RiDE – EU Horrors

In its latest edition – September 2011 – RiDE magazine has featured an article about the framework regulations on amongst other things, emissions and the safety of motorcycles.

The article by James Clark (which is expanded online in RiDE’s blog site “The RiDE Diaries”) attempts to get an overall grip on the issues of legislation and regulations that motorcyclists across Europe are facing.

“The new rules affect how you can modify your bike, who can repair it, what will turn it into an illegal machine, which features you will have to have on it when you buy it (with associated costs, of course) and they’ll combine with EU driving license legislation already passed, and more proposed, to force new riders into yet more tests and training if they want to move up to bigger, more powerful machines.”

What makes RiDE’s article on the issue interesting is some good investigative journalism with plain facts without the sensationalistic rhetoric. Although we will forgive the article title, “The terrifying next wave of European legislation” – “EU Horrors” because for many, that is what this legislation is!

All the usual suspects of Riders Rights organisations are there giving their take on the issues, from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK), British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA), Right To Ride, the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) and Labour MP James Woodcock.

James Clark spent over an hour on the phone with us at Right To Ride, asking questions and delving into the complexities of the proposed regulations.  This is reflected in the article which draws out not only the main issues but some of the juicier details.

Quoting from Right To Ride, James writes “Also known as “sealed engines”, this regulation would also limit who can service the bike and who has access to the kind of electronic diagnostic equipment and coding to the bike’s ECU that modern machines need for effective servicing.”

“But because British bike garages don’t need to be registered (unlike, for example, in Holland) they have run into complex security concerns about who, exactly, has electronic access to your bike’s brain, and its ignition and alarms.”

“Car makers have solved the problem by splitting electronic information into Levels One and Two with the second, the sensitive stuff, only accessible by mechanics who register their details. Bikes could go the same way.”

“Bikes built after 2001 already have headlights which can’t be turned off. This, though, is only thanks to a voluntary agreement by European manufacturers, it’s not formal. Now that cheap Chinese bikes are coming into the market in numbers without this function (which would add manufacturing costs), European bike-makers have suddenly decided it’s high time this was made compulsory and have  successfully lobbied the EU to include it in the proposals.”

At Right To Ride we are not really motorcycle magazine “aficiondos” and usually browse the “library section” at the local supermarket to see if there is anything of interest in any the of specialist magazines.  However in this case, we would like to make a blatant plug for RiDE and having read through this latest issue, it is jam packed with articles and features such as: best kit to buy, projects, where to go and how to RiDE there and so on.


The RiDE Diaries – EU Horrors – Click Here

RiDE Magazine – http://www.motorcyclenews.com/Ride/

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