Licences

Rules for motorcyclists (83 to 88)

Motorcycle licence requirements

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 unaccompanied on the public road a motorcycle up to 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kW, with L plates (in Wales either D plates or L plates, or both, can be used), for up to two years.

To ride a moped, learners MUST:

  • be 16 or over
  • have a provisional moped licence
  • complete CBT training.

You can then ride unaccompanied on the public road a two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), with L plates (in Wales either D plates or L plates, or both, can be used), for up to two years.

You MUST first pass the theory test for motorcycles and then the moped practical test to obtain your full moped licence.

If you passed your car driving test before 1 February 2001 you are qualified to ride a moped without L plates (and/or D plates in Wales), although it is recommended that you complete CBT before riding on the road. If you passed your car driving test after this date you MUST
complete CBT before riding a moped on the road.

Licence categories for mopeds and motorcycles

Category AM (moped) – minimum age 16

  • two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h (28
    mph)
  • three- or four-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed over 25
    km/h (15.5 mph), up to 50 cc and with a power output not exceeding 4 kW.

Category A1 – minimum age 1727

  • motorcycles up to 125 cc, with a power output not exceeding 11 kW
  • tricycles with a power output not exceeding 15 kW.

Category A2 – minimum age 19

  • motorcycles with a power output not exceeding 35 kW.

Category A

  • unrestricted motorcycles with a power output over 35 kW (minimum age 24 under direct access, or 21 under progressive access)
  • tricycles with a power output over 15 kW (minimum age 21).

Progressive access is a process that allows a rider to take a higher-category practical test if they already have at least two years’ experience on a lower-category motorcycle. For example, if you have held a category A2 licence for a minimum of two years, you can take the category A practical test at age 21. There is no requirement to take another theory test.

If you want to learn to ride motorcycles larger than 125 cc and with a power output over 11 kW, you MUST meet the minimum age requirements, satisfactorily complete a CBT course and be accompanied by an approved instructor on another motorcycle in radio contact.

To obtain your full moped or motorcycle licence you MUST pass a motorcycle theory test and modules 1 and 2 practical tests on a two-wheeled motorcycle.

You MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger or pull a trailer until you have passed your test. Also see Rule 253 covering vehicles prohibited from motorways.
Law MV(DL)R reg 16

 

 

 

CREDITS: WWW.GOV.UK HOME > DRIVING AND TRANSPORT > THE HIGHWAY CODE
Last updated: 16 July 2015

Tyre safe

Tyres are the only parts of the motorcycle which are in contact with the road. Safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on a relatively small area of road contact.

It is therefore of paramount importance that tyres should be maintained in good condition at all times and that when the time comes to change them the correct replacements are fitted.

This handy TyreSafe Motorcycle PDF has loads of information about motorcycle tyres, the codes, details printed on the tyre, tyre safety and all supplied by the British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association they should know what it all means.

 

Number plates

Motorcycles and tricycles number plates

There are separate provisions for motorcycles and tricycles. Basically motorcycles registered after 1.9.2001 must only display a number plate at the rear of the vehicle. Motorcycles registered before 1.9.2001 can display a number plate at the front but are not required to.
Tricycles derived from four wheeled bodies i.e. saloon cars must meet the normal requirements above whereas tricycles derived from motorcycles must meet the requirements for motorcycles.
Character height 64 mm
Character width (except the figure 1 or letter I) 44 mm
Character stroke 10 mm
Space between characters 10 mm
Space between groups 30 mm
Top, bottom and side margins (minimum) 11 mm
Space between vertical lines 13 mm

Traditional plates for vehicles constructed before 1 January 1973

Vehicles constructed before 1.1.1973 may display traditional style “black and white”
plates i.e. white, silver or grey characters on a black plate.

Number plates fitted before 1 September 2001

Number plates fitted before 1.9.2001 must display characters that meet the
dimensions shown in one of the two groups below:
Group 1 Group 2
Character height 89 mm 79 mm
Character width (except the figure 1 or letter I) 64 mm 57 mm
Character stroke 16 mm 14 mm
Space between characters 13 mm 11 mm
Space between groups 38 mm 33 mm
Side margins (minimum) 13 mm 11 mm
Top and bottom margins (minimum) 13 mm 11 mm
Space between vertical lines 19 mm 19 mm

Requirements for a motorcycle number plate to be legal

The Mandatory Typeface

All number plates made after 31.8.2001 must display the mandatory typeface. Number plates made prior to this date must be substantially the same.

