Malcolm in the Middle

A “high level” meeting took place in Brussels on the 15th May between the European Parliament’s negotiating team led by Chairman of the IMCO Committee Malcolm Harbour (MEP), the Danish Presidency of the EU Council of Member State Governments, and the European Commission, to thrash out the various positions and amendments to the proposed regulation “Approval and Market Surveillance of 2 or 3 wheeled Vehicles and Quadricycles but also world standards in terms of emissions, durability, safety and vehicle specifications.

In simple terms, what this means is that Joe Citizen can go to a dealer anywhere in Europe and buy a bike in the knowledge that this vehicle will be safe, clean and under warranty. Important to point out once again that these new regulations will only affect NEW vehicles.

We have produced a full document setting out the state of play including details of the so-called anti-tampering measures.

State of Play – Malcolm In The Middle – pdf 337kb – Click Here

Article 18

Article 18 (which appears to be the cause of concern which has led to furious letter writing to MEPs, meetings with MEPs, rideouts and general protests) was discussed.

Simply for those who may be concerned that their future as a motorcyclist is under threat, it was confirmed at this meeting, what we already knew and have repeatedly told riders, is that the higher powered motorcycles i.e. L3e equal to a full A licence and L4e (motorcycles and sidecars) also equal to a full A licence will be excluded from anti-tampering measures.

Furthermore, it was also made clear that the measures that would be introduced for restricted motorcycles – e.g. mopeds, 125cc and possibly for the new A2 licence, were not directed at users and had absolutely nothing to do with bikes in use, with the aftermarket and any modifications that motorcyclists may wish to apply to their motorcycles. 

During prior discussions at technical meetings, it has already become clear that the Parliament’s proposal for an Article 18a is unlikely to survive the negotiations because this does not fall within the scope of the regulation.

The meeting and subsequent discussions also concentrated on ABS for small motorcycles, scooters and mopeds (likely to be thrown out), On Board Diagnostics (OBD), Emissions, Individual approval through SVA (Single Vehicle Approval), all moving towards more favourable outcomes for both riders and the industry.

Where to Now?

There are still quite a few technical meetings and further trialogues to take place.

The simplification of the 13 regulations to 4, was and still is a good idea, because it will mean that manufacturers, dealers and consumers will have an easier ride (no pun intended) in terms of what they can expect e.g. cleaner bikes with better technology and guarantees that will protect the consumer.

Most important is that there is a firm declaration that there will be no ban on modifications and with regards to Art. 52, the Commission no longer objects to the selling of parts for road racing motorcycles, providing they are type approved.

There are still quite a few technical meetings and further trialogues to take place.

Because there are still many issues to resolve, it seems unlikely that there will be a first reading agreement before the summer break.

The Council has made a commitment to provide their input and parliament would like to see this proposal closed as would of course the Commission.

It seems more likely that a deal will be struck shortly after the summer break and a possible date for the Plenary vote would be October with the European Council adopting the final text shortly afterwards.

This makes sense as it would give everybody time to finalise all the details and compromises.

State of Play – Malcolm In The Middle – pdf 337kb – Click Here


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  1. Andy Baker says

    Just want to say a big thankyou to Trevor and Elaine for all their hard work in the past few months, years, it almost seems like a lifetime, so glad I can tinker with my Roadtrain from now on……….happy cleaning day on the 24th.

    Ride safe and free.

    Andy B.

  2. MAG Ireland

    Our friends at MAG Ireland have put up a link to “Malcolm in the Middle”

    Thanks from Right to Ride!

    Click Here

    British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF)

    And to the BMF for sharing the document on their facebook page and twitter!

    Click Here


    And American-V magazine!

    Click Here

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