Wakefield MAG August 2012 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, it's the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Yorkshire Pudding Rally Report
2) VJMC Show Report
3) Guest Speaker (Steve Clarke, NABD)
4) Hein Gericke
5) EU Super MoT Plans Unveiled
6) Motorcycle Industry Pulls Together To Fight Theft
7) Motorcycle Casualties Fall Again
8) More Last Minute Changes To Licencing
9) Bike For Sale
10) Forthcoming Events (for August and beyond)

1) Yorkshire Pudding Rally Report

Check out the rally report Here

2) VJMC Show Report

Check out the show report Here

3) Guest Speaker (Steve Clarke, NABD)

Check out the event report Here

4) Hein Gericke

We've just heard that another titan of the British motorcycle industry has gone bust. Hein Gericke (UK), whose head office is in Harrogate, saw Moorfields Corporate Recovery move in as administrators on July 30th. Moorfields are hoping to sell the company, which is separate from the German parent, but which last year lost £1.3 million. At this stage it's not certain what will happen to the 49 stores that exist in the UK and of course the staff employed who make their living from motorcycling.

The wider economic conditions aside, one must ask how the fall in those accessing motorcycling through our new convoluted testing and training regime may have contributed to this. It was at the start of the summer that the George White chain of shops closed and the end of last year when that other famous brand, Frank Thomas, folded.

Not good news, although being mercenary, there could be some bargains to be had !!!!!

5) EU Super MoT Plans Unveiled

For more than a year, MAG has been warning that the EU wanted to replace our current MoT test with something that could be more complex, more expensive and which may further restrict the rider's ability to modify their bike or trike.

We've also been asking whether these ideas will make a significant difference, and whether they can be justified ('thanks' to everyone who supported Jon Strong's complaint to the European Ombudsman).

Now that the proposed EU Regulation on 'Road Worthiness Testing' (RWT) has been published, we can start to see what we are really faced with and big changes are on the way:

Expect the new test around 2016 (we'll keep you posted).

RWT certificates would contain new information, such as:

Countries with more stringent road worthiness requirements than the Commission proposes, may keep them. For example, it seems likely that the UK would keep to annual testing (which is more frequent than the EU proposes).

The Regulation says "The goal of road worthiness testing is to check the functionality of safety components, the environmental performance and the compliance of a vehicle with its approval" - which ties-in neatly to anti-tampering/modification, which is the other Regulation (COM(2010)542) the EU are working on at the moment.

In essence, the RWT covers the similar items to our MoT: Identification of the vehicle; Braking equipment; Steering; Visibility; Lighting, horn, etc.; Axles, wheels, tyres, suspension; Chassis and attachments; Nuisance (noise and pollution).

However, RWT will treat pass/fail situations quite differently.

If 'Minor' deficiencies (ie; no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle, etc.) are all that's found, the registered keeper of the vehicle will have to rectify the problem(s) 'without delay', but the vehicle may not need a re-test (this would be a decision for the UK authorities).

'Major' deficiencies (ie; may prejudice the safety of the vehicle or put other road users at risk, etc.) could still see vehicles continue to be used for up to 6 weeks before undergoing another test.

'Dangerous' deficiencies (ie; posing direct and immediate risk to road safety such that the vehicle may not be used on the road under any circumstances), would mean the vehicle registration is withdrawn until a road worthiness certificate is issued.

Some EU countries have never tested bike road worthiness; conversely the German 'TuV' test is linked to the vehicle's registration papers, listing any modifications and after-market components on the vehicle, type-approved of course, to be checked at the test.

The Commission estimates that RWT in all member states will reduce casualties by 8%, but this figure seems very high compared to findings from various EU countries.

FEMA and many of its member organisations question whether RWT will make much difference to safety and a day of action is being planned for September.

Our National Committee is giving careful consideration to MAG's policy on RWT, which will form the basis for our campaigning with riders, media, politicians and officials.

MAG predicted that, although the Commission might concentrate on making sure all EU member states have at least a basic road worthiness test, they like to aim high and we might get something more like the German TuV test, rather than the UK's MoT. We also predicted it would be linked to the new EU Type-Approval Regulation to control any changes to the power-train, etc.

Some scoffed, accusing MAG of deliberately scaremongering - judge for yourself, the official documents can be found on the EU website: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/events-archive/2012_07_13_press_release_en.htm

6) Motorcycle Industry Pulls Together To Fight Theft

Recognising the effect that motorcycle crime is having on the motorcycle community, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI), has launched an official security marking scheme called MASTER (Motorcycle and Scooter Tagged Equipment Register) to be utilised by its motorcycle members.

The launch recently, at MAG corporate member's the ACE Cafe in London, was attended by MAG and all those involved in the scheme.

