No Mandatory RWT For Motorcycles!

The European Council has deleted the requirement for mandatory Road Worthiness Testing for L3e (that’s low-performance, medium and large size) motorcycles!

The latest documentation has suggested major changes by the council most important of which is the proposed regulation is to become a Directive and includes text such as, “Testing during the lifecycle of a vehicle should be relatively simple, quick and inexpensive.”

The documentation dated from the 3rd December 2012, continues regarding, the application to vehicles with a design speed exceeding 25 km/h and strikes through (i.e. deletes) the text relating to motorcycles that would have required mandatory RWT.

 These following categories are know excluded:

  • vehicle categories L3e, L4e, L5e and L7e.

The definition in the text is “two- or three-wheel vehicle means any power-driven vehicle on two wheels with or without sidecar, tricycles and quadricycles”

For riders the most important aspects of the categories now excluded are:

  • Category L3e vehicle (two-wheel motorcycle), sub-categorised by:

(i) motorcycle performance, further sub-categorised into:
– A1 vehicle (low-performance motorcycle);
– A2 vehicle (medium-performance motorcycle);
– A3 vehicle (high-performance motorcycle).

  • Category L4e vehicle (two-wheel motorcycle with side-car).
  • Category L5e vehicle (powered tricycle), sub-categorised into:

(i) Subcategory L5Ae vehicle (tricycle

However in a footnote it would appear that Italy wants to include L1e, L2e and L6e and therefore these categories are now included in the document:

  • Category L1e vehicle (light two-wheel powered vehicle), sub-categorised into:

(i) L1Ae vehicle (powered cycle);

(ii) L1Be vehicle (two-wheel moped).

(b) Category L2e vehicle (three-wheel moped).

And Category L6e vehicle (light quadricycles), which includes the sub-category of

  • (i) L6Ae vehicle (light on-road quad);

This is our first reading of the document but it looks like motorcycles will be exempt from Mandatory Road Worthiness Testing and because the document is now referred to as a Directive (not a regulation) this means that the decisions on its application will be mainly left to member states. Reading the document we note that the Commission is not happy about this change.

In other words we in the UK will retain our MoT.

There are other major concessions made by Council such as the exclusion of small trailers not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (category O2)

These changes are major and reflect the unhappiness of the member states in relation to the Commission’s proposal which was seen as costly, impractical and unnecessary.

Motorcycle organisations in those countries where there is no Road Worthiness Testing will of course be pleased to have this news.

However what must be pointed out is that this is not the end but it’s the first of many discussions that will take place between the European Parliament’s representative committee (TRAN), the Commission and the European Council.  Even so, it looks like a good day for motorcycling.

What is ironic is that the Council has kept Road Worthiness  Testing for mopeds (2 and 3 wheeled and light quads).  We wonder whether the riders’ organisations will take a position on these small PTWs considering that they have got what they wanted for their members.

Please note however, that you read this first on Right To Ride!

We must of course acknowledge our squirrel in Brussels for giving us the heads up about these changes.

Proposal Announced

On 13th July 2012 the European commission announced its proposal for European wide Road Worthiness Testing (RWT) – previously known as Periodic Technical Inspections for PTWs (Powered Two Wheelers – motorcycles, scooters and mopeds).

Although the UK has Road Worthiness Testing in the form of the MoT not all European countries test Powered Two Wheelers, therefore there was a strong rider lobbying from within these countries.

There were, petitions and demonstrations organised by the  riders’ rights groups in Europe mainly focussing on Brussels, the political institutions and the European Commission.

The French Federation of Angry Bikers – FFMC (Fédération Française des Motards en Colère) meanwhile got angry and “physical” and demonstrated in France and continue to defend their position in Brussels at the European Parliament even as we write.

Our view at Right To Ride was that we needed to look at the proposal, get talking to those involved and report the facts as they develop so that riders can make up their minds in order to debate the issues, based on the information provided and to see if what was being hailed as a “Super MOT” on top of our own MoT would arrive on our shores.

Contacting The Players

We had been in contact with the “players” which included the DfT (Department for Transport) our own authorities in Northern Ireland and the UK MEP Phil Bennion as Shadow Rapporteur for the European Parliament.

