Could my exhaust fail an MoT for noise?

1 of 1

Q. I’ve been finding it difficult to find out what the current law is regarding motorcycle noise levels. Can you help?

My MoT test centre told me it is now ‘lax’ and down to an officer’s ‘personal opinion’.

I asked at the desk in Colwyn Bay police station and the person had no idea, and advised me to “flash my lights and wave down a traffic police officer” to ask them!
Steve Davidson, email
The MoT requirements in respect of exhaust markings did change a couple of years ago, when the requirement for BS or EU-marking on the exhaust silencer was removed.

The tester is required to check the exhaust for security, deterioration and completeness, and with the engine running they will assess the silencer’s effectiveness in reducing as far as is reasonable the noise emitted.

If the MoT Inspector then thinks the condition or type of exhaust is such that the noise emitted is clearly in excess of a standard silencer in average condition, or he finds some unacceptable markings such as track use only or not for road use, then the bike will fail.

If you wish to appeal against a refusal to issue a test certificate, then you should ask the tester for an appeal form (VT17) which you would send to the local VOSA office with the required fee no later than 14 working days after the test.

Marc Abbott

By Marc Abbott