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Types of Motorcycle - Taunton School of Motorcycling


Firstly, bear in mind that basically a motorcycle must have less than 4 wheels & weigh no more than 410 kgs. If it doesn’t fit this (for example. it’s heavier) then it’s a car, which can be used on a road by holders of a full licence with category ‘B’.

This explains why you see ‘trike’ riders (or technically, drivers!) with no helmets!

Motorcycle definitions often refer to power output, or brake horse power (bhp). It’s not always easy to tell a machines power output; enquiries with the manufacturer / internet research is the key: is extrememly useful!


Has an engine smaller than 50cc & does not exceed 45 kmh (about 28 mph!) - regardless of whether it’s automatic (commonly referred to as 'twist & go') or geared. If it goes faster than this it’s a motorcycle! 16 year-olds – beware! It also cannot weigh more than 250 kg!


Is up to 125 cc with a power output not exceeding 14.6 bhp / 11 kw.


Is up to 46.6 bhp (35 kw). If a restrictor kit is fitted to a machine to enable it to fall within this category then it "must not be derived from a vehicle more than twice its power"; in other words, only a vehicle of 93.2 bhp or below can be restricted to fall into the category 'medium motorcycle'.


Has a power output of at least 46.6 bhp / 35 kw.

types of licence