Top 10 pre-1978 bikes

For an MOT-exempt classic from next year


FROM next May there’s going to be a rolling exemption from MOTs as well as road tax for ‘vehicles of historic interest’ over 40 years old. That includes bikes, provided they’re not heavily modified.

While pre-1960 bikes are already MOT-exempt, they’re simply too old to be very usable. With the new rules, anything made in 1978 or earlier is included, bringing us into the era of multi-cylinder engines, disc brakes and alloy wheels. In other words, you could have a truly usable classic bike while still being exempt from both VED and the MOT.

Although we’d still suggest that an annual, voluntary MOT test is a good idea, and the saving from not taking one is pretty minimal, the news is sure to have had plenty of people scanning the classifieds for pre-78 bikes nonetheless.

Here top 10 of machines from that era, starting with…

10: Honda GL1000

Back in the 1970s, the Honda Gold Wing wasn’t the leviathan it’s become in later generations. Instead it was a cutting-edge streetbike, with no fairing and the latest in engine technology. The flat four, 1000cc engine was water-cooled – a first for any Japanese four-stroke – and its 78hp output, along with disc brakes and (by 1978) cast wheels meant it was a bike to boast about.




You will be able to spot the skinflints of the world by the bike they struggle along on before it fails after a few weeks needing an unobtainable part.

BwokStrip's picture

Yeah feel like you hit the nail on the head there.

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