Motorcycle Blog

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

I 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?

Name withheld

Here 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.

Andrew Dalton

Fast Bikes May 2017

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focussed on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.

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