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New motorcyclists have been paying up to £80 to get a certificate they do not need and which is not recognised in law.

Suppliers have been incorrectly claiming the certificates, which state a bike has been restricted to 33bhp to meet power limits for new riders, are required by insurance companies and police.

In fact MCN can reveal:
• There is no legal requirement for riders to have a so-called 33bhp certificate.
• Insurers say categorically a claim will not be rejected because you don’t have one.
• Neither police nor insurers regard them as proof a motorcycle is restricted.
• There is no industry standard on what they look like or who can issue them.
• Examples can be bought on eBay for any bike for £18.

The certificates are supplied when bikes are fitted with power restriction kits. They include the name of the owner at the time.

A leading supplier of both kits and certificates has been telling riders who buy second-hand bikes already fitted with a kit that they need to pay £25 for a replacement certificate in their name and around £60 for a dealer to check the bike is still restricted.

We telephoned FI International posing as a customer and were told we needed the new certificate because: “The police and insurance companies have stated the certificate has to be in your name.”
The salesman at FI International added: “With insurance claims it might be a case where they would refuse insurance because of it.”

In fact insurers and police say the certificate is worth no more in your own name than anyone else’s and there’s absolutely no need to pay for a new one.

An FI salesman told us twice during two separate phone calls that we could need a certificate in the event of making an insurance claim. Asked if a claim could be rejected, he said: “Yes. You know insurance companies. They will try to get out of anything if they can. Obviously they don’t want to pay out as much as possible.”


Simon Jackson, Commercial Director of major bike insurance broker Carole Nash, said: “Are they required by insurers? The answer is no. They are no more than a receipt to show that work has been done.”
A spokesman for underwriting giant Aviva said: “It’s highly unlikely you would ever be asked to provide one of these certificates and a claim would not be rejected because you were unable to.”

FI suggested the certificate would be taken as “proof” a bike was restricted in the event the machine itself was too damaged to inspect.

The salesman said that without one of the certificates: “If something was to happen, you’ve got no proof that effectively it was restricted unless they start taking the bike apart. And obviously if the bike is in such a wreck that it’s not look-able at, obviously there’s no proof that it’s been restricted.”

MCN asked if the onus would not then fall with the insurer to prove the bike was unrestricted. The salesman told us: “No because it’s your duty as the rider to prove that it has been restricted.”

A spokesman for online bike insurer eBike said the reverse was true. “In that circumstance the burden of proof would lie with us,” he said. “We’d have to demonstrate the bike wasn’t restricted and the customer had misled us.”

Aviva’s spokesman said: “The fact is you could get one of the certificates and then DIY the bike back to unrestricted anyway.”

Met traffic police officer Paul Mostyn also said a certificate would not be regarded as proof a bike was restricted. “If we believed it was not restricted we would still demand for it to be examined,” he said. “We wouldn’t take that certificate as gospel. The proof is to have a collision investigator examine the vehicle.”

When confronted FI accepted we had been given incorrect information and said staff would be retrained. Sales and Marketing Director Fred Thomas said:

“From the information you’ve given me, I’ve obviously got to look at the people who answer the phones and the information they give. It’s certainly not our policy to force people into changing the name on the certificate although we do recommend it. It seems that the full information isn’t getting through quite correctly.”

he added.

“Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention because trust me, it will get sorted.”

The firm’s practices came to our attention following complaints from readers. One said: “I was told my insurance would be void without a certificate.”

Manufacturers provide their own versions of the certificates. Suzuki, which offers a range of bikes suitable for restriction, said the certificates showed the firm had not sold someone a bike they were not licensed for. A spokesman said: “There isn’t any industry-wide standard on it. Any Suzuki dealer that fits a restriction kit is given some paperwork which both the dealer and customer have to sign to say it’s been restricted and then we keep a record of it. It’s basically an agreement to show it’s been fitted under the terms of their licence.”

When we phoned a Suzuki dealer posing as a customer, we were correctly told there was no need to get a new certificate just because it had a previous owner’s name on it.

The Motorcycle Industry Association said there was no legal requirement for 33bhp riders to have the certificate at all. A spokesman said: “If the bike itself complies with the 33bhp limit then they are riding within the terms of their licence.”

The unreliability of 33bhp certificates generally as proof of power restriction was highlighted by an eBay sale offering them for any machine without inspection for £18. The ad stated: ‘Have you lost/misplaced your 33BHP restriction certificate? No problem. We will supply you with another. All we need is the colour, reg number, chassis number, engine number and exact make/model of your bike.

Source: Motorcycle News UK | Motorbikes | MCN
 

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I wonder how many restricted licence holders will ride unrestricted bikes now this has come to light???

(possibly no more than currently do I suppose.....)
 

