How can I make my bike accelerate quicker?
Dropping the front sprocket size works well, the equivalent of reducing three teeth on the rear sprocket. It will increase acceleration at the expense of some top-end speed.
I am going to change the sprocket and chain on my bike and not sure what to fit as the replacement with lots of different options available. This is the first time I will have changed them?
Chains are graded by size, e.g 520, 530 etc. They are also graded by strength e.g. srandard, heavy duty, standard O-ring, heavy duty O-ring and extra heavy duty O-ring. Check your owners manual for the exact size for your bike.
What is best for removing stubborn stickers on a bike's fairing?
A hair dryer is one the most effective methods we've seen, try it and see.
Do I need to wear protective armour?
No legal requirements to wear body armour. Good practice standards for body armour identified with a CE number such as EN 1621.1.
Do I need to wear protective clothing?
No legal requirement to wear protective clothing. However the standards for items you do wear must meet the following
Gloves, Clothing, Boots
Can I change my End Can to another? Even if it says not road legal and can I get away with it?
Marked “Not for Road Use” means not for road use and chances are you’ll fail your MOT for keeping this can on for a number of different reasons
I own an old Tomos moped with a git boy loud exhaust on it - is that legal?
If your Tomos was registered before 1983, then yes, it probably is - although being a regular nuisance may still get you pulled by the law, under the new anti social behaviour laws. Pre 1983 motorcycles are not required to have a BS stamped exhaust, or conform to a decibel limit. They must not however have an exhaust stamped `NOT FOR HIGHWAY USE¹ on it - that is illegal no matter how old the bike may be.
My mate Kev reckons if you fit a legally marked exhaust then you don¹t have to tell your insurance company, as you¹re automatically covered - is that true?
Nope. Your insurance policy will state exactly what is, and is not, covered.
Generally, any changes or modifications to the bike, which the insured ( that¹s you ) DID NOT tell the company about could affect whether the insurer would pay out, assuming the bike was legal at the time of an accident, but it is not wise to allow the company the chance to refuse to meet the cost of a claim - that¹s why you¹re insured after all - so always tell your insurer of any changes you have made to the bike from its standard spec.
I have a classic Yamaha bike in my shed (manufactured mid-seventies). However, will it run on unleaded or will I need to covert it or add an additive to my fuel?
The vast majority of Japanese bikes have been able to run on unleaded since the mid-1970s. However, if the bike has been standing for some time then it is likely that the cabs will be to be stripped and cleaned. It is also advisable to remove the plugs and pour a teaspoon of oil to help seal the piston rings before turning it over with the plugs still removed. After turning over for approx. 20 seconds, re-fit the plugs and enjoy your maiden journey. It is like that it may smoke a bit at furst but it should soon clear.
What colours can I have my headlights?
Only white or yellow tint allowed. Blue, green, orange etc not legal in the UK. Maximum wattage per bulb is 55w. Twin lamps or more – 55w max per lamp.
Is it legal to wear headphones while riding?
Yes, I would suggest using a system such as Autocom, this can then be plugged into an MP3 player or iPod.
Do I need to wear a helmet on a trike?
Depending on the classification of your Trike you may actually have to wear a helmet too. Most people think that Trike riders are completely exempt, in many cases they are not depending on what classification the DVLA give to your three-wheeler.
Do I need to wear a helmet in a side car?
Sidecar passengers are not required to wear a helmet although the rider of the motorcycle it is attached to is
Do pillion passengers need helmets?
YES. Pillion passengers must wear a helmet at all times
Do I need to wear a helmet?
We are all aware that helmets are compulsory; indeed the Motorcycle Action Group was all started back in 1973 over this issue. At a time when over 80% of people wore a helmet voluntarily the government made it compulsory for us all.
I recently bought a 2002 R6 from my local deal but notice when riding at night the headlight dipped the worng way. How do I tell if I have an imported bike?
