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Is your number up??

January 23, 2011


Melton Mowbray, England – So what is this thing with number plates?

Out on a call one afternoon recently, nice and sunny, bike running well, rural roads so little traffic, good fun. Up ahead in the distance I saw shimmering light; in the absence of a mission bell tolling I made the correct assumption that this was not in fact the Hotel California but, and as it turned out, the sun glinting on the exhaust of a brand spanking new BMW GS 1100.

But there was something strange about this Bemer had the boys and girls in Spandau come up with something new, OMG had something fallen off. No it was simple it was fitted with a number plate of an incredibly small size mounted at a near horizontal angle making it almost impossible to see let alone read. Bizarre, but even more bizarrely why?

Is it to do with style, posing, fashion, design, personal choice, a kick back against authority, evading speed cameras and automatic number plate readers, sticking two fingers up at the police, trying to impress, having all the gear but no idea, being the only pub pundit who has never been nicked for running a small plate, being the pub pundit who’s been nicked more times than anyone else for running a small plate, being a lifestyle biker, being an individual, being bloody minded, being a MAG member, being non conformist, being a pain in the arse,  being the smug tosser who never gets stopped by the police or a statement of individuality in world overburdened with petty legislation and officialdom.

Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps I’ve sold out by fitting a number plate that complies with Regulation 10 of the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001. Perhaps its me whose joined the herd, just one of the sheep, one of the number plate clones, a disciple of British Standard BS AU 145d.

But then again I always ran a complying plate because many others did not, so by complying I was not complying, if you get my drift. So perhaps it’s my fault I started a fashion of complying and now everyone does. I am a victim of my own protest! I have misguidedly introduced conformity to the biking masses.

Apart from paranoia there appears to be only one way out of this conundrum. I’ll just have to fit an itsy bitsy teenie weenie number plate then I won’t be conforming again. Well not until everyone else starts fitting small plates again that is.

Blimey this hard arsed, bacon roll eating, on the edge of society, man alone, black leather, non conforming biker thing is a real pain sometimes!

Have fun! Ride safe!

© Back Roads Rider 2011

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2011 10:27 pm

    Anecdotally I have found small plates seem to attract more attention from the law than the regular ones do.

    If having a small one is a way to somehow be subversive and evade PC plod it is counterproductive.

    Having said that I think the plates could be a bit smaller. They are ridiculously huge

  2. Ian Cook permalink
    January 24, 2011 8:22 am

    Hmmm – not up to your usual concise & precise style today. Maybe your brain was scrambled by the time-warp through which you fell?

    The last “brand spanking new BMW GS 1100 [sic]” will have been made in 1999, nearly 12 years ago and will have been called a BMW R1100GS.

    Contrary to popular opinion, there is NO statutory minimum size for motorcycle number plates. There will be a practical minimum size, dependent on the registration number and registration year, as the DVLA regulations do dictate character size, spacing, font and arrangement.

    Go here and do your homework again:

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    • Back Roads Rider permalink*
      January 24, 2011 11:31 pm

      Oh dear I get the feeling the lids popped off a can of worms!

      My blog! My rules! My humour!

      Somethings are not as they appear to be.

      • Ian Cook permalink
        January 25, 2011 1:00 am


  3. Teapot permalink
    January 24, 2011 3:35 pm

    Like Back Roads Rider, I just don’t get why people feel the need to have a small plate. I also don’t get why so many riders take a perfectly adequate, legal exhaust off a bike and pay loads of their own money for an after market one, usually one which attracts the attention of the law. I’d rather spend tht money on the actual riding: petrol, sustenance on the way or lodging when I’ve got there.

  4. Dave permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:03 am

    Well if you don’t do something to attract the attention of the police you can’t whine about them persecuting you can you? Ask all those innocent riders who were only doing 130 on the by pass not bothering anyone, the police have just got nothing better to do. And of course if we must have traffic police then they should only be allowed to stop car drivers as they are the real danger on the roads…


  1. El Camino – The Road

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