Wakefield MAG March 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) Charity Dog Food Run Update
2) Fred Hill Run report
3) Wakefield MAG is going to the Dogs !!!
4) Rally Tickets For Sale
5) Wakefield Parking Campaign - We Need YOU !!!!!
6) Motorcycle Sales
7) Shock Horror - Motorcycles reduce congestion !!!!
9) EU supplementary Impact Assessment Released!
10) Pete Walkers World Tour of Yorkshire
11) Forthcoming Events (for March and beyond)

1) Charity Dog Food Run Update

Our Charity Dog Food Run will now be held on Sunday 18th March, not the 25th, as provisionally advertised. Our popular dog food run, now in it's 3rd year, meets at our HQ (the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ) at 09:30. We will set off at 10:00 for our first port of call, Whitehall Dog Rescue (Registered Charity: 1131552) in East Ardsley, arriving at 10:30. We will drop off our doggy donations, and host Brian will show us around the kennels and we get to meet the residents.

Following our tour of Whitehall, we will set off for our 2nd and final port of call of the day, the RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch (Registered Charity: 232223), based at MyPetStop near Tingley roundabout, arriving around 12:00. We will again drop off the donations here, and meet all the rescue dogs looking for new parents.

Please bring along the following items to donate:

This is a great rideout, in support of two great local causes. Really hope you can make it and pack your panniers / top box / tank bag / tailpack / backpack / pillion seat / trailer / sidecar / pockets ..... full of those doggy donations !!!!

2) Fred Hill Run report

Check out the rideout report Here

3) Wakefield MAG is going to the Dogs !!!

Some of you have suspected it for a long time, and now it's official ..... Wakefield MAG are going to the dogs ..... literally ..... on Saturday 10th March at Kinsley Greyhound Stadium.

Total cost is £12 for the Super Six Party Booking, for which you get Admission (including race programme), Pint of beer/lager, any bottle or wine or spirit, Choice of any basket meal available on the night, 2 x £1 Tokens for Tote super six jackpot (usually well into five figures ... well worth winning !!!) & a £1 token for normal tote bet. An absolute bargain and an absolute hoot (this will be the branches 3rd visit !!!).

Meet at 6pm, we are heading in at 6:30 to bag the best seats / tables and the pooch racing starts at 7:30 .... I'll have 50p each way on that black and white one !!!!

4) Rally Tickets For Sale

We now have our allocation of Yorkshire MAG (MAP) Rally tickets for sale at the Branch meetings. Ticket prices for this years MAP events are maintained at double-dip recession busting levels (Into The Valley £15 Pre-Book; Farm Yard Party £25 Pre-Book and Yorkshire Pudding Rally £15 Pre-Book). In fact, these bargain prices have been maintained for the last 5 years !!!!

We are returning to the sites you have come to love for all three rallies, we are not cutting any corners to try and keep cost down, we will be giving you the same if not more at what are now the UK's best and biggest rallies, run by bikers for you. These events help keep Big Brother out of Biking or as we like to call it, Partying with a Purpose.

Demand is high as for the first time ever, the sale or return tickets are being offered to MAG branches nationally, not just those in Yorkshire MAG. Good news for MAG, potentially not so good news for you if you delay buying your tickets !!!. YPR tickets will sell very fast and sold out months before the event last year, so if you are planning to attend this most excellent event this year, I'd buy your tickets sooner rather than later if I were you !! Once they are all gone, they are all gone !!!

Let me know if you want some tickets (sooner rather than later).

5) Wakefield Parking Campaign - We Need YOU !!!!!

Wakefield MAG are currently running a campaign for fair motorcycle parking charges at Westgate Railway Station. It was brought to our attention last year that motorcyclists are being fleeced by East Coast Railways, at the new Wakefield Westgate multi-storey car park. The allocated motorcycle spaces are effectively car spaces divided into two. You would therefore logically expect that motorcycles would be charged half the car rate (it's an hourly rate, but works out at £7 per day midweek, and £5 per day on a weekend). However, the rate is the same for all vehicles, meaning motorcyclists are effectively charged double. Given motorcycles are a more environmentally friendly mode of transport, and multi-modal journeys are actively encouraged by the Government to reduce emissions and congestion etc, effectively penalising motorcyclists doesn't seem very sensible, nor fair.

