Riders gather for MCN EU protest

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Riders have started gathering at ports en route to Brussels take part in MCN’s protest over stifling EU measures for bikes.

Protesters are due to meet near the European Commission headquarters before riding to European Parliament, where MEPs had been invited to come out and hear concerns over anti-tampering proposals.

Yesterday, UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen, who proposed the action, sent 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.’

Motorcyclists set to join the ride today include Tory MP Mike Weatherley, Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules, MAG president Ian Mutch and the BMF’s Chris Hodder.

A Facebook group backing the protest had gained over 1300 members, including riders from Germany, Holland and Belgium. 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.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell