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The new motorcycle regulations?


Jeebs1546081084
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Can anyone help me get my head around the changes that have been made to the rules for learning to ride a bike.

As I can no longer do a Direct Access course as I'm not old enough anymore (should have done it before the changes), does that mean I have to spend two years on a 125cc before I can ride anything decent, or because I'm older than 19, can I learn on anything provided it's restricted?

I don't quite understand this A1 and A2 stuff.

Edited by Jeebs
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It's complex but I'll try and explain as best I can.

Basically the new powered two wheeler categories are as follows.

AM = Mopeds of not more than 50cc in capacity. Minimum age to ride one of these is 16 with a CBT and provisional, cannot normally take the motorcycle test. This catagory was previously P and licences issued before 19/01/2013 will show P.

A1 = "light motorcycles" of up to 125cc may be manual or automatic must not be capable of producing more than 11KW of power.

NB; You don't need to pass your test to drive these machines you can drive them provided you have a valid CBT certificate and provisional licence. If you are riding one of these machines on a provisional licence then you must display L plates and may not carry a pillion. If you get an A1 licence then you may carry a pillion passenger and do not require L plates. Minimum age is 17 for test or to ride on a CBT.

A2; these are machines which produce no more power than 35KW/47BHP (BHP being measured at the crank). Must not make more than 0.2KW per KG. The machine may be restricted from a more powerful machine but unrestricted the motorcycle may not have produced more than double the power to which it is restricted. So you can have a machine of 70KW restricted but no more. Old A2 licence holders (ie those who passed their test before 19/01/2013 are required to abide by different restrictions which have not changed). May carry a pillion.

A = Full unrestricted access to any machine. Minimum age for test is now 24 rather than 21, which I just think is bizarre. Again riders who passed before 19/01/2013 retain their original entitlement even if they are less than 24 years of age.

If you're over 19 you can do the A2 test. To obtain this category you must pass your CBT, theory test, module one and module two of the motorcycle test. You will have to pass the practical elements on a machine between set capacities (not sure what those capacities are but you'll have to go through a training school anyway and they'll have to worry about that, not you). With this category on your licence you'd be looking to buy a machine which complies with the above. Honda have bought out three new machines which are clearly aimed at those holding the new A2 licence. They're all 500cc machines and one is even a race replica. You may find that some 500cc machines are slightly too powerful and will require restricting. However you could have a restricted 600cc machine such a Honda Hornet, Suzuki Bandit, SV650 and others. They're all decent bikes. If you decide that you want to upgrade to a full A licence this no longer happens automatically. You must resit the practical elements (mod 1 + mod2) on a more powerful machine which is around the 600cc mark.

If you're interested those that passed their A2 test prior to 19th January 2013 are restricted to a machine 33bhp (25KW) for the first two years, they would have done their test on a machine of 120cc to 125cc and it must have been able to do a minimum speed of 62mph or 100kmh. The machine may be restricted from a more powerful one and there is no limit on the power the machine produces prior to restriction. After having held their licence for 2 years riders are automatically entitled to ride a machine of any capacity and may send the DVLA form D1 to have their licence adjusted to reflect this (note they do not need to do so. If you're inspecting such a licence the date they passed is the important thing).

The car test is so much simpler, theory, practical and then you can drive whatever you want.

The bottom line is if you're willing to do your CBT, theory, Mod1 and Mod2 you aren't restricted to a 125cc machine, you're restricted to one which is capable of producing about 4 times as powerful.

Edited for formatting, spelling, grammar and to add extra information. Well, if you're going to do it might as well do it right!

Edited by callsign-kid
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Cheers C-K! I couldn't get my head around the .gov website and what they were saying, it made very little sense.

Do you know anything about how bikes are restricted and what the limitations are?

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Cheers C-K! I couldn't get my head around the .gov website and what they were saying, it made very little sense.

Do you know anything about how bikes are restricted and what the limitations are?

Having an old school A2 licence I know a lot about it. There are a few main ways that motorcycle engines are restricted.

The most common is by means of an intake restrictor. They are little metal discs with a hole cut in the middle (well usually off centre). They are fitted in the engines intake manifolds (IE they're between the carburettors/injectors and the engine). This stops the vacuum which the piston creates in the induction phase from drawing in as much fuel air mix as it would normally thus reducing the power. This is how my bike is restricted. My bike revs to 9000RPM before redlining. Below about 4kRPM I can't tell the difference. Once you get to about 5K RPPM which is where the bike would normally accelerate its fastest it doesn't, the limiter really starts to make itself known. The bike will still do errrm 70mph comfortably. Now baring in mind my restriction is 33bhp and not the 47bhp the new A2 category allows. My bike is a 500cc and I can accelerate off of the line faster than most cars. You get exhaust restrictions which work in a similar fashion.