The British Standard

The British Standard sets out the physical characteristics of the number plate. This includes visibility, strength and reflectivity. The British Standard also requires each number plate to be permanently and legibly marked with the
following information:-

  1. The British Standard number (currently BS AU 145d)
  2. The name, trade mark or other means of identification of the manufacturer or component supplier
  3. Name and postcode of the supplying outlet

Offences

It is an offence to alter, rearrange or misrepresent letters or numbers in order to form names or words or in such a way that makes it difficult to read the registration number. Characters must not be moved from one block to the other e.g. AB51 DVL must not be displayed as AB5 1DVL or AB 51DVL. Vehicles with illegally displayed number plates may FAIL the MoT test. The police can also issue fixed penalty fines for illegally displayed number plates. Offenders are liable to a MAXIMUM FINE of £1,000 and in some cases the mark may be withdrawn.
For vehicles with new or replacement number plates fitted after 31.8.2001, “3-line” number plates are no longer permitted.

For more general information on registration plates –
www.direct.gov.uk

For a downloadable version of ‘Vehicle registration numbers and number plates’
www.direct.gov.uk

The MOT Scheme

The computerised MOT system run by VOSA and the requirements for MOTs.

The MOT scheme is primarily a road safety measure designed to ensure as far as possible that all cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles more than 3 years old

  • are properly maintained and;
  • at least once a year are examined at an authorised MOT test station to make sure that they comply with certain important requirements of the law

Remember – the test certificate relates only to the condition of the vehicle at the time of the test and should not be regarded as evidence of the condition at any other time; nor should it be accepted as evidence of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.

The Computerised MOT Scheme

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has now computerised the administration of the MOT scheme. This provides up to date information electronically in all aspects of the MOT enabling an improved service to the customer.

The benefits of the scheme –

Improved testing standards by:

  • providing accurate, up-to-date information for the MOT testing stations
  • collecting better information
  • monitoring test standards more closely
  • improving the quality of MOT documents

Reduced theft and fraud associated with MOT certificates by:

  • closer monitoring
  • tighter control of certificates
  • reducing dependence on paper certificates

Improved administration by:

  • passing information to and from garages electronically
  • automatically collecting and updating information
  • providing electronic ordering and payment systems
  • improving the way records are kept

Improved consumer protection and confidence in the MOT test by:

  • ensuring more consistent standards
  • enabling the general public to check if a vehicle passed or failed an MOT
  • improving protection and making it easier to detect fraud

How to check the MOT status of your vehicle

For motorists the main feature of the new system is that you can check the MOT status of any vehicle that you own, or are considering buying. You are able to do this either by calling our MOT status check service on 0870 330 0444 (national rate) or visiting the link below

If you are buying a second hand vehicle, and want to check its MOT status you will need the registration mark of the vehicle and either the test number from the new style MOT test certificate or the document reference number from the V5C registration certificate.

The system will provide you with certain key information including make, model and colour of the vehicle, together with the MOT status and expiry date of the valid MOT. The vehicle’s mileage recorded at the time of the MOT test will also be disclosed when you make your enquiry.

Checking the MOT history of your vehicle

In addition to MOT status, the facility to check the MOT history of the vehicle is also available. It provides full test details for all the tests undertaken on the vehicle since the system was computerised. Information relating to any advisory items recorded at the time of an MOT test together with the mileages recorded at each Computerised MOT test is also available as part of this service. We hope that this service will encourage motorists to obtain the test history of vehicles before buying so they can make a more informed decision on the suitability of the vehicle.

Appeals & Queries

What if you disagree with a Test Result? IMPORTANT – Do not carry out any repairs to your vehicle.

  • If you think it has wrongly failed; you must complete an appeal form (VT17) obtainable from any MOT test station, or the Inspectorate, and return it to one of our offices within 14 working days of the test along with a full test fee. We will then offer an appointment within five days to recheck your vehicle. If your appeal is successful some, or all, of the test fee will be refunded to you.
  • If you think it has wrongly passed; you must let us know as soon as possible. We will then offer an appointment within 5 working days to recheck your vehicle (without charge) provided not more than 3 months has elapsed since the time of the test for a corrosion defect. The address of your local VI office is displayed in the MOT test station

If there a problem with your certificate please ring the VI MOT Hotline number on 0845 600 5977. Calls are charged at local rate.

If you have lost or damaged your test certificate a duplicate or replacement certificate can be obtained from the MOT station where it was issued. If the MOT station is no longer in business your local VI office may be able to help provided you have details of where and when it was issued.