Dealers are bound under the Supple of Goods and Services Act 1994 to provide you with a bike that is fit for its purpose, however MOT regulations do not ban the fitment of 'left hand drive' lights if they are temporarily modified for the test, so long as it is securely attached and does not cut light output too much. We recommend you take back to the dealership and ask for the correct headlight to be fitted or a conversion kit. If bought privately you would have no comeback.
Does my bike need indicators?
You are not legally required to have indicators on your motorcycle. However, once fitted it is a legal requirement that they work properly
I have just sold my bike and don't intend to ride for another 12 months, what happens to my no claims bonus?
It is valid for a period of 2 years from the time your policy lapsed. You should also ask for the proof as you will need it when you want to insure your next bike.
I wish to start a motorcycle club in mny local town but will I need special insurance for the club, even though each member will have their own insurance?
The BMF will offer insurance cover for rideouts, plus discounts on personal insurance policies, travel insurance etc but you will have to be affiliated to the BMF. Costs would be in the region of £90,
Can I insure my trackday bike for theft?
Your bike will have to be taxed and tested but you can opt for a 'daytime MOT', thus you will not have to fit lights. You must have a horn that omits a continuous sound (it must be electric), you don't even require a rear reflector, however, make sure you state you wish to have a daytime MOT prior to the test. The certificate will then be stamped daytime use only.
My mate and I swapped bikes for a recent ride-out but unfortunately my mate (on my bike) crashed into the back of me at a pedestrian crossing, am I insured?
You are covered third party only providing you have fully comprehensive cover but this only covers damage to a third party. As your mate was riding your bike and it was his fault, ironically, the insurance will only cover the damage to his bike. Providing he was negligent, you can sue him in the small claims court.
A few weeks ago, I let my friend ride my bike to the shops although he has no locence or insurance. On his return he got flashed by a speed camera. I put his name on the NIP but what are the consequences of our actions?
As you knowingly let him use the bike without a licence or insurance you have committed an offence, the penalty of which is similar to a speeding offence. If you give false information on the NIP then you could be found guily of peverting the course of justice, the penatly is an appearance in the Crown Court and a possible custodial sentance. There's no easy way out I'm afraid.
A friend recently received a notice of intended prosecution for serious alleged offences. The registration is correct but he was overseas at the time and has witnesses to prove it. What should he do?
You should advise your mate to report the facts to the police immediately. We suggest you write to the Chief Constable explaining the situation and ask how they should respond. If it were to go to court then you (presumably) have a reliable alibi. It is likely that the police will ask for strong evidence that it could not possibly have been her. You should also get witness statements drawn up and signed.
When filtering through traffic recently a car pulled out and caused me to swerve and crash into another stationary car, where do I stand?
There is no specific mention of filtering in the highway code, so motorcyclists must observe the rules on overtaking. Failure to observe the Highway Code doesn't mean a motorcyclist is liable to criminal proceedings but it may be used to establish or negate liability. In a landmark case last week (week commencing 13th February 2006) a motorcyclist overturned a long-standing ruling that has robbed many riders of compensation in the past and was the first motorcyclist in the UK to come away with zero blame after he was knocked off his bike whilst filtering through traffic.
I am moving to France and wish to take my UK registered bike but someone suggested it would be easier to sell it and buy a bike after I move?
It is possible to take your bike but you must get a special form from Honda UK within 6 months of moving. The form requires every minor detail and can be very tedious. Honda will rubber stamp the application confirming it applies to EU regulations, the form must then be submitted to your nearest Ministry of Economics (MINE) office in France at a special MoT. Only then can you get the bike insured.
I live in America and have a full US bike licence but never took my test in the UK. I am visiting the UK but am not sure if I am allowed to ride a bike on UK roads with a US licence, without taking the motorcycle test in the UK?
If you do not have any entitlement to ride a moped or motorcycle and have been out of the UK for over a year, then you would be treated as a visitor from abroad, so you can ride for up to 12 moths on UK roads using your US licence. However, if you have a UK licence of any sort, you will have to go through the normal learner route when you visit the UK.
I am preparing to put my bike in storage for the winter months but I have been advised not to regularly start it up as condensation will build-up in the engine. Is this true?
