Four massively important motorcycling campaigns that deserve your support in 2022
As we head into 2022, the new year is traditionally time for taking stock and making resolutions and plans for the 12 months to come, and motorcycling currently has plenty of stories, issues and controversies worthy of your support.
Whether it’s the heartbreaking Justice4Harry campaign, which finally heads to court later this month; Government ‘anti-tampering’ proposals, which potentially threaten the whole idea of modifying or accessorising your bike; or muddled, post-Brexit regulations which make transporting your bike abroad a minefield, there’s much that you can help improve.
Here we showcase four of motorcycling’s biggest issues and reveal how you can join the fight.
Act against ‘anti-tampering’ proposals
Last September the Government introduced proposals on ‘anti-tampering’ – in other words banning mods which could potentially include exhausts, suspension, brakes and more. As the exact wording of the proposal makes no mention of customising it has caused uproar, particularly at riders’ rights group MAG, and has prompted a mass petition.
The petition – find it at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/600954 – has passed the 100,000 signatories required to force a parliamentary debate but as it’s open until May 17 so you can still add your voice.
The Government has responded by saying: “The intention of the consultation proposal is to prevent modifications that negatively impact on road safety, vehicle security and the environment.” They add: “We are not proposing that all modifications be prevented.”
But MAG’s Colin Brown is wary: “We see the only sensible solution to be a rejection of the proposals. The Government needs to provide the detail required to enable us to consider the proportionality of any legislation. Without that detail we cannot support the proposals.”
No date for the Westminster debate on the issue has been set.
The tragic story of the death of teenage biker Harry Dunn outside a US air force base in Northamptonshire and the subsequent uproar over American driver Anne Sacoolas’ evasion of British justice under the cloak of diplomatic immunity has rarely been out of the headlines since 2019.
Now, finally, with a first hearing before Westminster Magistrates due in 2022, (with Sacoolas due to appear from the US by video link), Harry’s family’s quest for justice may at last be served – but it’s not over yet.
MCN will, of course, be reporting fully on the proceedings. The campaign’s Facebook page has regular updates and is also on Twitter and Instagram. The campaign also directs supporters to its GoFundMe donations page, which has been helping the family, including Harry’s twin brother Niall, plus its legal team, to get through these difficult times.
- Related: Read about Harry Dunn news here
Electric bike grant anger
The announcement just before Christmas that the Government was slashing its grant scheme in support of the purchase of electric motorcycles has sparked anger in the industry and prompted a number of short-term offers from manufacturers.
In short, where before all electric bikes would receive a grant equivalent to a discount of £1500 or 20%, whichever was smaller, from December 15 2021, all bikes over £10,000 were excluded (most notably including all Zeros, Harley’s LiveWire and Energicas) with those under £10K receiving 35% off up to a maximum of £500 on motorcycles and just £150 on mopeds.
Although Harley and Zero have responded by offering £1500 off up to the end of January 2022, the industry as a whole is furious, with Tony Campbell, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association saying: “It is a hammer-blow to consumers and businesses who were and are fully behind the drive to zero-emission vehicles and a net-zero future.”
MCN will be keeping tabs on developments and you can add your weight to the argument for these grants to be reinstated at: www.mcia.co.uk.
Sort EU bike shipping
Following the UK’s exit from the EU one perhaps unexpected outcome was a lack of clarity when it comes to the regs for transporting (not riding) road bikes into the EU – as many do for holidays, trail bike breaks, trackdays and so on – with the result sometimes being owners facing fines or duties.
This doesn’t affect unregistered racing machines or (usually) ones being transported by their owners, but the confusion and inconsistency over the regulations, use of carnets and so on is yet to be resolved.
Tony Barker, who runs UK-based EuroBikeTrans, says: “Riding your own bike out and back from the EU is OK, or transporting it in a van/trailier when you are present and can prove ownership with the V5C, but foreign customs can interpret regulations as they see fit.
“Problems start when you entrust transport to a third party and you are not present yourself, that’s what we’re trying to correct.”
FEMA (The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations) is on the case, as is the UK’s National Motorcyclists Council. You can sign a petition to raise awareness of the issue and to try to force a resolution, too.
- Related: Read more about motorcycle shipping