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Wood for the Trees??

February 4, 2011


Pickering, England – Following a week when up coming European legislation on motorcycles was discussed by both industry and politicians…..

It appears that the progress of the European Union Framework Regulations on motorcycle anti-tampering/modification, emissions and noise checks, is as convoluted as ever.

It’s not that the ‘industry’ negotiators or the politicians don’t understand the bigger picture it’s that the EU Commission, who instigated the legislation, may have simple misjudged the detail involved. Not to mention the effect that badly made legislation will have on an industry struggling with losses in sales exceeding half a million units as users and prospective users respond not only to a recession but to more and more burdensome legislation.

So where are with the Framework Regulations following Brussels meetings of the

European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the 7th Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) Annual Conference, the latter also held in Brussels.

In brief:-

ABS – The mandatory fitment of both ABS – (ABS Anti-lock Braking Systems and CBS Combined Braking Systems) is beginning to look like a done deal. Although ACEM have asked for more time for implementation, 2017 is now being mentioned. On the issue of Trail and Enduro bikes ACEM want these included in the legislation but exempted from the fitment of ABS or fitted with a switch allowing both on and off-road use. At the IMCO meeting Rapporteur Wim van de Camp pointed up issues with cost and rider training relating to both CBS and ABS.

Emissions – It appears that ACEM want to speed up this issue, there are rumours that a much early introduction of Euro 6 is being discussed. This would be to ACEM’s advantage as tightening up the European emission controls on scooters and motorcycles would offer some protection from foreign sales into the EU. Anti-tampering is also an issue here.

Anti – Tampering – Discussion, in public at least, on this is currently suspended as a report on the issue is awaited from the UK-based Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) i.e. examining if it actually is an issue. From van de Camp’s public statements it seems he is concerned with safety issues relating to the modification of scooters and motorcycles that enhance performance. While ACEM are concerned that badly focused anti –tampering legislation would harm the sales of legitimate, type approved, parts.

Data Exchange – Relating to technical information needed to service and repair machines. Van de Camp is determined that this information is made available to non franchised dealers and owners.

In general Wim van de Camp appears to want a ‘flexible’ and ‘holistic’ approach to the Commissions proposals. He has said that he intends to give the Commission a ‘hard time’. As a member of Netherlands MAG lets hope he does. After all with the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) apparently acting as the comic relief on the issue van de Camp may well be the only advocate that the European scooter and motorcycle community has.

Next IMCO meeting on this issue due in late February. We shall report back.

The horse trading continues!

Ride safe, ride free, ride everywhere.

© Back Roads Rider 2011

One Comment leave one →


  1. El Camino – The Road

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