Figures from the MCI show an estimated 43% of all insurance total loss payouts are due to theft and added to this the figures from the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group suggest that 40% of victims of motorcycle theft leave the motorcycle community forever.

The MASTER Security Scheme, a motorcycle and scooter security marking and secure registration programme, has been developed in conjunction with the police authorities and Datatag, the country's foremost supplier of security marking technology, who will supply not only the component marking elements of the scheme but also the registration infrastructure and call centre operation. The scheme has the backing of the major manufacturers and the Metropolitan Police in the battle to reduce crime and keep Britain's bikers riding.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCI said 'Theft is and has been a great concern for the industry and we need to do all we can to help combat it. Security marking of bikes has been proven to be effective in both reducing theft and aiding recovery, and we are confident that by launching this scheme we not only promote standardisation across the industry but also start a long term reduction in motorcycle crime as the parts of motorcycles marked by the MASTER Security Scheme grows over the coming years.' He went on to say 'As modern machines become more valuable their appeal to criminals increases - we all therefore, need to do more to ensure we don't fall victim as an industry or individual'.

Kevin Howells, Datatag Managing Director said 'It is a great honour to have been chosen as the industry's preferred supplier and clearly shows that our package of unique layered security and secure call centre and database is recognised as the most effective in the industry. We look forward to seeing crime reduced as a result of this innovative all-industry initiative which will keep more bikers on the roads.'

Some 26,000 machines were stolen in the UK in 2009, and due to the methods employed by professional criminals only a small percentage are ever recovered. London, hit hardest by motorcycle crime, sees more than 35 machines taken each day from its streets, with often more stolen than are sold new on a daily basis.

D. C. Ian Elliott, from the Metropolitan Police Stolen Vehicle Division said 'We've long known that security marking is one of the most effective theft deterrents. This move by the motorcycle industry to put in place a standard national security scheme will help reduce crime enormously, particularly here in the capital, as thieves will simply avoid these marked machines.'

The scheme will only be available to participating manufacturer members of the MCI so that they can offer new motorcycles and scooters, marked, tagged, registered and recorded by the MASTER Security Scheme providing peace of mind for customers.

Early adopting members of the scheme are Honda, Triumph, Suzuki, Kawasaki, BMW and Yamaha all of whom will introduce the MASTER Security Scheme progressively to their ranges over the coming months.

Adrian Roderick, General Manager of BMW Motorrad said 'BMW are pleased to offer this added benefit to our customers. The MASTER Security Scheme will not only help reduce theft but send a clear message to all bikers that they should consider whether they have provided enough protection for their machines.'

The MASTER Security Scheme was launched on Tuesday 24th July at New Scotland Yard with the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Craig Mackey and Lord Henley, the Crime Prevention Minister, before the press meeting at the Ace Cafe. The scheme will be available on new machines from participating manufacturers imminently.

MAG's Campaigns Manager Paddy Tyson welcomed the move saying that 'a single scheme, recognised and understood by all the Police Forces is vital in the fight against theft. Too often perfectly good intentions are thwarted by lack of universal acceptance, because thieves don't respect regional policing boundaries. This Industry initiative will mean a much higher stolen vehicle detection rate, lead to lower theft figures in the long run and ultimately lower inconvenience and insurance premiums for riders'.

Some staggering facts on motorcycle theft and the new scheme:

7) Motorcycle Casualties Fall Again

With the recent release of road casualty figures by the UK Department for Transport (DfT), motorcycling has again shown a decrease, this time by an excellent 10% to a total of 362 fatalities in the year 2010/11.

Every fatality is one too many and MAG offers condolences to the families of those who have tragically lost their lives in road accidents, but it is continued proof that motorcycling is doing its utmost to get its own house in order. Improved rider training at all levels and campaigns to raise awareness among other road users, 'think biker' as well as campaigns around road infrastructure are all playing a part in reducing casualties.

MAG's Get A Grip campaign is aiming to banish slippery manhole covers, white lines and crack in fill from the road network, because consistent grip is important to single track vehicles and new technology, which is readily available, should be employed.

The 10% decrease in fatalities is a continuing trend for motorcycling, but it should be noted that motorcycle traffic actually increased over the same time. 0.9% may not be a significant increase, but it does demonstrate that the decrease in fatalities was not due to fewer motorcycle miles being travelled.

Casualties amongst cyclists were up (4%) in the same period, as were those involving car occupants (6%) and most alarmingly pedestrian (12%).

It can only be speculation but are all the passive safety aids provided within cars perhaps now isolating drivers from the realities of sharing the road network with more vulnerable user groups, especially those who are not being trained to counteract the behaviour of poor drivers?

