An A2 motorcycle opens up a whole world of new riding possibilities.
If you’ve done your CBT and ridden around on a 125cc bike for a year or two, the step up to an A2 motorcycle will be rewarding and enjoyable in equal measure.
Bigger, heavier but more powerful and faster than a 125cc, the range of A2 bikes is much broader than the world of 125s. You’ll be able to choose from mini Sportsbikes, to Tourers, Adventure bikes to Cafe Racers.
You can either buy an A2-ready motorcycle (one that makes a maximum of 47bhp) or you can buy one that requires restriction to 47bhp and then re-restrict it when you graduate from your A2 licence.
Our list is biased towards two-cylinder motorcycles, because the inherent character of a twin is that it’s punchy at lower revs and has plenty of torque (acceleration) on tap. Big horsepower is for top speed, whereas torque is for get-up-and-go. As A2 bikes are limited on horsepower, it makes sense to go for an engine that’s designed for torque and that’s why twins rule our guide.
With this in mind, we’ve picked a great selection of the best A2 bikes from all genres, so give you a flavour of what’s out there. In no particular order:
Here’s a full run-down of each of these great bikes:
Yamaha MT-07 Key Specs
This MT-07 is one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever ridden.
The eager parallel-twin-cylinder engine, great gearing and short swingarm make the Yamaha MT-07 a real get-up-and-go bike. The relatively low seat and lower weight ensure urban dexterity but it’s also a great bike for B-road blasts.
It doesn’t look like pillions were high up the designer’s priority list; nevertheless, it’ll do it. Excellent fuel efficiency and attractive price point are two other features that make it a favourite among new and experienced riders.
Ducati Scrambler Icon Key Specs
If ever a motorcycle looked fun at a standstill, Ducati’s Scambler is it.
The new Scrambler Icon delivers a safe, contemporary ride but stays true to the classic lines of past Ducatis. Its brand new Ducati Multimedia System enhances the driving experience, while a flatter saddle boosts comfort for both rider and passenger.
Its smooth but grunty twin-cylinder engine delivers effortless power. Customisable aluminium tank panels and vibrant tangerine colour add the final touches to this attractive all-rounder; no doubt, a great A2 motorcycle for commuting and exploring.
BMW F800GT Key Specs
The F800GT from BMW is perfect for the rider who wants to explore more than urban routes.
It might be A2-capable but it’s a full-on Sports-Tourer with punchy power delivery from its parallel twin engine. The larger fairing offers great weather protection while the belt-drive and supple suspension help give the GT a smooth ride. A smaller and nimble bike with a big bike feel. It’s a solid all-rounder for all riders.
Triumph Street Twin Key Specs
Another urban classic that blends authentic style with impressive character, the Street Twin from Triumph enjoys worldwide popularity.
It’s an excellent bike for the starter but has what it takes to impress an experienced rider. A relatively low seat and comfortable upright riding position make it very easy to handle despite the heavier weight. Innovative technologies include excellent traction control, ABS system, and electronic tyre pressure monitoring. Cool retro looks but packing the latest hi-tech gadgets.
Honda CBR500R Key Specs
Honda CBR500R showcases aggressive lines and urban agility. Its low seat height and perfectly balanced centre of gravity make it an agile bike for the novice. Designed to be ridden with no restrictors, it’s not as powerful as our other picks, but it has an attractive price point that makes it ideal for budget-conscious riders.
Sportier than its older version and boasting a dynamic look inspired by the Fireblade, this is a great A2 motorcycle for quick commutes or long-haul riding.
Some people say that a 125 isn’t a proper motorcycle and while we disagree with this statement, the thing about 125s is that the vast majority use a single-cylinder engine and so they’re all very similar in character and performance.
When it comes to A2 bikes, you have so much more choice. From singles to twins, triples and four-cylinder machines. These different engines and different engine capacities all have totally different characteristics. Then there’s the look and feel. A2 motorcycles have many different target riders in mind. From full-on tourers that you could lap Europe on, to stylish cafe cruisers, perfect for Sunday blasts or commuting.
Think about what you’re going to use your bike for, how many miles you’ll be clocking up and what the most important features are for you. The bikes above give you a good idea of the broad spectrum of motorcycles at your fingertips.
All you need to do now is have a think about the type of bike that will suit your riding and bring you the most amount of satisfaction. Visit a few dealers, talk to the sales people (they don’t bite) and sit on a few bikes to get a feel for whether they’re a good fit for you.
Do you know roughly what you’ll need to budget to insure your A2 motorbike?
We’ve created a motorcycle insurance estimator that asks no personal questions and takes just 1 minute to fill out. It’ll give you an accurate idea of what it’ll cost to insure your first big bike.