Best A2 Motorcycles
So you finally reached the legal age and planning to upgrade your license from A1 to A2, congratulations! You are all set to enter the big league and ready to purchase a bigger motorcycle. While with A1 compliant motorcycles you were shackled to engines that maxed out at 125cc’s; with an A2 license sky is the limit for you, however, you need to make sure that output doesn’t exceed 47 BHP. So, whether you are looking to buy a brand new motorcycle or a used motorcycle, it’s important that we first understand the license types and their respective compliant engine capacities before shortlisting a motorcycle.
The AM category of licenses is made for really young people to be able to get around the tight streets of European cities on a very small displacement motor vehicle like a scooter or a moped. You can get your AM license after you pass a theory exam similar to the one in the United States for cars. The member states of the EU can then decide if they want to include a skills test for this or not. The minimum age is 15 years old and you can only ride vehicles that are under 50ccs.
The A1 license is obtained after you pass your CBT similar to MSF of United States. You need to be at least 17 years old before you are allowed to ride an A1 motorcycle which are limited to 125cc and a maximum of 15 horsepower.
Moving on to A2 license, this license was required due to a number of accidents caused by inexperienced riders on powerful motorcycles. Legislators decided to create a new class to separate young riders before they had a chance to swing a leg over more powerful bikes. This class is limited to 46.9 horsepower irrespective of the engine capacity. However, A2 license holders can ride restricted versions of more powerful motorcycles as long as they have restrictor kit installed to make it A2 compliant (BHP less than 47). Nevertheless, manufacturers are doing a pretty great job by engineering A2 compliant motorcycles that are powerful and robust. These bikes meet the legal restrictions of an A2 rider and yet they deliver the same amount of joy you can feel on any big muscular motorcycle.
In today’s blog post we are going to discuss some of the best A2 motorcycles that you can buy as a beginner without installing any restriction kits. Let us begin.
15 Best A2 Compliant Motorcycles
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Our number one A2 motorcycle is the Royal Enfield Interceptor, a bike that was released with a huge fanfare and is to this day selling incredibly well. Royal Enfield retains the gorgeous retro styling that they have become known for whilst offering a load of different finishes.
A key feature on the Inceptor is the brand-new 648cc twin cylinder engine putting out 46 brake horsepower and plenty of grunts. The bike oozes out plenty of torque and sounds incredibly awesome on a highway. It comes equipped with plenty of quality parts like Bybre brakes, Bosch ABS, Slipper clutch, and Pirelli tires. You can get one of these brand-new for around $5,799 along with a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty.
T310 offers some pretty good tech and surprisingly good performance for a great price. 312cc single cylinder motor puts out 34 brake horsepower and comfortably cruises at motorway speeds and beyond. The clutch is nice and light and the adventurer styling really sets this apart from the rest.
Gadgets are not missing here either as you get Bosch ABS rider as a standard, LCD display, USB charger, keyless ignition, and some fascinating backlit controls; not bad for a $4,000 motorcycle! The riding position is comfortable with a seat height of 33 inch. It is pretty lightweight and weighs around 149 kilograms. So if you are looking for an A2 adventure bike, the T310 is a pretty good option for you.
Honda CMX500 Rebel
Admittedly cruisers are a bit of a rarity in the A2 category but Honda has come out with a great option for A2 riders who fancy a bit relaxed riding. Sporting the same 471cc engine as the CBR500R but remapped for a different character you can expect 45 brake horsepower and 44.6 NM’s of torque from this rebel.
It has a smooth and linear response on the road, very comfortable and lightweight (190 kilograms). The seat height is just 27.16 inch making it ideal for beginner riders as well as riders that are vertically challenged. You get 41 mm telescopic forks at the front and a rear shock with a Pro-Link system. So if you’re looking for an A2 friendly cruiser you can’t go wrong with Honda’s bulletproof CMX 500 Rebel (Priced at around $5,699 MSRP).
BMW remains a decent contender in the A2 market, yet the cheapest you’ll find in this segment. The base model is priced at $5,045, so if you are looking for commuter friendly motorcycle that carries a similar style to the premium S1000RR, this is for you. Estimated to give you around 100 miles per gallon, the G310R comes with a standard seat height of 30.9 inch. The weight is approximately 158 kilograms and is powered by 313cc single cylinder engine which outputs to a 34 brake horse power and 28 NM’s of torque. You can also include Bybre brakes, BMW ABS, and USD Forks as an extra inclusion.
Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
Since 2016 there has been a series of new launches that were A2 compliant. Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 was launched with an aim to attract new riders by its trendy new genre of scrambler motorcycle. Powered by 399cc air-cooled twin cylinder and an output of 40 horsepower, you can expect a premium ride from this premium motorcycle that weighs around 183 kilograms.