Throttle stop restrictor. A throttle stop is a pin which allows the rider to only twist the throttle so far so the bike can only rev to a certain ceiling which will be lower than its red line. I've never ridden a bike with this kind of restriction but I imagine it will mean shifting gears a bit more often (especially when you're riding becomes more spirited) and you can't make full use of the rev range.

ECU limiting. New bikes have ECUs like cars do and these dictate how much fuel air mix goes to the engine based on the setting of the throttle position potentiometer (ie the more you open the throttle the more woosh juice the computer sends to the engine). In some bikes you can replace the ECU with another which will only the computer to send so much woosh juice to the engine meaning that the engine has less fuel/air mix and it therefore cannot produce more than a set output, in this case 47bhp. This method is common with the SV650 which is generally regarded as a very good beginner bike and it does handle restriction better than a lot of bikes. If I remember correctly Suzuki used to hand out some kind of restrictor kit when you purchased one! I have never ridden a bike with this form restriction but I imagine it feels similar to having an intake restrictor. One good advantage of this system is its easy to swap the ECUs around. Say you wanted to ride the bike off the road (track day etc) then you could swap your restricted ECU for the original full power one and you can ride the bike on the track unrestricted. It would be too much hassle to do this with the intake restrictor.

Edit. There is a company called FI international that make intake restrictors. They are the biggest company that make them. You do not need to purchase a restrictor from them. You don't need any certificate of restriction no matter what a dealer or mechanic might tell you. All you are required to do is make sure that the bike does not produce more power than your licence allows.

Edited by callsign-kid
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That's what I was wondering about, I had it in my head it would be an adjustment to the rev limiter which would be massively noticeable.

Considering that the bikes I'm after are relatively low powered any way, I can't see the restrictions making that much of a difference. The Triumph Scramblers I've been looking at produces 58bhp so it's only a loss of 11bhp to meet the new restrictions. The Harley Davidson Forty Eight that takes my fancy is 91bhp so it's a massive loss, an it sounds a bit much of a loss, and the cost is a bit prohibitive at the moment.

As you may have guessed I'm not really a fan of the Japanise bikes.

What do you ride C-K? How noticeable is the restriction?

Edited by Jeebs
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That's what I was wondering about, I had it in my head it would be an adjustment to the rev limiter which would be massively noticeable.

Considering that the bikes I'm after are relatively low powered any way, I can't see the restrictions making that much of a difference. The Triumph Scramblers I've been looking at produces 58bhp so it's only a loss of 11bhp to meet the new restrictions. The Harley Davidson Forty Eight that takes my fancy is 91bhp so it's a massive loss, an it sounds a bit much of a loss, and the cost is a bit prohibitive at the moment.

As you may have guessed I'm not really a fan of the Japanise bikes.

What do you ride C-K? How noticeable is the restriction?

I have a Kawasaki ER5. Its a 500cc parallel twin engine. It is incredibly rugged. It is preferred by motorcycle training schools and couriers for a reason. It should make around 50hp but it limited to 33hp. Normal top speed is around 110mph, limited I'm told its about 90mph :whistle:. Acceleration wise, it is normally 0-60 in 5 seconds with the restrictor it takes about 8. It does notice but only when I go to accelerate hard. Plus with the intake limiter it doesn't seem to affect the acceleration too much until about 30mph so you can still get away from cars and its still faster than most other vehicles around town. It does notice in one other, very annoying way. The limiter increases fuel consumption from about 55mpg to about 48mpg

I've personally owned two Japanese bikes they've both been good as gold really and the ER5 is 15 years old. There is a reason the Japanese bikes destroyed the British bike market. The Yamaha RD250 was faster, more reliable (and that's saying something given it was 2 stroke) and handled better than the Triumph T140 and it didn't leak oil all over your driveway. Bare in mind the T140 was a 750cc and the RD250 was a 250cc.The US government put a ban on foreign bikes with more than 750cc engines. Harley Davidson still took a real hit from the Japanese bikes (and the British Nortons, Triumphs and BSAs). The Japanese just produced 750cc bikes in answer. The Honda CB750 revolutionised fast motorcycles. The Kawasaki K2 (aside from beging completely bonkers) had proper disc brakes, Triumph were still using drum brakes. Modern British bikes are a lot better (Which really means Hinckley Triumphs) are a lot better. If you want a bike which has nice neutral handling, predictable power and can still be fun - get a non sporty Honda.