Your advice is correct. Instead, get it warmed up on your last ride as this dries the condensation from the exhaust systm. Try to fill your tank right to the top just before you get home as unleaded petrol can evaporate when in contact with air and leave a residue that may clog-up your carbs. For the same reason, turn off the fuel tap and run the engine until it stalls, then drain any remaining petrol from the float bowls. If the bike is more than four years old, consider emptying the tank instead because water can accumulate in the base of the tank and may cause enough rust to create a leak. The best way to do this is to unbolt it from the bike and after draining, turn it upside down, it'll also give you the chance to clean a load of otherwise inaccessible areas.
Is it legal to use a mini moto on a public road?
No. All the Petrol Scooters are not intended for use on Public Roads or Paths. They are purely for use on private land or land where you have got permission to use them. To be able to use them on the roads they would need to be SVA approved
I am 17 years old and have just passed my test and wish to go touring europe while I'm still young, can you offer any useful tips to keep me out of trouble?
Unfortunately, I regret to inform you that you have to be 18 to ride in mainland Europe, however, you can visit the Isle of Man instead
I am living in the UK will a full Australina bike licence, can I ride a bike in the UK?
Yes, you can exchange your licence to the UK equivalent with a form from the Post Office
I have just got my licence back after being banned and have been told that it will cost £50, is this true?
I'm afraid so. Also, if you have been disqualified for drink driving then it costs increases to £75
Is it legal to try getting your knee down on roundabouts, pull wheelies or stoppies?
In general, no. Most Police officers would regard more than two laps of a roundabout to be some kind of offence and popping wheelies or doing stoppies, as being dangerous, or reckless riding, or perhaps `riding without due care and attention.
I recently received a Notice of Intent to Prosecute (NIP) for doing 47mph in a 30 limit zone but the time between the speeding offence and receiving the NIP exceeded 14 days. The photot also displayed a different speed of 45mph, can I challege the NIP?
The speed discrepancy is not enough on its own to avoid prosecution. You are still required to complete to NIP but could argue that the NIP had expired, thus avoiding prosecution.
Following a recent bike accident the insurance company wrote-off my bike. However, I would like to buy the bike back from the insurance company and repair the bike myself. Is this possible?
When a bike is written-off, it is grouped into one of fouur categories, A, B, C or D. If it is category C or D you stand a chance of getting the bike back to repair yourself. However, category A and B cannot be repaired. You should contact the insurance company and express an interest when you submit the claim form.
I suffered a motorcycle accident and disagree with the advice given to me by my soilcitor, he informs me that the legal expenses company will not fund a court case as the solicitor suggested that the cause of the accident was 50% my fault?
You first port of call would be to oficially complaint to your solicitor as the matter may be settled without having to take further action. If your complaint is still not resolved, you can then contact the Law Society
Does a provisional licence cover motorbikes if below 50cc?
If you have category "A" or "A1" on your provisional licence then your licence covers you to ride a motorcycle below 50cc subject to you successfully completing the Compulsory Basic Training Course (CBT). You then hold a CBT certificate for two years and display and comply with all provisional licence conditions, i.e. No passengers L- plates displayed front and rear and cannot use the motorway.
If you have have a Provisional car licence category "B" or "B1" which also gives you category "P", this covers mopeds, and mopeds are motorcycles but you cannot exceed 50km/h (30mph), if you have an internal combustion engine, must not exceed 50cc and if they were first used before 1st August 1977 must have pedals.
You will have to complete successfully a Compulsory Basic training Course before you can go on the road with L- plates and comply with the same conditions as above.
Can a motorcycle be converted to LPG?
Yes, providing it is a four-stroke, however, you would probably require a sidecar to house the LPG tank so it is very unlikely that anyone would seriously consider converting a motorcycle.
My CBR600 import is due for its first MOT shortly but the headlight points in the wrong direction?
