikes and will teach them how to ride better.

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Aug 10

Posts: 66

muddybus says:

Skills based

I was riding motorbikes from the age of 9, by the time I could ride legally on the road, I'd carried pillions, wheelied, done stoppies, power-slides etc, all off road. I had the experience and skills far ahead of a newbie. I'd ridden bikes from 50cc through to 250cc, knew the difference in power delivery between a 250 two-stroke and 100cc single four-stroke. So why should someone with my previous experience be restricted to the same bikes as someone who has only had 12hrs of riding prior to passing their test?

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Sep 12

Posts: 3

Megoodsy says:

I agree with Admiral. I spent seven years racing motocross then had a few close shaves on my RG 125. You can't just let kids out on a ten year old Super bike. The motorcycle industry should be allowed to advise the government because they haven't a clue.

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Mar 10

Posts: 1037

bmwgs says:


There's no "test" at 17, just Compulsory Basic Training.  If you think that's going to change, can you please cite your source, because I've not seen any hint of it.  The last clear statement on it was after the 2010 consultation, where the DfT said we'll be retaining solo L riding.

There's no "at the age of 19, or at the end of those two years".  It's just 19, there's no requirement to have passed any test earlier, and you manage to contradict yourself in the very next paragraph.

Direct Access will now be at 24, not 25.

Don't give up the day job, eh?


well 6years ago i  did my bike test at 17  so then i had 33bhp til i was 19 then i could ride what ever i like. 

you have to do a CBT then a test if you wont. 

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Jul 12

Posts: 9

DilR1 says:


I turned 16 in '97 then did my A1 test in '98 so came under the 'new' at the time 33bhp restriction.

It did make for a very interesting and varied bike history which I wouldnt change for the world. The only thing around restricted at the time was the odd grey import VFR400 or if you were lucky a ZXR400. They hadnt started making kits for many bikes and most people didnt have a clue the laws existed. I had an old two stroke 250 twin which just came under 33bhp, and my dads old 500 single that was a whole 22bhp.

We managed to just about stick it out at 33bhp (me and two mates). It was only really the last 3 months of my restriction I upgraded to a 48bhp 660 single and never bothered restricting it.

I think it is a good idea but like the old way rather that 3 tests. I just did my test at 17 on a 125 then could ride up to 33bhp til I was 21 or two years, whichever came sooner. As it happens at 19 I had a full licence and shortly after bought the TRX 850. It worked fine this way.

R6's had just come out and were financially unachiveable anyway! But I did get one about a year or so later. Im so glad I had other bike experience before jumping on an R6 as at the time I think I would have probably been a twat on it. 

Skills based would work pretty well but can't help thinking all the additional tests are just a money maker.  

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Mar 10

Posts: 100

jahagon says:

What would have been better...

Keep the CBT as it is. Combine module 1 and 2 so it can be done on the road as one test. Raise the restriction to 47bhp for 2 years. Keep direct access at 21. Problem solved.

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Jan 11

Posts: 8405

snev says:

my 2 penneth...

I normally ride a Busa but have recently been riding a CBR125R. Well what a difference in car driver attitude I have experienced. Wouldn't want to be conforming to government criteria if the truth was known.

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Jan 10

Posts: 3

motomvk says:

older people

the only people who would vote for a progressive licence are people who have already passed and got their un restricted licences

i agree that the progressive licence will help SOME people to learn to ride safely, but for a lot of cases its just frustrating and 2 years is far too long to be restricted to just 33bhp (soon to be 47bhp)

who is the government to say a young rider cant handle a more powerful bike just the same as an older rider completing a direct access? 

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