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If there’s one thing you’ll learn about the European motorcycle licenses, it’s that there’s a lot of As – – you’ve got the AM, A1, A2, and the A license.
But what are the differences between them, and more importantly – how big of a bike do you get to ride on each license class?
Tune in to learn:
- The four different European license classes – the AM, A1, A2, and the A.
- How much bike you get for each license class
- How old you have to be to take the license exam for each class
Hello and welcome to 30 minute motorcycling – a podcast for new, aspiring, and returning riders where in each episode, you’ll learn something about motorcycles and other two-wheelers in 30 minutes or less.
If there’s one thing you’ll find out about European motorcycle licences, it’s that there’s a lot of As – you’ve got the AM, the A1, the A2, and the A license.
But what’s the difference between them? How old do you have to be to get one and more important – how much bike do you get to cruise around on an AM, A1, A2, or A licence?
In this episode, we’re going to talk all about the different European motorcycle licenses – from the AM all the way to the A.
Let’s start at the lowest tier with the AM license class, often called the “moped licence.” On an AM licence, you’re entitled to ride a moped or scooter with a maximum engine displacement of 50ccs and a maxim engine power output of 4 kW.
You can take the exam for an AM licence after you’ve turned 15.
Or, if you wait until you’re 16, you can go straight for an A1 licence.
The A1 licence lets your ride a lightweight motorcycle with a maximum engine displacement of 125ccs and a maximum engine power output of 16 kW.
Next, we have the A2, which you can get when you’re 18, and which entitles you to ride a motorcycle with an engine power output of up to 35 kW.
So far, so good. However, pay attention, because this is where things get a little complicated.
You can only go for an A2 licence if you’ve held a valid A1 licence for at least 1 year.
In other words, you can’t go directly for an A2 licence as soon as you turn 18 – you have to get the A1 licence first.
The good news is however that if you do have an A1 licence and you decide to upgrade to an A2 licence, you don’t need to do the theory exam – you just have to do the practical exam.
And finally, we have the Ace card of the European motorcycle licences – the A.
This licence class lets you ride any kind of motorcycle you want – from a 125 Honda Grom [pause] all the way to a 2000+ Triumph Rocket III [pause] – the largest mass-produced motorcycle money can buy.
If you’ve had an A2 licence for at least 2 years, you can go for an A licence when you’re 20 years old.
However, the A licence is where things get a little bit interesting.
Unlike the A2 – you can bypass the progressive scheme and go directly for an A licence when you’ve 24 years old through what’s known as the “direct access scheme”
Essentially, you can choose between starting small at 16 and graduate to bigger bikes as you get older, or wait until after you’ve turned 24 and go for the full licence straight away.
On the other hand, if you’re graduating from an A2 to an A licence through the progressive scheme, you only have to do the practical exam – just like you would if you’re graduating from an A1 to an A2 licence.
If you’re getting an A licence through the direct access scheme though, you need to do both the practical AND the theory exam.
So to summarize:
The AM licence lets you ride 50 cc mopeds and scooters
The A1 licence lets you ride 125 ccs motorcycles
The A2 licence lets you ride a motorcycle with a max engine power output of 35 kW – but
[pause] you can only go for one after you’ve had a valid A1 licence for one year through the so-called “progressive scheme”
And finally, the A licence lets you ride motorcycles of any size [pause] and you can get one either through the progressive scheme [pause] or the direct access scheme.
And with that, it’s time to end this episode of 30 minute motorcycling. If you enjoyed listening and learned something new, remember to leave a review.
Until next time, keep your helmet on and your eyes on the road. Bye!