The Computerised MOT scheme

  • You can use the site to confirm the authenticity of an MOT Certificate issued using MOT Computerisation or check on the status of a recent test conducted on a vehicle or request the MOT Test history of a vehicle. You will receive the response to this request ‘on-line’ via your Internet terminal.
  • If the vehicle has an old style MOT Certificate that was not issued using MOT Computerisation, the site will have no record of the test and any queries concerning the certificate should be referred to the Vehicle Operator & Services Agency MOT Enquiry Service on 0870 33 00 444 (calls charged at the national rate – your call may be monitored or recorded for lawful purposes).
  • An old style MOT Certificate is completed by hand and is embossed with the stamp of the issuing testing station.
  • An MOT Certificate issued using MOT Computerisation is usually computer generated but may be handwritten under exceptional circumstances.
  • You may also have been issued with an ‘Emergency Test MOT Certificate’.

Bike basics

As with cars, if you are unsure about adjustment and maintenance to your bike it is always best to consult a trained service engineer; remember – SAFETY FIRST.

This guide is for solo bikes only. Motorcycles fitted with a side-car have separate regulations and requirements; you are advised to check with an official test centre if you have any doubts over the test.

Lights

Of the 20% failure rate on bike MOT tests, over half are for defective lights. These are amongst the simplest items for you to check before taking your bike to the test and are quite straightforward to replace or adjust, without the need of a mechanic.

Good Headlights and tail lights must be free of chips or cracks. The headlight must work on main and dip beam; the main beam must shine directly ahead and the dip slightly lower and to the left.

Indicator lights must all flash at a steady rate and the warning lights function properly.

If a hazard warning system is fitted, all 4 indicators must flash at a steady uniform rate.

Bikes must have a red reflector on the rear of the machine, either bolted on separately or as part of the tail light lens.

Steering

The next highest failure rate is due to steering. Look at the test items below and if you are in any doubt as to whether they will pass, consult a qualified service engineer.

  • With the front wheel raised off the ground the handlebar must not hit or foul the tank when the steering is fully turned lock to lock; the steering must move freely and without drag.
  • The handlebar must be securely mounted and the grips secure.
  • With the fork sliders held, try to push and pull on the forks; there must be no play in the steering head bearings.

Brakes

In day-to-day riding there is perhaps no more important part of your bikes equipment that, when working properly, may just save your life! It is also the third highest reason for failure in MOT testing.

The examiner will:

  • Check the hoses for fluid leaks, bulges & cracking
  • Check disc brakes are securely mounted and free from cracks
  • Check ABS warning lights, where fitted
  • Check the wheel is free to rotate without brake drag in free-wheel
  • Check that brake pads/shoes are not warn beyond limits
  • Check the rear brake torque arm is secure and that fasteners are secured by self-locking nuts or castellated nuts with split-pins or R-clips

Wheels and tyres

Over one quarter of MOT test failures are due to worn tyres. Remember, safety first – worn tyres can kill! Here are the main items the examiner will check on the bike:

  • Cast wheels should be secure and free from cracks. Spoked wheels will be checked for broken, corroded, loose or bent spokes
  • The tyre and wheel must run free in free-wheel and they must not foul the suspension or the mudguards
  • Worn wheel bearings will fail and the front and rear wheels will be checked for alignment
  • Tyres must be compatible, suitable for road use and, if fitted with a direction arrow, fitted to spin in the direction of forward wheel rotation
  • Tyres will be checked for tread depth and condition as well as sidewall condition.

Suspension

The tests for front and rear suspension are subtly different.

For the front suspension the examiner will check:

  • No oil leaks from anti-drive units
  • On bikes with swing arm suspension, there must be no free play in the linkage when moved from side to side
  • There should be no oil visible on the fork tube or leaking down the slider around the fork oil gears
  • The forks must be adequately dampened

For the rear suspension, the checks will be:

  • No oil leaks around the shock absorber
  • No play in the swing arm or suspension linkage bearings
  • Pivot bearings will be checked for wear
  • The shock absorber must give adequate damping
  • The suspension must not foul on body parts or accessories

Exhaust system

The decibel level will be assessed at the discretion of the tester. Other checks are:

  • The exhaust mountings must be secure and not fouling any part of the rear suspension
  • The exhaust must not be holed and be free from leaks from both joints and box(es)
  • Replacements units, other than bikes registered before 1st January1985, must have the BSAU 193 stamp

Final drive

  • The chain/belt must not have excessive slack and be in good condition; the guard must be secure and not fouling
  • On shaft drive bikes, the drive unit must be free from oil leaks
  • Both sprockets should be securely mounted and not excessively worn

More checks

In addition to the items mentioned above the examiner will:

  • Check that the HORN is of reasonable volume and a continuous single tone
  • Check for CORROSION on the frame and any load bearing components
  • The FOOTRESTS must have an anti-slip surface
  • All major components, body panels and mudguards must be securely fitted
  • The footrests, handlebar levers and brake pedal must be securely mounted

Have you modified your bike?

