11 January 2024

Licence to thrill

motorcycle licence (Aiden Sheehan instructor)

If your New Year’s resolution was to take to two-wheels, we applaud and welcome you to our world.

But first you need get yourself a licence.

The system is almost as tricky to navigate as the Red Cow interchange.

Luckily Paul Browne is on hand to guide you through.


Here in Ireland, as well as the rest of the EU, there are a number of types of motorcycle licence.

These vary with regards to the rider’s age, experience and qualification.

Let’s start at the top.


Find an L mate

The first step on the path to getting a motorcycle licence is to find and chat to a qualified and accredited riding instructor.

Once you’ve been briefed on what you’ll need and you’ve let them know what you want to achieve, it’s time to take a theory test.

Once that is done you’ll need to get back to your instructor and complete your Initial basic Training or IBT.

Upon successful completion you’ll get a licence permit. After you’ve held that for six months you’re deemed to be experienced enough to take a practical test.

Next, you need decide which licence you want and can apply for initially.

motorcycle licence (Yamaha Delight)AM for early riders

The AM licence is where many of us started our road riding lives, often as youngsters.

This little piece of plastic covers riders of 16 and older on a moped or scooter that can’t exceed 45 kph.

On the A1

We are not talking about the road up North here.

Like the AM, A1 licences are for riders over 16 but this time limited to bikes offering out up to 15bhp or  125cc.

This is also the licence for machines that have gear boxes.

Riding the A2

The A2 itself is limited to riders who are over 18, with power limitations up to 49bhp.

This may sound a little low and restrictive, but there is now a very large range of machinery from which to choose. Indeed, all of the manufacturers offer well designed, enjoyable to ride machines in this category

You can also gain an A2 from an A1 through a process call ‘progressive access’ without the need to take a practical riding test. To do so you’ll need a combination of two years’ A1 experience and successful completion of an IBT progressive module training course on an A2 bike.

A grade

An A licence is the one we all want.

Once a rider is over 24 they are permitted to ride any bike without any power restrictions.

Again the A can be attained through progressive access’, with the rider’s experience on an A2 licence is taken into account.

If you want to learn more about gaining a motorcycle licence the Road Safety Authority has published a handy guide on Initial Basic Training, progressive and direct access, including which bikes you can ride on which licence.

moped scooter insurance

Motorcycle, moped or scooter insurance quote? Call our two wheel team on 0818 945 950.


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