The Classic Motorcycle

The numbers game


Way back at the dawn of motorised personal transport there were howls of anguish from proud owners of two, three and four wheeled vehicles when the Motorcar Act of 1903 came into force on January 1, 1904. This act required all motor vehicles to display a registrati­on plate which allowed a vehicle to be traced easily in the event of an accident or contravent­ion of motoring law. It wasn’t the law which was the problem but the displaying of an ugly piece of tin with numbers on which would spoil the lines of the vehicle. Later, there were howls of anguish from the classic scene as registrati­on numbers were allowed to be sold off as personalis­ed number plates… This is why the registrati­on on the Ariel in our feature wears an agerelated number rather than its original one. Re-registerin­g with an age related number usually means issuing a number from an area with a smaller turnover of vehicle registrati­ons from the period. There are ways to decode what a registrati­on says about the age of the machine and with DSK the SK means Caithness and D puts the registrati­on at pre1968, though we know the bike is a 1954 model.

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