There seems to be confusion about the registration of bikes with the sidecar on the right side for use on the UK roads. We are still getting phone calls asking about the viability of pretending they are trikes. The interest has become much greater since the Motorcycle Action Group stated in their publication that there were moves to overturn this law. Please be aware that moves to overturn a law is NOT the same as the law having been overturned. It may happen, but it has not happened at the time of writing this.

Recently there have been a few sidecars registered as trikes (in the mis guided belief that having twin wheel drive some how makes them something other than a motorcycle and sidecar). Please note - F2 Motorcycles ltd has not and will not register bikes illegally as trikes. Below is the text portion from our current form regarding the purchase of 2WD combos. SEE DARK RED SECTION.
Any bike registered before 1981 can have the sidecar on either side and be legally classed as a motorcycle and sidecar.
Any bike registered after 1981 must have the sidecar on the left of the bike.
There are moves to over turn the 1981 ruling, and if this happens then I guess from the date it is overturned any bike will be able to have the sidecar on either side. Assuming the law is over turned, the situation regarding bikes registered after 1981 but before the date this law is over turned is still unclear.
The illegal registration of these bikes as trikes is obviously out of my control, but my advice is as follows.
If you register a trike, you must insure a trike (not a motorcycle and sidecar). After three years you will need an MOT. Any trike MOT station should refuse to MOT it on the grounds that the wheels are in the wrong place as are the lights, indicators, etc. Any bike MOT station should refuse to MOT it on the grounds that it is not a bike. Obtaining an MOT for a bike from an MOT station that is not up to date with the current law, will not help as you will have an MOT for a bike but you will have a trike registration document. This will mean you are driving with no MOT and therefore no insurance. If you yourself first registered this vehicle then you only have yourself to blame. However if you were misinformed by a dealer and the dealer registered it for you I would think you have a good case for a refund. This applies to any motorcycle with the sidecar fitted to the right hand side of the bike with or without twin wheel drive.

Please note, this is our understanding of the law after taking legal advice and lengthy discussion with the relevant government bodies.
We still advise taking independent legal advice if you are about to buy or have already bought a right hand mounted sidecar outfit
.

The section below in dark red is the text portion of the form we need signing if you wish to purchase a 2WD Ural for off road use only.

 

 

 

 

Dear reader,

There seems to be some confusion regarding the legality of twin wheel drive (with the sidecar on the right) Ural motorcycle combinations for use on the public highway within the UK.

We have in our possession correspondence from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) which clearly state the position with regards to the legality of Ural 2WD combinations, and listed below are a few quotes from these letters:

“I think that your machine would be viewed as a motorcycle with sidecar attached irrespective of the fact that the sidecar wheel is driven. This argument may be supported by the fact that the framework Directive for European whole vehicle type approval of two and three-wheeled vehicles refers to a motor tricycle as having three symmetrically arranged wheels”. (Malcolm Fendick, DETR with direct reference to the Uralmoto 2WD combination)

“We have considered carefully the issues surrounding the use of a motorcycle combination with the sidecar fitted to the right hand side. In view of the implications for general road safety, I do not consider that changes in UK legislation to permit such a configuration can be justified.” (Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State)

“I must make it clear that the sale of these machines in the UK for use on the road would be unlawful and if purchased for use off road, they would not, subsequently, be able to be used legally on public roads.” (Malcolm Fendick, DETR with direct reference to the Uralmoto 2WD combination)

“As it has been explained to Uralmoto, GB legislation requires that sidecars must be fitted to the left-hand side of motorcycles and because of the implications for road safety, the Department is not minded to pursue changes in legislation to allow the use of sidecars fitted to the right-hand side of motorcycles. The legislation prohibiting the use of right-hand sidecars was enacted in 1980.” (Malcolm Fendick, DETR)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Based on the information which we have at present, we are of the opinion that registering a 2WD outfit for use on the road, either as a motorcycle combination or a tricycle, does not comply with the present UK laws, and there are no ‘grey areas’. There are also MOT implications - there are only a few trike MOT stations in the UK and it will be very clear to them that a Uralmoto 2WD is a motorcycle and sidecar, not a tricycle, and will not be able to MOT the vehicle. Under the current trike MOT legislation a Uralmoto 2WD will not pass as it does not conform to tricycle specifications.

We are happy to supply 2WD outfits for off road use, but we will not help nor encourage our customers to register them for use on the road, until such time that we are satisfied that UK law states it is legal.

If you are purchasing a 2WD combination from F2 Motorcycles, please sign below to confirm that you have read and understood the above.

SIGN ................................................. PRINT ........................................................

DATE ..../..../....

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