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Oh and BTW….

November 5, 2010


Dumbarton, Scotland – Following my recent excursion, or should that be incursion, into European motorcycling issues I was minded to move on to things more interesting if not more important.

However, having received an avalanche of mail relating to BRR’s recent missive on the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) style, lobbying wise, its obvious that FEMA is of considerably interest to BRR’s readers.

It appears that my comments have caused considerable angst down at FEMA HQ in the Rue des Champs. Where it seems I have been accused of ‘having it in’ for FEMA. Now considering the language used in some of the mails I have received FEMA is correct that there are a number of apparently ex camp followers and other people of merit who do indeed ‘have it in’ for them. Indeed in some cases the language used would be more appropriate to a debate over pricing in the Rue d’Aerchot. So to make clear I do not ‘have it in’ for FEMA but am merely an unelected vassal of the 33,470,000 motorcycle/scooter/moped users in Europe who are not FEMA members.

It’s also been brought my attention that Philip Vogt, FEMA Communication and Policy Assistant, has taken it upon himself to send some pretty insulting mails to people he, misguidedly, thinks are in someway connect to BRR. Surely it would have been simpler to have offered a response to my comments via the blog. After all as regular readers know all comments good or bad will be published. Anyway thanks Phillip for all the ‘new friends’ you have inadvertently introduced to us. A great boost to our Brussels network.

So many mails on European issues but how to choose just one to publish, It was down to our delightful office assistant Glenda, she of the Harley, Doc Martins and chains, to solve the riddle. Fresh from her latest mission, on behalf of the News Hound, to William Hills and while idly AutoSoling her down pipes she suggested we print out the first 50 throw them in the bin and pick one at random. As Glenda put it our ‘own little Euro Lottery’, what fun. So, with grunted approval from the News Hound, the deed was done.  The Hound, lost in his own little world, reviewing the latest edition of the UK Motorcycle Action Groups mag ‘The Road’, oh goodie he cried a new contributor. While in reality he was checking the form for his latest bet in a copy of the Racing Post secreted among the exciting stuff on road transport policy.

Out of the bin came a couple of questions that the FEMA General Secretary, Aline Delhaye, may care to answer. Based it seems on  MS Delhayes recent interview with the European Transport Forum (ETF). 

On Emissions:-

Ms Delhaye accepts that motorbikes need to improve as much as any other vehicle category. “There is a lot of work being done,” she says. “There are zero emission motorcycles – like electric scooters and mopeds – like the Piaggio MP3 hybrid. We have an added value as cleaner and more efficient vehicles because we do not sit in traffic jams, and because we take less space. But we need the same kind incentives to encourage people to buy these alternatives.

The question?

In light of the fact that “encourage people to buy these alternatives” is one of the arguments used by safety “experts” as is “Discouraging or restricting the use of Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) by making the alternatives more attractive and acceptable”. Is FEMA now stating that motorcyclists should prefer electric bikes because of emissions issues? 

On noise:-

Noise, an issue that, Delhaye admits, can give the motorcycling community a bad name. “Noise is complex,” she says. “The problem is not what comes out of the factory. It is what people do to them, putting in illegal noise systems, which are too easy to find, but also a durability issue. Reducing noise limits at that point will not prevent people from changing their motorbikes. Instead, FEMA calls for manufacturers to introduce longer warranties on vehicle to limit tampering, improve controls and work on awareness as this is once more a behaviour issue.”

The question?

What does improve controls mean? Enforcement, anti-tampering measures, Periodic Test Inspections. Further how would extended warranties change anything?  What is FEMA’s position?

I await a response with interest.

Meantime enjoy the new KTM 125 Duke – Gritty City ad. Naughty but nice!

Have fun, ride with a smile and don’t worry!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

One Comment leave one →


  1. El Camino – The Road

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