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Tale of the Unexpected!!

October 1, 2010


Newquay, England – An interesting and somewhat unexpected development in the “force feedback throttle” saga.

The “force feedback throttle” a delightful part of the European Union (EU) supported “Saferider” project which handily takes control from the rider in crash situations giving you ample time to enjoy your flight into oblivion. Safe in the thought that your impending crash is EU approved and full details will be recorded on your bikes data recorder.

The unexpected development? The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM)) and its European sister organisation the Union Européenne de Motocyclisme (UEM) have declared, referring to Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) systems i.e. “force feedback throttle”, in their Public Policy Newsletter that: “the application of such systems directly to powered two wheelers is not a good idea”. Up to this point FIM/UEM have based their position on ISA on the 2008 European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) report “Vulnerable Riders”, which simple calls for more research into ISA systems for motorcycles. “Calling for more research” equals sitting on the fence.

So what’s sparked FIM/UEM’s sudden departure from the dizzy heights of the euro fence? Could it be the rumours, circulating in Brussels, of the displeasure of the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) and other members of the Euro “motorcycling community” with the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA).

It appears that FEMA, the rider’s rights people, are making everybody in the European motorcycle lobby look very silly. Hardly surprising when with one hand FEMA takes EU Euros to work on the “Saferider” project and on the other finds itself unable to offer support for the project. Meanwhile ignoring that any stated deliverable from the EU Funded “Saferider” project will be supported by the EU Commission. In this case “force feedback throttle” is a deliverable.

FEMA’s in a mess on this one and by default so are the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) and the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG). But do not fear a saviour; a knight in shining armour is at hand. All be it not on a white charger but riding a black BMW R80, the purist’s BeeEm. John Chatterton-Ross, FIM/UEM Director of Public Affairs, has emerged from the Machiavellian mists to occupy the ground between FEMA and the realities of the “force feedback throttle” issue. At last someone with intelligence and common sense, let’s just hope the FIM/UEM agenda is a good fit with ours i.e. an end to the “force feedback throttle” EU madness.

This issue is live and looks, for BRR at least, like providing endless hours of fun over the coming winter.

While over in the la la land that the BMF now appears to occupy someone has come up with the idea of offering life and term memberships. Wouldn’t it be easier, even more honest, if the BMF simple admitted it’s very close to going down the pan and asked for contributions to a “Let’s Save the BMF Fund”. To avoid the usual chorus of “BRR is gifting a knife into the BMF again’ it might be a good idea if we all joined. See here. But please don’t blame me if you part with your hard-earned dosh and the BMF still goes down the swanny!

Ride safe and happy!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Le Mist permalink
    October 2, 2010 12:24 pm

    Wow! there’s something you don’t read everyday.

    If the Machiavellian theory is right then good on FIM/UEM.

    If the rider’s rights people, who do not represent me, in their claim to “represent, defend and promote motorcycling” and the interests of millions of powered two-wheeler users across Europe are in a mess over this, then very quickly they need to sort themselves out.

    Talking of messes, if you are not tempted to take up the BMF’s offer of life and term memberships then you may be tempted to take up FEMA’s offer to throw some hard earned cash at them.

    For a minimum contribution of 20 € individual motorcyclists can support FEMA, also Motorcycle clubs or federations of clubs pay a minimum contribution of 100 €.

    Or if you are a business then you can become a FEMA Corporate Supporter, paying a minimum contribution of 100 €.

    According to the FEMA website, “you are more than welcome to make donations of a higher amount, and to support FEMA with an annual contribution.”

    So while the BMF tries to raise funds and increase membership and MAG UK has similar schemes for membership and corporate support, FEMA undermines all this by offering their own scheme.

    MAG UK and the BMF are members of FEMA, whoever agreed to this must have one big hole in their heads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Perhaps not a Machiavellian plot afoot – that requires cunning and intelligence – maybe it’s simply because the national organisations are all going down the swanny and FEMA is running out of money.

    The game plan seems to be “we take money from the FEMA National Organisations – even those that are struggling to pay – but we – FEMA – also want payment for individual support from your members or potential members which you are trying to recruit, which means that we – FEMA – compete with the National Organisations to take members – with the agreement of the National Organisations”.

    As an individual FEMA supporter you would have no vote to decide on what FEMA is involved in i.e. Saferider/throttle control, just supporting a principle of riders rights.

    However you could just join MAG UK or the BMF and allegedly have your voice heard in the democratic decision making process within your organisation, which would then be presented within the FEMA democratic decision making consensus agreement process!

    Oy vey – Oy vey!

    Do they still give out Darwin Awards.?


  1. Anonymous

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