On why you don’t ride an MX’er on the road!

If you're plan­ning on tak­ing your dirt bike on road, don't be a plum! Make sure it's le­gal.


QI have a full on mo­tocross Husq­varna and my brother has a vis­ually pretty well iden­ti­cal road le­gal en­duro ver­sion of the same bike. The only ob­vi­ous vis­ual dif­fer­ence is the lights. The en­duro has a head­light and brake light, but ob­vi­ously all the in­di­ca­tors and mir­rors have come off. I would like to take my mo­tor­cross bike onto the road. I have had a look at mak­ing the bike “MOT” com­pli­ant and it looks like it is go­ing to be a night­mare. Also I have got a mate who is a pro­ba­tion­ary con­sta­ble and he reck­ons that my mo­tocross bike, which is not adapted for road use, does not need tax or in­surance as it is not a road bike and there­fore not a ve­hi­cle and is not gov­erned by the Road Traf­fic Act.

So, if I bolt a num­ber plate onto the bike, the same as my brother’s will I ever be caught? Or if I just take the crosser onto the road am I com­mit­ting any of­fences? Also, the po­lice will never catch me, be­cause they have no off road bikes or 4-wheel drives, so should I just risk it?


AHere Goes. No. Just do not do it. The use of a false num­ber plate is po­ten­tially the very se­ri­ous of­fence of seek­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice which usu­ally re­sults in a cus­to­dial sen­tence. So in the grand scheme of things, de­lib­er­ately run­ning around with a false num­ber plate is about as clever as go­ing to the toi­let with­out tak­ing your trousers down first. Any pros­e­cu­tor would be itch­ing to get the book, in this case a re­ally big book, and throw it at you. And the Judge will help. I could also see a lively pros­e­cu­tor having a go at stretch­ing the def­i­ni­tion of Forgery Act 1913 to in­clude “of­fi­cial doc­u­ment” which a reg­is­tra­tion mark is. It might be stretch­ing a point, but you are go­ing to get no sym­pa­thy from the Court. All in all, you pin­ning your brother’s num­ber plate onto your mo­tocross bike is a fool­ish idea. I also sus­pect that your brother might beat you to death with the wet ends of your own arms.

Your im­be­cile friend who I hope never takes up the of­fice of full con­sta­ble might do well to read the Road Traf­fic Act be­fore he pur­ports to ad­vise on it. Stan­dards of ex­am­i­na­tions for the po­lice ap­pear to have dropped ter­ri­fy­ingly low if this guy got out of train­ing col­lege with­out his carer. A mo­tor­cy­cle is de­fined un­der the Road Traf­fic Act as a me­chan­i­cally pro­pelled ve­hi­cle, with less than four wheels which weighs less than 410 kilo­grams. Un­less you are go­ing to suc­cess­fully ar­gue that your Husq­varna mo­tocross bike is an in­valid car­riage you are knack­ered. Your bike is most def­i­nitely a mo­tor­cy­cle and there­fore must meet construction and use, in­surance, tax and all other le­gal re­quire­ments.

I would sug­gest that if you want to go on the road, you sell the crosser and buy the en­duro ver­sion or make your crosser street le­gal. The po­lice, if they stop your il­le­gal crosser, can crush it. All in all, yours is a plan with nu­mer­ous draw­backs.

Your lo­cal po­lice force has just bought some off road bikes but that is not re­ally the point. If you be­come a nui­sance on your bike, rag­ging around farmer’s fields, foot paths and bri­dle paths, the lo­cal users will take this up with the po­lice. If you be­come enough of a prob­lem then the po­lice will tar­get your bike and un­less you are clever enough and care­ful enough to very care­fully draw no link be­tween where you store the bike and an ad­dress, which can be linked to you, then the po­lice will get hold of you. Your neigh­bours are fairly likely to dob you in. Is there any rea­son you can’t use an MX track like most other peo­ple? Rag­ging around fields is ac­tu­ally quite dull after a while. If you put your crosser in the back of a van and then use it il­le­gally, then you are trace­able un­less you are go­ing to have an imag­i­na­tive num­ber plate – and all the same is­sues ap­ply. The truth is you may well get away with it for a while, but even­tu­ally if you keep flout­ing the law, you will an­noy the law and not all po­lice are quite as daft as your id­iot mate. If the po­lice de­cide to “swoop” an area of anti-so­cial mo­tor­cy­cle use, they can crush your crosser and stick nine points on your li­cence.

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