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Why A Trike?

The Law

In 2013 the law covering motor tricycle licences changed and now a Trike falls into the motorcycle category, whereas before it was also covered under Cat B1 which was part of the car category.

If you have a full Motorcycle licence (Cat A) or a full car licence that proceeds 19/01/2013, (Cat B1) then basically you can ride a Trike.* If you don’t have either of these then you need to complete aUK motorcycle CBT, theory test and a full motorcycle test. This does not apply if you are a rider with disabilities. Disabled riders post 2013 must take a special Trike CBT and Tricycle test.

*Restrictions apply. For example; if you have a licence limited to Automatic cars, you can only ride an Automatic Trike. If you have a restricted motorcycle licence, then the Trike would have to be restricted in accordance withUKmotorcycle laws. Check on the DVLA home page if you are unsure.

Here is further clarification from NABD’s Rick Hulse on how able and disabled trike riders legally stand:


Changes to B1 Entitlement 19th January 2013


New Motorcycle Test (3rd European Directive) & Trikes as of January 19th 2013 the new staged licensing system comes into effect. This is how will it affect Trikes:

As of January 19th 2013 Trikes will become part of the Motorcycle licence category (before they came within the Car Category). For people with existing full car licenses prior to January 19th 2013, nothing changes. (New licensing rules cannot be backdated).

After January 19th 2013 only people with disabilities will be permitted to take a test on a Trike. (This dispensation is greatly due to consultations between the NABD and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) including the submission of a very detailed report by the NABD Chairman relating to the use of Trikes and sidecar outfits by disabled people).

For disabled people wishing to take a test on a Trike after January 19th 2013 they will have to take a CBT (slightly amended to suit Trikes). They will also have to do the motorcycle theory test and the practical tests (Mod 1 test is also slightly adapted to suit Trikes; i.e. less cones and no avoidance manoeuvre etc.)

The B1 category of licence is to be scrapped. A disabled person riding a Trike on a provisional car licence before January 19th will have to apply for a provisional motorcycle licence and do a CBT course after the 19th before they can ride on the road again. A disabled person taking a test on a Trike will qualify for a licence restricted to Trikes. It will not qualify them to ride solo motorcycles or drive cars.

Able-bodied people who don’t hold a full car licence prior to January 19th 2013 will have to pass a motorcycle test, on a motorcycle, before they can ride a Trike. (Those who already hold a motorcycle licence will by default be able to ride Trikes).

Able-bodied people who are currently riding Trikes on L-Plates must successfully pass have passed a test before January 19th 2013. After that date they can only ride a Trike if they successfully have passed a motorcycle test on a motorcycle.

There is no change to the dispensation that allows disabled people to use a motorcycle and sidecar combination to take a motorcycle test, though this would also result in a licence restricted to motorcycles fitted with sidecars.

Trikes and motorcycle/sidecar combinations used for CBT, training and tests are not subject to the power output or power to weight ratio restrictions detailed in motorcycle tests.


Why a Trike – Here are a few good reasons:


* A Trike can be ridden legally in theUKusing your car licence or bike licence (car licence holders must have passed their test prior to 2013 otherwise a full bike licence must be acquired). See above.

• A motorcycle test is not necessary in order to ride a Trike of any cubic capacity (see above).

• It is legal to ride a Trike without wearing a helmet (though not recommended).

• Riders enjoy the open air when out on a Trike.

• Low vehicle tax, as for a bike, and lower insurance premiums.

• Free motorcycle parking in cities and towns (check with the relevant local authority first).

• A Trike is a very safe mode of transport.

• Extend the freedom motorcycling brings into the later years of life.

• A Trike is more accessible for male and female riders new to biking.

• A Trike can be readily adapted for riders with many disabilities.

• VAT is not charged on Trikes (or the Scorpion III) for registered disabled owners.

• The luggage carrying capacity is better than a motorcycle, which is great for touring .

• A Trike can legally and easily tow a small trailer.

• A Trike does not have to be balanced when moving.

• A Trike does not fall over when stationary!

• A large Trike like the Rocket can be ridden safely by a person who is not very tall or strong.

• Riders enjoy sitting high on a Trike, with improved visibility – especially for touring.

*VAT can be reclaimed if your business is registered. Some disabled Trikers are VAT exempt – see ‘Modifications’.