Changes to Rules for Motorcycle Test Vehicles (MTV's)


The European Union Commission is to introduce new rules for motorcycles that can be used on test. They are due to come into effect at the end of 2013.

An amendment to the Third Driving Licence Directive will change the existing criteria. (Further details are in the table below) .

For Category A it increases engine power from 40kW (approx 54 bhp) to 50 kW (approx 67 bhp). It also includes a minimum weight of 180 kg unladen mass weight. We understand from the Commission that this means “kerb weight”. The change means that the range of motorcycles available will reduce. We estimate that around 10% of vehicles listed against the existing Third Driving Licence Directive MTV requirements for Category A will be affected.

We did not support this change at such a late stage and raised concerns about the impact this would have on the industry.  However, we were in the minority seeking a longer period for implementation from the Commission, and we have not been able to secure any longer period than the end of 2013. 

It is still possible the Commission’s plans will change as they are subject to EU Council and European Parliament approval.

The changes to the rules decrease the minimum kW output for A2 motorcycles from 25kW (approx 33.5 bph) to 20 KW (approx 27bph) which will increase the range of motorcycles available.  The earliest these changes will come into effect will also be the end of 2013.   So there will be a period when the more restrictive provisions of the original directive (for example the 25kW minimum engine power for medium sized motorcycles) take effect before the amendments are put in place.

In summary:-
  •  The rules for categories A2 and A have been updated to confirm the  5cc tolerance on engine capacity
  •  A power to weight ratio (as distinct from engine displacement) to cater for electric motorcycles is included; and
  •  A change to the minimum engine power (kW) for medium sized motorcycles (Category A2) with a decrease from 25 kW to 20kW;and
  •  A change for the largest of motorcycles (Category A) with an increase from 40kW to 50 kW. For Category A, the directive also includes a minimum weight of 180 kg unladen mass weight)

Further details of the changes are shown in the table below.  
Licence category Min. speed (km/h) Engine  displacement (cm3)* Power to weight ratio if powered by an electric motor. Power (kW)**
Min. Max. Min. Max.
AM - - - - - 4
A1 90kph Min 120 0.08 0.1 - 11
A2 ***   Min 395 0.15 0.2 20 35
A ****   Min 595 0.25 - 50 -
* Reflects 5cc tolerance
**Power rating as defined by the type-approval directive
*** Engine power of at least 20kW
**** unladen mass more than 180kg