The styling and the components of Sixty2 are very much similar to its larger siblings in the range. LED lights, Showa forks, and adjustable Kayaba rear shock for starters, the bike is a great little commuter, yet perfect for longer rides due to its comfortable 28 inch seat height and a fuel efficient engine (60 miles per gallon). However, needless to say Ducati is a premium motorcycle brand and hence comes with a price tag of $7,995.
Yamaha YZF R3
These are free freshly updated from 2019 and featuring a host of improvements from the previous edition; including an adjusted riding position between comfort and aggression through the use of lower clip-on bars. You will also find a redesigned fairing which is based on the current MotoGP Sports bike. It is only one kilogram heavier than the current naked version and weighs in at 169 kilograms with a full tank. Performance on the road is provided by the double cylinder 321cc engine producing 41.4 brake horsepower. It comes with a re-tuned suspension and KYB forks that gives a big bike feel and a big bike look.
Surprisingly given all the improvements, the price is the same as the previous model ($5,299); the R3 is a superb choice for beginners who want to get into the sports bike world without making a hole in their pocket.
Honda CBR 500R
Honda gave their CBR500R an overhaul improving both performance and visuals whilst also bringing in a load of new high-quality components. Initially the CBR was aimed at newer riders, so this A2 sports bike also gets a relaxed race riding position with high bars that ensure cruising comfort. Nevertheless, it has all the ergonomics required by any traditional Super Sport bike.
With a powerful 471cc engine, the CBR500R has been revised to increase low and mid-range torque making it much more responsive during faster acceleration. The power output peaks right within the A2 limit at 47 brake horsepower. That’s not all; it also comes equipped with a slipper clutch and a fully adjustable suspension! All in all, for just $6,699 you get a cracking A2 sports bike.
Middleweight naked bikes have been enjoying a bit of a boom in recent years and part of the reason behind this is the MT series from Yamaha. MT-03 is a lightweight and versatile machine aimed directly at new riders. It is not quite as aggressive as the other bikes on this list and certainly not the most aggressive, however, it is Yamaha.
It’s a great choice for riders that are still getting to grips with bigger bikes and is a step up from the 125cc world. With just 168 kilogram weight, the MT-03 provides a comfortable upright riding position due to its low 30.7 inch seat height. The 321cc inline two cylinder engine produces plenty of mid to high rpm torque (29.6 NM with 41 brake horsepower). Priced at $4,599, Yamaha MT-03 is a perfect option for an A2 rider looking for a commuter, but still wants a bit of fun over the weekend.
Royal Enfield Continental GT650
The Royal Enfield Continental GT650 is like a 60’s song to the café racers. It takes the intensity of the high voltage guitar ribs and blends it perfectly with the melody of magical vocals. As long as you’re not the type who scrapes his or her knees through a corner on the track, the 18 inches tires will work perfectly on any type of road. The brakes are good with a massive 320mm front disc and a 240 mm rear disc. We do get dual channel ABS as standard which means they are operational both on the front as well as the rear wheel. Talking about the suspension, we get chunky 41mm front forks and twin gas charge shock absorbers at the back. While a 13.7 liter fuel capacity offers decent tank range. The twin pod instrument console misses out on the tripper navigation module for now but still offers all the other relevant info. Seat height is 31.6 inch which is manageable for riders of all sizes.
The GT 650 is an oil cooled fuel-injected A2 compliant 648cc parallel twin engine that puts out 47 BHP of max power at 7150 RPM and 52 NM’s of max torque at 5250 RPM. The latest six speed model is priced at MSRP $6,249.
KTM 390 Duke
KTM Duke 390 now comes equipped with a much-awaited Quickshifter Plus. The power and torque remains more or less the same as the previous version with 42.9 BHP of max power and 37 NM’s of max torque. You also get a massive 320mm front disc which offers superb handling. The aluminum swing arm not only looks beautiful but it does its part in offering brilliant agility and superb stability. The split steel trellis frame offers rock-solid control and handling characteristics to the bike. Talking about the design, it already comes equipped with a well ahead of its time design, the Super Duke 1290 inspired styling, headlamp similar to the Scalpel 790, and you have the chunky inverted upside-down front fork from WP Suspension.
The tail lamp looks nice and when laid out the handlebar is perfectly positioned for a comfortable riding posture. Perfectly aiding this are the ideally positioned rider foot pegs and the comfortable saddle that offers more than adequate room for the rider to move around. With a Price tag of MSRP $5,699, the overall engine of 390 Duke is tried and tested to provide stellar performance with decent maintenance cost, thus ensuring to not punch a hole in your pocket.