This also goes against the norm in the Wakefield district, as motorcycles can park for free in all Wakefield MDC operated car parks. Numerous other railway stations provide free parking for motorcycles, including nearby Wakefield Kirkgate station.

We aren't necessarily asking for free motorcycle parking (although it would be nice). The new Westgate station parking facilities are undoubtedly good, however, we do object to the unfair charging policy, which effectively penalises an environmentally friendly mode of transport.

Our campaign started with contacting the Council and East Coast Railways by letter. Initially, both said the issue lie with the other party, but eventually, East Coast Railways admitted it was their parking policy which applies the charges. We have received several standard, non-commital and brush-off responses to our letters from East Coast, so it is now time to implement Phase 2 of our campaign ...... and this is where YOU come in !!!!!

We want as many motorcyclists as possible to visit the East Coast railways web site (www.eastcoast.co.uk) and leave comments for Customer Services (About Us > Contact Us > Email Us - This takes you to an on-line question / comments submission form). Please make the following comments:

Keep the comments polite and constructive please. Let us know when you post the comments and what reponse you get as we would like to track these. Should Phase 2 of our campaign not achieve the desired results, Phase 3 will be implemented, which will include the press and more direct action. Watch this space for more updates !!!!!

And in the meantime, if you are parking your motorcycle in Wakefield Westgate Railway Station Car Park, do feel free to take a whole car parking space ..... you have paid for it !!!!

6) Motorcycle Sales

2011 was another tough year for new motorcycle sales. The only growing motorcycle sector in 2011 was the Adventure Sport sector, according to stats released by the Motorcycle Industry Association.

Adventure Sport motorcycle sales totalled 10,570 units in 2011, compared to 9,308 units in 2010, an increase of 13.6%. However, Adventure Sport sales are still behind outright Supersport sales, with 12,851 Supersport machines sold in 2011, the market was down 9.9% on 2010, where 14,257 units were sold.

The figures look bleak, with less people buying new machines, but certainly the trend appears to be leaning toward the Adventure sector. Total sales of motorcycles and scooters were down 2.5% compared to 2010, however Scooters posted a 20.1% increase, which may look good but in reality it masks the troubles across the rest of the motorcycle sector.

The hardest-hit sector was Sport/Tour which suffered a 32.4% decrease in sales. Naked motorcycles remain fairly strong, with 16,800 units sold in 2011, just 5% down on 2010 - a hard but manageable drop.

In terms of capacity, the only growing sector was the 51-125cc category, with 16.6% growth, which is in line with strong scooter sales. Machines over 1,000cc sold 14.6% less than in 2010.

Motorcycling is suffering, but dealers and manufacturers are working harder than ever to get us onto two wheels, with finance deals, huge discounts and incentive packages being offered by almost everyone.

The real issue for motorcycling is that 2011's figures look poor compared to 2010, which was a dreadful year.

The irony is: there really has not been a better time to buy a new motorcycle.

7) Shock Horror - Motorcycles reduce congestion !!!!

Motorbikes reduce congestion shock! It's not as though we haven't been saying it for years, but apparently if more people rode bikes there'd be less traffic congestion. New research indicates motorcycle commuting reduces traffic congestion and emissions.

A slight shift in traffic composition from cars to motorcycles has been found to significantly reduce traffic congestion and emissions.

The answer to the world's urban traffic congestion may be as simple as creating policies to promote motorcycle commuting. A detailed study by Belgian consultancy Transport & Mobility Leuven has found that a slight shift in traffic composition from cars to motorcycles significantly reduces traffic congestion and emissions. The study, which was presented at the Association of European Motorcycle Constructors (ACEM) 2012 Conference in Brussels, found that if 10 percent of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles in the traffic flow of the test area, total time losses for all vehicles decreased by 40 percent and total emissions reduced by 6 percent (1 percent from the different traffic composition of more emission-reduced motorcycles and 5 percent from avoided traffic congestion). A 25 percent modal shift from cars to motorcycles was found to eliminate congestion entirely.

