IMCO – What the Hell!

While we wait for the full publication of the  vote taken on 5th December from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee  regarding the European Commission’s proposal – Approval and market surveillance of two – or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles, the Rapporteur Wim van de Camp has replied to questions about some of the issues.

It appears from the “interview” that it is ok for Mr van de Camp to give woolly answers especially regarding anti-tampering and modifications, that there will be some new rules and in practice the bikers will have the same possibilities to modify their motorcycles, not to tamper with them and that national inspection authorities will be in charge of controlling modifications.

However the Impact Assessment that is being carried could see some changes regarding stage II of OBD (On Board Diagnostics) and difficulties with negotiations with the Council of Ministers with the ABS (Advanced Braking Systems) because of the addition of including (50cc-125cc) machines and not allowing manufacturers the choice between Combined Braking Systems (CBS) instead of ABS (Antilock Braking Systems), which ACEM is not at all happy about.

We need to find out in-depth what the hell MEPs have voted through and we are trying to find out why, what was their reasoning and their justifications, by asking the Rapporteur and the Shadow Rapporteurs questions.

At this stage only Kerstin Westphal has acknowledged that she has received our communication, but we are still waiting for her response to our questions.

We are starting to wonder  now if the EU Commission is the good guy!

A major concern for us is that an ABS manufacturer with vested interests, especially concerning ABS brakes, has influenced the outcome of this vote.  If this is the case, then we need to ask serious questions.

What the hell is happening in Brussels!

EU Parliament Interview – Rapporteur Wim van de Camp has replied to questions about some of the issues – MEPs paving the way for safer and greener motorcycles

7th December 2011

New rules aimed at improving the safety and environmental performance of twowheeled vehicles, from mopeds to motorbikes, made it through the Internal Market Committee 5 December.

The vote, which included over 300 amendments, was closely followed by riders and manufacturers. Dutch Christian Democrat Wim van de Camp, who is steering the proposals through parliament and who is a biker himself told us more.

Will anti–lock braking systems (ABS), a standard feature on new passenger cars, become mandatory for motorcycles?

The Commission proposed to make ABS mandatory on all two wheelers above 125cc.

We decided that it should also be obligatory on those above 50cc.

So now you have very light motorcycles (mopeds, scooters) with engines not exceeding 50cc for which there is no ABS obligation and ‘in–between’ category (from 50cc up to 125cc) for which ABS should be mandatory (as it will be for those above 125cc).

The Commission’s proposal to allow using combined braking system (CBS) instead of ABS was rejected.

The Commission also proposed to equip motorcycles with so called on-board diagnostics (OBD), helping riders and repairers detect malfunctions. Did you support that?

Here you have to make a difference between the first stage OBD (OBD I) and more sophisticated second stage or OBD II (which requires new technology). The first stage will be obligatory for all motorbikes, mopeds and scooters, because it is simple and easy to build in.

However, we are still discussing the introduction of OBD II and waiting for an impact assessment from the Commission. At this moment there are strong objections from manufacturers because it brings in a lot of technological changes which are very expensive. Therefore we have to take care. It could only be introduced after 2020.

Bikers are concerned about the proposed anti-tampering measures. Will it be more difficult for people to modify their bikes?

No, not in general. Most people modify larger motorcycles, with engine size above 125cc.

Of course, there will be some new rules. But in practice the bikers will have the same possibilities to modify their motorcycles, not to tamper with them. These are two different things.

The national inspection authorities will be in charge of controlling modifications.

Motorcycles will have to comply with stricter emission limits and become cleaner.

When will the new standards take effect?

First, we made a decision on Euro 3 (level of emissions) for mopeds because at this moment they pollute a lot and have no emissions standard. That will take effect from 1 January 2016.

Heavier motorbikes which already have to meet Euro 3 standards will become Euro 4 and Euro 5 in 2016 and Euro 6 will be introduced in 2020.

What do you expect from negotiations with the Council?

I think in general there will be no difficulties. It might be difficult with the ABS item because we added that intermediate category (50cc-125cc). It remains one of the main issues.

However I hope for a first-reading agreement with the Council.

