Tuesday, June 12


On October 1, 2012, a new motorcycle rating system designed to increase motorcycle safety will come into effect.

The Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) is an initiative of the road safety strategy Safer Journeys.

LAMS identifies a range of motorcycles appropriate for learner and restricted Class 6 licence holders, based on their level of experience. The new scheme will determine appropriate motorcycles based on the overall performance capability of the motorcycle.

The scheme will replace the current approach that allows motorcycle riders on learner and restricted Class 6 licences to ride any motorcycle with an engine capacity 250cc or under.  The current system applies restrictions based on the engine capacity of the motorcycle.

The NZTA has produced two lists; LAMS-approved and LAMS-prohibited motorcycles. These are published on its website: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/getting/motorcycles/approved-motorcycles.html

LAMS-approved motorcycles are determined by two factors: a maximum power-to-weight ratio of 150 kilowatts per tonne (the power is that specified by the manufacturer and the weight is the weight specified by the manufacturer plus 90kgs for the rider and riding gear); and
an upper engine capacity limit of 660cc.

Motorcycles and scooters with an engine capacity of 250cc or under will automatically be LAMS-approved, with the exception of a small group of 250cc motorcycles that will not be LAMS-approved for learner and restricted riders after 01 October 2012 due to their high performance capabilities.

Learner or restricted licence holders who currently ride one of these 250cc motorcycles will have the option to apply to the NZTA for an exemption, which may enable them to continue to legally ride this vehicle after October 1, 2012.

The full lists of LAMS-approved and LAMS-prohibited motorcycles can be found on the list above. The lists will be updated as new models are approved by the NZ Transport Agency.

However. A warning. Any motorcycle modified in a way that increases its power-to-weight ratio is no longer LAMS-compliant, regardless of whether it appears on the list.