Tuning, but legally safe – the terms abe, e-numbers, parts certificates, etc. Explained clearly

You love to make your machine even faster.

love to have everything exactly the way you want it.

Off-the-shelf motorcycles can do it all – but your machine is a true one-off. Optimized and tailored to your needs.

Pride can quickly be diminished when the next inspection reveals that your vehicle no longer has a valid operating license!

The idea is enough to give any mechanic the creeps.

And not only that – if this should come to light in the event of an accident, you will also be left without insurance cover.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, we’ll guide you through the jungle of terms related to tuning.

Because if you know what to do and when to do it, then you’ll stay cool during the next inspection.

What do ABEs, certificates and the like mean?

Uncomplicated tuning parts: with ABEs and E-numbers

If parts are delivered with an ABE or an E-number, then you should pay attention in a positive sense. these are the parts that do not require registration in the vehicle documents, but only the presence of the appropriate document.

This includes, above all, things that are easy to install, such as turn signals.

ABE stands for allgemeine betriebserlaubnis (general operating permit). The operating permit does not only refer to the entire vehicle, but can also be issued explicitly for serially manufactured individual parts.

The ABE is a purely national document – whether you get problems with it in other european or international countries, depends strongly on the tolerance of the local authority.

You do not take this risk if your part has a E-number owns. There are two variants:

the marking with a small "e" in a rectangle means that the vehicle part is approved according to a european type approval and is also recognized in germany.

A big "E" in a circle marks an ECE-approved type approval. ECE stands for "UN economic commission for europe", but the member countries can be found far beyond the EU (a list of member countries can be found here). By the way, the number behind it stands for the country in which the part was registered.

This E-number should be clearly visible on your part – punched, welded, etc. Whether the corresponding document still has to be carried along is controversial – so better be on the safe side and put it with your vehicle registration document.

The most common tuning procedure: an acceptance with a parts certificate

Vehicle parts that come with a parts certificate have already undergone intensive testing – durability, function and safety have already been approved.

The certificate is usually supplied.

Nevertheless, after the conversion temporarily expires your operating license. The conversion must be approved by a TuV inspection body and entered in the vehicle documents:

  • If the part was installed correctly?
  • Does it fit the vehicle type?

For this reason, after installing all parts that do not have an ABE/E number, it is best to schedule a visit to the automotive workshop of your choice as soon as possible to document the vehicle modifications.

Tuning, but legally safe - the terms ABE, E-numbers, parts certificates, etc. Explained clearly

P.S.: the way to the TuV-inspection may still be put back.

Parts with an ABG often also require a trip to the TuV workshop.

ABG stands for general operating permit and is very closely linked to certain vehicle types. to guarantee that the installation as well as the vehicle type corresponds to the current requirements, a trip to the TuV workshop as well as an entry in the papers is usually necessary.

The pinnacle of tuning individuality: the individual acceptance test

If your installed parts have neither an ABE/E-number nor a parts certificate, or if your conversion is significantly more complex, then an individual certificate may be necessary. What does this mean?

This means that depending on the type of modification and the necessary tests, you may have to pay higher costs.

In addition, these inspections can only be carried out at central TuV test centers, which means that the journey may be longer.

It is best to check directly with a testing agency if this is necessary for your engine.

By the way, your entire vehicle may also need an individual inspection. this is called "einzelbetriebserlaubnis" and is necessary for own designs or machines transferred from abroad. If you modify your motorcycle in a way that the standard construction is not recognizable anymore, then an EBE might be necessary.

When buying on ABE, E-numbers& parts certificate pay attention

The rules of our traffic regulations are narrowly defined and sometimes a bit confusing. This breakdown has given you some clarity on what your next steps are after your conversion. The approvals should in no way diminish your fun as a mechanic! by the way, in our online store we always point out an existing ABE or E-number – so you know exactly what you are in for. Or not. Click here to go to the store.

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