Motorcycle modifications don’t necessarily mean higher insurance premiums

An overview on the perils of not declaring motorbike modifications to your insurance company.
Too many motorcycle owners are failing to tell their insurers about modifications to their motorcycles either because they fear the changes will increase their insurance premiums, or because they don’t realise they need to. However, a recent review has shown that most common modifications actually have little or no effect on premiums at all.
This contrasts with failing to tell an insurer about modifications which could result in the insurer refusing to pay when a claim is made – particularly if the modification is a factor in the claim. Many of Britain’s bikers’ favourite modifications have virtually no impact on insurance premiums. These include modifications such as crash bars, crash mushrooms, road legal after-market exhausts, huggers, up-rated braking systems and a five per cent increase in engine capacity.
A common theme seen amongst young riders who are still on their provisional CBT licence is to declare their bike as restricted to the required power limit of 13Bhp when in reality it isn’t restricted. This obviously means that the power of the bike is more than what the insurers are providing cover for, and more than that, there will be legal problems for the rider should they ever be found out.
NOT ONLY COULD FAILING TO INFORM YOUR INSURERS OF ANY MODIFICATIONS INVALIDATE YOUR ENTIRE POLICY BUT YOU COULD BE PROSECUTED UNDER THE FRAUD ACT 2006

Fraud Act 2006

3.    Fraud by failing to disclose information

A person is in breach of this section if he—

(a) dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and

(b) intends, by failing to disclose the information—

(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or

(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

Under the new Fraud Act 2006 the new requirements are that, if you obtain any ‘money by advantage’ by not declaring any modifications you make to your vehicle, it could be viewed as fraud.  If the Police find that you have not notified your insurance company of any modifications because you think it will cost you more in premiums, it will be deemed as fraud.

Modifications that should be declared include tinted windows, alloy wheels sports exhausts, body kit and performance increases.

Failing to declare them can potentially invalidate your entire insurance policy. The modification disclosure rule is normally found in the terms and conditions of a policy, with the onus very much on the policyholder having to inform the insurer, and not the other way round.

 

 

Exhausts

Motorcycle exhaust close upInformation on marking requirements and decibel levels

Lost Your Motorcycle Exhaust Identification?  Have your exhaust pipe markings disappeared, are they obscured by age,
wear and tear, crash damage or simply polished off?

MOT legislation requires that the vehicle tester is able to see that the standard (original makers stamp), or aftermarket exhaust fitted to the bike, is marked with the obligatory BSAU 193a and the European “E” mark.  If your Exhaust can does not carry these markings, it could lead to a failed MOT and if you are stopped by the Police it can lead to a fine and points on your licence.

The law says that your bike will fail the MOT if:-
a. Any part of the exhaust system is missing or excessively deteriorated.
b. A leak in an exhaust system which causes excessive noise to be emitted.
c. An exhaust system mounting missing or one which is in such a condition that it does not fully support the exhaust system.
d. silencer which is in such a condition or is of such a type that the noise emitted is clearly in excess of that which would be produced by a similar machine fitted with a standard silencer in average condition.
e. A silencer fitted to a motorcycle first used on or after 1 January 1985 which is not marked with either:-
* The make and type specified by the motorcycle manufacturer.
* British Standard classification BSAU 193 or BSAU 193a or an EEC approval number prefixed by a small ‘e’ marking or an ECE approval number prefixed by a capital E.
* A silencer marked ‘NOT FOR ROAD USE’, TRACK USE ONLY’ or similar words.

There are businesses around which will sell you stickers and / or plates which could be used to cover-up unwanted graphics and wording on the exhaust pipes.  However, these tags should not be fitted to a non standard can or exhaust to try and break the law or pass it off as legal for an MOT.

Exhausts – on motorcycles first used on or after 1 January 1985 the silencer which forms part of the exhaust system must be either:

(i) that with which the machine was first fitted; or

(ii) clearly and indelibly marked with :-

-the relevant BS marking BS AU 193/T2, BS AU 193a, 1990/T2, BS AU 193a, 1990/T3; or

  • the relevant “e” marking to show compliance with EC Directive 89/235; or the relevant “e” marking to show compliance with Chapter 9 of EC Directive 97/24; or
  • the name or trade mark of the manufacturer or marked with that manufacturer’s part number – relating to it.

The European Community noise limits applicable to new motorcycles first used from 1 April 1991 are:

Motorcycle Category by cm3 Limits in dB(A)
Up to and including 80 77
Between 80 and 175 (incl.) 79
Above 175 82

Motorcycles approved to EU Directive 97/24/EC, Chapter 9 will be 2dB(A) less than the above figures.

(Note: the precise regulations for motorcycle exhausts are complex and it is recommended that they are studied closely to obtain accurate and complete details of the requirements).

