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D3/Ariel Leader Special
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Dick the Cat
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August 21, 2018 - 4:54 pm
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Hello folks,

I am a new kid to this club. I am a retired mechanical engineer from the Aerospace industry. I have achieved a long felt want, in that I have fitted a D3 plunger Bantam with a Ariel Leader engine. It went together beautifully. Also I have uprated the front end with BSA heavyweight forks from a late C10L and a 7 inch brake from a B40WD. My worry is, having spent the time and significant money on this project, how can I retain the original registration of the D3? I have the beige logbook and an old MOT certicate, copies of same certified by a local DVLA office a week before they all closed down, along with the original engine crank cases. Has anyone had experience of how to register their special engined Bantam with the DVLA? Any pointers much appreciated.

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swalsh58
St. Mary's Bay, Kent
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August 21, 2018 - 7:39 pm
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Have you read the guidance on registering with DVLA? Its on this site here - ** Please log in to view **

Has the frame been altered in any way? If it hasn't then I should be able to issue a dating certificate for it, but from what you have described you will need to complete a built up vehicle report V627/1, an application to retain the original registration V765, and a registration application form V55/5, all obtainable from DVLA. What I need to issue a dating certificate is described in the link.

The best scenario would be that you get to keep the original registration; the worst would be that your bike ends up ion a Q plate. Its always best when doing something like this to start with a machine or even just a frame that is already registered with DVLA.

I hope that helps

Current bikes......1958 D5,  and a 76 Honda C90 in the workshop.

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Dick the Cat
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August 24, 2018 - 1:29 am
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Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have read the notes on registering with the DVLA. I already have a dating certificate which I obtained as a current member of the BSAOC dated 30/05/2012, which was when I started on this project. It has taken me some considerable time and money to source the BSA parts required to complete the bike to my satisfaction. I set out to produce a machine that could have been factory built, save for the fact that although BSA bought out Ariel in 1951, the Leader engine was not produced until 1959. Other folk have produced a Bantam /Ariel using swinging arm frames.None with a plunger frame to my knowledge. I have not altered the geometry of the original D3 frame in any way whatsoever, but of course, I have had to change the engine mounts to suit the engine swap. I have documented how I did this with photographs which show how much stronger the frame is now that it has internal slugs. It is a pity that we have to bring our machines to such a state of completeness before the DVLA will consider issuing a registration of any sort. When you consider that the exchange crankshaft was over £400 alone and next stage is new fork stanchions and finishing  and lining in Pastel Grey 2 pack which will not be cheap. The thought of DVLA issuing a Q plate after all this, I find very distasteful. Is this what happens in the Triton Club? I have a dilemma now. As I do not want a Q plate under any circumstances do I continue or not? I could just have a trailer queen in the garage, but what a shame after all that time, money and effort. Perhaps it would be better broken for spares?

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swalsh58
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August 24, 2018 - 8:13 am
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That is your choice. Your dating certificate from the BSA Owners Club is out of date for DVLA purposes, they should be less than 12 months old.

As you have changed the engine mounts, which are part of the frame, I will not be able to issue a dating certificate unfortunately. I believe it’s always worth trying, so I would follow the guidance you have already read, and try to get it registered with the documents you have. What can you lose? DVLA will come back to you on what is required to get it registered, but I would include the V627 as mentioned above

Current bikes......1958 D5,  and a 76 Honda C90 in the workshop.

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Dick the Cat
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August 24, 2018 - 4:19 pm
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Thank you for your valued advice Steve. I did say that I didn't know of a plunger framed Ariel twin, but it was a readers special in Motorcycle Mechanics magazine dated  November 1968 that at first inspired me as a schoolboy. The official goalposts have moved significantly since I started this build. I have decisions to make, but to be honest I don't rate my chances of being able to retain the original registration in view of what you are telling me. What have I got to lose you say? Well, I still have a fair bit to do and spend before I reassemble the bike and am ready to fill the forms in. I need a running vehicle to present.

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swalsh58
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August 24, 2018 - 5:12 pm
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If your reclaiming the original number, it isn't essential that it is running. Its only if your applying for an age related plate that it must be complete and roadworthy. If they want to inspect it, they send contractors out, who know little or nothing about bikes, they just check the numbers.

I would get all the paperwork together that you have (even the OOD dating certificate) and send it in to them now. Does the dating certificate mention alterations or additions to the machine? If not, then don't include the V627.  Let them make a choice about how they want to handle it.

Good Luck

Current bikes......1958 D5,  and a 76 Honda C90 in the workshop.

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Dick the Cat
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August 24, 2018 - 6:53 pm
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That sounds more encouraging Steve. There is only the original numbers and info on the dealer it was dispatched to in 1954 on the dating certicate I have. I will give that a go. 

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