I wouldn't recommend getting a nice brand new shiny shiny bike for a first bike in any case. Get something which you don't worry about so much if you drop it. You may also have a hard time getting a restrictor for Harley's or Triumphs. You might want to consider a KTM. I really like the look of the new 390 Duke. KTM is an Austrian country. The 390 Duke will be easily restricted. Harleys are OK as long as you realise what you're buying. You're more or less buying a bare bones bike for which modification is almost de rigour. Harley for reasons best known to themselves love to do everything up with torx screws which mince really easily. Anything which is held together by nut and bolt will be in imperial measurements so you'll need your 9/16ths spanner and 7/8ths socket T25, T27, T30 torx screwdrivers and you better make sure you torque every last thing correctly and arrrgh. My bike, Philips Screw driver, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm 14mm 17mm and 19mm spanners and sockets and you could have the thing in competent parts.

Edited by callsign-kid
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No, I know, I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on something that's potentially going to get dropped a couple of times and damaged. I also don't really have that sort of money to spend, while they're cheaper than a brand new car, it's still a lot of money. In ideal world a Deus or a Blitz custom would be nice.

My dislike of the Jap bikes stems from the styling really, they can be a little bit in your face for my liking and I much prefer the sort of "retro" bikes from Triumph, Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson.

With the A2 licence, I take it you can only ride on the road while under instruction before you have passed your test. Or can you slap some L plates on and be on your way? I often see bigger bikes with Ls in my area, and they're definitely not 125s.

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No, I know, I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on something that's potentially going to get dropped a couple of times and damaged. I also don't really have that sort of money to spend, while they're cheaper than a brand new car, it's still a lot of money. In ideal world a Deus or a Blitz custom would be nice.

My dislike of the Jap bikes stems from the styling really, they can be a little bit in your face for my liking and I much prefer the sort of "retro" bikes from Triumph, Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson.

With the A2 licence, I take it you can only ride on the road while under instruction before you have passed your test. Or can you slap some L plates on and be on your way? I often see bigger bikes with Ls in my area, and they're definitely not 125s.

If you've got a provisional and CBT you can only ride a cat A2 machine whilst under instruction from a DSA qualified instructor (similar to a car ADI) who must be in radio contact with you at all times. If you have seen bigger bikes with L plates then they probably belong to training schools. Some 125s can be deceptive. Yamaha do one which even looks like a V twin. On your own you may only ride a 125cc with L plates. If you were over 24, with a qualified instructor then you could put L plates on a BMW S1000RR and ride that.

Not all Japanese bikes look like this;

1.jpg

Honda are bringing out the CB1100 (which is a bit like the new mini in that its a Retro styled bike with modern brakes, fuel lines, engine etc. It is intensely popular.

CB1100.jpg

You would be forgiven for thinking this next one is a Harley Davidson

100_1141.jpg

It's not though. Its a Suzuki V Star 650, which could be restricted to satisfy the A2 licence requirements. In fact if its anything like the SV650 (I should think they have the same engine) then it will accept restriction a lot better than a Harley would.

Japanese?

2011-Triumph-Daytona-675R-Front-View.jpg

If you look closely its British. Its the Triumph Daytona 675R.

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There is just something about Japanese bikes that I think makes them look over complicated, the Honda CB1100 for example has 4 exhausts in to one, I guess it just comes down to personal taste.

The Daytona has mental specs, I just had a look, 126bhp, revs to over 12,000rpm, its just insane, and what I would call a mid life crisis machine.

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There is just something about Japanese bikes that I think makes them look over complicated, the Honda CB1100 for example has 4 exhausts in to one, I guess it just comes down to personal taste.

The Daytona has mental specs, I just had a look, 126bhp, revs to over 12,000rpm, its just insane, and what I would call a mid life crisis machine.

:huh:

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There is just something about Japanese bikes that I think makes them look over complicated, the Honda CB1100 for example has 4 exhausts in to one, I guess it just comes down to personal taste.

The Daytona has mental specs, I just had a look, 126bhp, revs to over 12,000rpm, its just insane, and what I would call a mid life crisis machine.

The four exhausts into one isn't. The CB1100 has a four cylinder engine. The four pipes you see are the down pipes. They sit on the "south side" of the cylinders. So when the piston pushes up with the exhaust valve open they carry away the waste gases. The gases are (as the engine's otto cycle continues) pushed along to where the pipes merge into one, then through the silencer and out. Any multi cylinder engine does the exact same thing. Trust me if it only had one down pipe you'd be about as popular as a fart in a space suit with your neighbours. That would be one raucous noise. They are necessary and they're not complicated at all. They're pipes they have no moving parts. I do see what you're getting at though as a cosmetic issue, form rather than function. Truth is, under the fairings any bike looks the same. The Triumph Bonneville T120 looked the same, but being a twin had two down pipes.

The Triumph Daytona 675R has the same set up too, only it has three down pipes because it is a triple. You can't really see that because of the radiator, the shorter fork rake, belly pan and side fairings. Harley Davidson motorcycles have the same set up and if anything its more complex because of the V twin engine. My taste in bikes has changed a lot since I've been riding them and I haven't been riding long. I have a lot more appreciation for 2 strokes and I never used to like dirt bikes, but now there is one I really want! I can't really see myself buying a cruiser but I wouldn't be adverse to riding one either. Don't get dogmatic or set on one particular bike. Go to your local dealer when the time comes and sit on a few, see what fits, what feels comfortable, what you like and what you don't. Go into it with an open mind. As for a mid life crisis machine. Maybe but then again you could really say the same thing about harleys and born again bikers. I suppose you could say it for almost any larger capacity machine. You don't have to have mid life crisis to own any bike either.

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Oh I know, I'm outside looking in at the moment. Its like when I started driving, I wanted to get a big petrol thing, but now all I can really consider is a diesel because they are so much nicer to drive, it has to be what suits me as a rider, and hopefully it will be the bikes I like, i.e. the Forty Eight, Scrambler and Bonnie.

I didn't know the Honda was a 4 cylinde, otherwise I would have realised the need for the 4 down pipes :new_doh2: Cosmetically, I think it looks untidy, but that's because its not to my taste.

I had a look at the KTM Duke 390 you mentioned, its quite a nice looking bike which fits quite well within my prospective price range, and they seem keen to shift them and offer all sorts of extras by the looks of it which is a bit of an intensive.

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Oh I know, I'm outside looking in at the moment. Its like when I started driving, I wanted to get a big petrol thing, but now all I can really consider is a diesel because they are so much nicer to drive, it has to be what suits me as a rider, and hopefully it will be the bikes I like, i.e. the Forty Eight, Scrambler and Bonnie.

I didn't know the Honda was a 4 cylinde, otherwise I would have realised the need for the 4 down pipes :new_doh2: Cosmetically, I think it looks untidy, but that's because its not to my taste.

I had a look at the KTM Duke 390 you mentioned, its quite a nice looking bike which fits quite well within my prospective price range, and they seem keen to shift them and offer all sorts of extras by the looks of it which is a bit of an intensive.

I do quite like the KTM. Plus being a KTM it should be a fairly reliable bike to boot. If you decide you want to go ahead and get the licence, just book a CBT. Its one day, usually about £120 to £140. If you decide you don't like it you never have to do it again. On the other hand if you get bitten by the bug (like me) then you can go ahead and book a training course. Training and tests is all expense but there isn't a lot you can do now. Used to be you could do your CBT, buy yourself a 125cc, take it to test, pass, A2 licence which becomes unrestricted in two years, now its whole world more complicated.

When it comes to motorcycling, I would make this comparison. Being in a car feels like being a jumbo jet pilot, being on a bike is like being a fighter pilot.

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  • 1 year later...

I got very confused about this as well, but the simple answer is no.

Soon as you turn 19 you can do your A2 (with no experience on a 125), do your test, ride for two years and do your A class and have unrestricted at 21.

I do quite like the KTM. Plus being a KTM it should be a fairly reliable bike to boot. If you decide you want to go ahead and get the licence, just book a CBT. Its one day, usually about £120 to £140. If you decide you don't like it you never have to do it again. On the other hand if you get bitten by the bug (like me) then you can go ahead and book a training course. Training and tests is all expense but there isn't a lot you can do now. Used to be you could do your CBT, buy yourself a 125cc, take it to test, pass, A2 licence which becomes unrestricted in two years, now its whole world more complicated.

When it comes to motorcycling, I would make this comparison. Being in a car feels like being a jumbo jet pilot, being on a bike is like being a fighter pilot.

It doesn't "become" unrestricted, you do have to do another test.

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It doesn't "become" unrestricted, you do have to do another test.

It doesn't now, but it did back then. You've been replying to topics that are over a year old.

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