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Medium-sized motorcycle - A2

Steps to become a motorcyclist - medium power.

A category A2 vehicle is defined as a motorcycle without a sidecar, with a cylinder capacity of at least 245cm3. It has an engine power of at least 20 kW, but not exceeding 35 kW. It has a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.2kW/kg., and is not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power. If the motorcycle is powered by an electric motor, the power to weight ratio of the vehicle shall be at least 0.15 kW/kg.

This is an overview of the steps you must take to become a qualified driver in your chosen license category. For more detail on these steps and a personalised guide to becoming a safe, fully qualified driver visit our MyRoadSafety.ie portal.

To learn to drive a category A2 (medium-sized motorcycle) vehicle in Ireland, you must first prove your identity and your entitlement to a driving licence or learner permit. You should ensure that you have all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and display L-plates in good condition on the front and back of a yellow fluorescent tabard worn over your outer clothing. You should also ensure that your motorcycle is safe, roadworthy, insured and taxed, and has a valid vehicle registration certificate. 

The motorcycle theory test checks your knowledge of topics such as the Rules of the Road, risk perception, eco-driving, hazard awareness, and safe driving behaviour. The motorcycle theory test is computer-based and user-friendly. When you pass the motorcycle theory test you are issued with a theory test certificate. This is valid for up to two years and enables you to obtain a category A2 learner permit within that time. 

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A category A2 learner permit allows you to ride a medium-sized motorcycle on all public roads, except motorways, for the purposes of learning to ride, and only after you have completed a full course of mandatory motorcyclist training known as Initial Basic Training (IBT). A learner permit is required even if you hold a full licence in another vehicle category, e.g. car, van or truck. Motorcyclists with a category A2 learner permit are not permitted to ride higher-powered category A motorcycles, or carry a pillion passenger.

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All new first-time category A2 learner permit holders are required to undertake structured learner motorcyclist training, known as Initial Basic Training (IBT). This is a course of 18 hours training with an Approved IBT Instructor covering basic driving and road safety awareness skills.

If you have held a full, valid category A1 (small motorcycle) licence for more than two years, have undertaken the appropriate Initial Basic Training (IBT), and want to apply for a category A2 (medium-sized motorcycle) driving licence by progressive access, you must complete 11 hours of specialised Initial Basic Training (IBT) for higher-powered motorcycles with an Approved IBT Instructor. 

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Progressive access allows you to take advantage of your previous riding experience and skills in a lower motorcycle category to acquire a licence in a higher category without taking another driving test. If you are applying for a category A2 (medium-sized motorcycle) driving licence by progressive access and have successfully completed the mandatory 11 hours of specialised Initial Basic Training (IBT), you can apply for your driving licence without having to take the driving test.

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The category A2 motorcycle driving test checks your knowledge of the Rules of the Road, your ability to drive competently and safely in accordance with those rules and with regard for other road users. The test takes about 60 minutes. It’s a combination of questions to test your technical knowledge of your motorcycle, and a practical test of your safety equipment, driving skills and awareness. 

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When you pass the category A2 motorcycle driving test, you are issued with a certificate of competency. For progressive access, you are issued with a certificate of satisfactory completion of Initial Basic Training. These are valid for up to two years. You must apply for a category A2 motorcycle driving licence within that time. This allows you to drive on all public roads, including motorways. As a novice motorcyclist, you must display N-plates on the front and back of a yellow fluorescent tabard worn over your outer clothing. 

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Getting your category A2 motorcycle driving licence is just the first step in becoming a truly safe and competent driver. You should continue to ride your motorcycle carefully and build up your experience in different traffic, weather, lighting and road conditions. The Road Safety Authority offers a range of learning materials that will help you develop your road safety awareness and skills.

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