The results came from a case study for a stretch of highway between Leuven and Brussels in Belgium and may not translate directly to other road scenarios, as the report states quite clearly that the effects of a modal shift are dependent on the local traffic situation. "The queues that develop at each bottleneck have different characteristics, which are dependent on local circumstances, such as the local traffic demand and the capacity of the local bottleneck and upstream road sections," states the report. "The relationship between the modal shift and the change in traffic flow, the reduction in travel times and the reduction in lost vehicle hours will consequently differ for each location."

The researchers extrapolated the figures, noting the above, and warning that "extrapolating the results of the case study can therefore only serve as an indication of the order of magnitude of the impact of a global modal shift."

When the case study results for this small area were extrapolated to Belgium's entire highway highway network, the total time savings for all vehicles was 15,000 hours per day, and that's just in Belgium. The amount of time all of humanity loses in the daily commute must be horrendous, and it might be far more easily managed by the implementation of some pro-motorcycling policies.

We didn't really need Belgium's super sleuth Poirot to tell us that though did we ???? Perhaps we can get the ACEM to present their findings to the anti-bike / anti-freedom of choice EU IMCO Committee, and force a change of heart. Perhaps pigs really do fly after all !!!!


The 2012 MAG Annual General Conference is being held on Saturday 14th April, hosted by Thames Valley MAG in High Wycombe. This year we are encouraging as many Yorkshire MAG members to attend as possible, for the following reasons:

To encourage as many Yorkshire MAG members to attend as possible, Yorkshire MAG are laying on a bus, to make the travel down to AGC as cheap and convenient as possible. Please try to attend if you are free (75 branch points up for grabs for all Wakefield MAG members who attend !!!). Let me know asap if you would like a seat on the bus (already, a good number of Wakefield members are travelling down on the bus, so it promises to be a bit of a scream).

P.S. Don't forget your current MAG membership card ..... you'll need it to get in !!

9) EU supplementary Impact Assessment Released!

The extra EU Impact Assessment we've been waiting for, has been released, and the cost benefit analysis is negative for all three IMCO proposals (ABS, OBD and emissions timetabling), part of the Proposed EU Regulation on Type Approval and Market Surveillance. On ABS, it is interesting to note the study says "In conditions of low traction (off-road) ABS can increase stopping distance." It also says "ABS potentially has a negative impact on rider safety in certain accident configurations that are specific to motorcycle accidents" and they acknowledge accident risk may be increased due to over confidence of riders who mis-understand the capabilities of advanced braking systems. A classic case of 'Risk Compensation'. It is considered that ABS will cost 500 Euro per machine, which is even more than the UK study assessed at the end of last year.

MAG is not and never has been anti-ABS but continues to believe that it should not been seen as a panacea and should be the rider's right to choose.

The IMCO (the EU Internal market and consumer protection committee) has just held a debate about the findings of this extra Impact Assessment into ABS, On Board Diagnostics and the timeline for the introduction of new emissions limits. Remember, they elected to vote back in December, ahead of seeing these results. When the results came out last week, they broadly found against the decisions IMCO had taken, for example, that cost/benefit of compulsory ABS was negative and by a big margin and shouldn't be imposed on all bikes from 50cc up, as MAG has always said.

The debate held on 28th Feb was interesting in that pretty much every MEP who spoke criticised the Impact assessment, said its findings should be ignored and that it was a waste of time and money! And voting before it was even completed wasn't !?!?!?!??

So in essence, they were prepared to vote based on assumptions, but when a report that they commissioned found against their decision, they don't want to listen to it!

In fairness, they are correct in many ways that the Impact Assessment was not a quality one, but then they commissioned it and chose who would carry it out.

This opens a huge can of worms now though, because parts of it are very closely based on the original assessment the EU Commission conducted in support of the introduction of whole Regulation in the first place. Everyone acknowledged that it was sub-standard then and the UK Government even conducted its own because it had no faith in the findings.

