Licence categories (UK)
A moped is defined as a motorcycle which has the following features:
Maximum design speed not exceeding 30mph
Does not weigh more than 250Kg
Does not have an engine over 500cc
Can be moved by pedals, but only if it was first used before 1st Sept 1977
If you have a full car licence gained after 1st Feb 2001, you must complete CBT before riding a moped. If your full car licence was gained before 1st Feb 2001, then you already have automatic full entitlement to ride a moped without L-plates, and without taking CBT.
The A1 Licence
Designed for those who really just want a little bike for commuting. The test structure is the same as for a normal licence, but you'll be restricted to a bike of up to 125cc, and not more than 14.6bhp.
The A Licence (Restricted)
If you take this test route, even once you've passed your test you'll be restricted to riding a bike with a maximum of 33bhp, or a power/weight ratio of less than 0.21bhp/Kg. You'll be allowed to carry a passenger, use motorways and ride without L-plates though. Two years after passing your test, the restriction lifts and you can ride any bike you like. If you don't have any immediate desire to ride a big bike, then this is the best way to go. If you're under 21, you wont have a choice - you can't take Direct Access anyway.
For a restricted licence you'll do all your training and the test on a learner motorcycle. This is defined as:
Engine between 120 and 125cc
Capable of exceeding 100Kph (62.1mph)
Power output not exceeding 14.6bhp
Your training will take place partly in the training compound, and partly on the road. You'll go over many of the same elements as you did in CBT but in greater detail - you should now be much more at home on a bike.
This will free you up to concentrate more and more on your positioning on the road, the actions of other road users, and avoiding hazardous situations long before they become a threat.
This is the most popular way to large capacity bikes. It allows anyone over 21 to take their training and test on a bigger bike, giving a more realistic sense of what their real road riding's going to be like.
The training is the same as for the restricted licence, except that as soon as the instructors satisfied you've got the basics sorted, you'll step up from a 125cc to a bigger bike. This bike has to have at least 35kW (47bhp) and in practice it's usually something like a Suzuki GS500, a Honda CB500 or a Kawasaki ER5. Pass the test on the 47bhp bike and you're qualified to ride a bike of any size without L-plates, carry a passenger and use motorways
Riders who've gained their restricted licence and who reach the age of 21 whilst still within their two year restricted period on 33bhp machines, can shorten the wait by taking another test on a 47bhp bike or bigger. The same test and practice conditions as for Direct Access will apply (you revert to learner status and must be accompanied while riding a bigger bike). But in-between accompanied practice sessions you can still ride your own restricted bike.