What The Hell?

27th October 2010

The Online Magazine Hell For Leather has reported on the European Commission proposals regarding  motorcycle framework regulations and have asked the question, “Are we really going to lose the ability to switch off ABS?” in an article, “The facts behind Europe’s alleged ban on switchable ABS – EU-motorcycle-framework-ABS

As previously reported,  the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), ACEM (Motorcycle Industry in Europe) and indeed Right To Ride,  all have a position regarding mandatory ABS (Advanced/Anti-lock Braking System):  ABS on motorcycles (125cc and larger) and combined brakes and/or ABS on scooters and smaller motorcycles (50-125cc).

In a recent press release FEMA stated that at a the meeting of the Working Group on “Motorcycles”/MVEG which took place in Brussels on the 21st October, the  EU Commission presented its proposal for a regulation on type-approval and market surveillance of L-category vehicles.  FEMA then stated that, “the Commission has rejected FEMA’s objections to the Commission’s mandatory approach regarding Advanced Braking Systems (ABS) and FEMA’s compromise for the fitment of a mandatory “switch-off” option if ABS is mandated.”

Our own take was that FEMA should not have offered any compromise, because it gave the impression that FEMA has already accepted mandatory ABS in the early stages of the proposals before the proposals go to the various committees, Council, the EU Parliament and the prospect of lobbying MEPs on the whole regulation.

As reported by Hell For Leather, FEMA says that “when the Commission proposed mandatory ABS they (FEMA) assumed that it would be permanently active.”

While ACEM says, “The whole issue is based on a misunderstanding. Adding that,  “Today the on/off button for ABS is permitted by the EU legislation. In the present text of the new proposal there is no mention of prohibiting it. The Commission has no intention to prohibit it, on the contrary. FEMA is drawing attention on a feature that nobody had the intention to prohibit,” says ACEM’s Fillipo Segato, fearing that FEMA’s press release may actually lead EU politicians to propose to ban the on/off button.”

MCN (Motor Cycle News) in its own sensational style, suggests that motorcycling is doomed, by reporting that, “Dual purpose bikes could disappear from the market.” taking its lead from FEMA’s own reporting.

The complexities of the “proposed” regulations and the fact that the EU Commission is still consulting stakeholders regarding a study (impact assessment) on vehicle modification and powertrain tampering is in our view, the most important issue without muddying the waters with an on/off switch for ABS brakes.

Accordingly, the Hell For Leather report puts FEMA on the spot regarding its claims on the rejection by the EU Commission and outlines ACEM’s discontent regarding mandatory ABS.

At Right To Ride we consider that FEMA’s demands for an off switch for ABS is clouding the issues.  Our position is simple, no mandatory legislation regarding ABS braking in the regulations.

It would appear at Right To Ride that FEMA and ACEM need to get together to present a coherent position on ABS.  If they can’t do that then what hope is there for the rest of the proposed regulations, some of which are more “dangerous” for motorcycling in the name of  “saving us from ourselves”.

The EU Commission must be chuckling  up their sleeves at the moment!

Last but not least, we ask ACEM to consider that ultimately we the users, want to buy their motorcycles and remind FEMA that riders need effective representation.

Full Article From Hell For Leather – Click Here

ACEM The cost/benefit ratio of ABS and CBS – Click Here

ACEM – Advanced Braking Systems – Click Here

ACEM Contribution to the Road Safety Charter: Brake Commitment – Click Here