Noises over the past month from the European Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly, the Swedish Parliament, the Dutch Parliament were not supportive of the proposal.

Meanwhile in the UK, the DfT/UK Government continued its reporting from EU meetings and its on-going opposition to the EU proposed regulation, the House of Commons has published its views on the proposal which included comments from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“The Northern Ireland Assembly rejects the proposal because of the cost implications and counter proposes a Directive rather than regulations”. The reason is that “This would allow for flexibility for Member States and their devolved regions to tailor their road safety actions according to need rather than incurring costs for negligible returns”. What that means is the UK could opt out because it already has a workable system in place.

The Transport Committee dealing with the proposal for the European Parliament reported from a meeting that, “Not all groups welcomed the inclusion of motorbikes and tractors in the proposal.”

However there was no digging into the technical issues, that we are aware of, such as whether brake disc and drums had to be disassembled for inspection, or what was meant by boil testing brake fluid.

Downfall Of Mandatory Testing For Motorcycles

What has been the real downfall of mandatory testing for motorcycles?

Our opinion is that it is due to the cost that it will have for member states to introduce mandatory testing combined with changes required to those member states that already have RWT for motorcycles.

The safety issue promoted by the European Commission for making motorcycles safer and thus reducing injuries and deaths was based on flawed statistics and the argument against this by rider organisations was equally flawed.

In the end, it was always about the money and the expense for member states to introduce a new or updated RWT regime which would have (for the UK for example) had little impact on motorcycles but concentrated on the inclusion of trailers (including caravans) and most agricultural vehicles.

We said that like all proposals, the devil is in the detail, there were potential benefits of extending the MoT to include emissions testing, considering that the industry will be obliged to declare emissions and the majority of new motorcycles would have benefitted from lower road tax as a direct consequence.

The Council’s previously said, “Many member states, however, had misgivings about the legal form of the proposed legislation and would prefer a directive rather than a regulation; they considered that a directive, which leaves more room for manoeuvre to take into account the specificities of the member states, would be more appropriate to achieve an improved degree of harmonisation and adequate implementation. One delegation did not see the need for an initiative such as proposed by the Commission at the current stage, pointing to the high costs involved and questioning the benefits in terms of road safety.

A majority of member states voiced concerns about the lists of vehicles to be tested, with a large number of delegations questioning the extension of the checks to two- or three-wheeled vehicles, tractors or light trailers. Moreover, many delegations were not convinced by the proposal to increase the frequency of tests”.

Links Information

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers and repealing Directive 2009/40/EC – pdf 179kb – Click Here

Press release from the Council of the EU of 29th October – pdf 206kb – Click Here 

House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee: Periodic Roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers: Reasoned Opinion – pdf 769kb – Click Here

Written statement by the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport – Click Here

Draconian European Vehicle Testing must not come to Northern Ireland, Committee urges – Click Here

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  1. Right To Ride says

    European Council Updates

    10th December 2012

    Following on from the document from the European Council of 3rd December, a more recent update was published on their website on 10th December:

    For full pdf document – Click Here

    Excerpt from Key issues

    a) Legal form of the act (footnote 1)

    6. Following the orientation debate which took place at the TTE October Council where a large majority of Member States indicated their preference for a Directive, the legal form of the proposal has been amended, and the relevant provisions have been modified accordingly.

    Four Member States support the legal form of the Commission proposal (regulation).

    b) Scope (Article 2 – footnotes 4 to 7 and 22, 24 and 25)

    7. Following the request of a large majority of delegations, 02 and L category vehicles are excluded from the scope of the Presidency compromise proposal. Two Member States oppose the deletion of 02 category vehicles from the scope of the Directive. With respect to L category vehicles, two Member States wish to keep this category in the scope of the Directive.

    8. Concerning T5 category vehicles, as only two Member States oppose the inclusion of such category in the scope of the Directive, the Presidency proposes to include “wheeled tractors the use of which mainly takes place on public roads, with a maximum design speed exceeding 40 km/h” in the scope of the Directive. Furthermore, vehicles used for agricultural, horticultural, forestry, farming or fishery purposes only operating on the territory of a Member State may be exempted by that Member State.

    c) Frequency of testing (Article 5 – footnote 23)

    9. The Presidency proposes to set the frequency of testing of N1 category vehicles to four years after the date on which the vehicle was first registered and thereafter, every two years.

