10 Best A2 Motorcycles for 2023: Our Top Picks!
You are entitled to an A2 full licence if you are between 19 and 24 years old and have passed the CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) theory and practical tests.
With your test certificate, you can upgrade from learner-grade motorcycles with a maximum power output of 11kW to more powerful bikes (70kW max output). You can ride bikes that offer more road presence, carry passengers, and go on the motorway.
A wide variety of A2-legal motorcycles are on the market, from retros and naked to sport bikes. Below, we will list the best A2 bikes on the market and highlight why they are such excellent motorcycles.
Regulations demand that A2 motorbikes have a minimum power output of at least 20kW (27 bhp) and a max output of 35kW (47 bhp). They must also have a power/weight ratio that doesn’t exceed 0.2kW/kg.
All the bikes listed comply with those regulations except for a couple with a maximum power output beyond the 35kW permitted. If you use a motorcycle power restrictor, you can still ride them as an A2 licence holder.
Restriction kits reduce the amount of fuel and air that can enter the carburettor, restricting the throttle and limiting the bike's power output. The impact will not affect the performance of your motorcycle, and you will still have fun when riding.
Let's start exploring our top ten A2 bikes with that out.
Retro-inspired A2 Motorcycles
If you are after new-rider-friendly A2-legal bikes that are timeless and stylish, the three bikes below are your best bet.
1. Royal Enfield Meteor
2022 Sales (UK): 1825 bikes sold
[image source: cycleworld]
The Royal Enfield Meteor is a well-built motorbike that is wallet-friendly and perfect for beginners.
Credit for its stunning retro-style looks goes to the company’s international design and engineering team based out of its two technical centres in Bruntingthorpe, UK and Chennai, India.
The motorcycle imbues the timeless Royal Enfield DNA; modern touches are limited in line with its retro theme. You get satellite navigation but no TFT display, cruise, launch, or traction control.
Performance-wise, the motorcycle is easy to ride. It has an upright position, comfortable seats, a modern switchgear layout, and a sturdy frame.
It is powered by a 349cc engine with a 20bhp max output and a top speed of 70mph, which is well within regulatory limits. You get enough power to have fun riding around town and on country lanes, but we don’t recommend going on motorways on this bike.
Royal Enfield Meteor Specs
|Engine:||air-cooled 349cc engine|
|Fuel tank capacity:||15 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||101.25 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||300 miles|
|Retro-style and heritage||A bit heavy, considering its meant for beginner-riders|
|Affordable pricing||Weak front brake|
|Easy to ride and economical to run|
2. Royal Enfield Classic 350
2022 Sales (UK): 1307 bikes sold
[image source: bikewale]
Inspired by the Royal Enfield G2s from the 1950s, the Classic 350’s aesthetic is pure nostalgia.
Everything from its teardrop fuel tank, single analogue clock, hallmark, and glistening spoked wheels to the fact that it comes with a kickstart hark back to the first decade of the post-war era.
Despite being built to Euro 5 standards, the exhaust note of its 349cc engine is a pure joy to listen to. It has a max power output of 20bhp and a top speed of 71mph.
Its limited power and speed will leave you exposed on fast motorways, and it's only ideal for cruising around town and trundling along back roads.
Ride quality is excellent, and there are no stand-out handling issues. Overall, this beautiful, chrome-covered retro bike is kind to your wallet.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Specs
|Engine:||air-cooled 350cc engine|
|Fuel tank capacity:||13 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||77.7 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||222 miles|
|Minimal plastic touches||Subpar brakes|
|Great exhaust sound||Could use a sixth gear|
3. Royal Enfield Interceptor
2022 Sales (UK): 1240 bikes sold
[image source: autocar]
With three bikes on this list, Royal Enfield has mastered a formula reaping dividends for the company. The first two bikes are a perfect blend of affordability, heritage, and beginner-friendly design; the Royal Enfield Interceptor is no exception.
The heritage element is undeniable. It is inspired by the iconic Interceptor 650 from the 1960s, both in name and aesthetic. It is among the best value offerings with a list price below £7000.
