I recently bought my first motorbike Yamaha XVS650 which has been converted to a bobber. I love the naked look of the bike but I do understand that it might be dangerous to ride and riding in the UK without a rear fender might not be the best.

I have already got my front and rear fenders perpared to be fitted but I have to ride for around 2 hours on the motorway to get it done. In the MOT paper fenders were put as "Advisory". Does that mean the bike is road legal to ride? and would it be too dangerous?

The bike looks like this (the paint isn't as good): https://i.ytimg.com/vi/h05doQX92Og/maxresdefault.jpg

Thank you! Rad

  • What you can do and what you should do are probably two different things. I don't know the legality of riding without a fender in the UK, so I'll leave it to my across the pond brethren to answer this. Mar 1, 2017 at 0:17
  • Don't ride when the roads are wet; you will not like the mud on you or your bike. Feb 6, 2020 at 19:35

3 Answers 3


UK law is odd - a vehicle can be in a state which is illegal on the road under construction & use laws (C&U) but if the item is not mentioned in the MOT test you'll get a valid MOT certificate.

However, strictly speaking it is NOT legal and a police or VOSA bod can pull you & punish you & your vehicle. If you have an accident, your insurance may be invalid and you're in court in short order.

How likely this is & what happens to you depends massively on the vehicle, the mod, and the attitude of you & the policeman who pulls you over.

A minor infringement of some trifling technicality may never even get noticed. Mods which are more obvious and/or obnoxious (insanely loud exhausts for example) will be more likely to be picked up.

Likewise if you don't take the p*** and are reasonable and decent when pulled over you often get given the benefit of the doubt. If you kick off about it your life can be made miserable...

I've been pulled in many countries in variously stupid / modded / borderline legal vehicles and mostly the cops just want to look at it, as long as you're cool with them they're happy.

To quote the Dutch cops as I rolled off the ferry:

"This is not legal, this is not legal, and this is not legal"

"It's legal in England"

"Oh, then this is a really cool car!"


If you have the MOT certificate (and advisory note) with you, and you also have proof of an appointment (printed out email with names and phone numbers would suffice) at the garage to have the fenders fitted, you'll be fine. You may still be stopped and given a producer, but that will be a moot point, as you're already on your way to have the issue fixed.

Generally the biggest issue with this is if the car failed the MOT altogether and there is a note on it saying that the vehicle is unsafe to drive. In that case, you need to trailer it - but in your specific instance, you'll be OK.

Of course, IANAL, and this message is not legal advice. It's worth what you paid for it.


there is no provision within the criteria of the MOT test for class 1-2, for inspection of mudguards. they are not therefore a testable item. no advisory should be issued as it is not within the testers remit to say they SHOULD have mudguards fitted.
here is the testers manual... https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-for-motorcycles there is no mention of a chain-guard either, although personally i think BOTH should be part of the MOT.

however they may be (although i haven't yet found anything) covered in the construction and use regulations (1986).

if anyone has an evening to kill and an insomniac, they might find something here.

  • The mudguard is often a fork brace (on bikes with conventional forks), hence leaving if off could be regarded as a major fail under section 2.2.2e "Forks or fork yoke with unsafe modification". But that is pushing it a bit!
    – Kickstart
    Feb 7, 2020 at 9:39

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