    Member States generally support such frequency. However, six Member States prefer to submit these vehicles to testing one year after the date on which the vehicle was first registered and thereafter, annually.

    III. Conclusion

    12. The Permanent Representatives Committee is invited to examine the text as set out in the Annex to this report and, if possible, resolve the outstanding issues with a view to allowing the Council to reach a general approach on the text at its meeting on 20 December 2012.

    “the Council will try to agree a general approach on a proposed update of the common rules on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles. As a result of the transport ministers’ debate at their last meeting in October and of the discussions in the Council’s working party, the Commission’s original proposal, which provided for an extension of the checks to further categories of vehicles and for more frequent testing of older vehicles, will be substantially amended in the draft to be submitted to the ministers.

    Two days before thos meeting the TRAN (Transport Committee) made up of MEPs and dealing with RWT for the European Parliament

    There are three legislative proposals relating to periodic roadworthiness tests – RWT, technical roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, and vehicle registration.

    An exchange of views with the Commission will take place in the next TRAN meeting on 18th December 2012.

  2. European Union drops motorcycle technical inspections – for five years!

    Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme – FIM

    11th December 2012

    In a surprise move the EU Council representatives meeting in Brussels on 3 December decided to delete motorcycles and mopeds from the proposed new Directive on technical inspections.

    Written into the draft is a requirement to review the situation regarding mopeds and motorcycles in five years time.

    But, the EU member states have clearly stated that they don’t see the need for technical inspections of mopeds and motorcycles with the published draft.

    Commenting on the outcome FIM CEO Stéphane Desprez said: “This has been a controversial issue for many years.

    Some riders are used to technical inspections being part of the law as this has been done in many countries for a long time. Others have no tradition of this. It is further complicated by the fact that many enthusiasts own more than one motorcycle or scooter. If the testing is expensive this becomes a large bill every year if all the bikes are kept on the road.

    The research underpinning this proposal was conducted by one of the testing institutes, and is contradicted by other studies on accident figures due to technical failures.

    This explains why its conclusions were weakened when reviewed by the European member states. If and when the issue is discussed again in five years it will need more careful scrutiny.”

    The future directive will not affect the situation of countries that have this system at national level, – examples being the UK and Italy.

    Original Source – Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme – FIM – Click Here

  3. Roadworthiness Testing – EU institutions examine the Commission proposal

    9th December 2012

    Original Source – FIVA – “Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens” – pdf – Click Here

    The European Council and the European Parliament have started their examinations of the European Commission’s draft Regulation to replace the 1996 Roadworthiness Testing Directive
    (Click Here).

    The Council has held numerous Working Group meetings where the Member States have explained their positions on the text and have proposed amendments. In mid-November, the Cypriot Presidency of the Council drafted a text based on the discussions to date with a view to possible agreement of a Common Position by the end of the year.

    The paper noted that:

    1. The Member States want a Directive and not a Regulation to be the legislative instrument. Regulations are directly applicable in the Member States once adopted whereas Directives need to be implemented into Member State law thereby offering the Member States more latitude.

    2. The Member States have real misgivings about the proposal generally, specifically the costs which will be incurred as a consequence of the proposed measures. Accordingly, the Member States have called for the definition of the test to be changed from a “verification that the parts and components of a vehicle comply with its safety and environmental characteristics in force at the time of approval, first registration or entry into service, as well
    as at the time of retrofitting”, to “an inspection to ensure that the vehicle is safe to be used on public roads and complies with required environmental characteristics”.

    3. The Member States have proposed to change the definition of a historic vehicles from:

    vehicle of historic interest’ means any vehicle which fulfills all the following conditions :

    – It was manufactured at least 30 years ago,
    – It is maintained by use of replacement parts which reproduce the historic components of the vehicle;
    – It has not sustained any change in the technical characteristics of its main components such as engine, brakes, steering or suspension and – It has not been changed in its appearance;


    vehicle of historic interest’ means any vehicle which has been declared as historical by a Member state or one of its appointed authorizing bodies and fulfills all the following conditions :

    – It was manufactured or registered for the first time at least 30 years ago,
    – Its type is no longer in production,
    – It is in its original state and has not sustained substantial changes in the technical characteristics of its main components such as engine, brakes, steering, suspension or body.