Before buying any replacement parts for systems listed in this section, riders should check for the relevant marks, where applicable. These will include an “e” mark for EC Directives, an “E” mark for ECE Regulations and “BS” for British Standards.

(Note: amateur motorcycle builders may be exempt from some or all of the requirements)

 

 

Construction and use

UK regulation for motorcycles and mopeds

Regulations for Powered Two and Three-wheeled Vehicles

Statement

This fact sheet is produced as general guidance and provides details of legislative regulations in Great Britain for powered two and three wheeled vehicles, including certain quadricycles. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about the validity of a particular regulation after the date of publication or if you have reason to believe any part is not correct or is now out of date.

1. General Requirements

It is the responsibility of the importers, sellers, owners and users of any powered two and three-wheel vehicle to ensure that a vehicle used on the road complies with all the relevant regulations. Riders must also ensure that the vehicles are maintained in a road-worthy condition. Areas to pay particular attention to are brakes, tyres, steering, speedometer, lighting and noise.

2. European Whole Vehicle Type Approval

A system of European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) for powered two and three-wheel vehicles (including some quadricycles) capable of more than 6km/h, came into operation on 17 June 1999. Any newly designed, volume produced, model or type of vehicle within the scope of ECWVTA and first introduced and placed on the market of an EU Member State from that date must have ECWVTA and a Certificate of Conformity issued by the manufacturer must be made available. To be valid in the UK, the Certificate of Conformity should indicate that the vehicle is suitable for use in left hand rule of the road traffic and has a speedometer calibrated in miles per hour.

Any model of vehicle which was being sold in the UK before 17 June 1999 could continue to be sold up to 16 June 2003 if it complied with The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended (C&U) and The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR). After 16 June 2003 European Whole Vehicle Type Approval applies.

European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) is a system of assessment of technical requirements for powered two and three-wheeled vehicles (including lightweight, low powered four wheeled vehicles referred to as quadricycles). The assessment and testing is carried out by authorised Type Approval Authorities based in each European Union Member State, to harmonised technical requirements given in various separate Directives and in accordance with the procedures given in a framework Directive 92/61/EEC, recently repealed and replaced by 2002/24/EC (as amended). The type approval process also includes an assessment of the production and quality control procedures of the manufacturer and a follow-up procedure known as Conformity of Production to ensure that the original conditions for granting type approval are maintained during the production life of the vehicle.

The purpose of ECWVTA is to harmonise the technical requirements for two and three wheeled vehicles, including certain quadricycles, and thus create a single market where vehicles which have been type approved in one of the Member States will be automatically accepted in all other Member States.

The authorised Type Approval Authority for the United Kingdom is The Vehicle Certification Agency, 1 The Eastgate Office Centre, Eastgate Road, Bristol BS5 6XX, Telephone +44 (0) 117 951 5151. There will be limited exceptions to ECWVTA for vehicles produced in very low volume, amateur built vehicles, vehicles built from kits and some imported non-type approved vehicles. These types of vehicles are dealt with under the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) scheme, managed and operated by our sister agency – VOSA (the Vehicle Operator Services Agency).

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs), are exempt from ECWVTA provided that the maximum continuous rated power of the motor does not exceed 0,25kW and that the output of the motor is gradually reduced and finally cut off altogether when the machine reaches a speed of 25km/h or sooner if the cyclist stops pedalling. The following are also exempt from ECWVTA: pedestrian controlled vehicles, vehicles intended for use by the physically handicapped, vehicles intended for competition use, agricultural tractors and machines and three wheel vehicles with symmetrically arranged wheels (single front wheel) designed primarily for off-road leisure.

The subject areas of ECWVTA and the Directive numbers are as follows:

Item No. Base Directive* 

 

Description
18 / 25 

 

95/1/EC 

 

Measurement of Power, Torque and Maximum Speed
19 

 

97/24/EC C7 

 

Anti-tampering measures 

 

20 

 

97/24/EC C6 

 

Fuel Tanks
26 

 

93/93/EEC 

 

Masses and Dimensions 

 

27 

 

97/24/EC C10 

 

Trailer Coupling Devices 

 

28 

 

97/24/EC C5 

 

Air Pollution – see also Directive 2002/51/EC 

 

29 

 

97/24/EC C1 

 

Tyres
31 93/14/EEC 

 

 

Braking
32 

 

93/92/EEC 

 

Installation of Lighting 

 

33 

 

97/24/EC C2 

 

Lights and signalling devices 

 

34 

 

93/30/EEC 

 

Audible Warning Devices 

 

35 

 

93/94/EEC 

 

Space for Rear Registration Plate 

 

36 

 

97/24/EC C8 

 

Electro-magnetic compatibility 

 

37 

 

97/24/EC C9 Permissible sound level 

 

38 

 

97/24/EC C4 

 

Rear View Mirrors 

 

39 

 

97/24/EC C3 

 

External Projections 

 

40 

 

93/31/EEC 

 

Stands 

 

41 

 

93/33/EEC 

 

Devices to prevent unauthorised use 

 

42 

 

97/24/EC C12 

 

Glazing, wipers, washers, demisters and de-icers. 

