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 an 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 motorcycle 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 this year…

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.

This pocket rocket provides 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 £5,650 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 £5,650

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 £5,300, 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!

If you like what you see in the MT-03, head over to read our in-depth review!

Engine 321cc, 42 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 168kg (wet)
Seat height 780mm
Price £5,300

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 payout.

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

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 £6,750

KTM 390 Duke

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 390 Duke.

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 naked 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 you will see this nimble creature come to life in short bursts around town and on your daily commute.

P.S it’s also one of the cheapest options 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 £5,099

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. Its 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.

Lastly, if you want to know more about the Honda CB500X, check out our in-depth article!

Engine 471cc, 47 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 17.7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 197kg
Seat height 830mm
Price £6,199

Triumph Trident 660

Battling with the top dogs in the game, including the world-renowned big four, Triumph has used its 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 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 has cleverly included compared to most of the competition who have opted for twin-cylinder engines - which is something we here at BikeMatters love about the Trident!

Engine 660cc, 46 bhp (restricted), liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Weight 189kg
Seat height 805mm
Price £7,395

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!

We here at BikeMatters have reviewed the Honda CMX500 Rebel, so feel free to check out our road-test review!

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 its 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 217kg
Seat height 805mm
Price £5,899 (Canyon Red, Ventura Blue & Orange Crush) £6,099 (Downtown Drag & Baker Express) & £6,399 (Mark 2)

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 a 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! 

And if you'd like to know more about the Royal Enfield Meteor 350, check out our 7 things to know article!

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 last stop

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!

Before you go, if you're looking for insurance on your A2 motorcycle, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote direct with Lexham!