No more MoT tests for old bikes

Pre-1960 vehicles exempted from annual tests

Posted: 21 May 2012
by Visordown News

BIKES (and cars) made before 1960 will be exempt from the MoT test after 18th November this year after a change in the law.

Since such old vehicles make up only a tiny percentage of vehicles on the road (0.6 percent), and account for an even smaller percentage of accidents (0.03 percent), the government has decided they shouldn't have to go through the same roadworthiness testing as more recent machines.

The theory is that owners of cars and bikes that old tend to treat them with kid gloves and look after them meticulously, so there's no need to check if they're skimping on maintenance.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “Owners of classic cars and motorbikes tend to be enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles well. They don't need to be told to look after them.”

While no longer annually tested, pre-1960 machines will still have to meet all the usual legal requirements to be used on the road, with the right lighting, tyres, brakes etc. They just won't be tested on them.

With classics also qualifying for cheap insurance and free road tax, the case for running one as an everyday commuter seems to be getting increasingly strong. Would it be enough to persuade you to swap to classic bikes? If yes, then check out our guide to classic bikes.

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Discuss this story

A well looked after 50's Matchless/Norton 500 single will certainly make a good commuter, and quick enough to keep up with modern traffic (in town at least).

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 08:55

Quick, over to ebay and get a half decent classic before everyone else has the same idea.

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 09:37

Awesome !!! Watch the sales of classic bikes increase, along with the amount of brat Bonnies thrashing about around :D

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 09:56

Brilliant should help save loads of old bikes from the scap yard

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 10:55

Nice one, the government actually does something that makes sense.

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 11:36

A good decision by the government. We certainly would not have got that from the Labour party.

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 14:28

Until the first time a child/dog/pensioner gets hurt/killed by a machine with no MOT (and let's face it, it's probably gona be a car)and the lawyers get involved.

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 14:59

My local mot geezer laughs his socks off when he tests my old AJS 500. it still passes every time (£15 at gt tires) but as he says its a vintage bike so as long as its fitted it will pass, it isn’t expected to work like a modern bike.

For example, my classic AJS has a nice chrome Doherty front brake lever, connected by a shiny black sturdy cable to a well crafted puller system on the hub which actuates the alloy brake cam that opens the shoes that grip the drum and stop the bike . well all that’s true except for the stopping part, with the brake full on its non-asbestos brake linings just polish the drum the do nothing to stop it.

With over 70mpg, tires that last 10-15,000 miles (Avon deathmaster front and rear) and chains that never wear it makes a great commuter. Its just the 1 pint of straight 50 oil per 500 miles that costs! my AJ is like a dog, he likes to mark his territory

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 16:30

Yes very nice but why set it at 1960? What's wrong with setting it at say 1970? There are lots of bikes from the 60's that only ever see the light of day when the sun shines and there's a rally someplace. AND a lot of those bikes made in the 60's were more road worthy than a good many of the pre 1960 models from that cut off point. A 1968 Bonnie for instance. How many of those do you see out and about on a daily basis? Not many and I bet pretty much every one is as good if not better than the day it rolled of the line at Meriden. Same with BSA's and Nortons of that age. Mind you has as already been said there are probably only a small percentage of bikes pre 1960 still actually in use today so the government aren't really going to loose out.

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 07:36

Its been a long, long time since I saw a 1960 bike on a scrap-heap. The only bikes you see in the scrapyards are those that are made in China and about a couple of years, at the most, old.
I dont think you will see any hooligans or speed-freaks riding any pre-1960 bikes as the average age of the owners of these bikes is well over 60. !! Also bear in mind that a modern bike mechanic will really struggle to repair a faulty magneto, dynamo or old carburettor, let alone rebuild a primary drive on a Vincent Black Shadow.

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 19:38

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