Restoration invaluable for sorting my registration

I have a 1958 Norton Dominator 99 which I have owned since purchasing it from Pride and Clarke in 1962.

In the late 1960s I converted it to a ‘café racer’ but due to family commitments and lifestyle changes (two children and four-wheel transport), the bike has not been on the road since 1970.

Over a protracted period of time I have gradually restored it, still in café racer trim, repainting it, upgrading many parts and replacing most of the nuts and bolts with stainless ones.

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I am hoping to complete the restoration soon and will need to have the bike entered onto the DVLA database as it is no longer recorded there.

I am always interested to read about restorations or rebuilds from various sources which might prove useful to me in finishing my Norton and registering it with the DVLA.

It was with this in mind that I took particular interest in the article in your July 2020 edition of CBG entitled ‘Corona competitor’ but found it very confusing as the photographs of the BSA do not appear to be of the finished article.

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Also, there was no information regarding the registering of the bike, but I understand this as it was obviously not part of the writer’s brief.

The BSA bike is referred to as ‘road-legal’ but the photographs do not show this to be the case. For example:

  1. The front brake is not connected – there is no handlebar lever or cable attached
  2. The rear numberplate is illegal and partially obscured by a mudguard stay
  3. There appears to be a pillion seat but no associated footrests
  4. There is reference to a ‘minimalist’ speedometer but I could not see one
  5. The top photograph on page 14 has the caption ‘Is that a road-legal speedway bike?’ and the answer would appear to be No!

    As the BSA bike had been MoT’d I can only assume that the photographs were taken before its final completion or it was again being worked on at the time they were taken, although there was no reference to this.

    Having also repainted the frame on my Norton Dominator (it is now black but was originally red), I am wondering if retaining the red petrol tank and primary chaincase will enable it to be registered as ‘red’.

    I ask this as I note that the DVLA records for the 1954 (not 1957 as in the article) BSA 516 YUA show it as ‘blue’ when the frame appears to be black and the only blue colour is on the petrol tank. In addition, I see the BSA has an MoT test certificate which expires May 27, 2021.

    Although an MoT test is not a legal requirement for my Norton or the BSA, I wonder if having one will make the task of registering my Norton easier?
    Colin Appleby

Colin and I have spoken since about helping, I shot the bike before the MoT test, which had the brake sorted. The pad was a ‘bum stop’ and the numberplate is regarded as age related. Matt

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features online at and in the August 2020 issue of Classic Bike Guide – on sale now!

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