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Direct Access Scheme

Explanation of the Direct Access Scheme (DAS)

The Direct Access Scheme (DAS) was introduced in 1997 as a response to people getting onto powerful motorcycles having only ridden 125cc machines. In reality the number of people doing this was fairly low. But EU law is EU law.

DAS is only available to people who are 24 years old or over. You must use a motorcycle that puts out at least 40kw (54bhp) and 595cc or above to take the test (at the end of 2018 the power will increase to 50kw with a minimum weight of 175kg). You can only ride these motorcycles during training if you are accompanied by an authorised DAS instructor.

Once you have taken and passed your motorcycle test through the Direct Access Scheme you will be licenced to ride any machine that you want, regardless of engine size and power.

If you want to find out how much your course will cost and how many days you might need then use our Step-by-Step Guide.


1/. Do I need to provide the motorcycle?

No, we provide everything you need including a motorcycle that meets the requirements for the test.

2/. What engine size is 40kw (54bhp)?

The size of the engine is not relevant; it is the quoted power output that matters. So, for example, you can get quite large engine sizes like the Suzuki LS650 Savage that are below 46.5bhp, and some quite small motorcycles like the Suzuki RGV250 which are a long way over. However, since the law change in 2013 the motorcycle must now also be at least 595cc.

3/. Can I use my own motorcycle?

Yes, but in practise this is fraught with problems. Firstly, although your motorcycle may be over 40kw (54bhp) and 595cc if it is a sports bike then you are making things like the U-turn much more difficult. Secondly, what money you might save in bike hire fees are often swallowed up many times over by your insurance being loaded. Thirdly, there is the hassle of getting the bike about (you can only ride it accompanied by an instructor). And finally, if you drop your bike you pay for the damage. Having said that we do get a small number of people every year who use their own bike and under certain circumstances this might be the right thing to do (particularly if it is modified due to a disability or you want to use an automatic).

4/. Can I take my Direct Access Scheme on an automatic motorcycle?

Yes, but again there are issues with having a suitable bike. Some of the major manufactures are now starting to make larger and larger scooters which will soon exceed 40kw (54bhp). Otherwise you could look for an old Honda CB750 Automatic or an all singing, all dancing Honda VFR1200 Automatic (and some Aprilia’s).  Remember – if you pass your test on an automatic motorcycle, then you are only allowed to ride automatic motorcycles in your licence class.  If you pass your test on a geared motorcycle, then you can ride any motorcycle in your licence class.

5/. Is the Direct Access Scheme test harder than an A1 or A2 test?

Not in principal, but it does require better machine controls and confidence to do some of the manoeuvres (U-turn!).

6/. Does the Direct Access Scheme mean that I must start my training on a 600cc motorcycle?

No, particularly if you have not ridden before we will start you on a 125cc motorcycle and move up to the bigger bikes at an appropriate time.

7/. I’ve decided that I do want to take this licence; what is the right course for me?

Anything between 2 and 5 days depending on your previous experience; follow the Step-by-Step Guide to find out.