As for its learner-friendly cred, everything from the low seat height and wide handlebars to the agile chassis is designed to inspire confidence in riders learning how to zip around town exposed alongside motorcars, busses, and trucks.
Royal Enfield Interceptor Specs
|Fuel tank capacity:||13.7 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||99 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||213 miles|
|Classic styling||Soft suspension|
|Affordable pricing||The overly firm seat can get uncomfortable during long trips|
Dual-sport A2 Motorcycles
What if you want to do more than cruise around town on your A2 motorcycle? The two dual-purpose motorcycles in this section can be ridden on and off-road.
4. Honda CRF 300
2022 Sales (UK): 355 bikes sold
[image source: dirtrider]
Although the CRF300 is based on the powerful and grudgingly street-legal CRF450R, it is built specifically for beginners or experienced riders who need a second bike to take off-road occasionally.
With a 286cc engine and a max power output of 27bhp, this motorcycle is no off-road juggernaut, and faster riders will pass you quickly on the trials.
You get a versatile machine that easily navigates bumps, ruts, and mud and lets you enjoy the countryside at your own pace.
A brilliant suspension, agile steering, and sturdy frame make riding around town enjoyable. You are getting Honda’s famed reliability and build quality as well.
Honda CRF 300 Specs
|Engine:||286cc liquid-cooled engine|
|Fuel tank capacity:||7.8 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||91.5 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||250 miles|
|A versatile and fun motorcycle||Subpar suspension|
|Can be taken to the highway||Tires could offer better traction|
5. Yamaha Tenere 700
2022 Sales (UK): 395 bikes sold
[image source: yamaha-motor]
The Tenere was designed to make an excellent off-road bike that is as minimalist as possible, and the final result is a compact middleweight adventure bike at home in a wide range of terrains worldwide.
A lot of thinking went into the design of every part of this machine, which explains why it is one of the best-selling adventure bikes in Europe.
It is agile enough for people who ride hard on off-road trails and powerful enough to be ridden on fast motorways.
Power comes from its 689cc engine, which outputs 72 bhp, 25 more horsepower than the 47 bhp A2 license legal limit. You can still ride the bike by fitting in a restrictor kit.
Yamaha Tenere 700 Specs
|Fuel tank capacity:||16 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||68.9 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||200 miles|
|A masterful bike on off-road trails||None that we can think of|
|Exceptional long-distance comfort|
Naked A2 Motorcycles
They lack fairings, which makes them lighter, more aggressive, and fun motorcycles. Below are the top two naked A2-legal motorcycles on the market.
6. Yamaha MT-07
2022 Sales (UK): 1133 bikes sold
[image source: yamaha-motor]
It's easy to see why the MT-07 is Yamaha’s top-selling naked bike in the UK. Everything from its stunning futuristic look, linear torque 690cc engine, a wide range of modern tech features, and superb ergonomics to its 67mpg fuel efficiency rating makes this motorcycle a near-perfect everyday bike.
It has been engineered to be the ultimate beginner bike. Although its 74 bhp output exceeds the A2 licence legal limit, Yamaha will provide you with a 35kW restrictor kit and a certificate to confirm that the kit has been fitted on your motorcycle.
Its Euro 5 complaint 689cc engine is remarkably gusty and capable of a top speed of 130 mph with the restrictor off.
Yamaha MT-07 Specs
|Fuel tank capacity:||14 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||67.3 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||175 miles (45 miles reserve capacity)|
|Stunning looks||Nothing we can nitpick about|
|Lightweight and responsive|
7. Husqvarna Svartpilen
2022 Sales (UK): 307 bikes sold
[image source: husqvarna-motorcycles]
An urban rider with lots of style and character. The word Svartpilen means “black arrow” in Swedish, and just like its name portends, the bike is a master of side streets.
Powered by a punchy 125cc engine that outputs 15hp and is built with an agile steel trellis frame, the motorcycle is easy to handle in urban environments. A six-speed gearbox ensures smooth shifting, while its hydraulic ByBre brake callipers provide stopping power.
The Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres are rugged enough for any challenge they may encounter on urban terrains. At the same time, the upright seating position and ride-by-wire throttle help instil confidence in beginner riders.
Husqvarna Svartpilen Specs
|Engine:||125cc liquid-cooled engine|
|Fuel tank capacity:||9.5 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||90 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||125 miles|
|Excellent riding position||The overly firm seat is not ideal for long commutes|
|Easy shift functions|
|Value for money|
Adventure A2 Motorcycles
Here is the best option for an A2-legal bike built for touring and exploration.
8. Triumph Tiger 660
2022 Sales (UK): 1015 bikes sold
[image source: cycleworld]
The Tiger 660 is the ultimate all-rounder. It is versatile enough to serve as your everyday ride, but you can only truly maximise its potential when you take it off-road.
The combination of wide handlebars, an agile chassis, a softly damped suspension setting, and tires that grip masterfully in all road conditions make it the perfect bike for your weekend escape.
Its 660cc engine is also quite powerful, with an 80 bhp output, so you must use a restrictor before you can ride it as an A2 licence holder. You can get the Triumph restrictor from your dealer, and it can be easily removed to return your motorcycle to its full power once you are eligible for your A3 licence.
Triumph Tiger 660 Specs
|Engine:||660cc liquid-cooled engine|
|Fuel tank capacity:||17.2 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||63 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||234 miles|
|Superb three-cylinder engine||A cruise control feature would be nice|
|A wide range of modern tech features|
|Road and rain riding modes|
Classic A2 Motorcycles
If you are looking for an iconic motorcycle with retro looks that you can buy with your A2 licence, you should go for this.
9. Piaggio Vespa GTS 300
2022 Sales (UK): 286 bikes sold
[image source: ultimatemotorcycling]
No other scooter on the market is as iconic as the Vespa. To ensure it retains its position at the top of the pyramid, Piaggio has continued to update the machine while mainly sticking to its classic design since the 1950s.
The latest GTS 300 is the most advanced version of the scooter so far. The redesigned suspension makes navigating cobbled streets and portholes a breeze, Bembo brakes provide progressive stopping power, and a new switchgear.
You can choose from four models: GTS Classic, GTS Super, GTS SuperSport, and GTS SuperTech. All four machines are powered by a 278cc engine that outputs 24 bhp and can produce a top speed of 81 mph.
Piaggio Vespa GTS 300 Specs
|Fuel tank capacity:||8.5 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||86 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||215 miles|
|Superb build quality||No under-seat storage|
|Retro styling, but still very much a modern machine|
|Masterful redesigned brakes and suspension|
Sporty A2 Motorcycles
The final bike on our list is for people who want something that feels faster and is versatile enough for on and off-road riding.
10. Honda CB 500X
2022 Sales (UK): 386 bikes sold
[image source: motorcyclenews]
Honda’s purpose-built A2 legal CB500X has been a massive hit since its introduction in 2013. Most people buying the bike haven’t been beginners but experienced riders, which is how much of an excellent machine it is.
The bike’s appeal is at the heart of its balanced combination of a frugal parallel twin engine (80.8 mpg), decent performance, excellent weather protection, and a vast range.
Honda has yet to rest on its laurels, and the company has continued modernising the beloved motorbike. Recent additions include a new 19 inches front wheel, a new dash, an improved LED headlight, and a gear position indicator.
Honda CB 500X Specs
|Engine:||471cc liquid-cooled engine|
|Fuel tank capacity:||17.7 litres|
|Fuel consumption:||80.8 mpg|
|Tank capacity:||275 miles|
|Roomy enough for taller riders||The low windshield offers limited protection on faster motorways|
|Excellent ride comfort over long distances|
So there we have it, the top 10 A2 motorbikes and scooters available in the UK today. Each of them is reliable, well-built, and promises bags of fun.
The best option for you will depend on how you want to use your bike, the technical features you would love to see on your machine and your budget.
Be sure to check out our blog to read more on motorcycles and discover how you can protect your ride.