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Re-importing, starting, MOT, Insurance and registering


Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC member, my 1952 Rapide arrives back to the UK from Australia next week having tracked down and bought the machine my father and I had in the 1970's. Few questions if I may:
1 - MOT
I live in Gerrards Cross, near Slough, Reading - anyone got a contact of a friendly garage that can MOT a Vincent intelligently in the area?
2 - Starting
She hasn't run for a month or so (fully restored engine by Terry Prince) - I haven't yet managed to buy "Know Thy Beast" so can someone help me with starting procedure for a one month layoff. The bike has electric start fitted - I would have guessed that a few gentle revolutions with the kickstarter without firing would have been enough after a relatively short period of time but I have read on the site of recommendations to oil down the plug holes, the rocker covers and prime the oil pump housing. Thoughts?
3 - Insurance
Anyone got a recommendation for insuring the bike - I have a policy for 3 other machines from Carole Nash but they only do a maximum value of £15K so I guess I will need to insure the Vincent seperately.
4 - Registration
I think I have read all the paperwork properly but wondered if anyone has done this before.
I think I get it MOT'd, Insured, get some paperwork from the HMRC when it arrives at the docks and then fill in a fistfull of papers and forms then toddle off down to the local DVLA office in Reading with the lot (but not the bike) and get them to help me!!
Looking forward to getting out there on the road and joining the odd rally - I'm going to try and have everything done for the Riders at Brooklands but it may all be too much to get done in that timeline.
Thanks for reading
Stuart Metcalfe

Ian Savage

VOC Vice President
VOC Member
I can't help with MOT unless you want to come to Waltham Abbey, had my twin done yesterday, all ok.

Starting, a month is almost no time in respect of leaving a Vin un-run. However having the electric leg make it dead simple, I'd pump some oil into the big end quill and pour some (1/2 pint) down the push rod tubes, take out the plugs squirt a couple of shots of oil in the cylinders and hit the starter.
The engine should spin quite fast with no plugs in turn it over until the oil return into the oil tank starts to bubble with air. Plugs in, start and ride.

Insurance, try Footman James I changed to them from C Nash when their prices started to get excessive. I’ve tested their recovery service first class.


Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thanks Ian


Cheers, appreciated - I'm mechanically rusty I guess, it's been 30 odd years since I worked on Vincents with my Dad, but aged 14 we split the cases and rebuilt several for club members so I guess it will come back to me when I get my hands on it (yes I am very excited).

I may end up simply ringing round some bike workshops locally to see if anyone has done older machines.

Thanks again for replying.


Prince Duster

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Vincent MOTs

Hi Stuart,

I've used Bill Bunn Motorcycles Ltd. 020 8560 6396. 194 South Ealing Road, London, W5 4RJ, a couple of times for the twin - and come away happy, with MOT passes.

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
I have used Keith Manning Motorcycles in Winnersh for many years. It just by the M4 bridge and before Sainsbury's on the Reading/Wokingham road. Steve is very helpful, understanding and professional. You need to book unless it is raining. Tel 01189 786326.

He doesn't run it so you could take it on a trailer. Also it is actually legal to ride it there even without a registration number; provided you have made an appointment.

See you at Brooklands



Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It should be possible for you to get your original registration number back, provided it hasn't been reallocated elsewhere. Provided you can provide documentary evidence as to the original reg. number, I can't see there being a major problem. I've certainly done it on more than one occasion in the past.


Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Registration number - unfortunately sold!!

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I have contacted DVLA and the original number, KWS 100 has been sold on. Shame.

I am told that the local DVLA office - Reading - will allocate me a new number age related and transferable (I have the original buff log book) but that I have no choice in the number unfortunately - it is just next off their list.

Thanks for that.


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