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Explanation of the rules surrounding the Light A1 Motorcycle Licence
From January 18th 2013 the Light Motorcycle (A1) Licence category was changed so that it became the only licence that 17 & 18 years olds can take. Previously it was for people that wanted to take a test on a motorcycle of between 80 and 120cc (and in some cases low powered 125’s). However, as the next licence up – the Restricted A2 Licence, could be done on a 125cc there was not much take up.
But this has now changed and the licence does have some merit:
- Any motorcycle between 120 – 125cc is suitable for test.
- This is the only licence 17 & 18 year olds can take but is open to anyone older.
- It gives you a full licence to ride up to 125cc without L-plates; you make take a passenger and you may ride on a motorway.
- By taking this licence you won’t need to re-take the CBT if you wish to upgrade to the next licence (Restricted A2 licence for 19 – 23 year olds or Direct Access Scheme A Licence for 24 years plus).
- The normal rules about manual and automatics still apply.
The principal advantages of this licence are really for those that only ever want to ride a small bike as a commuter – in particular scooters. It means that they lose the stigma of L-plates and the irritation of having to re-take the CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) every two years. For those that are thinking of getting a bigger bike there is no real advantage in doing this licence provided that you get the Theory Test and the Module 1 & 2 Motorcycle Tests done inside two years. Even if you took a CBT at 17 and found it was close to running out when you turn 19 this is not a real drama as typically your first day of training on a bigger bike can be turned into a CBT at no extra cost.
We can provide geared or automatic bikes for training, but significant cost can be saved by using your own bike. Remember, unlike previously, any 125cc is acceptable.
1/. So can I only do this licence if I'm 17 or 18?
This is the only full licence open to 17 & 18 year olds but people over this age can take this licence too if they want.
2/. What do I need to do to pass this test?
The same as the other full licences - CBT, Theory Test and Module 1 & 2 Motorcycle Tests.
3/. And any 120 - 125cc motorcycle or scooter is suitable?
Provided that it is learner and road legal - i.e. it doesn't produce more than 11kw (14.5bhp).
4/. If I take this test how do I go up to the next level of licence?
If you took this test at 17 or 18 then when you are 19 you can then re-take the Module 1 & 2 Motorcycle Tests on a bike of 400cc or more, but not more than 35kw (46.5bhp), to get a Restricted A2 Licence; this is called Progressive Access.
5/. So I don't need to re-take the Theory Test?
Ah, now it gets a little complicated - if you waited a full two years since taking you Light A1 Motorcycle Licence then the answer is no (Progressive Access). However, if it is less than two years then you will need to have a valid Motorcycle Theory Test (Accelerated Access).
6/. What idiot thought that up?
7/. I'm struggling to see the point in this - why would I take this licence?
Again a good question - it is suitable for people who want to commute on a small bike and don't want the inconvenience of re-taking their CBT every two years. Also some 17 & 18 year olds are so keen that taking this test gives them a head start.