Be Afraid Very Afraid

As the reader of a custom bike magazine, I don't think I'll be too far off the mark to assume that the bike sitting in your garage, or out on the street, may not be the bog standard machine that once left the factory. Your Irike certainly isn't.

Come to think of it, is any bike with a few years and a few miles under its belt still stuck? What about that exhaust system or the luggage or the altered seat height? Maybe there's a replacement air filter in there and the sprockets have been changed to make the gearing more suitable to personal use; longer for motorways and shorter for the hills.

I thir.k I may know the answer, but how would you feel if you couldn't alter your bike to suit you or you weren't allowed to do any home maintenance? I only ask because the European Commission have finally released their long awaited, and snappily titled, Regulation Proposal 'on the approval and market surveillance of two or three wheel vehicles and quadricycles.'

This document does contain many of the things that we thought it would, like compulsory ABS on all bikes over 125 and either ABS or linked brakes on smaller machines. It outlines anti-tampering on every aspect of the power-train, from the fuelling at one end to the tyre ratios at the other, and clearly links this to a desire to reduce casualties as part of the F.uro Road Safety Action Plan. What it doesn't do is provide anything that demonstrates clear proof that there is a link. You may remember I wrote last month that barely 1% of bike accidents are linked to component failure and most of those are due to tyres.

Now you may be groaning and saying summat like 'Yeah, yeah, whatever, this is for new bikes and 1 don't care' which may be fair enough, especially if you won't ever want to replace your machine with a slightly newer one but, remember, new bikes become second-hand quite quickly. Compulsory ABS is just one element of this document, but I read today in the November edition of the BMW Club Journal that a K1200 owner is looking at £1000 for an ABS repair on a 2003 machine. That doesn't include labour.

Arc wc going to start scrapping bikes because of the expense of one component failure? Remember there will be no 'bypassing' the system. What about wanting to switch the ABS off for when you are riding on gravel? The Commission have said that they don't care about people who live in Scandinavia where many of the roads are gravel and an on/off switch will not be provided, which rather shoots a hole in their argument that this is all about safety. They say that if there was a switch, riders would be too stupid to use it properly, which is rich coming from people who don't ride themselves and have no idea what they are talking about.

ABS is just one thing. Onboard diagnostics is another, which will enable the reading of all the things the various computers on your bike are doing, and could also be accessed retrospectively to see that you once reached a speed of'You're nicked, my son'. Who knows?

But you may still be sceptical. You may never want to own a machine that is built in the next few years and weighed down with environmental regulations, but perhaps if I was


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to draw your attention to a few paragraphs that nestle among all the others that begin 'the Commission should be empowered to

Article 52 is quite long, so I can't reprint it here, but I will point out that it says any component that may effect the functioning of any part or system of the machine, may not be sold. As if to reiterate, it goes on to say that if any item that may be used for racing and could also be used on a road going vehicle, then it too shall not be sold.

There goes your Power Commander and your K&N filter for starters, and if you think that an aftermarket producer v/ill continue only making stuff for a constantly diminishing old bike market, then I fear you may be mistaken. If this goes through it will be illegal for companies to sell non-genuine, Type Approved equipment, even with a warning that says 'not for road use'.

'Oh the times they are a changing'. Please don't take my word for it, read the document for yourself at sectors/automotive/files/com-2oio-542_en.pdf and join MAG and help us fight this - 01926 844064 or

Paddy Tyson is the Campaigns Manager for MAG and one of the hardest working men around. He's also an experienced world traveller on his beloved Aprilia Pegaso and can't survive anywhere for long without tea.

"h/eve\ xM rue ftel^ of huw txaa/swkt mve so seetf ^^eseA/re^> by so few I issue 1361100% Biker 157 Release: StoreMags & Fantamag. Magazines for All



There was a huge ride-out 011 Sunday morning -1 avoided it however, as I normally regard two bikes as one too many. The standard of the bikes in the show was as good as I've seen anywhere, and there was also an arm wrestling contest at some point, but I completely missed it.

The organisers had managed to get some very good bands - Friday evening saw sets from the French group 'Lust' and a band called Taste' from Ireland. On Saturday wc got 'Rccklcss Ones' from America, 'Electric Mary'from Oz and 'Rockworkz' from Err... somewhere. I really liked Electric Mary, who were giving out demo CDs, but then I automatically like anyone who gives me anything. All of them were good bike rally bands, noisy and fun.

The whole plot was made even more enjoyable by a great team of strippers. There were five girls, all very attractive, and apart from getting their kit off on stage they also assisted with various activities throughout the weekend, sometimes scantily clothed, occasionally not.

Get info on next year's show (as long as you speak French) from www. ©

t's held at an excellent site in the pine forests of Montalivet-les-Bains on the west coast of France, some forty five miles north west of Bordeaux and, unlike many rallies, this is strictly a 48 hour event - from six o'clock Friday evening to the same on Sunday.

Weekend tickets, including camping, cost 25 Euros, which Ï thought was good value. The food area, always the first thing I chcck, was excellent with a wide selection of grub, and plenty of tables to eat it at. There were trade stands selling clothing and accessories, and the stunt show was very good. Me, I'm a bit blasé about stunt shows - no ambulance, no fun, I reckon, but then I'm a nasty old sod.

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