 

43 

 

93/32/EEC 

 

Hand Holds 

 

44 

 

97/24/EC C11 Safety belts and anchorages 

 

45 

 

2000/7/EC 

 

Speedometers 

 

46 

 

93/29/EEC 

 

Identification of Controls 

 

47 

 

93/34/EEC 

 

Statutory Markings 

 

The definitions for powered two and three wheel vehicles in ECWVTA differ from those of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (C&U) and the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (RVLR). Any vehicle, which is outside the definitions given in C&U, must have ECWVTA or, if it is a three-wheel motorcycle that is outside the definitions of C&U, it may be submitted for Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) under the “car” SVA scheme.

The ECWVTA definitions are:

Category L1e – Moped -Two wheel having a maximum speed of 45km/h, maximum internal combustion engine capacity of 50cm3 or a maximum electric motor power of 4kW.

Category L2e – Moped -Three wheel having a maximum speed of 45km/h, maximum spark ignition internal combustion engine capacity 50cm3 or maximum power of any other internal combustion engine of 4kW or maximum electric motor power of 4kW.

Category L3e – Motorcycle – Two wheel, without a sidecar with an internal combustion engine capacity greater than 50cm3 and/or a maximum speed greater than 45km/h.

Category L4e – Motorcycle – Two wheel, with a sidecar with an internal combustion engine capacity greater than 50cm3 and/or a maximum speed greater than 45km/h.

Category L5e – Motor Tricycle – Three wheels, symmetrically arranged with an internal combustion engine capacity greater than 50cm3 and/or a maximum speed greater than 45km/h.

Category L6e – Light quadricycle – Four wheels, with a maximum unladen mass of 350kg (not including the mass of the batteries in an electrically powered vehicle), a maximum speed of 45km/h, a maximum spark ignition internal combustion engine capacity of 50cm3, or maximum power of any other internal combustion engine of 4kW or maximum electric motor power of 4kW. The construction requirements are those for a three-wheel moped unless otherwise specified in a particular Directive.

Category L7e – Quadricycle – Four wheels, with a maximum unladen mass of 400kg or 550kg for a goods carrying vehicle (not including the mass of the batteries in an electrically powered vehicle) and a maximum net power, whatever the type of engine or motor, of 15kW. The construction requirements are those for a motor tricycle unless otherwise specified in a particular Directive.

Note – The Masses and Dimensions Directive, 93/93/EEC (as amended), applies controls on maximum dimensions and laden/unladen masses for vehicles.

 

3. UK National Regulations – The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (C&U and RVLR)

3.1 Definitions

Motorcycle – a vehicle having less than four wheels and weighing less than 410kg unladen.

This definition includes three wheeled motorcycles and three-wheel mopeds:

Three Wheeled Motorcycle – a motorcycle having three wheels, not including a motorcycle and sidecar.

Moped – a motorcycle weighing less than 250kg and with a maximum design speed not greater than 30mph. If the engine is an internal combustion engine its capacity must not exceed 50cm3. Propelling pedals are not required.

3.2 Regulations and their Availability

(a) The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (Statutory Instrument [SI] 1986 No.1078) as amended, usually referred to as C&U.

(b) The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (Statutory Instrument [SI] 1989 No.1778) as amended, usually referred to as RVLR.

There have been many amendments to these base documents, some of which will not apply to motorcycles. Whilst copies can be obtained from ‘The Stationery Office’ (formerly HMSO) it may be easier to view the regulations in “The Encyclopedia of Road Traffic Law and Practice” published by Sweet and Maxwell (www.smlawpub.co.uk). This publication is continually updated and contains both C&U and RVLR. It is available in most city reference libraries.

The Stationery Office has published Statutory Instruments on its web site but only those dating back to 1988.

The address of the Stationery Office is The Publications Centre, PO Box 276, London, SW8 5DT (tel. 0870 600 5522, website: www.hmso.gov.uk,

Virtual Bookstore: www.tso.co.uk).

3.3. Components and Component Systems

If vehicle systems or components are type approved to any of the separate Directives listed under ECWVTA this will be accepted in place of any corresponding requirement in C&U or RVLR.

The following systems or parts must either be of an approved type or carry specific markings.

