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Your Euro Motorcycle Awaits!!

October 6, 2010


Llanelli, Wales – It might look mean, it will be green but if the European Commission has its way your new Kawa-yama-suzu-onda will be just like the European Commission i.e. lacking stimulating characteristics, uninteresting, even bland.

They have arrived!! The European Union (EU) Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DG Enterprise) has published framework regulation(s) on motorcycle anti-tampering/modification measures, emissions and noise checks. As adopted by the European Commission the proposals contained in the regulations will considered by the European Council and the European Parliament, the ‘democratic loop’, before becoming an EU Directive.

So what’s in store! Well French bikers are cock-a-hoop as the framework regulations could lead to a Directive that removes the French Governments derogation that  allows the imposition a 100bhp limit on engine power. However celebrations by motocyclistes français over on the other side of La Manche are a bit premature as we still have the Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) and “force feedback throttle framework regulations to come. In short it won’t matter if you have 200bhp motorcycle as your bike simple won’t exceed the national speed limit.

Anti lock braking systems (ABS) will be a mandatory fitment to medium and high performance motorcycles and an automatic headlamp on (AHO) feature will be mandatory on all mopeds, scooters and motorcycles. ABS is certainly a life saver, but bikers need to be trained to use it. As for AHO despite the Commission droning on about rider conspicuity there is little scientific research that confirms that AHO actually makes us safer. To further complicate the AHO issue cars will have mandatory AHO from next year. Meaning to avoid motorcycles disappearing in a sea of lights motorcycles will be fitted with lighting systems that differentiate them from other vehicles, either by colour or configuration.

There’s news on emissions. Three emission steps are proposed for the coming decade. The Commission proposes the Euro 3, Euro 4 and Euro 5 step to be complied with by 2014, 2017 and 2020, respectively. We will be green but not mean. We will also see a mandatory requirement for manufactures to publish C02 output figures which, no doubt, will lead to carbon output passed vehicle excise duty system.

There are presently 15 European Directives that regulate the construction and use of motorcycles. It is proposed that these be replaced by just five Directives. This is by no means a bad idea but the Commission is proposing that this is achieved by 2012-13. Considering the complexity of this change the timescale seems, at best, optimistic.

Sneaking in we have enhanced market surveillance requirements. This is one for the EU Directive cognoscenti not to mention those very clever fellows at the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) who no doubt played a significant role in selling this one to DG Enterprise.

Hidden here we have a requirement for better control of non EU approved machines. So bye-bye all those cheap and cheerful bikes from India and China. European protectionism and price control by another name perhaps? Plus we get a ‘body’ in each EU country that must oversee EU approved machines to make sure that non-compliant products don’t cause us significant safety risks or environmental harm.

Finally the coup de grâce for biking fun and the entrenchment of the bland. For the EU proposes that owners will only be allowed to fit replacement parts that are EU Type Approved. We are headed for a situation where you may well only be allowed to fit parts from an approved list, and that includes tyres.

Add in Article 18 which states that: “L-category vehicles (motorcycles) shall be equipped with designated measures to prevent tampering of a vehicle’s powertrain” and it’s au revoir to ‘fiddling’ with the engine management system, the exhaust, the transmission, the chain drive, the sprockets and the tyres.

Not to worry, I’m sure the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) will be on the case fighting for our rights. When they get back from the TTXGP stand at Intermot that is. Like what’s more important, supporting a round the world ride on an electric motorcycle or sorting DG Enterprise.

Don’t you just love the EU!!! 

As an antidote for the bland. Enjoy Henrik Hansen’s a beautifully made short film about Shinya Kimura. A man with passion for building and riding motorcycles. A ride along the edge between raw power and serenity.

 © Back Roads Rider 2010

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Chop Shop permalink
    October 7, 2010 5:50 pm

    While our friends in Brussels/Warwick/Peterborough(??) are deciding what actions to take. It would be grand if our Custom building friends started to seriously consider the implications of what these new regulations will mean to their passion/businesses.

    Also it would be good if bikers started writing letters to the (Conservative) MEPs especially as our Conservative government doesn’t particularly care about H&S and have a fundamental dislike of all things EU.

    If people can get riled up over paying a quid to park in London, so much so that they are willing to ride to Brussels – then surely it makes sense to get riled up about their bikes and what these new regulations will mean to even basic tinkering –

    Perhaps the slogan could be “Hands off our Nuts!”

  2. Waldorf & Stahtler permalink
    October 15, 2010 12:04 am

    D’you know, it’s come to our attention that the quality of writing has improved considerably on the FEMA website. Their news items are almost good – well – not good or even at the level of News of the World, but there are no spelling mistakes, far less grammatical errors and they are actually legible.

    So do you think that being insulted works? If constant barbs that they can’t write for shit makes a difference – then blogs must work.

    So – BRR – keep up the good work.

    • Back Roads Rider permalink*
      October 15, 2010 12:46 am

      Wow today the Rue des Champs tomorrow the world. The end of Euro speak?

      The wheel of change moves on, and those who were down go up and those who were up go down.

  3. October 16, 2010 9:34 am

    We’ve received news about a couple of issues that have been mentioned above. Firstly – At the IFZ conference the Saferider project people have publicly admitted that they are back peddling with their “force feedback throttle”.

    Time will tell, as the project ends next month when they will present their review to the Commission. Between BRR, Right To Ride, The Riders Digest, FIM and individual trainers, it seems we’ve got them to listen with sound evidence and arguments.

    Moving on to the latest proposals from DG Enterprise. All is not lost (not yet anyway), we have learnt that the DG Enterprise chappies are going to carry out a study to look at positive modifications versus tampering. In fact when we commented on the lack of solid data to support the case for anti-tampering measures back in January, we were told that they would consider a study.

    See our response to DG Enterprise in January this year:

    We also sent our response to the EU Parliament Internal Market Committee and received positive feedback from the Chair. This is where the proposals will go for comments.

    The proposals have been distributed to the European Parliament and Council, which is in fact the starting point of the Codecision process. At the same time DG Enterprise will be working on three delegated acts, which will contain the technical provisions like test methods and other detailed, technical requirements and one implementing measure which will contain the administrative provisions.

    These 4 regulations are subject to comitology. i.e. horse trading with the Commission. Also there will be more meetings – next week and in December amongst the “stakeholders”to discuss these proposals.

    What we will suggest in response to the proposals regarding “tampering” is the importance of development and innovation of individual engineers which is outside the scope of small batch manufacturers – which over the years have fed into the industry. The spirit of individualism must not be stifled by big R&D companies and your video of Shinya Kimura epitomises this spirit.


  1. Anonymous
  2. Eu Regulation October Round Up
  3. EU Regulation October Round Up

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