Main menu:

Site search



Archive for 'msva'

Minsk goes back to VOSA

After the modifications to the bike were completed I popped down to VOSA’s Garretts Green testing station. For a £15 retest fee they re-inspected the bike, and guess what?

It passed!!
Here’s the certificate to prove it:

Now all that’s left is to learn to ride a bike, pay the customs and duty, get the bike plates, insure it, enter the Mongol rally, find sponsorship, find a pack to ride with, and ride it to Mongolia. It’s going to be a doddle(!)

Modifications to the Minsk

After the first failed attempt to get the bike Minister’s Approval, I had to make some mods to bring the vehicle in line with the required standards. After all this creativity and bodging I deserve a Blue Peter badge.

Protectionary device: after hunting on ebay I bought one of these

and with a bit of cutting…

There was even a campaign on facebook to stop me “Killing The Ball”!

Removed leading sharp bits

Insulated the wiring. 8 metres of wiring tape!

Secured the snag dangers, using only the best materials

Turned deadly edges into cuddly corners

Added clips to the new fuel line

And finally the ‘immobiliser’ aka household lightswitch which killed the spark

Now to see whether the changes will deem it safe on the roads…

Preparing the Minsk to pass the MSVA

I needed new tyres. Naturally I went to the nearest superbike dealer and garage. They mostly looked confused.

New mirrors:

New rubber:

I’m working on the fuel cap protection device, the pannier rack and the immobiliser myself. Watch this space…

VOSA inspection #1

When you import a vehicle from outside the EU it must pass a Single Vehicle Approval test before it can be entitled to a numberplate and legal status. The test is essentially an extended MOT that checks for road-worthiness: emissions, brakes, quality of construction, safety features etc. I’m sensing that the Minsk might struggle with this one.

10.30am VOSA Vehicle Inspection Centre, Garetts Green, Birmingham:

It failed. Unsurprisingly. On lots of things:

  • No safety marking on the tyres.
  • Needs two mirrors that are concave.
  • Must have an additional security device aside from the key (the steering lock doesn’t work).
  • Needs to have the pannier rack smoothened in case I hit a pedestrian.
  • Needs a protection device over the fuel cap to prevent myself hurting…. ahem myself if I go over the handlebars.
  • The fuel line needs to be secured using jubilee clips.
  • The wiring needs to be fully insulated and snag free.

But the brakes passed, and so did the smokey exhaust!! :)


After chatting with the VOSA people, it transpired that the bike will need a labeled fuel line and that the exhaust must bear some manufacturer’s logo. The fuel line cost £1 and was a doddle, but the exhaust is a bespoke modification… oh wait, looks like it had one all along:

(the spray paint making sure that the manufacturer’s logo is nice and visible. I guess whomever originally chose that design did so because the Minsk bird-in-flight would be a bugger to spray paint on using only masking tape and enamel warhammer paint. Luckily the engine block one would be much easier for them to use. I assume.)