Regulation – Almost There!

Concerning the Approval and Market Surveillance of 2- or 3 Wheel Vehicles and Quadricycles.

We have received from our source in Brussels, the following brief:

The informal trialogue negotiations between the EP and the Council have now come to a close and the responsible Member State Permanent Representatives will discuss the outcome of these negotiations in September (COREPER) with a view to agreeing the detailed points below.

Both the Danish and Cypriot Presidency, which took over on 1st July and the IMCO negotiating team have shown willingness to achieve a first reading deal.

We believe that such a deal is now achievable.

Taking into account the procedures which need to be followed once we have a deal (verification by lawyers, translations, official transmissions, etc), the Plenary vote by the full Parliament will not take place before October or November and Council’s final confirmation of the new Regulation, the following month.

“In other words, this is the state of play, BUT it ain’t over till the fat lady sings”

In detail:


Higher powered motorcycles will have to feature mandatory ABS (with supplemental CBS at the choice of the manufacturer). For the lesser powered motorcycles and scooters (between 50cc and 125cc), since the general cost effectiveness of ABS on this category of motorcycle is unclear, there is no requirement to fit ABS.

Scooters will however have to feature CBS as standard.

Any future change to the Regulation on this point would need to be supported by a broad feasibility study, which the European Commission would carry out and the cost benefit analysis would need to be clearly positive.

Apart from scooters, the negotiators also agreed to exclude trial and enduro motorcycles and mopeds from the mandatory fitment of ABS.

Most importantly, although not spelt out in the text of the Regulation, there is in any case nothing to prevent manufacturers from fitting an ABS-off switch if they sense that there is strong enough consumer demand.

Anti-tampering measures

Since there was never any intention to restrict rider-modifications and the replacement of parts with aftermarket parts, the agreed amendments are about restricting anti-tampering measures to manufacturer obligations which apply before type approval is granted.

These are designed to ensure key safety or emissions requirements cannot easily be tampered with by unscrupulous individuals. Motorcycle enthusiasts and riders with special needs will continue to be able to modify their vehicles and the aftermarket part sales and the repair and maintenance sectors will not be affected.

Furthermore, higher powered motorcycles are entirely excluded from the application of these measures and the anti-tampering measures required of manufacturers only cover low performance motorbikes and mopeds.

Any proposals for policing or compliance checking and further testing in this Regulation have been abandoned.

On Board Diagnostics

The introduction of OBD II (advanced On Board Diagnostics) should be dependent on the positive result of an environmental impact study.

OBD II requirements are in the regulation and so will enter into force unless the Commission thinks it is appropriate to make changes based on the outcome of their study.

This is related to the issue of Euro 5(6) emissions requirements where the cost benefit remains unclear.

This was raised throughout discussions and their introduction should also be subject to an environmental study. The legislators will keep tabs on the Commission to ensure the results are taken into account.

Timetable for implementation

A two stage implementation schedule covering all detailed provisions has been agreed with a 1st phase in 2016.

Manufacturers are supportive of this approach because the timeframe allows for more lead-in time, and the necessary changes to motorcycle design and emissions improvement can be thought through in a holistic way, since the detailed requirements will come into force together.

Delegated acts associated to this Regulation

The Commission can propose technical adjustments to the Regulation once adopted, which cannot however constitute substantive changes.

This is an established procedure in EU law making. Previously, the Commission provided EU Member State ministries (in the Council working party) with a draft proposal on the scope of its delegated powers, in order for Member States to better understand the emerging overall regulatory picture.

Where the Council had doubts or disagreed with the Commission, it asked the Commission to modify the relevant draft proposals. This had a clear impact, for example, in terms of detailing the durability testing requirements in the draft Regulation (where manufacturers secured what they needed, an option to perform partial mileage testing with extrapolation of the results). In any case, any further changes in delegated acts will be subject to European Parliament scrutiny with a formal right to block individual measures.

Other points

The most appropriate treatment for e-bikes and pedelecs was also agreed on, as well as the classification criteria for on-road quads and ATVs which now have a category under this Regulation for type approval (previously manufacturers had to rely on the tractors and forestry vehicles Regulation for type approval).

Finally, benefits for small SME manufacturers and enthusiast rider/manufacturers are also expected through this Regulation, notably through ensuring continuity of the small series approvals system.

Rules on individual type approvals will continue to be the responsibility of Member State at national level.


To summarise and reiterate what we wrote on June 22nd, which is what we believe interests the vast majority of motorcyclists:

“The Parliament has agreed to Council’s position on not mandating ABS on scooters (50 to 125cc), it has also agreed with the Council on limiting the anti-tampering provisions to lesser powered motorcycles only and making them manufacturer obligations only, so categories L3eA2 and L3eA3 are entirely excluded from the anti-tampering measures. The Parliament has also agreed to not having detailed EU rules on Individual Approval in this Regulation, with this left to national rules”.

Of course as the brief mentions, there are some issues that need tidying up and the caveat is that it will require formal approval from Council Ministers before parliament can confidently proceed to a plenary vote.

In other words, this is the state of play, BUT it ain’t over till the fat lady sings!


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  1. Dear Right to Ride,

    In response to your reply,

    I accept that my post is off topic and points out the failings of the EU, but short and sweet, why are the EU spending time on this subject when there is clearly more pressing matters.