The IA is of course only one part of the supporting evidence which is necessary to support the introduction of legislation and we know that most of the other research is flawed too - the EU Commission itself stating that it didn't have baseline data for much of what it wants to introduce - so this leaves us in a funny place, where MEPs appear to accept something sub-standard one minute, but refuse to the next, even if in some cases, the findings are based on the same shoddy work!

The good news (because there always is some) is that this dis-array looks like we are going to get more time to lobby our MEPs, as the whole Parliamentary vote is now bound to be delayed into the summer, leaving MAG the opportunity to express ourselves on the streets as well (watch this space for details of the demos !!!).

Do keep up the Yorkshire MEP letter writing though (see last months newsletter). We have already had positive responses from some of our Yorkshire MEP's but it is absolutely vital we keep up the pressure and get this very damaging anti-bike EU legislation defeated .... the future of biking depends on it !!!!

10) Pete Walkers World Tour of Yorkshire

Pete Walker (A.K.A. The Crown Prince of Yorkshire) is visiting Wakefield MAG on Wednesday 4th April, as part of his world tour (of Yorkshire MAG branches). Pete is the Events Manager of MAP Ltd, the wholly owned events company of the Yorkshire MAG Region, and will be telling us all about the running and management of the Yorkshire MAG Rallies (ITV, FYP & YPR).

The Yorkshire MAG rallies, via the Yorkshire Region, provide significant funding to the MAG fighting fund (more than any other Region in the UK) and we are justly proud of what we do. Pete's talks are always interesting and the floor is open to ask any questions you like. It's also a quite fascinating insight into how these major events are put on, which is no mean feat.

Hope to see you at the meeting on the 4th April, which starts at 20:30 in the Grey Horse. Pete will have the floor from 20:45(ish).

11) Forthcoming Events (for March and beyond)

Sunday 4th March - Yorkshire Region Meeting

The next Yorkshire Region Meeting will be held at the Breighton Ferry Pub, Breighton, Nr Selby, North Yorks, YO86DH, starting at 11:00 prompt. All Yorkshire MAG members invited to attend.

Sunday 4th March - MAP Meeting

The next MAP meeting will be held at the Breighton Ferry Pub, Breighton, Nr Selby, North Yorks, YO86DH, starting at 13:00 prompt (straight after the Yorkshire Region Meeting). Magic Action Promotions (MAP), is the events arm of Yorkshire MAG, which hosts the ITV, FYP & YPR bike rallies, which contribute so enormously to the MAG fighting fund. Every MAG member is more than welcome to attend the meeting and see how the MAP events are run, its more the merrier and MAP welcome you taking more of an interest or active role.

Saturday 10th March - Dog Racing Night at Kinsley Greyhound Stadium

See Above. £5 deposit required asap please for all those who would like to go. Alternatively, you should be able to pay in full (£12) on the door.

Sunday 18th March - Our popular Charity Pet Food Run to Whitehall Dog Rescue in East Ardsley and RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch, at Tingley.

See Above. Meet 09:30 (leaving at 10:00) at Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield.

Saturday 14th April - MAG Annual Group Conference 2012

See Above. 10:00-16:00 at Chiltern Park Aerodrome. Ipsden. Wallingford. OX10 6AS. Free, but bring your MAG membership card to gain entry & vote

Sunday 15th April - Wakefield Hospice 10K Race (Wakefield MAG providing Mobile Race Marshals)

Starting from Thornes Park. Time: 09:00 (race starts at 09:30) TBC

Sunday 15th April - Walking Treasure Hunt

Starting from the Grey Horse at 2pm. £1 to enter to cover prizes.

Sunday 22nd April - Wakefield MAG Monthly Rideout to the Straightliners 2012 Motorcycle Drag Racing Series, at Elvington, York

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. Event entry is £10.

Friday 4th May - Sunday 6th May - Into the Valley Rally

Dalton Estate, South Dalton, East Yorkshire. £15 Pre Book; £20 OTG. Tickets now available at Branch meetings (See Above). Wakefield MAG are judging the Saturday afternoon bike show at ITV, so bribes gratefully taken in exchange for a show win ;-)

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

Ride Safe
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.