I have been planning an international trip on my KTM for when movement restrictions are eased, and after giving my bike a bit of a clean the other day, I noticed the ‘E’ symbol was no longer visible.
I popped along to my friend and mechanic at MotoCaspe KTM to ask him about the law in Spain regarding the country identifier. He explained that as I am a bit of a local celebrity (very few people ride a 2002 KTM 640 Adventure, and they certainly don’t take one where the EXC boys go), riding around these parts isn’t a problem, but when venturing to other parts of Spain and especially into other countries, I need a clearly visible ‘E’ symbol.
Pepe directed me to a car dealership nearby where i could get a numberplate made, and I made my way there. There is a lot of scaremongering online about the problems people have encountered trying to get replacement numberplates in Spain, so I’d like to set the record straight.
Firstly, getting a replacement numberplate in Spain is actually easier than getting one in the UK. In the UK you have to present your V5C (vehicle registration document) and driving licence, but in Spain you simply need the vehicle registration document. And thats it. They make your plate, either pressed metal or laminated plastic, you pay and leave. Luckily, my bikes registration documents state that I can use the tiny plate you can see in the photos, which is much better on a dual-sport or enduro bike than the standard size plate. I recommend the metal plates, and they can bend and still be read.
Now this is just one example of why I love living and working in rural inland Spain. Once my plate had been made, the guy told me it would cost €12.80. I handed him a €20 note, he opened the cash box (tills are still optional in these remote parts), and in an exhasperated tone explained that he hasn’t got any change so he handed me a €10 note. Result, over 20% off the price of my new numberplate.
Another thing i’m going to get for my trip, and I strongly advise everyone to do the same, is to invest in a V-16 emergency light. Whilst they are not yet compulsory, they are recommended, especially as older bikes like mine don’t have hazard warning lights. They sit in the palm of your hand, so occupy very little space, but provide a very bright flashing warning to other motorists.