100bhp limit threat

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Motorcycles could be subjected to 100bhp power limits under proposals to be set out by the European Commission this summer.     

The Commission is expected to propose European-wide consistency on the issue, raising the prospect that countries will have to change in line with France, where a 100bhp limit is already in place.   

The Department for Transport (DfT) has asked UK motorcycle groups for opinions on the plans in anticipation of the consultation.

A spokesman for the Motor Cycle Action Group (MAG) said: “The DfT has been asking us for our opinion on this and we’ve very clearly come out against a power limit for the UK.”

He said the proposals were also likely to include ABS for all new bikes. “A 100bhp limit is back on the EU agenda as part of a package of fresh controls which includes mandatory ABS.”

A draft version of the proposals published last year said of the current inconsistency between countries: “This creates a situation where a motorcycle above 74 kW [100bhp] type-approved in one country is refused in another one. This type of situation is not in line with the spirit of the internal market.

“On the other hand, it emerged from dedicated studies that the link between engine power and increase of safety cannot be demonstrated. Based on this, the Commission intends to propose an harmonisation of the EC legislation on that matter.”

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell