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What Kind of Motorcycle or Moped Can I Ride Once I Have My Licence?

There’s no straight answer to “what kind of motorcycle or moped can I ride once I have my licence”. As with most things, motorcycle licence related, the correct answer is “It depends”. That’s because motorcycle licences have different levels. Each of those levels comes with different age and power restrictions.

So let’s break it down by motorcycle and mode licence types. You can quickly scroll to your licence type, or the one you’re aiming for, to see what you can ride. Let’s go!

Motorcycles, mopeds and scooters for CBT and AM licence holders

The early stages of motorcycle licencing have the most restrictions. If you hold a CBT certificate or an AM licence there are limitations on what you can ride and where you can ride it. There are also a few caveats, so we’ll cover those too.

If you’re getting your motorcycle licence at the earliest age possible (15 years and 9 months) then you’ll be restricted to a CBT certificate, or at most, an AM licence. This enables you to legally ride a 50cc moped or motorcycle. You’ll have to display  L plates. You can’t carry pillion passengers or access motorways.

There are some great 50cc machines to begin your motorcycling journey with. The classic Italian scooter makers, Piaggio and Vespa, have some beautiful 50cc scooters. You’ll want to keep hold of them, even after you progress to a higher level motorcycle licence. They’re cheap to run and cheerful little run-around bikes.

If you want something that’s a little more sporty looking, check out AJS’s Firfox or Lexmoto’s scooter, the Echo 50

If you got your CBT certificate after getting your driving licence before February 1st, 2001, things are a little different. You can ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter up to 125ccs. We’d recommend you take some additional training so you feel safer and more confident on two wheels. But legally, that’s completely up to you.

Some great beginner 125cc bikes are the KTM 125 Duke and Honda’s CB125R. Most of the Phoenix Motorcycle Training centres use Honda bike for their courses. They’re great motorcycles, both economical and reliable.

Motorcycle licence levels, ages and power restrictions

Licence Type

Minimum Age

Size of training bike

Licence requirements
Size of bike you can ride after passing training



Up to 125cc

Provisional or full UK driving licence

Up to 125cc
AM16+50ccCompulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test on an all powered 2-wheeled moped.50cc
A117 to 19+125ccCompulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test125cc
A219 to 24+500ccCompulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, practical test on an all-powered 2-wheeled moped.35Kw (approx. 550 – 600cc)
A (full motorcycle licence)24 + (or after holding an A2 licence for a minimum of 2 years)600 ccTheory and practical test (CBT must have already been obtained to complete these tests) or 2 years’ experience on A1 motorbike and a practical testAny sized bike

Motorcycles, mopeds and scooters for A1 licence holders

The A1 light motorcycle licence allows most riders to move up a notch on the age and power restriction scale. You’ll need to have passed your CBT training before you can move onto training and testing for your A1 licence. Once you have your A1, you can ditch the L plates and move to a 125cc machine.

If the KTM and Honda bikes recommended above aren’t your style, check out Husqvarna’s Svartpilen 125. It has a 9.5lt liquid-cooled engine and weighs 146kg. Yamaha’s YZF R125 looks a lot more sporty and has bodywork similar to the R7. It’s a little lighter than the Husqvarna too, weighing in at 144kg.

A2 licence-holder motorcycles

The mid-range motorcycle licence allows you to ride a machine up to 500ccs. We’re find of Honda’s offering in this level of motorcycle. They have a few bikes to choose from too.

Honda’s CB500 X, F and R are all great bikes in the 500cc range. The CB500X is the adventurer motorcycle and a little higher and roomier than the CB500 F (roadster) and R (Sportster) models. They’re all great bikes though. We’d recommend sitting on the one you like best before parting with your cash.

The KTM Duke 390 is another good bike for A2 licence holders. You’ll be looking to pay around £6,000 for a new one. That’ll get you some ultra-lightweight, high-performance suspension and an engine that’s willing and able for great things.

If you’re keen to stick with a scooter on your A2 licence, Vespa is our top choice. Their 75th anniversary GTS300 is a beautiful machine. The limited edition bike was only available in 2021, so you’ll need to pick one up used. If you do find a good one, take care of it and don’t let her go. She’ll become a classic in years to come.

Unrestricted motorcycle licences

The A-level UK motorcycle licence is unrestricted and so is your choice of wheels. You can choose any of the motorcycles and scooters mentioned above or go for an even higher-powered bike.

Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe CB650R is one of the newest bikes on offer. Expect urban styling and a stripped-back design paired with engineered torque control and a crisp LCD dash that includes gear position and shift-up indicators. There’s even a USB socket under your seat to keep you r phone and other devices charged.

Yamaha’s XV950/R is a powerful cruiser. It’s easy to handle, has great detailing and is a great first choice for larger cruisers.

When choosing the kind of motorcycle to buy for your licence level, consider the height and weight of the machine along with the power of the engine. The best motorcycle you can ride at any licence level is one that fits you, your common traffic conditions and your riding style.

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