The category A licence is the highest grade of licence available in the UK, and allows motorcyclists to ride bikes unlimited in engine size or power output, and larger trikes.
What is it?
The A licence category allows riders to ride motorcycles with any power output and power-to-weight ratio. The licence also allows for the riding of tricycles with a power output of more than 15kW. There are no restrictions on carrying passengers, either as a pillion or in a sidecar, and no restrictions on the performance of the bike (assuming any performance enhancements are road legal).
How do I get it?
There are two ways to get an A category licence and the route will depend on whether you are learning to ride via the staged access or direct access methods.
For candidates learning via progressive access, you must be at least 21 years of age and have held an A2 category licence for at least two years. If this applies to you, you simply need to take both modules of the motorcycle test on a solo motorcycle that has a power output of at least 40kW and has an engine of at least 595cc.
If you are learning via direct access, you must wait until you are at least 24 years of age, although there is no legal minimum time that you must have held a lower category licence. If you previously obtained an A2 licence under the direct access system (without first holding an A1 licence), you must still wait until your 24th birthday.
Direct access candidates must be able to demonstrate that they hold a valid CBT certificate and have passed a theory test within the last two years. They will then be permitted to take a two module practical test.
What can I ride?
With a category A licence, you are free to ride any size of motorcycle or trike. This means that superbikes such as the Yamaha R1, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, Kawasaki ZX-10RR and the BMW S1000RR will be available to you.
There’s nothing else to it! With an A category licence, you are free to ride anything you like with no further training or testing. However, you could consider an advanced riding course from groups such as the IAM. Not only will you learn useful riding skills but you could also earn a discount on your motorcycle insurance.