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After reading all the info there, you definately don't need one....especially from the Law/Police side of things AND the Insurers being in total agreement !!! You're right Loopy it is a Rip-Off !!!
Just a shame you had to pay it Loops :rolleyes: :crap:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After reading all the info there, you definately don't need one....especially from the Law/Police side of things AND the Insurers being in total agreement !!! You're right Loopy it is a Rip-Off !!!
Just a shame you had to pay it Loops :rolleyes: :crap:
Under the terms of my licence I can only ride a bike restricted to 33bhp for 2 years from the date of my test.. My bike was taken to a shop, the restrictors fitted and the paperwork signed by both me and the mechanic who fitted them.. My restriction period ends on the 5th February, next month, and then I can ride anything I want.. like my new blade :D:D:D

What the article above is saying is that people saying that you need to buy a certificate to prove your bike is restricted is a rip off.. Those selling them on ebay are the ones ripping people off.. If the police/insurers believe your bike isn't restricted they can have it checked to see if the restictors are still in place and if it isn't you could be up to your neck in poo!!!!
 

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Under the terms of my licence I can only ride a bike restricted to 33bhp for 2 years from the date of my test.. My bike was taken to a shop, the restrictors fitted and the paperwork signed by both me and the mechanic who fitted them.. My restriction period ends on the 5th February, next month, and then I can ride anything I want.. like my new blade :D:D:D

What the article above is saying is that people saying that you need to buy a certificate to prove your bike is restricted is a rip off.. Those selling them on ebay are the ones ripping people off.. If the police/insurers believe your bike isn't restricted they can have it checked to see if the restictors are still in place and if it isn't you could be up to your neck in poo!!!!
Yeah I understand that, its just as you were saying the police and insureres don't really give a rats ass about the certificate, as they can and would HAVE to get the bike checked out anyway to really certify if the restrictors are in place.....like you said its a real rip-off !!!

Cant wait for the 5th of Feb' for you hun, hope its a nice day :thumb: :clap: :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cant wait for the 5th of Feb' for you hun, hope its a nice day :thumb: :clap: :D :D
So do I.. I keep looking at the blade wistfully everytime I go in the garage :O I wanna go ride her now but I daren't..

Anyhoo... Only 33 days to go :D
 

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in answer to the title, YES! theres no way you would get busted for not being restricted anyway unless you got caught doing more than 100 (which then makes the argument academic as you get banned and lose license anyway..)
I do think restriction is a good idea tho, it teaches you how to handle a proper bike without too many brown-pant moments. and ill never forget how as a 17 yr old whipped out the restriction on my sv650 went off down the road cracked it open and soiled my pants!
 

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Hey I've recently brought a CBR400RR NC29 and i need to restrict it. I understand a certificate is not solid proof that the bike is restricted but every garage still quotes that it costs £170 for the part because of the certificate. I've looked for a set of washers on ebay but so far no luck, is there any advice anyone could give me on what do do?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey I've recently brought a CBR400RR NC29 and i need to restrict it. I understand a certificate is not solid proof that the bike is restricted but every garage still quotes that it costs £170 for the part because of the certificate. I've looked for a set of washers on ebay but so far no luck, is there any advice anyone could give me on what do do?
We paid the full price to have mine restricted and like you say just cos I had the bit of paper didn't mean she was restricted..

There is a set on Ebay at the moment.. Here is the LINK to them :thumb:
 

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We paid the full price to have mine restricted and like you say just cos I had the bit of paper didn't mean she was restricted..

There is a set on Ebay at the moment.. Here is the LINK to them :thumb:
Cheers for the quick reply, I really don't know what to do. Do I take the risk or take the brunt of around £270 just to fit 4 washers worth £30. It seems to me like a bit of a rip off. :\
 

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I just rung up a few of the garages around me and almost all of them say they won't fit a set of washers without the paper work.
They say that the certificate is proof of the restriction but when I tell them about the MCN article they just get arsey and say no.

It can't be about making money because the part they have to buy is £170 so i don't really understand why they are refusing.

:idunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's easy enough to fit them yourself.. Whip off the tank, the airbox, the carbs.. Fit the washers in the top of the carb rubbers and replace all the bits in reverse order.. You can do it in less than an hour if you have the correct tools..
 

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It's easy enough to fit them yourself.. Whip off the tank, the airbox, the carbs.. Fit the washers in the top of the carb rubbers and replace all the bits in reverse order.. You can do it in less than an hour if you have the correct tools..
I was thinking about fitting them myself but i spoke to a garage near me and they said they would fit a second hand set and give a certificate saying they did it. Sorted :D
Cheers for the help loopy, much appreciated. Glad this site is here.
 
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