Under the sale of goods act, the dealer that sold it to you had a duty to ensure it was fit for the purpose it was sold for, riding on UK roads. They should rectify the problem without cost to you. The same applies if you bought the bike secondhand from a dealer but not necessarily had it been a private sale.
I have heard you can apply for a daytime MOT, what is it?
It is not necessary to have lights or a rear reflector fitted to be eligible for a daytime MOT, except when it is foggy. You should make it clear at the MOT test station prior to the test and, providing the bike passes, the certificate will be stamped 'daylight use only'.
Can I change my number plate to a smaller one?
You know when it’s not acceptable! In recent years the Police in the UK have been quite tolerant of small plates but quite often, if you were caught “being a prat” on two wheels you may have found a £30 fine for your small plate was added to the list of penalties
Is it illegal to change number plates?
The attitude is changing. Traffic cars are being fitted with Automatic Number Plate Readers (ANPR’s) to combat tax fraud and cut down on run around cars that in the long run costs us all money. Your number plate must conform to BS AU 145a or 145d
Apparently I received a parking fine a few weeks ago, I'm sure I was parked in a designated motorycle parking bay and there was no ticket on my bike?
The Road Traffic Act is quite specific on this. A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) must be either fixed to the vehicle or handed to ther person in charge of the vehicle in order to be legally enforcable. Parking adjudicators allow more appeals on this issue than any other.
Do I need footpegs on my bike?
legally required to transport a pillion rider who in turn must be able to reach both pegs comfortably
Is it legal for a pillion passenger to ride backwards on a motorcycle?
Strange as it may seem and no doubt you will have seen this on say the London Marathon it is legal for a pillion passenger to sit the wrong way around on a motorcycle as long as footrests are provided!
Can I take my children on the back of my bike?
No legal age requirement in the UK. Use your common sense and remember children can fall asleep no matter the form of transport
Do points on my licence from car offences count against me on bikes, and the other way round?
They do. Once you reach 12 points, you are looking at a minimum 6 month ban, unless you can convince the magistrates that there are mitigating circumstances which mean you deserve mercy. Losing your job is not a reason for avoiding a ban by the way. Being a celebrity, or member of the royal family, may be helpful however, depending on your charity commitments.
I have found a motorcycle to buy and have agreed a price with the seller but he has told me that the bike has outstanding finance, he will use the money from the sale to pay off the outstanding amount, is it safe to buy?
As a general rule, if the bike has outstanding finance then don't buy it. Firstly, the bike may not be theirs to sell, depending on the finance agreement, they may be in breach of the agreement. Secondly, there are laws in place to protect the buyer but you may have to go to court as a result and as you were aware of the finance agreement then you may have lost your rights anyhow. If in doubt then steer clear, we suggest you find another bike without outstanding finance. The seller may be genuine but it isn't worth the risk.
Can I have just kph on my clock?
Must be in mph or have a mph conversion insert set into the kph clock. Mph stick on screen conversions are also acceptable.
ARE SPEED RATINGS IMPORTANT?
Yes. The speed rating of a tyre is in relation to the performance of the motorcycle, therefore the correct rating has to be fitted in accordance with the motorcycle manufacturer's recommendation. Failure to do so could and probably would void any warranty or insurance claim.
Just over three years ago, I was caught speeding, given three points and a fine. I subsequently sent my licence to DVLA to remove the points but they said they have to remain for four years?
The penalty points only last foor three years, however the DVLA will not remove until four years have expired. This does not affert the totting-up process if you receive further points
I recently had my bike stolen but because I wasn't the registered keeper and the bike was nicked from my rear garden when I told the insurance company the bike was garaged, they have refused to pay out. Where do I stand?
An insurance policy is a contract of good faith between you and the insurance company. They have to provide cover based on the information you provide to them over the phone, if the information is false, misleading or untre then they are within their rights in refusing to pay out. Obviously, they do not have time to visit every customer a nd verify the information.
Can I wear sunglasses?
Ironically it is perfectly legal to wear sunglasses on a motorcycle throughout the United Kingdom
I cant find anywhere to display my tax disc to I need to?
