A2 Licence Updates for 2022
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have recently announced changes to the motorcycle requirements for the A2 licence category, which will have a very positive impact on many new riders.
Whilst the existing key criteria for A2 tests remains unchanged, the qualifying minimum engine capacity has been reduced. This broadens the number of motorcycles now allowable for use under the new A2 licence updates, with some interesting options coming into play.
Despite the legislation changes, A2 licence qualifying motorcycles can still only have a maximum power output of up to 35kW (46.6hp) as well as a power to weight ratio of 0.2kW per kg. More powerful bikes can, of course, still be used as before, so long as they are restricted to the A2 limits. However, it still stands that the motorcycle cannot, in standard showroom specification, have more than twice the power output of the 35kW A2 licence limit.
As of 2022, the A2 licence changes have moved the minimum engine capacity from its previous 395cc to a new lower level of 245cc. This change brings a lot of the 250cc category bikes under its remit. Although many motorcycles are badged as a specific capacity in their model names, the actual capacity is usually a little lower. The Honda CRF300L for example only has an actual engine capacity of 286cc. Previously it would not qualify as an A2 bike, but under the new rules, it would be included.
So why have the DVSA made these A2 licence changes and what effect will it have for new riders?
The changes come as part of a wider drive by the DVSA to relax and potentially simplify regulations where possible. The government organisation has taken into account the fact that smaller more efficient modern engines are now capable of comfortably making more power. Therefore it makes sense to reduce capacity constraints in the A2 licence category.
The biggest benefit to new riders will be that smaller lighter bikes can now be used to gain an A2 licence. Previously there has been a tendency to restrict larger capacity motorcycles, with the idea that as you progress to a full motorcycle licence, the restriction can be removed by an authorised dealer and you can have all the benefits of a big bike without having to go through the process of purchasing a new one. That ethos has worked very well for many riders over the years.
However larger capacity motorcycles obviously tend to also be physically larger and heavier too, which can create problems for smaller or shorter riders. This A2 licence update means many more manageable bikes come into focus for learners. If you have sports bike leanings, for example, previously ineligible motorcycles like the Honda CBR250R, Kawasaki Ninja 250R and Aprilia RS250 can be now used.
There are a number of motorcycles that just missed the previous capacity cut off point, which now also qualify. Bikes like the very popular Kawasaki Z300, Yamaha MT-03 and BMW G310 GS or R all now come under the A2 licence banner.
At RideTo we welcome these changes as they open up the A2 licence category to a wider number of motorcycles and therefore a wider number of new riders. When learning to ride, confidence with the motorcycle is a key factor in enjoying the experience. The more confidence you have, the more likely you are to perform better in the training sessions and ultimately the test. Having a motorcycle that is light and easy to handle could be a real boon for many riders, and these 2022 A2 licence changes will make a big difference for a lot of people.