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Hello! I'm new to the forum.

I grew up around scoots as my dad always had them (he has great Vespa stories from his youth in the '70s). I admired them but never had the desire to own one myself or learn to ride. But since moving to London for work (giving up my car in the process) and traveling around the major European cities, I've developed a love for them and an urge to own one. Now on top of appreciating their style, they suddenly make sense!

I'd like to eventually get a 300cc so I can make longer journeys between cities and have some power behind me on motorways. Obviously it will take some progressing through UK motorcycle licenses before I can get to that point. My plan's to get a 125cc Vespa this summer (the new Sprint looks ideal), which I can just slap some L plates on, take a CBT course and away I go. I also have my theory test booked for June and will look to take my A1 practical test in Autumn or next Spring.

This is where I need a little advice! I want to eventually progress to an A2 licence so I can legally ride a 300cc. I obviously couldn't take the test on a Sprint, and the GTS 300 Super which I want to own isn't eligible for an A2 practical according to DSA guidelines. Would it have to be a case of borrowing/renting a bike that's eligible? Maybe taking a few lessons and using the instructor's bike? I'm concerned it might mean having to use a proper motorcycle to pass the test, when I have no intention of ever riding one! Razz emoticon Would be good to hear others' experiences of progressing through these licenses and any tips.
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Molto Verboso
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Welcome!

Take lessons, use a training school bike, which is 99% certain to be a geared bike for A2. Clutch and manual shifting are easy enough with practice.

There's no substitute for training. If you're coming from just a CBT with not much experience, I'd highly recommend training.

May I ask what age are you?
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Addicted
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Without being rude, how old are you?

I'm almost 22 and was considering doing either the A1 (125) or A2 (medium restricted) and after finding out the fees, I've decided to just wait out another 2 years to do the full test.

A1 - £538.50
A2 - £606.50
A - £606.50

I'm coming upto a year of riding, and so i'd feel more confident doing a test with ~3 years CBT experience under me belt. And obviously it's cheaper!

(Sorry I haven't answered any questions, i'm sure others with more knowledge will chime in soon)
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26 years young! Thanks, I think you're right - some formal training would be a wise investment. If I can get my 125cc on a good finance deal I'll have enough cash to take some lessons this summer. Then I can get a year's London scootering under my belt, take my A1 next year and weigh up my options for A2 then. Who knows, maybe I'll realise 125cc is all I really want/need!

Is it legal/practical to ride a 125cc on A-roads and motorways (once A1 licence acquired)? I don't plan on doing much of that early on, but would be good to have the option, as I commute between London and Essex every few weeks.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Tourtoise wrote:
Is it legal/practical to ride a 125cc on A-roads and motorways (once A1 licence acquired)? I don't plan on doing much of that early on, but would be good to have the option, as I commute between London and Essex every few weeks.
Absolutely legal, and practical. However I bet you'll only use the M-ways when time is of the essence, as the A/B road routes are far more fun.

If you're going to take lessons, then it makes much more financial (and time-investment) sense to get the full A licence - but once you've ridden for a year in and around London on a 125, it won't be that tricky taking the practical tests on the 125 without any lessons. A day out with an experienced friend may be all you need to have any bad habits pointed out.
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A-roads are great fun!

I also forgot to mention, Consider a bike-safe after your CBT and when you've got a set of wheels.

Well worth the money! Saving on insurance (touch) and advice on how to improve. Was odd eating frankie and bennys with 6 cops and some other guys having a laugh with bags of advice
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Molto Verboso
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I remember when I got my license in Spain in 1990, they had the A1 and the A2 back then, A1 was up to 125cc and A2 was unlimited. I used my vespa PK75XL for my A1 and a friend's PK125XL for the A2.

Back then I spent probably like 45.000 pesetas or about 300 british pounds (registering fees , books, test material, fees for the actual license, medical certificate), thankfully I pass it on the first try but that is because I had the car license just days before.

To get a license is Europe is one of the hardest things ever. Good luck with your test
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Molto Verboso
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Sorry dident figure out your age, but sinces all you want is to ride a 300 the A2 will do you fine.

The problem with the full licence and the A2 is that you need to sit it on a big bike. I know of no schools that offer A2 scooters.

The DVLA/DSA site will have a list of bikes that are accepted to sit the tests.

My advice would be : if you are over 24 sit the full test
If not sit the A2 - As all you want is to ride a 300

I was very nearly in the same boat, I'll I wanted was to ride a PX200
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I like this place already! I hadn't considered the ride safe course - anything to bring down insurance costs in London.