The Committee will now decide on whether to open negotiations with the Council on the basis of the amendments adopted 5 December.

ABS, OBD, Euro 1-6
  •  ABS (anti–lock braking systems) prevents skidding where loss of steering and control result from locked wheels when braking hard
  •  Euro 1-6 (European emission standards) define acceptable limits on pollutant emissions from vehicles; the higher the number, the more stringent the standard
  •  OBD (on–board diagnostics) identifies vehicle malfunctions, storing errors and environmental information and sending to a scanner or reporting to a driver

Original Source: Click Here pdf 97kb

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  1. FEMA – Correction of technical details on FEMA’s report on the IMCO vote

    The office of Wim van de Camp MEP, who is also the Rapporteur for IMCO on the type approval legislation, clarified that the application date for OBD stage I will be 2016.

    Furthermore, the ongoing impact assessment investigates the consequences of OBD, of mandatory ABS for motorcycles with an engine displacement of 51 to 125cc and of the new timetable. FEMA has corrected its report accordingly.

    The changes have been included into FEMA’s report on the Parliamentary’s Committee vote on motorcycle type approval: Click Here

  2. Teddy Measles says:

    On a popular UK motorcycle newspaper’s website, an article recently appeared from the motorcycle newpaper’s intrepid reporter.

    (As an aside, allegedly it is common practice for certain journalists when they phone people for interviews to record the conversation – although not necessarily telling the people that they are being interviewed.)

    Anyway in this specific instance the intrepid journalist’s victim – oops interviewee was Malcolm Harbour, Chair of the IMCO Committee.

    For those that are not aware, Mr Harbour has been very active in pushing the UK government’s position on the EU proposal of excluding anti-tampering measures and he also got the IMCO Rapporteur and Shadow Rapporteurs to accept impact assessments for ABS on smaller motorcycles and scooters (to counter-balance the amendment by the German MEP Kerstin Westphal who wanted to extend ABS to include PTWs between 50cc and 125cc – possibly because in her constituency the ABS manufacturer Bosch had convinced her of the benefits).

    Further to this, Mr Harbour also got them to include impact assessments for the time lines for the introduction of ABS and On Board Diagnostics (OBDII), which Mr Harbour (and the UK government) believed was unnecessary – or rather he wanted the development of the stages of OBD left to the manufacturers.

    But why left the truth stand in the way of a good story! The intrepid journalist thus presented Mr Harbour as somebody who was unfocussed and unable to answer his questions. What many are perhaps unaware of, is that anybody who has had to suffer an interview with the intrepid reporter would know that it is difficult to find an intelligent answer to his accusations, oops sorry, questions.

    While it is easy – as can be noted on the newspaper’s website – to get personal and be offensive – without offering any solutions, this gutter press journalism has done nothing to help motorcycling, to get valid information out to the motorcycling public. The opportunity to get motorcyclists involved in the whole process – has been lost because the intellectually challenged such as the intrepid reporter, were just too lazy to read the documents coming out of Brussels and were more interested in putting themselves forward as the new saviours of the “Freedom to Ride”.

    Fruitcakes have crawled out of the woodwork vying to lead the unclean masses towards a new Jerusalem. Calls for “Group Hugs” are dotted around social networking sites. In the meantime the extreme right wing politicians and those slightly to the left of the extreme right ,have been stoking the fires in the hope of future votes. All the while, the established church of riders rights heads towards financial meltdown, having lost control and the plot.

    The irony is that nobody knows what the outcome of the EU proposal for “the approval and market surveillance of 2 and 3 wheel vehicles and quadricycles” will be – because the impact assessments (mentioned above) still have to be completed; the Commission still has to define anti-tampering measures; the Council of Ministers has to agree to the proposal and as highlighted by the UK Government’s consultation, may well have other amendments which could completely change the final document. Between co-decisions and trilogues and dialogues and bullshit – the outcome is anybody’s guess.

    Apart from pandering to his entourage, what possible benefit did the intrepid reporter think he’s gained by publishing this vindictive article?

  3. EU Parliament Committee vote on Motorcycle Type Approval

    9th December 2011

    The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations

    The parliamentary committee in charge has adopted its position on the type approval regulation.

