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Ode de Cologne!!

October 12, 2010


Aberystwyth, Wales – Interesting rumblings from the fringes of the just ended Intermot 2010 aka the Cologne Motorcycle Show.

You see it’s the motorcycle sector business analysts. It can’t be much fun turning up at meetings and reporting 2010 European Union (EU) two-wheeler registrations down by 7%,  or pointing out that the major markets are having a difficult time sales wise, United Kingdom  -17%, Germany  -12% , France  -10% , Italy  -9% can it.

Then there’s the slight feeling of apprehension you get after ‘factoring in’, to the next five years sales projections, the likely effect that the next round of EU regulations will have on sales. Yes it’s a long and lonely walk to the European Sales Directors Office and your comment ‘didn’t someone think about this’ wasn’t exactly a good career move, was it.

Yes hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but always remember that hindsight was once foresight! Perhaps if the European motorcycle manufactures, the importers and the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) had deployed a modicum of foresight they would have realised that tying themselves up with the EU safety posse was not a good idea.

Give an EU civil servant a large budget and an opened ended brief. Add in the ‘industry’ involving itself in everything from the European Road Safety Charter to the United Nations, and 15 EU Directives in between, and golly gosh you end up with a, moped, scooter or motorcycle that is borderline impractical simple because of the encumbrance of the technology it carriers.

Impractically priced too. Load on all the latest and upcoming EU required technology and wow bit of a price rise. Still Europe’s a low volume high value market and all those riders will be delighted to cough up for a bike that will do 100 miles to the gallon and that allows their children to breathe the exhaust gas. Well possible no. There’s a finite price for a bike and we may well be getting near it. BMW prices for a 650cc Yamaha, I don’t think so. Huston – beep – we gotta problem – beep.

Meanwhile in the high volume low value Chinese market Honda are about to bring out a 100cc motorcycle for a mere £380-00. A motorcycle for the price of a middle range bicycle UK price wise. Imagine if they sold it here. Ok Ok not as easy as that, EU type approval etc etc. But on the other hand bit of foresight!

Even more meanwhile the Motorcycle Action Group is back from its summer hols and on behalf of the Riders Are Voters campaign is organising a Mass Lobby of the UK Parliament on Monday 8th November 2010. I’d urge you all to get involved with this; it’s not a street demo but an opportunity to lobby your own Member of Parliament (MP) face to face. See more here…

Just a couple of points on that last paragraph. MAG seems under the impression that UK MP’s can influence issues in Europe, they can’t. They may listen to you and nod in the right places, but they are effectively ineffective on EU issues. Not to mention of course that they are obliged to follow their Parties line on European and Transport issues. Always ask your MP if they accept their Parties ‘Whip’ on the issues you are discussing and why, then you get a notion of the ‘big picture’.

Then there’s support of the industry. Why? If a business can’t managed in the good times so as to be financial secure in the bad that’s its problem not the customers. We are paying enough for our new bikes. Then of course there’s the levy on new machines that we pay to help support the industries drive to err sell more bikes and make more profit.

MAG’s affectation with the ‘industry’. Not surprising as most of their paid team have at one time on another either worked for the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI), would like to work for MCI or are working for them both.

Enjoy your autumnal riding!!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Wily Coyote permalink
    October 12, 2010 10:29 pm

    I wonder how all these motorcyclists will be able to get through the barriers of concrete and police to actually meet their MPs? Will the MPs all rush out of Westminster to have chats, or will they meet up clandestine on a one to one? Where? How?

    Perhaps these motorcyclists will be invited to a meeting with the All Party Parliamentary Group on motorcycling – now that would a first.

    As RAV is supposed to organising this event, where is the BMF in all this? Perhaps a read of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is required – the headless horseman riding forth to the scene of battle in quest of his head.

  2. Guy Fawkes permalink
    November 6, 2010 7:19 pm

    The No for Bike Parking Tax mob put on a brilliant demo – and brought in London cabbies to support them. 5th of November was a protest, I suspect that the 8th of November will be a complete waste of time.

    Just imagine, 20,000 bikers outside the EU Parliament, all with the same mask, all sending the same message: no restrictions, no control. Would they listen? Well they did the last time in 1997. So what’s changed – us or them?


  1. El Camino – The Road

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