(a) Ignition Suppression on motorcycles first used on or after 1 April 1974 – must be approved to European Community Directive 72/245/EEC* or to Chapter 8 of Directive 97/24/EC* or to UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Regulation 10;

(b) Mirrors optional fitment but if fitted on motorcycles first used on or after 1 October 1978 – must be approved to EC Directive* 71/127, 79/795, 80/780, 85/205, 86/562, 88/321,Chapter 4 of Directive 97/24 or to ECE Regulation 46.01;

(c) Lighting Equipment and Reflectors:

  1. (i) Direction Indicators – on motorcycles first used on or after 1 April 1986 must be approved to EC Directive* 76/759, 93/92, Chapter 2 of 97/24 or to ECE Regulation 6 or 50;
  2. (ii) Stop Lamps and Front and Rear Position Lamps – on motorcycles first used on or after 1 April 1986 must be approved to EC Directive* 76/758, 93/92, Chapter 2 of 97/24 or ECE Regulation 7 or 50;
  3. (iii) Rear Reflectors – on motorcycles first used before 1 April 1991 must comply with the requirements of British Standard AU 40. If first used after 1 April 1991 they must be approved to EC Directive* 76/757, 93/92, Chapter 2 of 97/24 or to ECE Regulation 3;
  4. (iv) Rear Registration Plate Lamp – on motorcycles first used on or after 1 April 1986 must be approved to EC Directive* 76/760, 93/92 and Chapter 2 of 97/24 or to ECE Regulation 4 or 50;
  5. (v) Headlamps – the regulations set minimum wattage requirements for dipped and main beam headlamps according to the cubic capacity of motorcycles. Headlamps on motorcycles are not required to have any approval markings, and
  6. (vi) As a general condition the regulations require riders to keep obligatory lamps and reflectors clean and in good working order.

Note that due to the frequency of change, all EC Directives listed throughout this document are referred to by their base level number. In many cases they will have been amended since the creation of this document.

For the latest information on activity within EC and ECE standards, or to obtain copies of the legislation, visit our information page about VCA’s LegStat and VISTA systems.

(d) Exhausts – Replacement Silencer (any silencer not fitted to the vehicle when it was originally manufactured). A replacement silencer for motorcycles and mopeds first used on or after 1 January 1985 must be constructed so that if it was fitted to an unused machine of the same model and date of first use, the machine would comply with the requirements of the Directive or British Standard applicable at that date.

Silencers are also subject to a number of marking requirements. No machine used on the road may be fitted with a silencer marked “Not for Road Use” or words to that effect. Similarly, any silencer fitted to a machine first used after 1 January 1985 must be clearly and indelibly marked as follows:

Date of first use Marking
01/01/85 – 31/03/91
  • Make and type of silencer, or
  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, and part number, or
  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, AND “e” or “E” mark with approval number, or
  • BS AU 193/T2, or BS AU 193a: 1990/T2, or
  • BS AU 193a: 1990/T3, or
  • Equivalent international standard marking.

 

01/04/91 – 31/01/96 

 

  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, and part number, or
  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, AND “e” or “E” mark with approval number, or
  • Make and type of silencer, or
  • BS AU 193a: 1990/T3, or
  • Equivalent international standard marking.

 

01/02/96 – 31/01/97 

 

  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, and part number, or
  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, AND “e” or “E” mark with approval number, or
  • BS AU 193a: 1990/T3, or
  • Equivalent international standard marking.

 

01/02/97 onwards 

 

  • Manufacturer’s name or mark, AND “e” or “E” mark with approval number, or
  • BS AU 193a: 1990/T3, or
  • Equivalent international standard marking.

 

The European Community noise limits applicable to new motorcycles first used from 1 April 1991 are:

Motorcycle Category by cm3 Limits in dB(A)

Up to and including 80                                           77

Between 80 and 175 (incl.)                                   79

Above 175                                                                 82

Motorcycles approved to EU Directive 97/24/EC, Chapter 9 will be 2dB(A) less than the above figures.

(Note: the precise regulations for motorcycle exhausts are complex and it is recommended that they are studied closely to obtain accurate and complete details of the requirements).

Before buying any replacement parts for systems listed in this section, riders should check for the relevant marks, where applicable. These will include an “e” mark for EC Directives, an “E” mark for ECE Regulations and “BS” for British Standards.

(Note: amateur motorcycle builders may be exempt from some or all of the requirements)

3.4 Brakes

(a) Two Wheeled Motorcycles:

Two wheeled motorcycles (with or without sidecar) and mopeds, first used on or after 1 April 1987*, are subject to C&U Regulations 16 (5) and (5a). These Regulations require compliance with either UNECE Regulation 78 (including the appropriate “E” marking on the vehicle) or EU Directive 93/14/EEC, this provides an easy method for checking the legality of use for a particular machine. Motorcycles first used before 1 April 1987 are subject to C&U Regulation 16 (4) and subsequently the requirements of Schedule 3.

