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European motorcyclists say: ‘let car drivers ride a light motorcycle’

A large majority of European motorcyclists want car drivers to have easier acces to light motorcycles.

Motorcyclists say car licence holders should be allowed to ride an A1 motorcycle, as long as they take some motorcycle lessons to master riding a two-wheeled vehicle. The survey also shows that – according to motorcyclists – such a licence should be valid throughout the European Union.

In some European countries, car licence holders (B licence) are already allowed to ride an A1 motorcycle, a motorcycle of 125cc, but there is no coherent European policy on this matter. FEMA conducted a small on-line survey to find out how European riders think about this. A total of 2,875 persons responded to the survey.

A1 motorcycles are bikes with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimetres (7.6 cu in) and a power not exceeding 11 kilowatts (15 hp); and motor tricycles with a power not exceeding 15 kilowatts (20 hp).

An A1 licence can (in most countries) be obtained from the age of 16 years (17 years in the UK, 18 years in Denmark, Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands).

B licence holders in the following countries are allowed to drive A1 motorcycles within their own country (source: Wikipedia):

  • Czech Republic (only motorcycles with automatic transmission)
  • Germany (to be introduced, after completing 9 driving school units of 90 minutes)
  • Italy (after a training of 10 hours)
  • Latvia (after a training of 10 hours)
  • Malta (after a training of 10 hours)
  • Slovakia (after two years and only motorcycles with automatic transmission)
  • Spain (after three years)
  • Poland (after three years)
  • Portugal (at least 25 years old or additional licence for mopeds)
  • Belgium (only with a Belgian Driving Licence, after two years)
  • Austria (after five years, training of 6 hours)
  • France (after two years, a training of 7 hours)
  • Luxembourg (after two years, training of 7 hours)
  • United Kingdom (Compulsory Basic Training), a practical training without exam is needed

Click here to download all the survey results as a pdf.

Written by Wim Taal
Top photograph courtesy of

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