Restricted big bikes offer A2 licence to thrill

Being a young motorcyclist can be a bit of a waiting game. You want the look and feel of a big bike but are not old enough to take your full unrestricted A licence.

This is where the A2 licence comes in. It allows younger riders aged 19 and over to step up to bikes with power no more than 47.5PS (35kW).

The good news is that more manufacturers are offering big bikes that can be restricted to comply with the regulations.

You still have to do your training and pass theory and practical tests – Suffolk Rider Training runs courses to help get you on the road.

The A2 licence also speeds up access to your full unrestricted A licence which you can go for after two years of holding the former – it’s called ‘progressive’ rather than ‘direct access’. So you could take your A licence test at 21 years old, rather than having to wait until you are 24 without taking the A2 route.

Your A2 licence opens up a new world of restricted big bikes, replacing the prospect of a 125cc motorbike with up to 15PS.

You can ride a motorbike of any capacity, as long as power is restricted to no more than 47.5PS (35kW) and it did not produce more than double that in standard trim.

One such model is Suzuki’s new four-cylinder GSX-S950 sports bike. This bike looks the business but can be restricted from 95PS for A2 licence-holders and is also aimed at newer or returning riders.

The 73PS V-twin engine in Suzuki’s SV650 can also be restricted for A2 licence-holders.

So can the whole Kawasaki 650 range including the new retro-inspired Z650RS which joins the naked Z650 and 650 Versys adventure tourer.

Another popular motorbike for restricting the power output is Kawasaki’s low-slung Vulcan S cruiser which also uses the 650 parallel twin engine which in standard spec produces up to 68PS.

KTM’s SMC R 690 supermoto can be adapted for A2 riders and so will the 790 Duke when it is reintroduced later this year with standard power dropped to that all-important maximum 95PS.

Sales manager Mark Trench said: “It means A2 riders can choose the bike now and open up the power when they’ve got their full A unrestricted licence.

“The Suzuki GSX-S950 has been specifically made to be A2 compliant, while having the looks and feel of the GSX-S1000, with an engine that can be restricted.”

These restricted models aim to appeal to younger customers or older riders new to or returning to two wheels who might initially want to limit the power while they gain experience.

Another advantage is that these larger, restricted motorbikes will appeal to taller people who might feel they are too big for a smaller machine with a standard output of up to 47.5PS.

Motorbikes used to be restricted by mechanical changes, such as tweaking the fuel-injection, but now it tends to be done electronically by changing the software controlling the ECU with the dealer accessing a special code.

If you want to find out more about restricted A2 licence compliant motorbikes call our sales team on 01473 257401 or email

For A2 licence training and courses contact Suffolk Rider Training at Unit 17, Dales Road Business Centre, Wharfedale Road, Ipswich, IP1 4JP. Phone 01473 463123, email or visit and enquire online.