One step at a time: What is an A2 motorcycle licence and how do you get one?

A Honda CB750 Hornet can be restricted for A2 licence holders
A Honda CB750 Hornet can be restricted for A2 licence holders

The A2 motorbike licence is the single quickest and most cost-effective way for 19-year-olds to learn to ride a motorbike and progress to a full UK licence.

In order to qualify to take the A2 licence, you’ll need to:

  • Be over 19-years-old
  • Have done the CBT or hold an A1 licence for two years
  • Have passed a motorcycle theory test

MCN would also suggest some extra training if you’re not fully confident riding an A2-compliant bike.

What is an A2-compliant motorbike?

KTM 390 Duke

An A2 motorcycle a maximum power output of 47bhp. However, it must also have a power-to-weight ratio of 0.26bhp/kg, which means in reality if your bike has the maximum 47bhp then it’ll need to have a minimum kerb weight of 175kg.

What about A2-restricted motorbikes?

Just to muddy the waters a little further, you’re also allowed to use a more powerful bike, as long as it has a restrictor fitted to lower the power-to-weight ratio to the same 0.26bhp/kg.

Each bike has its own method of restricting power output, but popular examples include throttle stops, inlet or exhaust reducers or ECU restrictors.

A restricted bike must produce no more than double the maximum power figure as standard and produce less than 0.2kW/kg.

Honda CBR650R winter road

Which A2 motorbike is best?

You can check our A2-compliant motorbike reviews to see what individual models are like, or see our best A2 motorbikes article for a round-up.

Thinking of following your racing heroes onto the circuit? We’ve also pit two popular A2 bikes together in a track shootout on video, as you can see below.

In this video MCN videographer Joseph explores his A2 options


Can I ride a 600cc on A2 licence?

Yes and no. It all depends on the power output of the motorcycle rather than the engine size. You can ride a bike that makes no more than 47bhp or restrict a bike that makes no more than 94bhp regardless of the engine displacement.

Can I do A2 without a CBT?

No, you have to have a valid CBT in order to take your A2 licence test.

Is A2 a full motorcycle licence?

A2 is a restricted motorcycle licence. A full, unrestricted licence category is A.

What is the difference between A1 and A2 motorcycle licence?

An A1 licence allows you to ride a 125 without L-plates. and carry a pillion. An A2 is an intermediate restricted licence that allows you to ride motorbikes up to 47bhp or restricted from no more than 94bhp.