July 18 212.

The Driving Standards Agency has issued a statement regarding further changes the European Union is making with regard to the new rules for motorcycles used for riding tests.

The main change is to category A unrestricted motorcycles. It increases the minimum engine power from 40kW (approx 54 bhp) to 50 kW (approx 67 bhp).
It also includes a minimum weight of 180 kg unladen mass weight.

The new rules as originally published will still apply from 19 January 2013 until the end of 2013. At that point these further changes will still come into effect.

Under a 'Call to action' banner which links to the Directgov website, the Department for Transport includes the following statement;

We understand from the Commission that the weight means "kerb weight". The change means that the range of motorcycles available will reduce. We estimate that around 10% of vehicles listed against the existing Third Driving Licence Directive minimum test vehicle (MTV) requirements for Category A will be affected.

We did not support this change at such a late stage and raised concerns about the impact this would have on the industry. However, we were in the minority seeking a longer period for implementation from the Commission, and we have not been able to secure any longer period than the end of 2013.

It is still possible the Commission's plans will change as they are subject to EU Council and European Parliament approval.

The changes to the rules decrease the minimum kW output for A2 motorcycles from 25kW (approx 33.5 bph) to 20 KW (approx 27bph) which will increase the range of motorcycles available. The earliest these changes will come into effect will also be the end of 2013. So there will be a period when the more restrictive provisions of the original directive (for example the 25kW minimum engine power for medium sized motorcycles) take effect before the amendments are put in place.