‘Every rider should join MCN Brussels protest’

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Riders’ rights groups have urged motorcyclists to join MCN’s Brussels protest ride as the day of the action approaches.

We’re asking readers to meet us next Tuesday in Brussels, where we’re staging a protest ride to European Parliament over EU measures to stop us modifying bikes.

The BMF’s Chris Hodder said: “Modifying vehicles, which anti-tampering proposals are designed to prevent, is a key part of motorcycling culture, celebrated on TV, in magazines and even at events like the BMF show. 

“Every rider should go to Brussels to make sure that the politicians know that we will fight to protect our culture.”

MAG’s president Ian Mutch said:  “It is reassuring that the bike press is interested enough in riders’ rights to get actively involved.

“Demonstrations are the tip of the iceberg in terms of the lobbying effort by rider groups such as MAG but it’s a very important tip which can help logic win over absurd proposals like this.”

Bikers due to attend include Tory MP Mike Weatherley and Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules.

MEPs are to be invited to come out and hear riders concerns at European Parliament.
UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen, who proposed the action, has drafted a memo to other MEPs saying: ‘I have been campaigning with bikers across the UK and MCN to ensure that this needless legislation is thrown on the scrapheap.

‘I would like you to invite you to come and hear their concerns on Tuesday 22nd November at 3pm, and would ask you to vote down the report when it comes to plenary.’
A Facebook group backing the protest has gained nearly 1300 members, including riders from Germany, Holland and Belgium.

One member posted: ‘Supposing 500 to 1000 riders go from the UK, a couple of hundred each from Germany, Holland, France and a few hundred from other European countries… I’m so looking forward to seeing all this. If you haven’t booked your crossing, do it and come along and enjoy the ride – and make a difference.’

Tuning could become impossible and even home-maintenance severely hampered under EU proposals.

So-called on-board diagnostic systems on new bikes could detect non-standard parts and trigger a warning light until the ‘fault’ is rectified by a dealer. Routine faults could be reported in code decipherable only be a dealer, preventing home-servicing.

One aim of the EU plans is to prevent any modifications to the ‘powertrain’ which rider groups fear could include anything from the throttle to rear tyre.

New bikes are also to get ABS under the proposals, due to be introduced gradually from 2014.

MCN is calling for the anti-tampering measures to be thrown out of the plans.

Find details on the plans here.

Join the Facebook group here.

Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell