Step-by-Step Guide to Motorcycle Test Changes 2013

Wednesday, January 2 2013

This month sees the new motorcycle test changes coming into force, so here’s a reminder of the new rules to keep you in the know!

As motorbike lovers, we’re sure you’ve heard that there’s going to be some major changes when it comes to the way motorbike testing is carried out in 2013. Not only will there be some changes to age boundaries, there’s also going to be alterations to the configuration of the test, with several stages building up to you getting your full licence. If you think this sounds confusing, then fear not, because our guide contains everything you need to know about the new test, straight from the DSA, so you’ll be on the road (and on the right bike!) in no time!

On the 19th January 2013 the new motorcycle and moped testing rules come into force. Basically, what this means is that any tests taken from that date will fall into the new order of things, and to find out exactly what that is, read on….

 Category A1 Motorcycle Licence

This is the first stage of the motorbike test and is available to complete once you hit your 17th birthday. So, once you’ve taken your CBT and passed your theory test, you can go in for your practical exam. This can be taken on a bike of at least 120cc, but no more than 125cc. It must have a power output that does not exceed 11kWand must be capable of reaching a speed of at least 90km/h. Once you’ve ticked all those boxes, hey presto, you’ve got you’re A1 licence. It entitles you to ride a bike just like the one you passed the test on  – so 14.6hp 125.

Category A2 Motorcycle Licence

The second stage of the test rolls around two years later, once you reach 19Soif you’ve had your A1 since you were 17, or if you’re 19 and have a provisional licence, CBT and theory test pass, you can go in for the A2 test. This time, the bike must be ofat least 395cc, have an engine power of at least 25kW but no more than 35kW and a power/weight ratio of no more than 0.2kW/kg. It also mustn’t have an engine that has been derived from a vehicle more than double its power. Once all that’s done, the A2 licence is yours and you can get around on a bike of up to 46.6bhp.

Category A Licence

So far, so good and you’ve made it to the third and final step. The Category A Licence can be taken from the age of 21 if you have had an A2 Licence for a minimum of two years or at 24 if you have a new provisional licence. This time, the bike needs to be at least 595cc, with an engine power of at least 40kW. Pass this one, an you’re good to go!

So, let’s break that down again into some trusty (and more importantly, easy to remember) points!

  • If you manage to pass your test when you’re 17, you’ll be handed your A1 Licence. You’ll have it until you’re 19, and it’ll entitle you to ride bikes of 14.6hp 125. Got it? Good!
  • When you’re 19, you can head back to the test centre and go for your A2 Licence. This will allow you to hit the roads on a 46.6bhp. You’re movin’ on up!
  • By the time you’re 21, you can have a go at the third and final test, providing you’re A2 since you were 19. If you’re 24, you can also give it a go, as long as you’ve got your provisional licence.
  • If you’re already over 24, you can go in for something called ‘Direct Access’ which allows you to go for your Category A Licence straight away. You can do this providing you have an A1 or A2 Licence under your belt. Also, if you follow that route, you’ll take your test on a 600cc bike, with an output of at least 53.6hp.

So, we’ve covered all the changes, but what if you’re eager to book your test before they come into force? Well, that’s where things get a bit tricky, because so far, motorcycle tests are almost fully booked right up until the 19th January 2013, when the new changes kick in. What this means is, if you book your test from now on, it is likely to fall into the new rules. There’s also a chance that bad weather will result in cancellations and if that is the case, your test would more than likely be rescheduled after the 19th January. What the DSA has said however is that if they are responsible for cancelling your test, they will try as hard as they can to rebook you before 19th January. If weather is to blame, then those cancelled tests will be placed on hold and you can rebook after the 19thJanuary or claim a refund.

 Now you’ve had a rundown of the general test changes, we hope you find this guide useful when it comes to taking your all-important motorbike test! All that’s left to say is, good luck!