Anti-tampering extended to motorcycle parts

The European Commission has proposed that part of its controversial new ‘Anti-Tampering’ regulations, which will affect all future bikes registered for the road, should be re-written to prevent chop-builders from using ‘long-forks’.

The Commission now proposes that any bikes being put through the Individual Vehicle Approval test (the safety inspection made before non Type-Approved imports, one-off specials, etc. currently known as Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval) would have to complete a slalom and U-Turn before being registered, to prevent modifications to the length of the forks.

Up to now, the draft regulations have only talked about requiring manufacturers to design the ‘power-train’ (engine, transmission, final-drive) so that it becomes difficult for owners to modify them from standard.

The UK representatives in the technical discussions joined FEMA and others in opposing the proposal, not least because the Commission cannot produce any evidence to show that modified bikes are unsafe.

The Commission is expected to continue to seek further restrictions on the ability to modify bikes in future despite mounting criticism that it has failed to consider whether there is any demonstrable case for restricting riders liberty to modify their bikes to suit their own needs.

MAG had previously warned that the vagueness of the Commission’s proposals to restrict modifications could mean the ambitions of those who want to save us from ourselves might extend beyond the draft proposals that have been under discussion since 2010. We’ve drawn attention to Annex 2 (item 12) of the EU Type Approval and Market Surveillance Regulation before, which wishes to measure/control steerability, cornering properties and turn ability and this is what is playing out now.

MAG’s campaigning against the creeping scope of interference in riders’ right to choose what kind of bike they ride continues in 2012 – make sure you know what’s going on by subscribing to our activists’ e-mailing list, which is just to the right of this page.