Blast. Looks like A1 won't do it after all: seems it's restricted to 11kw and 125cc.
Check out the gobbledeegook from the govuk site below.
A2 needs a bike of at least 395cc; Full = 595cc and >40kw.
Sounds like the best option is to to a direct access test on a big, hired bike; but to practice I'd have to buy a <11kw 125 then sell it to buy a 175.
What a faffage. Guess that is the point.https://www.gov.uk/rules-motorcyclists- ... quirements 2. Motorcycle licence requirements
If you have a provisional motorcycle licence, you MUST satisfactorily complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course. You can then ride a motorcycle up to 125 cc with a power output not exceeding 11 kW on the public road, with L plates (in Wales either D plates, L plates or both can be used), for up to two years. Under direct access you can practise on a motorcycle that exceeds 125 cc provided that:
you meet the minimum age for the category concerned
you’re accompanied at all times by a qualified approved trainer, who is on another motorcycle and in radio contact with you
fluorescent or reflective safety clothing is worn during supervision
red L plates (D plates in Wales) are fitted and provisional licence restrictions followed.
To obtain your full motorcycle licence you MUST pass a motorcycle theory test and then a practical test.
Law MV(DL)R regs 16 & 68
A1 motorcycle licence: At age 17 or over, you take a test on a motorcycle without sidecar of between 120 and 125 cc. If you pass you may ride a motorcycle up to 125 cc with power output up to 11 kW, or a motor tricycle with power not exceeding 15 kW.
A2 motorcycle licence: At age 19 or over, you take a test on a motorcycle without sidecar of at least 395 cc with a power output of at least 25 kW but not exceeding 35 kW. If you pass, you may ride any motorcycle not exceeding 35 kW and with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg.
Full A motorcycle licence: Test taken on a motorcycle without sidecar, of at least 595 cc and an engine power of at least 40 kW. This gives you full access to all motorcycles and motor tricycles. You obtain a category A licence by taking progressive access from age 21, or under the direct access scheme from age 24.
Category A under progressive access: You can take a category A practical test at age 21 if you already have an A2 licence that you’ve held for a minimum of two years. You don’t need to take another theory test or hold a CBT certificate.
Category A under direct access: This is for riders aged 24 or over. To obtain a category A licence you must
successfully complete a CBT course
pass the motorcycle theory test
pass the practical motorcycle test.
Passing the practical test on a motorcycle of at least 40 kW (53.6bhp) gives immediate access to all sizes of motorcycle.