List of motorized driving license for motorcycles
Motorized bikes and e-motorcycles are unattractive for testing
April 1, 2021 brought the extension of the new driver’s license with key number B197. Here’s dusting off your antique automatic driver’s license. Motorcycles may have been forgotten, and the 1986 regulation still applies here. Welcome to the future.
In addition to the new practical driving test, the automatic driver’s license regulation will also change in 2021. So far it was like this: anyone who has been trained and tested with an automated car has only been given a driver’s license for such vehicles. If you want to shift gears manually, you have to do an additional test. As of 2021, a certificate from the driving instructor stating that the examinee has been trained and able to play with the clutch is sufficient. This is where the gist lies: it’s not at all about the type of transmission, but about the type of traction between the engine and transmission, be it manual or automatic. So far, so good.
And the motorcycle? Unfortunately, the B197 applies only to Class B, that is, cars. Motorcycles are excluded from this. So if you are tested on a motorcycle that does not have a clutch lever, you are not allowed to ride a motorcycle with a manual clutch or you have to prove it in another test. This also includes large motorcycles or scooters equipped with a dual-clutch transmission such as Honda’s DCT, because here, too, traction is controlled automatically when starting and stopping.
Driving schools can hardly use e-bikes
Some might scratch their heads and shake their heads at the same thing, because here and now we’re only talking about the homeopathic dose of e-motorcycles, which usually come without a manual transmission and without a clutch lever. But as the range of electric motorcycles increases, more and more driving schools want to take advantage of this concept. Because if two-wheeled vehicles are the future, we have to ask ourselves the question: If not in a driving school, where can young people, motorcyclists and future buyers learn about and be convinced of new technology as well?
Jochen Klima, President of the Federation of Driving Instructors in Baden-Württemberg: “It’s a bit like a chicken and an egg. What came first? An educated driver’s interest in an electric motorcycle or an electric motorcycle at a driving school? Unfortunately, the current regulation forces driving schools to do so to take A decision against an electric motorcycle. Electronic models with manual clutches are rare, expensive and also too robust in terms of performance for current regulations for A1 or A2. Since B197 is not included in the motorcycle sector, the regulations increase the incentive not to train and test on an electronic machine.”
Electric training bikes should be heavy
Another obstacle that officially bans the use of electric motorcycles is most likely due to incorrect wording in the EU Driving License Directive. There, a power-to-weight ratio of at least 0.08 kW/kg is required for driving license classes A1 and B196, i.e. class 125 slang, when using an electric motorcycle. So it must be difficult.
If 11 kW of continuous power is used in full, then the weight should be 185 kg. Compared to the afterburner 125, it increases by 50 kilograms and can only be done at colossal purchase prices. A suitable example is the Zero S with 11 kW of continuous power compatible with A1 for at least 15,000 euros. But with direct driving, that is, the candidate will only receive an automatic driver’s license. However, e-bikes that are comparable in price to traditional 125s are too light to achieve the required power-to-weight ratio, so they are also not suitable for training and testing.
Fun fact: The Zero has a maximum output of 40 kW, which is 59 hp and delivers 109 Nm of torque to the belt. This can be more than the go-to for many experienced motorcyclists in terms of engine power in their lifetime, and people with 125 licenses or B196 owners are allowed to drive legally.
A request from driving instructor associations to the federal Department of Transport and Infrastructure to initiate a change here was denied because this directive comes directly from the European Union. And as for the B197 regulation with the clutch, there will currently be little will to change again.
By the way: this regulation does not cover automatic gearshifts that allow changing gears without a clutch while driving, since it is still necessary to disconnect the clutch manually to start and stop.
A new regulation excludes motorcycles, while another regulation allows novice drivers with 125 licenses to drive motorcycles to accelerate to 100 km/h in less than five seconds and at speeds of up to 140 km/h. Both don’t make sense and the next generation won’t be an electric mobile on two wheels.
Have an opinion? Try it for yourself. Book a non-binding test drive with zero.