A Restricted Licence can be gained by taking a motorcycle test on a motorcycle or scooter of at least 400cc and between 25 and 35kw (33 to 47bhp). It is also known as an A2 Licence.
Once you have passed the motorcycle test you will then be able to ride any motorcycle you want, provided that your bike does not exceed 35kw (47bhp). The restriction will last for at least 2 years, after this time you can take the Progressive Access scheme to gain a full licence. Or if you became 24 years old inside 2 years you can retake the test under the Accelerated Access scheme.
If you want to find out how much your training will cost and how many days you might need then use our Step-by-Step Guide.
1/. What cc (engine size) is 25 - 35kw (33 - 47bhp)?
25 - 35kw (33 - 47bhp) does not refer to the size of the engine. So, for example, some motorcycles of 250cc (Suzuki RGV 250) are well over 35kw as standard, whereas some of as much as 650cc (Suzuki LS650 Savage) are under. To be sure you must ask a dealer or manufacturer what is the quoted power output. Don't forget the motorcycle/scooter must be at least 400cc.
2/. What do I do if the motorcycle I want to ride is over 35kw (47bhp)?
Take the motorcycle to any good motorcycle shop and they will fit a restriction kit. There are quite a lot of motorcycles available under this power output.
3/. Can I do this myself?
No, because the restriction kit must be accompanied by a restriction certificate, which will be stamped by the shop that fitted the kit.
4/. If I am over 24 and I do a Restricted Licence do I have to wait for 2 years, or can I retake the test on a bigger bike?
If you are 24 or over you do not need to wait for 2 years; you can re-take the test (for which you will not need a CBT but will need a valid Theory Test) on a 600cc/40kw (54bhp) motorcycle. This is called Accelerated Access.
5/. I have taken my Restricted Licence, what do I have to do after 2 years before I can ride a more powerful motorcycle?
You have to retake your motorcycle test again on a larger machine; this is called Progressive Access.
6/. If I took my test when I was 17 does that mean I can ride whatever I like when I am 19?
No, it means you can now take an A2 Restricted Licence.
7/. What effect does a restriction kit have on a motorcycle?
Well firstly your motorcycle will look the same as everyone else's. Mostly restriction kits prevent the throttle being fully opened. This generally limits the motorcycle to about 85mph. However, the heavier the motorcycle the more the penalty. So a restriction on a Yamaha FZR400 won't be felt anything like as much as it would be on a Honda GL1000 Gold Wing. Clearly the more weight (passengers and luggage) you put on the bike the more the restriction will be felt. In practice the restriction does not prevent you from enjoying the bike.
8/. Is this all set to change with the introduction of 3DLD in 2013?
Yes, there will no longer be an automatic upgrade after two years. You will have to either take a test or a seven hour training session (to be decided).
9/. So if I'm under 24 then I'm better of taking a test sooner rather than later?
Afraid so - but it is now too late... :(