(b) Three Wheeled Motorcycles (Trikes):

Three wheeled motorcycles with an engine capacity of less than 50cc if of the internal combustion engine type and a design speed of less than 30mph, first used on or after 1 April 1987**, are subject to C&U Regulations 16 (5) and (5a). These regulations require compliance with either UNECE Regulations 78 or EU Directive 93/14/EEC; including the appropriate “E” marking on the vehicle, this provides an easy method for checking the legality of use for a particular machine.

Other three wheeled motorcycles are subject to C&U regulation 16 (4)a and subsequently the requirements of Schedule 3.

**Amateur built motorcycles (i.e.: those not built as part of a commercial enterprise) and motorcycles first used before 1 April 1987, are not subject to C&U regulations 16 (5) or 16 (5a) but must comply with C&U regulation 16 (4) and the relevant parts of Schedule 3.

3.5 Motor Cycle Data Plates

The following motorcycles must be fitted with a motorcycle data plate:

(a) Mopeds, if first used on or after 1 August 1977;

(b) Standard motorcycles not exceeding 150cm3, if first used between 1 August 1977 and 31 December 1981;

(c) Standard motorcycles not exceeding 125cm3, if first used on or after 1January 1982;

Details of the plate and information required are given in Regulation 69 and Schedule 9 of the Road Vehicles (C&U) Regulations 1986. If the machine’s specification is changed (derestricted) then the plate must be amended and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) at Swansea must be notified using the relevant section on the back of the vehicle registration document (V5). Alternatively the data plate may comply with Directive 93/94/EEC indicating that the vehicle is type approved in accordance with Directive 92/61/EEC. The data plate will have an ‘e’ number and details of the noise output in dB(A) at a specified engine speed.

3.6. Speedometers

Every motorcycle first used on or after 1 April 1984 and capable of more than 25 mph must have a speedometer which reads in both miles per hour and kilometres per hour either simultaneously or separately by the use of a switch. A speedometer which is approved to Community Directives 75/443/EEC as amended by 97/39/EC, 2000/7/EC or to UNECE Regulation No.39 is acceptable.

4. Further Information

If you require any further information regarding the regulations covered by this fact sheet, please contact the DfT at the address below:

Vehicle Standards and Engineering 4
Department for Transport
Zone 2/04
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR

Tel: (0207) 944 2078
Fax: (0207) 944 2069
Email: alexander.jones@dft.gsi.gov.uk

If you require information about obtaining type approval for a vehicle covered by the regulations covered by this fact sheet, please contact the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) at the address below:

Vehicle Certification Agency
No. 1 The Eastgate Office Centre
Eastgate Road
Bristol
BS5 6XX

Tel: 0117 9524235
Fax: 0117 9524104
Email: enquiries@vca.gov.uk
website: www.vca.gov.uk

 

 

 

Defective Vehicles / Anti Social Use of Vehicles

PG9 Prohibition Notices to prevent the use of defective vehicles & Section 59 Powers of Seizure

Police officers have the power to issue prohibition notices (PG9) to prevent use on public roads of any vehicle found to be defective. Defects can range from wrongly tinted windows to defective tyres. Serious cases will attract immediate prohibitions while less serious problems may delay the prohibition coming into force by up to ten days.

To remove a prohibition the vehicle must be taken to a MOT testing station that tests that class of vehicle and pass a normal MOT. This applies whether the vehicle is not yet due for MOT or it was tested yesterday. Once a pass certificate (VT20) has been issued the owner takes the VT20 together with the prohibition notice to any Police station to have it lifted (PG10). The VT20 pass certificate must have been issued after the date the prohibition notice was issued.

Note that prohibitions are usually issued at roadside checks and the examiner will have limited facilities and test equipment. It is possible therefore that further defects will be uncovered during the MOT inspection and additional work will need to be done before the vehicle passes.

Driving a vehicle subject to prohibition is a serious offence and may incur a penalty of up to £5,000

Section 59

Section 59 (1) of the Police Reform Act 2002 establishes that, where a police constable in uniform has reasonable grounds for believing that a motor vehicle is being used on any occasion in a manner which contravenes section 3 or section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (careless and inconsiderate driving and prohibition of off-road driving), and is causing, or is likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public, a constable in uniform has the power to order the person driving to stop the vehicle, to seize and remove the vehicle, to enter any premises on which the officer has reasonable grounds for believing the motor vehicle to be and to use reasonable force.

If a vehicle is seized, the charges will be £150 to the driver and a further £10 for each day the vehicle is retained.