A Guide to Motorcycle Modification in Singapore
The act of pimping one’s ride has become a trend these days. Most Singaporeans can’t wait to modify their motorcycles to reflect their personal styles, enhance performance and comfort, or just improve the overall appearance of their ride.
However, these modifications can get you into trouble if you do not conform to the regulations of the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
In general, the common vehicle modifications can be broadly categorised as follows:
- Vehicle modifications that are allowed
- Vehicle modifications that require LTA’s approval
- Vehicle modifications that are not allowed
If the modification has an adverse effect on the vehicle’s performance, it may be a serious risk to the owner as well as other road users.
The Risks of Motorcycle Modifications
While the idea of modifications such as after-market seats, adjustable footrests, braking components, narrower tyres, motorcycle rims, fairings, brake hose, horn as well as chains and sprockets, may sound exciting! But these modifications may not be approved by the LTA or may even be considered illegal.
Those who have purchased parts for modifications will know that items such as exhausts, bodywork enhancements and rims, while easy to get, may not be equal to originals. An example is when after-market parts do not perform as well as the original parts.
Knowing the Risks
Besides the huge safety issue, if the LTA catches you with illegal modifications, you can face up to 3 months jail time or a fine of S$5,000 fine, or both. Some of the common offences listed by the LTA are related to non-compliant motorcycle aftermarket lighting assembly, mirrors and your motorcycle’s headlamp.
A look at Insurance and Warranty
Also, don’t overlook the fact that modifications might null the vehicle’s warranty. This will result in problems with processing insurance claims in case a specific modification is the direct cause of an accident.
Periodic Vehicle Inspection
As part of the approval process for modifications made to your motorcycle, you will need to pass the periodic vehicle inspection by LTA. The periodic vehicle inspection ensures that vehicle owners maintain their vehicles regularly to meet roadworthiness and emission standards, thus minimising breakdowns and road accidents. The frequency of inspection depends on the type and age of your vehicle.
When your vehicle is due for inspection, you will receive an inspection notice from LTA within 3 months before your vehicle’s inspection due date. When your vehicle is actually due for inspection, you need not produce the LTA’s inspection notice to have it inspected.
Motorcycle Inspection Frequency:
|Age of Vehicle|
|Below 3 years||3 to 10 years||> 10 years|
LTA also has an Enhanced Inspection Regime (EIR) for people who require more frequent inspections if their vehicle is found to have an illegally modified engine or exhaust system more than once. Therefore to avoid fines and the hassle of your vehicle being inspected frequently, avoid illegal modifications.
|Illegal modification of engine or exhaust system||Enhanced Inspection Regime
|Second-time offender||Vehicle has to be inspected every 6 months for 2 years|
|Third-time and more frequent offender||Vehicle has to be inspected every 3 months for 2 years|
Discontinuation of Parts
If the original parts of a vehicle are discontinued by the manufacturer, then the owner may have to purchase an after-market part from a different manufacturer. This will be assessed by the LTA on a ‘case-by-case basis’ and an after-market modification may be allowed if the manufacturer confirms that the original part is no longer available.
It is debatable to what degree certain modifications may affect safety, but if there is even a slight chance of danger, then it is definitely not worth the risk.
Importantly, should these modifications result in your warranty being void and problems when making insurance claims, you should seriously consider their options before doing the modifications.
Here’s a list of vehicle modifications that are allowed by the LTA from Onemotoring.com.sg.
Are Modified Vehicles covered by DirectAsia.com?
If the Land Transport Authority allows the modification done to your motorcycle, DirectAsia.com may be able to offer insurance cover.
Do you have permitted motorcycle modifications and are concerned about getting the right motorcycle insurance? Get a Motorcycle Insurance Quote Now!