KTM 390 Adventure
The single cylinder 373cc KTM 390 Adventure develops a power of 42.3 BHP and a torque of 37 NM’s. It’s a relatively light bike (162 kilograms) and as long as you can comfortably get one foot on the ground, it’s not something that should deter you from riding it. The improved twin fan curved radiator design offers a noticeably better job than the Duke by deflecting the heat from your legs. So even if you are stuck in traffic you will notice that the bike does not emit a large amount of heat around your legs. KTM is clearly not targeting this bike at hard-core off-road enthusiasts but it showed it could take a proper beating without any major issues for mild off-roading. It’s remarkably easy to ride on gravel and broken stretches of road, the Quick Shifter takes away all the stress of having to use the clutch and switch gears when you’re accelerating or slowing down hard. And then there’s the ABS & the safety net of the traction control while cornering with an option to disable.
Make no mistake this bike will eat through any form of bad road without stress and it will take you pretty much anywhere but it won’t feel as cushy as a Royal Enfield at the end of the day. Priced at around $6,699; the 390 Adventure will be your perfect companion for all your adventures.
The new sports café concept is the genesis behind the design of CB300R. It’s old but it’s new at the same time and while the theme is retro it doesn’t wallow in old meters and a bulb in a Prism lens headlight. The bike has only 30 horses, might not sound like a lot but CB300R makes up for that by being extremely light (20 kilograms lighter than the CBR250R). That’s a big difference, and let’s not forgets it has the CBR250R engine as well.
The CBR250R is quite soft and you couldn’t really push it but the new upside down forks on the CB300R matches its character rather well. So initially it feels exactly like a European motorcycle but you’ll discover that it actually absorbs quite a bit and handles beautifully too. Honda has managed a sub 150 kg curb weight, the good news is that the proportions haven’t suffered and it still comes across as a muscular design that’s very easy on the eyes. The round full LED headlamp is obviously retro themed but the fuel tank is long and muscular. A new 41 mm USD works wonders in terms of giving the bike powerful stance and you can’t miss those unique cylindrical LED indicators.
For starters, despite what the name suggests this engine actually displaces 286cc with a maximum power of 30 HP and maximum torque 27.4 NM’s. The bike uses the same braking hardware as the CBR 250 in terms of disk sizes but it now gets a radially mounted Unison caliper at the front which not only looks better but offers enhanced performance. With a price tag of $4,949, the CB300R is probably the nicest city bike of all the machines in the 300 to 400cc A2 category.
Kawasaki Versys X-300
Retailed around $5,799, the Versys-X 300 is a delight to biker’s eyes. It’s got a lot of accessories as standard like the knuckle guards, protectors for the body, auxiliary lamps, and a rear luggage mount. That’s not all, you also get a pannier on the right-hand side and special adventure edition wheels that are perfect for long distance motorcycle touring fitted with aluminium alloy spokes. Last but definitely not the least is the ABS system; you get dual channel ABS as standard making it an ideal adventure motorcycle.
The engine uses 296cc two cylinders instead of the preferred single cylinder layout which provides a combined output of 39.00 BHP @ 11500 rpm. Talking about suspension; it has 130mm of travel at the front and 148mm of travel at the rear, while the 32 inch seat height is low enough to make it comfortable. Weighing 184 kilograms, Versys is still lighter than the air-cooled single cylinder Royal Enfield. Although you get relatively less top speed but this bike is truly meant for adventure travel; in lower gear, it allows you to crawl down the steep rocky slope without having to hit the brake.
Benelli TRK 502
Finally we have a classic adventure tourer that is A2 compliant, the Benelli TRK 502 is a big, imposing, and a modern-day dinosaur! When you thumb the starter, it sounds sweet but when you actually take it to higher revs it is very loud. Weighing in excess of 230 kilograms, the TRK is a 500cc engine which generates a 47.5 BHP of maximum power ideal for tall and heavy riders.
You can get the most out of this engine by keeping it in its sweet spot which is around 5,000 rpm. So sit back, relax and enjoy while you shift through its slick six-speed gearbox. The biggest takeaway for TRK 502 is its riding comfort; it’s got complete off-road credentials which includes 19-17 wheel setup with wire spoke wheels, dual sport tires, long term suspension, and beefy front folks. It looks radical, has a massive street presence, sounds fantastic, is easy to ride and has an attractive price tag of around $5,999. It is clear you get what you pay for!
Among any other bikes manufactured by Honda, the CB500X is the most viable A2 compliant motorcycle you will find. A motorcycle that promises to wow with its simplicity, Honda has made the 500X look like a proper ADV. It is tall at the front with a tiny sharp beak and it’s got a tall windscreen as well. Honda has kept the body work very simple. It looks nice and sober in a very Honda way and with a 471cc engine giving an output of 47.5 BHP; the torque kicks in beautifully without any hiccups.
Priced at $6,999, the latest generation of the CB gets a bigger front wheel, a telescopic fork at the front, and a preload-adjustable shock at the rear, ensuring that you can ride it on adventure tours as well as on city roads. The ergonomic package feels like a warm blanket on a frosty day! Right from the handlebar position to the placement of the pegs, from the comfort of the seat to the design of the tank; everything is picture-perfect!