New Motorcycle Licensing Law Effective in Europe

No down-tuned bikes allowed for A2 1 photo
Photo: Yamaha
The last weekend saw an update in the European law system, with the new motorcycle categories becoming effective. The law-making initiative aims to decrease the number of accidents on the EU roads, enforcing a more strict control over the possibilities of obtaining the very license.
The new regulations are grouped under Third European License Directive, becoming effective January 19 2013. The Directive establishes three categories for the motorcycles and tricycles: A1, A2 and A, all separated according to the power of the engine.

A1 licenses can be issued to persons aged over 18, with the minimal wage for A2 being 20, and 24 for A. Drivers who had A1 for two years can get the A2 category (if they are 20). The same way, being over 22 with two years in the A2, can get you category A.

Category A1 means bikes and trikes no bigger than 125cc and with 11 kW (14.75 hp), and 15 kW (20.11 hp) max power, respectively, including electric vehicles. A2 restricts the driving right to bikes with power not exceeding 35 kW (46.9 hp). A2-compliant bikes can be limited-power versions of more powerful machines, as long as the power of the base model is less than double the max power allowed for the category (93.8 hp).

This means that an A2 license holder can legally drive a Kawasaki Z800 with the appropriate power limitation, but will not be allowed to ride a tuned-downYamaha YZF-R1. Remains to see how things go after the first couple of years...
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