New European Union legislation comes into effect in 2013 and has a direct effect on new motorcyclists
The new directives contain a number of requirements and options. The changes that the DfT, DSA and DVLA can’t avoid are: Changes to motorcycle categories based on engine power, a new medium size category, age increase from 21 to 24 for motorcyclists gaining direct access to more powerful motorbikes and a new test or training scheme to allow younger motorcyclists access to higher powered machines (rather than wait 2 years for unlimited access to more powerful motorbikes). In addition mopeds will be introduced into the European Driver Licensing regime, classified as follows:
- a 2-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed over 25km/h (15.5 mph) but not more than 45km/h (28 mph); or
- a 3-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed over 25km/h (15.5 mph) but not more than 45km/h (28 mph) – and up to 50cc and below 4kW or
- a light quadricycle – unladen mass under 350 kg and up to 45km/h (28 mph).
The new EU motorcycle categories will be as follows, with optional requirements where applicable:
- motorcycles up to 125cc/11kW with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.1 kW/kg (including motor tricycles up to 15kW);
- a standard minimum age of 16 years, with an option to raise to 17 or 18 years;
- a qualifying process involving passing theory and practical tests.
- motorcycles up to 35kW a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.2kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power;
- a standard minimum age of 18 years, with an option to raise to 19 or 20;
- those seeking a full category A2 licence having previously held a full category A1 licence for a minimum of 2 years (i.e. progressive access), must demonstrate competence to ride the larger machine via a practical test or approved training;
- those seeking a full category A2 licence without previously holding a category A1 licence (i.e. direct access), or held such a licence for less than 2 years (i.e. accelerated access), must satisfy the minimum age requirements for category A2 and pass the relevant theory and practical tests;
- unrestricted motorcycles above 35kW (including tricycles over 15kW)
- a standard minimum age of 20 years, with an option to raise to 21 or 22
- minimum age 24 years for direct access
- those seeking a full category A licence must satisfy the minimum age requirements for category A, have held a full category A2 licence for a minimum of 2 years (i.e. progressive access), and demonstrate competence to ride the larger machine via a test or approved training.