Now you’re onto your A2 licence so it’s time to start looking into the type of bike that you can take out for a spin.

Easy to ride, handle but still with speed and power to have you smiling every mile, we’ve looked at ten of the best bikes that will make you feel all kinds of fast, furious and stylish whilst sticking to those A2 licence restrictions.

What is a A2 motorcycle?

Let’s start with the basics, the A2 licence is available to anyone over the age of 19 and was introduced to help younger riders progress onto bigger bikes. Describing what an A2 motorcycles is can be difficult, but the general rule of thumb is that they are restricted to 35kW or 47bhp and are typically lightweight and agile, so they are able to deliver a power that’s easy for riders to handle.

So with all that in mind, and in no particular order, let’s introduce you to our top 10 for 2021…

Yamaha R3

First launched in 2015, Yamaha’s latest R3 model has received a radical update. Taking inspiration from the monstrous YZR-M1, the R3 is a good-looking lower capacity bike that’s set to raise the roof and kick off our A2 compliant motorcycles list.

What this pocket rocket provides is new inverted front forks, revised ergonomics and a lightweight chassis for a more agile and sportier ride. The free-revving 321cc engine won’t blow you away, but it will deliver a smooth response sprinkled with all that supersport flavour we all love. Dripping with true MotoGP style it certainly looks the part and is set to get you noticed!

Arguably there is a downside and that’s delivered through a £5,548 price tag. However whilst this isn’t the cheapest, the R3 does sit comfortably amongst its flagship rivals and is easy enough to get along with so, would make a great option for anyone new to the A2 scene. 

Engine 321cc, 42 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 170kg (wet)
Seat height 780mm
Price £5,548

Yamaha MT-03

Stealing hearts and rocking worlds, I give you: Yamaha’s MT-03. At first glance it’s clear to see that this is basically the naked version of the R3 above, just with a more stylish and bad boy edge, but as you begin to dig a little deeper, and through the muscular look and feel of the body and aggressive facial features, you can really start to see the MT family resemblance.

The 321cc liquid-cooled engine is lively, engaging and through carburized con rods delivers a performance rich in torque with just enough power. Coming in at £5,198, it is slightly on the pricey side, but when you take into consideration the 2020 updates and additions – including improved suspension, riding position, LCD display and LED headlight – you can start to understand the reasoning behind this higher price tag.

Through a combination of fun, versatility and style, the MT-03 gains big bike status but, more importantly, stays true to its lightweight, easy handling and A2 licence friendly reputation – this is definitely one of the most desirable models you can get your hands on!

Engine 321cc, 42 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 168kg (wet)
Seat height 780mm
Price £5,198

BMW G 310 R

Specifically introduced in 2016 to attract new A2 riders, BMW created the G 310 series and their latest model the G 310 R only continues to smash that brief. 

The perky little 313cc engine responds efficiently allowing you to control the power precisely. It’s jam packed full of BMW quality and rider aids – such as a 785mm seat height, low riding position and aluminium swingarm – that are set to capture a big bike feel, provide sure-footed handling and satisfy all riders in every shape, size and experience level.

To tempt newer riders even further, BMW have tried to keep the cost low – by using a steel frame for example –  and create a handsome, budget friendly, licence restricted machine that, really, gives back more than what you pay out.

Engine 313cc, 34 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank   11L
Brakes  Front and rear disc
Weight 164kg
Seat height 785mm
Price  £4,875

Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

Inspired by the youth subculture based on surfing, skateboarding and pop music, Ducati’s Scrambler Sixty2 is bursting with trendy, retro styled features – including an eye-catching colour scheme, tank graphics, round headlight and spoked wheels – that still falls in line with the traditional Ducati styling, and is set to get any hipsters pulse racing.

This A2 specific model uses rider friendly features such as ergonomics, low seat height and lighter weight to create a versatile bike that’s full of pizzazz! It’s been a bestseller since the launch in 2016 and even though the price is jumping towards the more premium end of the spectrum (even with a lower spec), it hasn’t stopped this feisty little player becoming the most popular Scrambler of all time!

 Engine 399cc, 40 hp, air-cooled
Fuel tank   14L
Brakes  Front and rear disc
Weight 167kg
Seat height 790mm
Price  £6,450

KTM Duke 390

With bags full of all the good things a street motorcycle needs – power, torque, acceleration and, of course, manners – the Austrian off-road specialists have done it again with their Duke 390.

Feel the pull and response from the 373cc liquid-cooled engine as it packs a punch with 44 hp. Full control is provided by a slipper clutch, upside-down WP forks, upright handlebars, light 17” alloy wheels and Bybre brakes. Get all types of comfortable with an adjustable clutch, brake levers and a two-part seat. And with such a high power-to-weight-ratio, the Duke 390 is one of the most dynamic and fun choices for new riders.

Don’t forget about the high spec, get set for – TFT display, LED lights, ABS, Supermoto mode, smartphone connectivity and assorted rider aids. It may not be built for longer journeys but where you will see this nimble creature come to life is in short bursts around town and on your daily commute. P.S it’s also the cheapest option on the list and that definitely gives it the right to fight against the big boys!

Engine 373cc, 44 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 13.4L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 149kg
Seat height 830mm
Price £4,299

Kawasaki Z400

Through a combination of low weight and easy handling the green giants have followed the middle-weight naked recipe step by step to successfully update their Z400 model for 2020.

Through the use of athletic bodywork and a flowing, curvaceous design the raw and clean styling shines through. A light and rigid frame, 785mm seat height and relaxed ergonomics make this unintimidating for novice riders. To add to this, expect to see ABS, LED lights, rigid ᴓ41mm telescopic fork suspension, economical riding indicator and assist and slipper clutch.