    RTR: I guess the answer is in the proposal, which is to reduce bureaucracy by reducing 13 regulations down to 4. They (by that I mean the Directorate General for Industry and Enterprise) aim to bring the motorcycle industry in line with the automotive industry in terms of emission standards and so forth.

    I ride, and enjoy it both in the UK and in the EU countries mentioned, in fact will be off to France this September with some mates.

    How many times have we (the riders) complained and campaigned against changes in the EU which will affect us in the UK without much luck, I took part in the last ride to register my disgust at the current raft of legislation being drafted, but its still being drafted??

    RTR – did you really understand why you were protesting? Were the facts presented to you e.g. did you understand that the Commission had no intentions of banning modifications. The definition of anti-tampering = illegal modifications got lost.

    The whole point of the EU is that we the people do not get a say because they the EU are unelected and answer to no-one.

    RTR We’re certainly not going to argue about the European Union – as an institution it has failed miserably economically, socially and from our experience, Brussels is one huge gravy train, however we need to have a dialogue with these people to ensure that we get the best deal possible. For example the Commission representatives are engineers and motorcyclists, so they understand perfectly well what the issues are.

    I have pointed out to UKIP MEP’s that jobs would be lost and manufactures would loose trade if the legislation went ahead in its original form. Its good to see that changes however small maybe made.

    RTR We really don’t care about UKIP, Conservatives, Labour or anybody else – as far as we’re concerned they are all politicians and are there to be used and beaten with stick if necessary. Actually the original proposal wasn’t too bad – with a couple of exceptions – e.g. mandatory ABS – which – thanks to FEMA’s so called compromise of a switch (which was entirely unnecessary – because the switch was never on the table – because nobody suggested prohibiting the switch) as a consequence the IMCO Committee and Commission understood that FEMA i.e. the “motorcycling community” were happy to agree to mandatory ABS. In any event this refers to bikes over 125cc and excludes Enduro and trail bikes. We would have preferred that ABS remain optional.

    When I watch live debates on TV with various representatives of Government, motorcyclists and the EU no-one seems to push the fact that motorcycles are far more economical, far less congesting than cars and only concentrate on the invented image of a “biker” one which does 100mph everywhere and is not law abiding, this image went out donkeys years ago, thus the introduction of draconian laws to catch us the baddies.

    Have a loud exhaust on your car or a number plate with the letters/numbers altered to make a name….the Police will do nothing…..have the same on a bike and you will get about a mile down the road before being pulled and get verbally abused and be told how we are responsible for all unlawful behavior.

    Its double standards that really annoys people along with self righteous do gooders who know whats best for us.

    By all means lobby the EU on behalf of all bikers in the UK ( and i know you have been and i am quite up to date on things) but ask the awkward questions directly.

    The issue of ABS on bikes as an example: ABS on cars is a good thing as the car is heavy in comparison and has four wheels.

    ABS on bikes can help in certain situations,however it can also contribute if not cause a crash in some circumstances, but do the EU listen………….NO

    RTR – see comment above – but just so you know, we have asked quite a few awkward questions and we’d like to think that we made a difference.

    As i have stated in many including MCN articles, the way myself and some of my mates see it is, if the EU will not listen then we will act. We will not buy new bikes, we will not buy aftermarket parts and keep what we have.

    If every biker in the UK did this where do you think the bike manufactures would be then?

    RTR – but they won’t and anyway from what we understand this “proposal” will have very little effect on the type of bike that the typical MCN reader rides and these riders will be able to modify their bikes to their hearts’ content because the anti-tampering measures will only apply to mopeds and smaller bikes e.g. 125cc and only related to parts which are already restricted.

  2. Thanks David for your comment and take on the European Union, its working, its failings and hope for its demise.

    However it does not help with the issue we are dealing with and any effect it will have on us as motorcyclists.

  3. Dear Sirs,

    You would have though that since the EU is fast approaching the s-bend in the toilet they the EU would have far more pressing matters to attend to.

    Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Germany, and the UK at the moment are ticking time bombs that will inevitably explode at some point in the future. GB, Germany, IMF are all spending monies on the German dream of leading the EU (its not going to happen) this is why we in the UK are still in a double dip recession, secretly pumping money into a bottom-less pit with no return.

    For years now, those of us who have been lucky enough to ride in Europe have seen most of the EU laws totally ignored by the likes of Spain, France and Greece but good old blighty enforced most of them on her subjects for what return?……….nothing.. only to bail out those Countries that basically ignored everyone and carried on regardless.

    Germany is throwing her last Euro at the hope that things will work out… flash Germany…it won’t.

    The French (under the last idiot) pretended to support the Germans but secretly carried on their own sweet ways until found out, this also applies to the Italians and the Spanish…..and who let the cat out of the bag….the Greeks!

    No wonder much to the annoyance of the rest of the EU that the UK said stick your Euro where the sun don’t shine Boris or is that Angler……the UK will never fully integrate with the EU………it is not in our interest to do so.

    But, like all good things, they end and the end is around the corner for the EU meddling kids……the said thing is though, they would have got away with it if it was’nt for those meddling Greeks!

    Anyway, Why the EU has such an interest in things that really don’t matter, the things that really do will end up in the sewer.

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