TOP MOTORCYCLE SHOW PLATES FAQS
Where can you use a motorcycle show plate?You can pop on a show plate on your motorcycle anywhere that is off-road so not on what constitutes the public highway. Be aware that the definition of the public highway has been considerably extended in recent years to include, for example, car parks. Here are some popular occasions to use a show plate:-
- At marketing events and promotions, motorbike shows and rallies
- Showrooms and garages use them to finish the display on an expensive or prestige bike, they don’t draw the eye and spoil the lines of the bike like a larger legal plate
- Show plates are popular at biker weddings, if you use adhesive plates or a plate holder, you can take the bike to the wedding or reception with a standard road legal plate and then park up and swap the plates for some fabulous photo opportunities
- Wherever a motorcycle is used for promotional purposes, a show plate can just finish the look at a photoshoot or in a film clip
- The square shape of the motorcycle show plate makes a fantastic decoration for a themed restaurant or drive-in, for an office or even the garage of a biking nut
Why are motorcycle show plates so popular?Motorcycles are all about their looks and from every angle; the rear view as you speed away is just as important as everything else which is why so many riders don’t like the addition of a large piece of yellow plastic. Show plates, however, allow you to reduce the size right down. You can choose character styling that appeals to you – the font and sizing – and also have some shade called a drop shadow behind the letters and numbers. Laser cutting allows you to raise the lettering giving a 3D effect. Create borders and margins, add in emblems and badges even your own choice of image which can be laser transferred onto the plate. The potential to personalise and tailor the plate to suit your own preferences and to fit with your bike are endless. No wonder motorcycle show plates are so popular.
Motorcycle show plate guide
The ultimate in cool
Let’s face it, riding a motorcycle can be cold, wet and dangerous compared to the ease and comfort of car travel. Well, you would say that if you weren’t a biker. Motorcycling is not about convenience, it’s all about looking cool and so the appearance of the bike and the biker are super important. The motorcycle plate should be the cherry on the icing on the cake rather than an ugly appendage stuck on as an afterthought.
Show plates are not the only way to make a bike look and sound cool. Fitting turbo boosters, customised paint and script, carbon fibre wheels, chroming or extravagant paintwork, fat spokes, the list just goes on and on. To overlook the number plate on a bike is to fail to understand the psychology and Modus Operandi of the biker.
For chapter and verse on motorcycle plates, refer to The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) 2001. This is where you can find the change in the law that removed the need for front plates for motorcycles registered on or after 1st September 2001. It’s optional now so you can display a front plate if you want to but its no longer a legal requirement.
Older bikes from the 1970s can now find themselves in the historic vehicle’s classification which was a new status introduced by the government in 2015. This is a rolling class so every year in April, more bikes will find themselves eligible. If your bike was built or first registered more than 40 years ago and no substantial changes or modifications have been made to it then you could find yourself free to customise and carry the number plates of your choice, bespoke to suit the age and style of your motorcycle. You will also find yourself exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty and your bike MOT although there is a catch-all legal requirement to keep the bike in a safe and roadworthy condition or you could find yourself landed with a fine of £2,500.
This new regulation is ideal for vintage bikes who can display the black and silver retro plates but there is a surprising amount of what would be perceived as pretty modern and powerful bikes which now qualify for this exemption.
Stuck with a road legal plate?
Why not make a feature of it and go for a personalised or private plate if you can’t reduce the size?