    The last update explained FIVA concerns with the original text. These changes also do not meet FIVA’s concerns notably because the “production” provision might impact some vehicles, for example Morgans, the third bullet is still overly prescriptive and would exclude many historic vehicles from the definition and the provision for vehicles to be declared as historical by a Member state or one of its appointed authorizing bodies is impractical.

    FIVA will continue to lobby Member States centrally but also urges that ANFs lobby their national Governments.

    The European Parliament examination of the text has recently started. The rapporteur in the Transport committee is a German Christian Democrat, Werner Kuhn. Malcolm Harbour who is a member of the EP Historic Vehicle Group has been appointed the draughtsman of the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee Opinion and Bernd Lange, who is the Chair of the EP HV Group, has been appointed a shadow rapporteur for the Industry Committee Opinion.

    FIVA will present its views to all relevant MEPs in anticipation of Committee discussions and votes which are due to take place in early 2013. The European Parliament deliberations are expected to be completed in July 2013.

    Original Source FIVA – “Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens” pdf – Click Here

  4. Super MoT developments may lead to bike exemption

    7th December 2012

    The latest discussions within the EU Transport Council of Ministers have resulted in suggested revisions to the Super MoT proposals and these include exempting all motorcycles from the new rules.

    The Council of the member states governments have rejected testing for ALL kinds of bikes and for trailers under 3.5 tonnes. Five years after the new rules become law, the Commission will have to present a report assessing whether two- and three-wheeled vehicles should be included in future.

    Original Source MAG UK – Read what they have to say – Click Here

  5. Update on EU MOT proposals – The latest on the road worthiness test

    Motorcycle Rider Magazine (BMF)

    7th December 2012

    The European Council, a very significant part of the EU legislative process representing the governments of all the countries, has been looking at the proposal to include motorcycles into plans for changes to compulsory roadworthiness tests. The UK Government has updated us on some of the changes the Council were considering putting forward, including changes to the legislative process used, exemptions for small trailers, reductions on the amount of equipment needed (important for small garages) and a relaxing of the rules for the option of exempting historic vehicles over 30 years old. All good news.

    Since then, it appears that the European Council no longer think that motorcycles should be included in compulsory roadworthiness tests at all. This doesn’t mean that the UK government will stop testing motorcycles, just that the standards will be agreed in the UK, not in Brussels, should the legislation go forward.

    This is all early days in a lengthy process and MEPs are yet to adopt a position, so many of the changes we like could still be scrapped, but it appears the debate is going in the right direction.

    The BMF does not think that rules on motorcycle roadworthiness testing in the UK should be agreed outside the UK as our current system seems work fine and any changes are likely to make the system more expensive to operate. We also think that those states that do not have roadworthiness testing should not be forced to do so.

    (Sources: Right to Ride, FEMA)

    Original Source Motorcycle Rider Magazine (BMF) – Click Here

  6. FFMC – France

    Technical control of motorized two-wheelers: the European Union comes to reason?

    7th December 2012

    On November 30, in preparatory meeting of COREPER [ 1 ], the group “Land Transport” European Union removed the two-wheelers (2WD) of the draft Directive on roadworthiness tests for motor land vehicles proposed by the European Union. Notice of France, which has taken the arguments of national parliamentarians , and in other Member States was crucial. The European Union should also return the minimum frequency intervals visit the European Commission proposed to reduce to one year.

    For FFMC is a first victory for common sense and the public lobbies against the roadworthiness instigators of this proposed regulation in the European institutions.

    Upon publication of the draft regulation revealed by FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations), the European Motorcyclists Associations mobilized to denounce the futility of this measure (less than 0.5% of accidents are caused by motorized two-wheelers a technical failure of the vehicle) and the conflict of interest of the instigators of Regulation hoping to be beneficiaries.