As one of the cheapest on the list, and compared to the other higher priced contenders, the Z400 isn’t really missing anything. It’s got heaps (and more) of everything you need to ride comfortably and confidently. There’s a lot to like about this bike and that’s what makes it so worthy!

Engine 399cc, 44 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 167kg
Seat height 785mm
Price £5,099

Honda CB500X

Honda’s CB500X joined the twin family way back in 2013 as an A2 licence friendly, purpose-built and affordable bike perfect for those who want an adventure styled two-wheeler that’s not all too powerful. It’s comfortable and versatile nature soon became clear and, with a more upright riding position, also became popular among you taller riders especially.

To keep it ahead of the pack, in 2019 Honda thought it was about time the CB500X’s image was revamped so, it received a larger 19” front wheel, new dash and huge styling refresh that only continued to highlight its adventure and slight Africa Twin inspired design.

Now in 2020, it only continues to sparkle with even more new cosmetic updates on their way for 2021. Prepare to see new colourways and graphics, as well as a Euro 5 compliant engine and ABS – all of which only help this free spirit become even more capable of handling tough conditions and years of exploring.

It’s packed full of that Honda quality, reliability and class that other bikes struggle to ever achieve. Through the use of ergonomics – low seat, diamond-tube frame and careful placement of the engine and swingarm – Honda have got the balance of easy handling, rideability, versatility and effectiveness spot on making the CB500X a great choice for those who might be lacking in confidence.

Engine 471cc, 47 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 17.7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 197kg
Seat height 830mm
Price £6,119

Triumph Trident 660

Battling with the top dogs in the game, including the world renowned big four, Triumph have used their class-leading reputation to create an easy going, modest, breath of fresh air that is set to draw new riders in like moths to a flame. 

17” aluminium wheels, ABS and a new precision chassis provide crisp and agile handling. Techy bits such as TFT display, LED lights, road and rain riding modes and traction control are all included as standard and help to inspire confidence in the rider.

Designing bikes with distinctive good looks runs through Triumph’s veins so it’s not a surprise that the Trident 660 is stunning. Dynamic lines, sporty bodywork and those branded finishing touches give it a premium feel, ‘tough guy’ stance and ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude. 

But the bright, red, glistening cherry on the top of all that is the hair-raising and intoxicating sound that 660 triple engine releases. This is a standout feature that Triumph have cleverly included compared to the majority of the competition who have opted for twin-cylinder engines. 

Engine 660cc, 46 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 189kg
Seat height 805mm
Price £7,195

Honda CMX500 Rebel

First revving it’s engine in 1985, Honda’s CMX500 Rebel has only continued to evolve. Now, the 21st century chopped ‘bobber’ styled motorcycle weighs in at just 189kg making it extremely light weight and teamed with a low seat height, results in an easy-going and fun to ride machine.

Producing 44.6Nm of torque and 44 bhp makes it the ideal first step for new riders and urban explorers. Forward handlebars create a more streamlined shape, and a more padded seat creates a comfortable ride.

What it hasn’t changed is it’s confidence inspiring attitude and old-school good looks, it’s bang on the money for value which makes it perfect for those with less experience, in my eyes it’s a winning combo!

Engine 471cc, 45 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 11.2L
Brakes Front and rear disc 
Weight 190kg
Seat height 690mm
Price  £5,799

Royal Enfield Interceptor

Marking the return of one of the Indian owned brand’s most loved bike, the Interceptor was released along with the Continental GT and it wasn’t long until it had taken over the market and became the best-selling bike in the UK!

Featuring the same classic styling and charm that made it a legend to begin with but shedding a few pounds and gaining a few new features, the Interceptor has continued its crusade and defended its title.  

The engine is energetic without being too intimidating, the suspension has been developed for precise and immediate handling whilst still staying agile and light and you’ll definitely feel it’s laid-back attitude rub off on you with that upright riding position. If it’s an A2 compliant retro you’re after, then this could be the one!

With six different stunning colourways available it’ll be hard to narrow it down and take home just one, I know I’d find it hard to pick! Do you go classic or modern? Low key or vibrant? One for all occasions or one for every occasion? I think it’s best we move on though because I don’t want to make this choice harder than it already is!

In a heavily competitive market it can be hard to put your head above the water and stand out, but today that’s exactly what Royal Enfield’s Interceptor has done.

Engine 648cc, 47 hp, air-oil-cooled
Fuel tank 13.7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 202kg
Seat height 804mm
Price £5,699 (Orange Crush, Silver Spectre & Mark Three), £5,899 (Ravishing Red & Baker Express) & £6,199 (Glitter And Dust)

Royal Enfield Meteor 350

Before I go, I’ve just got to mention the NEW Royal Enfield Meteor 350. I’ve included this bike as an extra because I just had to! After reading about it and seeing the price, I couldn’t leave without mentioning the bike which will probably become the ultimate budget cruiser!

The price starts at just £3,749 and includes 3-year roadside cover, plus warranty, five speed gearbox, retro looks, LCD display, smartphone connectivity and handy little USB ports – what a STEAL!

We’re absolutely buzzing about this announcement here at BikeMatters HQ! What a fantastic bit of kit for an even better price! There’s no doubt about this one, it’s going to be a sell out so keep your eyes peeled because this is set to hit dealers in Spring 2021. 

Engine 349cc, 20.2 bhp, air and oil-cooled
Fuel tank 15L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 191kg
Seat height 765mm
Price £3,749 (the Fireball), £3,829 (the Stellar) & £3,909 (the Supernova)

The final say

I’ve had my say now it’s time for you to have yours. What do you think of our updated list? Do you agree? Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments below or drop us a message on social .

If these bikes we’ve featured don’t fit your budget, why not take a look at our top 10 A2 motorcycles under £2k! Don’t be fooled though because there are some pretty impressive models included!