Glad to be Mot-free

Classic Bike (UK) - - WORKSHOP RICK’S FIXES -

By the time you read this, my Ex­cel­sior will be back on the road – from May 20, to be pre­cise. Why? Be­cause it doesn’t have an MOT test – but from 20/5/2018, it will be ex­empt, along with any other 40-plus year-old ve­hi­cle in the UK.

This has been a con­tentious is­sue, but the MOT was never a guar­an­tee of ve­hi­cle con­di­tion; se­ri­ous faults can de­velop at any time and you still face pros­e­cu­tion if caught driv­ing an un­road­wor­thy ve­hi­cle, but the Trans­port Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory es­ti­mates that ‘as lit­tle as 3% of road ca­su­al­ties could be as­so­ci­ated with ve­hi­cle de­fects’.

The ex­emp­tion will not ap­ply to ‘sub­stan­tially changed’ ve­hi­cles – wor­ry­ing news for own­ers of Tri­tons (and my Norvin), but ap­par­ently you’re OK so long as the mod­i­fi­ca­tions were made prior to 1988, and I’m sure they were…

Read­ing be­tween the lines, the real rea­son for the change comes from Europe. More strin­gent Euro Mots are com­ing that few 40-year-old ve­hi­cles could pass even in as-new con­di­tion.

Per­son­ally, hav­ing spent years ex­plain­ing to testers that the lights are only sup­posed to work when the en­gine is run­ning, that you can use a bulb horn on a pre ’73 bike, that a rear re­flec­tor is only re­quired by law if ‘an elec­tric side­light is fit­ted’, that ta­per roller bear­ings are sup­posed to have 1/16in play at the wheel rim, etc... I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted!

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