    Principal representative of riders of two-wheelers and three with more than 10,000 members, the FFMC is the justification of his fights in this information should be confirmed at the COREPER meeting of 12 December. Would then convince the European Parliament is the body that has the last word in this debate. FMWC who met Thursday, December 6 several French MEPs are not working with determination and conviction and invites bikers to stay engaged .

    Via Google Translate

    Original Source – FFMC – Click Here

  7. Right to Ride – No Mandatory RWT For Motorcycles

    By MAG Ireland Office

    6th December 2012

    Northern Ireland based Right to Ride reports that the European Council has deleted the requirement for mandatory Road Worthiness Testing for motorcycles. They go on to say:

    The latest documentation has suggested major changes by the council most important of which is the proposed regulation is to become a Directive and includes text such as, “Testing during the lifecycle of a vehicle should be relatively simple, quick and inexpensive.”

    It would appear however that mopeds have not escaped the net, although the situation appears to be somewhat fluid at this stage.

    We in MAG Ireland have consistently pointed out that the EU Commission used flawed data in its original proposals, and we brought this to the attention of Irish M.E.P.s with Gay Mitchell subsequently raising the issue in the European Parliament during the debate on Type Approval.

    We’ll be reporting further on the implications of this news for Irish riders in due course.

    In the meantime, you’ll find the full Right to Ride post on their web site.

    Original Source – MAG Ireland Click Here

  8. European Council: ‘No MOT for bikes’

    MAG Netherlands

    7th December 2012

    Good news from Brussels: Council of the European Union, the APK proposal from the European Commission and adjusted (among others) the requirement to also deleted motorcycles to undergo periodic roadworthiness inspection.

    From different Member States has been strongly criticized in the original proposal of the Commission, including the Netherlands. On 22 September, thousands of motorcyclists have to Brussels during the MAG protestrit against a European MOT. The MAG also conducted in cooperation with the FEMA extensive political lobby that now seems to bear fruit.

    MAG Secretary Dolf Willigers is delighted: “The discussion is not yet fully off the table because we do not expect the European Commission agree will go, but the likelihood that countries without MOT for engines (such as the Netherlands) may stick to their own law – regulations and not by Europe will be required a completely pointless and costly engine inspection to enter is now greater than ever. ”

    Via Google Translate

    Original Source – MAG Netherlands – Click Here

  9. The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations

    7th December 2012

    Member states require significant changes of proposed regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests

    EU member states have drafted significant changes to the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests. Following their Council meeting they suggest to turn the regulation into a directive and, partly in response to the pressure of motorcyclists’ associations, to continue to leave it to the discretion of a member state to require periodic roadworthiness tests (RWT) for motorcycles.

    In a meeting beginning of December the member states of the European Union have again expressed their discontent with the proposal of the European Commission to further harmonise and increase the minimum testing intervals for vehicles and to include all powered two-wheelers into periodic RWT regimes.

    While the proposal for this new regulation is currently being revised by the Transport Committee of the European Parliament – Parliament needs to take an official position on the dossier previous to the Council – the member states have already indicated that they can only approve the draft if it is amended considerably.

    First of all, member states aim at turning the proposed regulation into a directive, which would leave them more leeway for the later implementation of the legal act into national law. Furthermore, the Council does not see the necessity to force all member states to include all kinds of powered two-wheelers into periodic RWT regimes. Only Romania and the Czech Republic seem to have reservations and Italy would like to mandate RWT in Europe for all mopeds and scooters up to 50 cm3.

    In opposition to the Commission, Member States propose less strict RWT for vehicles which are hardly used on public roads, such as historic or competition vehicles. The Commission originally proposed annual checks as a minimum requirement for all motor vehicles older than six years. According to the Council, the minimum test requirements for cars should be four years after the first registration and thereafter every two years, the following annual requirement has been deleted.

    FEMA is happy to see that the campaigns of its national organisations, especially in those countries where there is no RWT for motorcycles, seem to be successful. The Commission had argued that the inclusion of motorcycles into RWT along with the tightening of testing intervals would have significant positive safety and environmental impacts but could not support these arguments with sound statistical data.

    Original Source FEMA – Click Here

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