8) More Last Minute Changes To Licencing

Just when we thought we knew what was happening with the new Licensing Laws, it looks like more change is afoot.

At a meeting MAG had recently with the Dept for Transport (DfT), it transpires that the EU Commission has decided to further complicate the licensing laws which come in to effect on 19th January 2013.

There will be 4 categories of bike licence in January:

Under the third Driving Licence Directive (3DLD) however, the bikes learners could take their test on, were to be a little different. For example, although a cat A bike licence would be for anything over 47bhp, the bike for the test had to be at least 53.6bhp. The A2 category was more complicated (engine size/ power to weight etc) and the DSA was having difficulty deciding exactly which bikes fitted the bill, whether they'd accept big bikes restricted down, which restricter kit would do etc.

You may remember our news story some time ago about their definitive list of suitable machinery which hadn't included any bikes made my Honda or Suzuki. To their credit, the DSA are doing their best to update this list as and when the manufacturers let them have details about which suitable bikes are in their ranges, but now the EU Commission have thrown a new spanner in the works.

Even more new rules will come into effect at the end of 2013 if they get their way.

For Category A minimum test bike requirements increase engine power from 40kW (53.6 bhp) to 50 kW (approx 67 bhp). There will also be a minimum weight of 180 kg unladen mass weight. The DfT understand from the EU Commission that this means 'kerb weight'. The change means that the range of motorcycles available will reduce by an estimated 10% of vehicles listed by the DSA. In essence this means of course, that those training schools who have gone out and bought new machines for next year, having waited all that time fore the definitive list of what was suitable, may now have wasted their money.

The UK Government did not support this change at such a late stage and raised concerns about the impact this would have on the industry. However, they were in the minority seeking a longer period for implementation from the Commission, and they have not been able to secure any longer period than the end of 2013.

It is still possible the Commission's plans will change as they are subject to EU Council and European Parliament approval and MAG will be working with the DfT to try and raise awareness among MEPs when we have fully clarified exactly what stage of the legislative procedure we are at.

The changes to the rules will decrease the minimum kW output for A2 motorcycles from 25kW (approx 33.5 bhp) to 20 KW (approx 27bhp) which will increase the range of motorcycles available for this class, which is a good thing. A small ray of sunshine in an otherwise very cloudy sky !!!!

9) Bike For Sale

Royal Enfield 350 Bullet (Indian Market Electra) for sale.

07 plate. Excellent condition due to being in storage for past 2 years (has been started regularly though). Not even fully run in - 860 miles on clock. Selling due to ill health. £2,000 OVNO.

Also selling spares: Handlebars, Horn, Seat and Exhaust. £30 for the lot

Bike in Dewsbury. Call Vikki on 0784 151 3530 if you want to buy it.

10) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

Sunday 12th August - Wakefield MAG Rideout (Destination: Whitby (there just had to be a visit to the seaside in the summer !!!)

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ

Friday 31st (Aug) - Sunday 2nd September - Stormin' The Castle Rally & Custom Bike Show 2012

Witton Castle, Witton le Wear, Co.Durham. DL14 0DE. Live bands on 2 stages, 4 on-site Bars, Fairground rides, Traders village, Food court and Camping. For tickets, send a cheque payable to 'Stormin the Castle Ltd' with an SAE to: Stormin' the Castle, PO Box 293, Durham, DH1 4XS. Pre book ticket deadlines: by Post 11th August / Payment card & on-line 22nd August. Ticket Prices: Pre book Adults £25, Child £5 / On the gate £35 (motorcycle or trike only).
Web: http://www.storminthecastle.co.uk

Friday 14th - Sunday 16th September - East Yorkshire MAG's Spat out of Hull Rally.

Bonfire, Bands, Comedians, Great Food. Dean Park, Dunswell, Nr Hull, HU6 0AA. Entrance: £15 on the gate (£12 prebook). Pre-Book hotline: 0800 988 3199 (£2 per ticket booking fee if paying by card). Free entrance to FYP marshals.

Sunday 23rd September - Wakefield MAG Treasure Hunt (The Thinking Riders Rideout)

Multiple clues, multiple destinations, multiple opportunities to get totally lost !!!!!

Meet 9:30am (to get clues/instructions) at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. Leave when you are ready having working out where you are going and in what order. £1 per entrant (to cover cost of prizes). Arrive with a full tank of petrol.

N.B. this date was originally advertised as our rideout to Windermere (but this will be far more fun than going to the Lakes .... Honest !!!)

and a date for your diary .... Wakefield MAG Biker Quiz Night - Wednesday 14th November at 20:00 (more details in future newsletters).

That's all for this month and I hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Wednesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.