    Committee members decided to sharpen mandatory ABS and anti-tampering rules, to afford more lead time for manufacturers to comply with new emission steps and confirmed emission durability requirements.

    The EU Commission’s proposal to omit the 74 kW limit was confirmed by the Committee while the introduction of On Board Diagnostics will be brought forward and individual approvals for custom bikes simplified.

    At the European parliament in Brussels on December 5th the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on its draft report and amendments on the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the approval and market surveillance of two- and three wheel vehicles and quadricycles the so-called L-category vehicles. Committee votes are considered as a recommendation for the final (plenary) vote of the European Parliament, which is expected to be held in March 2012.

    Before the vote took place IMCO chairman Malcolm Harbour (ECR, UK) pointed out that IMCO members had decided to run an impact assessment on emission steps and application dates as well as on durability testing requirements and measures to prevent modifications, the crucial points of this legislative proposal.

    The results of the impact assessment are not expected to be available until the end of this year, therefore the IMCO vote might be considered as somewhat preliminary.

    FEMA – Correction of technical details on FEMA’s report on the IMCO vote

    The office of Wim van de Camp MEP, who is also the Rapporteur for IMCO on the type approval legislation, clarified that the application date for OBD stage I will be 2016.

    Furthermore, the ongoing impact assessment investigates the consequences of OBD, of mandatory ABS for motorcycles with an engine displacement of 51 to 125cc and of the new timetable. FEMA has corrected its report accordingly.

    The changes have been included into FEMA’s report on the Parliamentary’s Committee vote on motorcycle type approval: Click Here

  4. From our friends over at Back Roads Rider

    Let battle commence??

    December 9, 2011

    Waterlooville, England – No more mister nice guy…

    It is time to get the sleeves rolled up and get stuck in, let battle commence.

    The European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee have voted on the proposals for the regulation, approval and market surveillance of motorcycles, three wheelers and quadricycles. According to the “riders rights groups” it’s not looking good, time to man the barricades.

    On ABS. IMCO adopted an amendment, put down by German MEP Kerstin Westphal, which means that ABS will be compulsory on all new machines, including light motorcycles and scooters, from 2016. Ms Westphal is such a fan of ABS that she enjoyed a visit to the Robert Bosch ABS production facility in Bamberg Germany in early November. Coincidently Bosch will be bringing to the market in 2012-13 an ABS system designed specifically for scooters and light motorcycles.

    Customising and modification including the construction of one-off specials. This issue appears to have dropped off the “riders rights groups” radar. Noises off still seem to indicate that European States will be able to legislate internally on this issue. Meaning in the UK little or no change. However there remains a possibility that we could end up with an unhappy mix of legislation when it comes to modifications that fall under the anti-tampering proposals. Where does modification end and tampering start and who decides?

    Anti-tampering applying to new models. Articles 18 and now 18A of the European Commissions proposals. IMCO voted in favour of introducing legislation to force manufactures to incorporated measures into machines that would prevent modifications which adversely affect safety or the environment. Article 18A also surfaced and was approved. This would mean that should “substantial” modifications be made to a machines powertrain it would have to be presented to a “competent authority” for inspection and approval.

    What happens next? IMCO produce a report which is a modified version of the original European Commission proposals. Next stop is the Council of Ministers where the Transport Ministers from the twenty-seven European Union member countries have their say on the IMCO report. They may not agree with IMCO’s modifications to the Commissions proposals and the Commission may not agree with IMCO or the Ministers. Somehow a compromise, a common position, will be found and the proposal then goes to the European Parliament for debate and final approval.

    There are still opportunities’ for the “riders rights groups” to significantly reduce the effect of this legislation. However the question remains are they capable of doing so in any meaningful way. Will this be the biking equivalent of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift or a hopeless Banzi charge against the impenetrable redoubt of unwanted legislation from Brussels.

    What ever the outcome the Canute syndrome is in play. This is death by a thousand cuts. Legislation is by nature restrictive and politicians by nature legislate.

    Safe riding.

    © Back Roads Rider 2011

    Original Artice: Click Here

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