Sure is frustrating that there are no eligible scoots for the A2 test - seems overkill to master a motorcycle just to ride a 300cc!
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Tourtoise wrote:
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I like this place already! I hadn't considered the ride safe course - anything to bring down insurance costs in London.

Sure is frustrating that there are no eligible scoots for the A2 test - seems overkill to master a motorcycle just to ride a 300cc!
I really feel your pain! The problem is that the schools just don't have 300cc (A2) scoots to test on, as it's either a 125cc or a 650cc manual to train/test. It's very short-sighted and they all try to sell you the line "Get a full A license and then you can ride what you want in the future!"

I'm currently doing my A1 Mod 2, and will be doing the Mod1/2 A2 in a year or two if I can get a 300cc auto to train/test on...if?! My advice is join a local scooter club, and someone there will help out after you have shown a bit of friendship.

Good luck!
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Molto Verboso
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There's a school in West London with a Yamaha YP400 Majesty scoot, good for A2.
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There is also somewhere in North London that use big scooters for the A2 test. I met one of the instructors at the Enfield test centre who told me that. You could always speak to Leo in Scooterden to find out who does that.
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Molto Verboso
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DougL wrote:
There is also somewhere in North London that use big scooters for the A2 test. I met one of the instructors at the Enfield test centre who told me that. You could always speak to Leo in Scooterden to find out who does that.
It's these guys, on Vespa T5's.

http://www.passmasters.co.uk
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El Macho
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Dave, I don't think it is them I was thinking of. Someone in North London has a TMAX 500 I think for training...

Anyway, just looked at Passmaster's prices. They're way too spendy. I suppose that's inflated W London prices for you. I was very happy with Scooterden who will tailor their package to what you need.

For example

Passmasters 1 day DAS £190
Scooterden 1 day DAS £150

Are Passmasters worth 30% more? After all DAS instructors are highly examined and regulated...
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Molto Verboso
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DougL wrote:
Dave, I don't think it is them I was thinking of. Someone in North London has a TMAX 500 I think for training...

Anyway, just looked at Passmaster's prices. They're way too spendy. I suppose that's inflated W London prices for you. I was very happy with Scooterden who will tailor their package to what you need.

For example

Passmasters 1 day DAS £190
Scooterden 1 day DAS £150

Are Passmasters worth 30% more? After all DAS instructors are highly examined and regulated...
No, but Passmasters seem to think they have some sort of celebrity prestige, thereby enabling then to charge more. Drop some celeb names, charge what you like, so it seems..

GetBike have the Majesty. I'm not sure about who's got the TMAX.
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Some guys in Croydon have a T-MAX...
Quote:
from website:
Training is offered on a variety of new machines, including 50cc and 125cc Scooters, a selection of 125cc manual bikes, Honda CB 500 and Yamaha T-Max (auto) for the A2 restricted Licence and Honda CBF 600s and Suzuki Burgman (Auto) suitable for Direct Access Scheme.
http://www.phoenixtrainingonline.co.uk
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I've bookmarked those schools - thanks, Doug and Dave. I'm NW so all are realistically close.
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as a american i am curious as to what the limits of your various kiunds of licenses. i took my motorcycle test when i was 20 im 66 now. i could then ride anything with two wheels. fast forward to my police career . i was in charge of my depts swat team. we also had 6 dirt bikes the only training was the 3 wk harley course.i passed
sooo where can i find what licenses allow what. very curious

thanks in advance
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Molto Verboso
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Basicaly 4 licences ( imposed by the EU)

AM - moped
A1 - small bike - <11kw and 125cc
A2 - mid bike <35kw think 33hp think 400cc must be 19 or over
A - big bike anything goes 24 years or over (unless you passed the A2 @ 19 in which case you can sit it @ 21

the other thing is that if you pass on an auto you are limmited to an auto.

All this is set to change again ....bloody europe
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igor455 wrote:
as a american i am curious as to what the limits of your various kiunds of licenses. i took my motorcycle test when i was 20 im 66 now. i could then ride anything with two wheels.
UK motorcylce tests have got more and more complex over the years, but if you look back 46 years it was very different.

We've no shortage of seniors who'll gleefully explain that all they had to do to get a full bike license was ride around the block without falling off, while an examiner watched from the pavement.
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Bjorn Toulouse wrote:
Basicaly 4 licences ( imposed by the EU)

AM - moped
A1 - small bike - <11kw and 125cc
A2 - mid bike <35kw think 33hp think 400cc must be 19 or over
A - big bike anything goes 24 years or over (unless you passed the A2 @ 19 in which case you can sit it @ 21

the other thing is that if you pass on an auto you are limmited to an auto.

