Direct Access and A2 Tests

The practical motorcycle test is split into two separate modules - the off-road module and the on-road module. To get a full motorcycle licence you need to pass both modules. Find out what happens during both modules of the test.

At the end of module one

At the end of module one, the examiner will give you the result and feedback. If you pass, you'll get your module one pass certificate.

Module two: on-road riding

Module two is the on-road module and typically takes around 40 minutes.

You must bring your module one pass certificate to module two, along with all the documents you had to bring to the module one test.

What happens during module two

This module includes the:

  • eyesight test
  • safety and balance questions
  • road riding element
  • independent riding section

The eyesight test

The examiner will ask you to read the number plate on a parked vehicle to test your eyesight. If you fail the test, your riding test won't continue.

Road riding element

You'll ride in a variety of road and traffic conditions. You'll be asked to carry out:

  • normal stops
  • an angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle)
  • a hill start (where possible)

The examiner will give you directions using a radio. They will normally follow you on a motorcycle.

Independent riding section of the riding test

Your riding test will include around ten minutes of independent riding. This is designed to assess your ability to ride safely while making decisions independently.

At the end of module two

At the end of module two, the examiner will give you the result and feedback. If you pass, the examiner will explain to you how to change your provisional licence into a full licence.

Your riding test result

At the end of each module the examiner will tell you whether or not you have passed.

The different types of faults that can be marked

There are three types of faults that can be marked:

  • a dangerous fault - involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • a serious fault - could potentially be dangerous
  • a rider fault - not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault

The pass mark for module one

You can make up to five rider faults and still pass module one. If you make six or more rider faults, you won't pass the module.

If you make one serious or dangerous fault, you won't pass module one.

The pass mark for module two

You can make up to ten rider faults and still pass module two. If you make 11 or more rider faults, you won't pass the module.

If you make one serious or dangerous fault, you won't pass module two.

New rules for mopeds and motorcycles from 19 January 2013

The rules about the moped or motorcycle you use for your riding test are changing.

If you’re planning to take your test from 19 January 2013 you’ll need to make sure your vehicle meets the new rules.

Otherwise your test will be cancelled and you may lose your fee.

Rules for mopeds

The moped you use for your test from 19 January 2013 must:

  • be a solo machine
  • be no more than 50cc
  • have a top speed of no more than 28mph
  • have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
  • display L plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • be insured, taxed and roadworthy and have no engine warning lights showing

Rules for all motorcycles

The motorcycle you use for your test must:

  • have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
  • display L plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
  • be insured, taxed and roadworthy and have no engine warning lights showing
  • be suitable for the test you’re taking

Automatic and semi-automatic motorcycles

If you pass your test on a motorcycle with automatic or semi-automatic transmission you’ll only get a full licence for those types of motorcycle.

Age restrictions

From 19 January 2013 there’ll be new age restrictions on the category of motorcycle you can use to take your test.

The table below shows what sub-category you’ll need to use for module 2 if you’ve already passed module 1 before 19 January 2013.

Your age from 19 January 2013Sub-category used for module 1 before 19 January 2013Sub-category used for module 2 after 19 January 2013
16 or overPAM
17 or overA1A1
17 or overA2A1
23 or underAA2
24 or overAA

Your licence is only valid for the sub-category of motorcycle you pass your module 2 test on.

Motorcycle sub-categories

There are 3 sub-categories of motorcycles you can use for your test. The sub-category of motorcycle you use affects the sub-categories you can ride after passing your test.

You must use the same sub-category of motorcycle for both modules of the test.

Sub-category A1 (light motorcycle)

Sub-category A1 motorcycles used for tests from 19 January 2013 must:

  • be a solo motorcycle
  • be between 120cc and 125cc
  • be no more than 11kW engine power
  • be capable of at least 55mph

Sub-category A2 (standard motorcycle)

Sub-category A2 motorcycles used for tests from 19 January 2013 must:

  • be a solo motorcycle
  • be at least 395cc
  • be between 25kW and 35kW engine power
  • have a power to weight ratio no more than 0.2kW/kg

If the engine power of the motorcycle has been restricted to fit sub-category A2, the normal unrestricted power can’t be more than double its new restricted power.

If you have an A2 restricted motorcycle, you must bring proof of the restriction to your test, or it will be cancelled. It must be on headed notepaper from a main dealer, official importer or recognised specialist, and must show the motorcycle’s registration number.

A dyno test certificate will not be accepted as proof of the restriction.

Example
If the original unrestricted power of your motorcycle was 60kW, you can’t restrict it to less than 30kW.

Category A (unrestricted)

Category A unrestricted motorcycles used for tests from 19 January 2013 must:

  • be a solo motorcycle
  • be at least 595cc
  • be at least 40kW engine power

Rules for motorcycles with sidecars

You can only use a motorcycle with a sidecar for your test if you have certain disabilities.

The rules for a motorcycle with a sidecar are the same as for a solo motorcycle, but:

  • categories A and A1 can’t have a power to weight ratio of more than 0.16kW/kg
  • passengers are not allowed to ride in the sidecar during the test

If you pass your test in a motorcycle with sidecar your licence will only be for motorcycles with sidecars.

Motorcycles with variable power modes

It must be clear what power mode any switchable engine control unit (ECU) or variable power device is set to. If you are using one of these, your motorcycle cannot have:

  • interchangeable carburrettor heads
  • an exhaust manifold restrictor
  • a hidden ECU 

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Mininum age 16 years