Top 10: A2 Licence Motorbikes
22nd September 2018
The A2 licence allows anyone from age 19 to ride a motorbike up to 47bhp and which doesn't have a power to weight ratio higher than 0.27 bhp per kg. Some models fall into the category straight from the factory however manufacturers also sometimes offer a restrictor kit to bring down the power on models which fall slightly outside those rules.
Restricted models can often be a better choice because the restrictor can be removed later on when you've passed the full test and you effectively get two bikes for your money, although they tend to be more expensive to start with.
It's all terribly confusing so we've picked a few of the best options to get you started and you can read about all of the licence categories to see where A2 sits in the grand scheme of things. You might also like our top ten A2 scooters.
The Best A2 Licence Motorbikes:
- Yamaha MT-07
- KTM Duke 390
- Honda CB300R
- Honda CB500X
- BMW F800GT
- Kawasaki Vulcan
- Triumph Street Twin
- Ducati Scrambler Icon
- Honda CB650F
- Kawasaki Versys-X
Yamaha's middleweight naked needs no introduction. Over 80,000 of the original have been sold so for 2018 Yamaha simply tweaked a few bits to make it even better. The headlight design is all new, the seat more comfortable and a few bits are blacked out for a more edgy look. Even better, once you've passed your full test, it has plenty of power for the road once de-restricted.
The 2017 orange one is pretty comparable to a restricted MT-07 but it's a hefty £1,650 cheaper to buy and trumps it with a full colour dash and LED headlight. It should definitely be on your list to test ride if you don't mind a large dose of orange.
If budget is no problem you might also want to check out the Duke 790, also known as The Scalpel. They do a special L version with a lower power 94bhp engine (restricted to 47bhp) and it's an awful lot of bike.
If you fancy a naked but don't buy into the modern styling of the MT-07 or Duke 390 then the new for 2018 CB300R might be for you. It's closely related to the CB125R but with a larger engine and less pretty exhaust, which is a good thing because people are raving about the 125. It has full LED lighting, wavy discs and looks awesome.
If adventure style bikes tickle your pickle, with their long travel suspension, great weather protection, huge range and luggage options, then have a look at the 2013 CB500X. Honda also offer essentially the same bike in a sports setup as the CBR500R and as a modern naked with the CB500F.
For full on touring capability the 2013 F800GT is worth a look. It's unusual in that the fuel tank is under the seat and the final drive is via belt but it can be spec'd up with all sorts of goodies like electrically adjustable suspension, tyre pressure monitoring and full luggage.
A2 cruisers are somewhat rare but their low seat heights and laid back riding position can be very beginner friendly. The 2015 Vulcan looks great, is available in a number of different flavours, loads of colours and there are plenty around to choose from. You might also like the Honda Rebel and Harley Street.
If you fancy a retro style bike that's actually thoroughly modern underneath and beginner friendly then the Street Twin is well worth a look. It has a low seat, an easy going engine and almost limitless capacity for customisation via Triumph's accessory catalogue. You might also like the cafe racer styled Street Cup and even more classic Bonneville T100, which are both essentially the same platform.
The seemingly infinite varieties of scrambler have been a huge sales success for Ducati from the basic Icon to the blinged up Cafe Racer. They are pretty compact, easy to handle and look great without a massive radiator, instead relying on old-school air cooling. The Icon was updated for 2019 with cornering ABS, clear LED indicators, fuel gauge and gear position indicator.
It's definitely a looker and features some of the best sculpted pipes we've seen on a mid-budget model, not to mention the exhaust which is nicely tucked up under the bike rather than a Euro 4 monster sticking out the side. With 90bhp on tap once de-restricted it's pretty much all the bike you need for the road.
The Versys-X is a surprisingly capable budget adventure bike, with large bolt-on panniers and big bike dimensions. It's comfy, light, economical, has a 200+ mile usable range and offers great protection from the elements.
Here's a More Comprehensive List:
- Aprilia Shiver 900 (Restricted)
- BMW G310GS
- BMW G310R
- BMW F800GT (Restricted)
- BMW F800R (Restricted)
- Ducati Monster 821 (Restricted)
- Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
- Ducati Scrambler Icon (Restricted)
- Ducati Scrambler Classic (Restricted)
- Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled (Restricted)
- Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle (Restricted)
- Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer (Restricted)
- Harley Davidson XG750 Street (Restricted)
- Honda CB300R
- Honda CB500F
- Honda CB500X
- Honda CB650F (Restricted)
- Honda CBR500R
- Honda CBR650F (Restricted)
- Honda CMX500 Rebel
- Honda CRF250 Rally
- Honda CRF250L
- Honda NC750S (Restricted)
- Honda NC750X (Restricted)
- Kawasaki Ninja 400
- Kawasaki Ninja 650 (Restricted)
- Kawasaki Ninja 250SL
- Kawasaki Versys KLE650 (Restricted)
- Kawasaki Versys-X 300
- Kawasaki Vulcan S EN650 (Restricted)
- Kawasaki Z300
- Kawasaki Z650 (Restricted)
- Kawasaki Z800 (Restricted)
- Kawasaki Z900 (Restricted)
- KTM 1090 Adventure (Restricted)
- KTM Duke 390
- KTM Duke 790 (Restricted)
- KTM RC 390
- Moto Guzzi V7 (Restricted)
- Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber (Restricted)
- Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer (Restricted)
- Suzuki GSX-250R
- Suzuki SV650 (Restricted)
- Suzuki SV650X (Restricted)
- Suzuki V-Strom DL250
- Triumph Bonneville T100 (Restricted)
- Triumph Street Cup (Restricted)
- Triumph Street Scrambler (Restricted)
- Triumph Street Twin (Restricted)
- Yamaha MT-03
- Yamaha MT-07 (Restricted)
- Yamaha SCR950 (Restricted)
- Yamaha Tracer 700 (Restricted)
- Yamaha XSR700 (Restricted)
- Yamaha XV950R (Restricted)
- Yamaha XV950 Racer (Restricted)
- Yamaha YZF-R3