All this is set to change again ....bloody europe
I think currently A2 is at least 395cc, with power between 25kw and 35kw, or 33bhp and 46.6bhp.

The A licence requires a machine of at least 595cc for test and at least 40kw/53.6bhp.

Bloody confusing is what it is!
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ok i have read all that , so hopw to you guys keep up with all that stuff ,its very cconfusing to me glad i live here. how if i came there for a visit i could rent a scooter or a car could nt i for a short time.
i know that if i would want to rent a helicopter my american license, commercial rotor license would work. i wouold also need a check ride in anything i woudl fly there, ie bell 206 jet ranger or robinson r44. so would it work for a car or scooter. just curious couldnt afford it but ,aybe someday
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Yes you can rent with any US motorcycle licence endorsement accompanied by an IDP. What you cannot do is exchange that licence for a European one as the testing standards are not considered rigorous enough for the EU.
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At least you guys have L-plates. I had an M license included in the C license (car), so all I could ride was a moped.

An A1 would have been just as much work and money as an Au (unlimited). Since I was 40 at the time, I went for the full Au license, but I had to ride the big bike. My moped practice (LX50) didn't help much with all the exercises.

In Germany, you cannot take the test without a licensed driving school. They charge you big time for every lesson and many of those are mandatory, like 6 hours high-speed riding on the Autobahn and night-time riding and long-distance riding.

Then there are the excercises, like riding around cones slowly and stop and swerve, etc. I think it was 8 exercises in total and you have to do 6 of them in the test, before you even set off for your test ride. Fail one exercise and you get one more try. Fail another one and it's good-bye to your 150EUR and see you in two weeks. You can fail the execise just by putting down the wrong foot, for example.

I passed my test at first attempt, but it took me months of training and I must have paid more than 2000EUR total. I stopped counting at one point.
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El Macho
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Der Blechfahrer wrote:
Fail one exercise and you get one more try. Fail another one and it's good-bye to your 150EUR and see you in two weeks.
Thanks for the explanation of the German test system, Oliver. I would have thought that the test would have been the same as here, but it is obviously up to each individual member state to interpret the rules as they see fit. We get a second chance at the high speed swerve and emergency braking exercise but not on the U-turn of figure of eight. A foot down on either of those exercises is an instant fail. You're right it was expensive. We don't have to do the night riding or motorway hours though, we do have to use a training school and accredited instructor.
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Hooked
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Cool,wouldn't give up my state motor ticket,we tanks are that way. But it's nice to know if I ever get over that / www ay.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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This is a good karma MV thread where 5-6 of us did the test over the last year or two, and helped each other out with tips, tricks, words of encouragement and all that. The test has changed a bit since, but not all or it, so well worth having a browse through the pages and picking up some good ideas... -> New Bike licence

Welcome to the forum, all the best, and good luck with it

PS as a London rider, you'll be made welcome on any meets and socials of UK MVers 8)
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brown_beret7 wrote:
This is a good karma MV thread where 5-6 of us did the test over the last year or two, and helped each other out with tips, tricks, words of encouragement and all that. The test has changed a bit since, but not all or it, so well worth having a browse through the pages and picking up some good ideas... -> New Bike licence

Welcome to the forum, all the best, and good luck with it

PS as a London rider, you'll be made welcome on any meets and socials of UK MVers 8)
Only got through the first couple of pages of that thread and already mined some gold - thanks! I'll work through the rest.

I've booked my theory for a few weeks' time. A bit rusty on my Highway Code after giving up my car three years ago when moving to London, but it's coming back to me! A theory test iPad app's really helping.

The social side of scootering is really appealing to me. Hope to introduce myself in person to other MV Londoners at meets in the not-too-distant future!
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
1975 Vespa GTR 125, 1976 Vespa V90 (Resto), 2001 Vespa ET4 125 (Sold), 2009 Vespa GTS300 Super
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Tourtoise wrote:
The social side of scootering is really appealing to me. Hope to introduce myself in person to other MV Londoners at meets in the not-too-distant future!
It's one of the best parts! Here's my list of big national rallies this year and some smaller London and Midlands meets with just a dozen or so of us who've met through the forum -> UK Rallies and Events 2014

Good luck with the tests - they're all do-able with some practice, learning and determination

Paul
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