Must be displayed on the left hand side of all vehicles in Northern Ireland. The fine for failure to display has increased from £100 to £200.If you are taxed the Police ANPR or DVLA camera system will identify this if you pass the cameras but legally you must display a valid tax disc at all times. You are exempt from Tax if the motorcycle was registered on or before 31 December 1972
What is the legal tred limit on Tyres?
Minimum tread across three quarters of the tyre is 1mm
SHOULD MY NEW TYRES BE BALANCED?
Yes. Although tyres are made to very fine tolerances, there is nearly always an imbalance between the new tyre and the rim. An unbalanced wheel can cause irregular wear and vibration.
CAN I MIX TYRES?
Yes and no. It is a good idea to keep front and rear tyres a matched pair. All tyre manufacturers recommend this as the performance parameters from different manufacturers are different. You can mix say a BT56 front with a BT57 rear. These are both Bridgestone tyres but with slightly different characteristics, in laymans terms the 56 is grippier than a 57, and the grippier tyre always goes on the front, this is an OK mix. A Bridgestone rear and a Dunlop front is not agood mix.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TEST TYRE PRESSURES?
Always check tyre pressures when the tyres are cool. Hot air expands inside a hot tyre giving you different readings. Always consult your handbook for correct pressures and adjust for two up riding or sustained high speed use if recommended in your handbook.
CAN A FRONT TYRE BE USED ON THE REAR?
Most tyres are made for either purely front or purely rear use. However some manufacturers produce tyres to fit either front or rear, but these have directional arrows on the sidewall for front or rear use. If a tyre is made for front use only, then you cannot put it on the rear and visa versa for rear use.
DO NEW TYRES NEED TO BE RUN IN?
Yes. When new tyres are fitted they must be run in for approx. 100 miles with no excessive accelaration or braking, they should then be checked for correct seating on the rim and the tyre pressures checked. New tyres are slippy. Ignore this at your peril. Unfortunately we have had customers in the past who have ignored this advice and have fallen off their bike within five yards of our workshop entrance. You have been warned!!!
CAN I FIT A WIDER TYRE ON MY MOTORCYCLE?
It is not a good idea, unless it is recommended by the motorcycle manufacturer, or you have changed the wheels. Fitting a wider tyre on the same rim often deforms the natural profile of the tyre and can therefore cause adverse handling problems. Also, a larger tyre on the rear of a bike can slow the steering down.
DO I NEED TO REPLACE THE VALVE WHEN I CHANGE THE TYRE?
Always replace the rubber snap in valve for deterioration and if in doubt then replace it, always using the correct type and with an air tight metal valve cap.
DO I HAVE TO USE THE TYRES RECOMMENDED IN HY HAND BOOK?
Some motorcycle are very sensitive to different tyre combinations, however, the tyre manufacturers test their tyres on most models of superbike and normally can recommend a fitment for your particular model. If in any dobt then contact your local dealer, not the bloke down the pub.
CAN MOTORCYCLE TYRES BE REPAIRED?
Motorcycle tyres have to be repaired within the limits of British Standard BS159F. Unfortunately, this does not allow repairs on tyres with a Z speed rating or above. Most of todays sportsbikes of 600cc upwards are all fitted with Z or W rated tyres, therefore, these cannot be repaired within the British Standards. A temporary repair can be carried out to get you home or to a local garage, but the tyre would have to be replaced, the use of sealants is not recommended by tyre manufacturers and their use voids any warranty on the tyre.
How dark can my visor be?
On the mainland Dark Visors not offering up to 50% light transmittance are banned. Like the mainland visors in Northern Ireland must conform to BS 4110 and offer high-level penetration and scratch resistance. However it is our understanding that the legislation that bans dark visors on the mainland is not enforced here so long as they are used in daytime hours only. You could find yourself in a legal minefield if you are involved in an accident when daylight levels are low and you are wearing a dark visor.
Can a pillon use a dark visor on their crash helmet?
No, the same rules apply to the rider as they do for the pillon, the pillon is liable if their visor is illegal