While many people use the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to start new hobbies, if you’ve looking to learn how to ride a motorbike or moped in 2013, you need to be aware of forthcoming changes for practical tests. I know it sounds obvious, but if you don’t familiarize yourself with the new regulations, there’s a chance you might not be allowed to take your exam and won’t be legally allowed to take to the roads.

Perhaps the most important thing you ought to be conscious of is when the changes come into effect. This date is January 19th 2013 (which is a Saturday), so if you’ve got aspirations of taking to the road on two wheels in time for the spring and are yet to arrange your practical test, you’ll need to be conscious of the following changes detailed below.


If you’re looking to ride a motorbike but yet to actually buy one, I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that you get a vehicle that is deemed acceptable for use in a practical test.

With a number of bikes set to be placed in a different category (which will affect the type of licence you require) and several that will no longer be recognized, it’s important that, whether you’re thinking of purchasing a Yamaha motorcycle or another brand, that you get a permitted model.

Among the vehicles that will not be acceptable for use in a test are the Honda Integra, Kawasaki VN900 and Vespa GTV 300, so it’s worth seeking advice from an expert dealer or the Department for Transport (DfT) in advance to make certain the bike you buy is authorized. Attempting to take your test on a bike that doesn’t meet the new standards will not only see your examination cancelled, but you might also not be refunded the fee that you have paid.

Should you wish to be licensed for a category A2 motorcycle, you will need a vehicle that has at least a minimum 395 cc engine and a power output of somewhere between 25 and 35 kW. Those wanting to ride a category A bike, meanwhile, will now need to be at least 24 years of age before they can take their test. Models that fall under this specification are now classed as having a minimum power output of 40 kW and an engine that is 595 cc or above.

Regardless of what kind of motorbike you want to use for your test, the vehicle must also meet the following criteria:

• Have a speedometer that measures speed in mph
• Display L plates (although both L and D plates can be used in Wales) on both the front and rear of the vehicle
• Be insured, taxed and roadworthy
• Have no engine warning lights showing



While the majority of the new rules that are set to come into effect will directly impact motorcyclists, would-be moped riders should also make sure they keep abreast of the changes.

Not only must you ensure that L plates are clearly displayed on both the front and back of your vehicle, but the moped must be properly taxed, insured and be roadworthy. It’s also worth remembering that the vehicle’s maximum speed must not be above 28 mph.

As you can see, there are lots of things that will need to be done prior to the start of your practical test, but if there is anything you’re unclear about it’s worth contacting the DfT as soon as possible for clarification.

If you’re thinking about taking your motorbike test, please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.