Wakefield MAG November 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) Recruitment Drive
2) Leeds MAG Halloween Party Report
3) Yorkshire MAG AGM
4) Yorkshire MAG Ethanol in Petrol Campaign
5) Biker Quiz Nite
6) VJMC Show Charity Presentation Evening
7) Guest Speakers
8) Super MoT Update (Good News)
9) Type Approval (Bad News)
10) Wakefield MAG Christmas Do
11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

1) Recruitment Drive

MAG Membership is down within Wakefield MAG and we are currently at one of our lowest levels (fully paid-up membership) for many years !!! Thirty four members have expired in 2012 and although we have many new members, the overall trend is still negative. Not only is our own membership down, but it's also down across MAG-UK nationally, and to be honest, every voluntary organisation is suffering likewise with reduced membership at the moment. Whilst we are simply following a national trend, we always prided ourselves in Wakefield MAG to being different from the norm, in short, we like to buck the trend.

To this end, we are launching a major recruitment drive. If you are reading this newsletter, and are not a MAG member, or have recently lapsed, please join/re-join. MAG's vital campaigning, which ensures you maintain the freedom to ride your motorcycle without unnecessary rules, restrictions and bureaucracy, is only possible with a strong membership base.

You can join MAG at:

The Direct Debit (DD) Facility for MAG membership is now up and running and is a great way of joining, as you won't have to remember to renew every year as it will be done automatically for you. The DD mandate is at this link: http://www.mag-uk.org/files/Renewal_DD-1_page.pdf. If you currently pay by Standing Order, convert it to DD as it's a lot easier.

Membership fees are: Single Membership - £25.00; Joint Membership (two adults) - £37.50; Family Membership - either single or joint adult membership with children added to the membership at £5.00 per child. New members between the ages of 16 and 25 years old receive a £5 discount on first year of MAG membership.

Don't put it off, please join/re-join and protect your chosen lifestyle !!!

2) Leeds MAG Halloween Party Report

Check out the event report Here

3) Yorkshire MAG AGM

The Yorkshire Region Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 20th October 2012 in Scarborough at the Forge Valley Hotel, Pickering Road, West Ayton. Nine Wakefield & Barnsley MAG members met at the Grey Horse and set off at 10:00, taking the scenic route out of Wakefield, through Methley, Castleford, Ledston Luck, past Lotherton Hall, Towton, and onto the A64 at Tadcaster. We had a tea / toilet / bacon butty stop at the Highwayman Cafe, before continuing on our merry way at 11:20, to Pickering, where we picked up the A170 all the way to West Ayton and the Forge Valley Hotel, arriving at 12:15. Three of our contingent then went onto Scarborough as they had just come for the rideout, with the rest of us heading into the AGM.

Many things were discussed and debated in the AGM, but the important bits really were the 2013 committee elections, and obviously Wakefield's report !!!

Your new 2013 Yorkshire MAG committee is:

A big thank you to everyone who resigned on the outgoing committee for all their efforts (over a considerable number of years in many cases).

The Wakefield report was given (slightly abridged on the day, but the full report, as will appear in the minutes, was:

Pretty active year:

Forthcoming events:

The now legendary Biker Quiz Nite - Wednesday 14th November, 20:00 in the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield. £1 p.p (to cover cost of prizes). Be great to have a team representing every Yorkshire MAG branch.

Another significant development was that our Wakefield MAG Ethanol in Petrol campaign, launched in September, was unanimously voted to be a Yorkshire MAG campaign (see below for details), thus, with significant weight of numbers behind it, far greater chance of achieving our objectives. A great result.

The AGM finished around 4pm, and being starving by this point, and just on the outskirts of Scarborough, it was a unanimous decision to head into Scarborough for fish & chips at the seaside. A slightly elongated route given that Marine Drive was shut to through traffic, but we arrived at the Harbour Bike Parking, and went straight into the nearest fish & chip vendor.

We headed back the direct A64 route, with some of it in the dark. The weather however had been dry and sunny all day (just not overly warm), however, it made a jolly nice change from getting wet.

A huge thanks to all the Wakefield MAG members who attended the AGM, 75 branch points duly awarded !!!

4) Yorkshire MAG Ethanol in Petrol Campaign

Check out the campaign on the Yorkshire MAG Website: www.yorkshire-mag.co.uk/ethanol.html

5) Biker Quiz Nite

Our much anticipated and hotly contested annual quiz nite is this month, and will be held at 8:00pm on Wednesday 14th November 2012 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield. A huge number of teams have already committed to entering so it's likely to be packed ... arrive early to be sure of a seat.

60 questions will be asked, 30 of which will be motorcycle related and 30 will be general knowledge (but there will be a bike related link / theme somewhere, however tenuous).

The quiz is highly competitive and hotly contested throughout Yorkshire (MAG Groups and local MCC's) and the prestigious roll of honour is:

Who will win in 2012 ? .... Come along and find out !

£1 entry fee p.p. Team (Max. 5) or individual entry. Great prizes for the winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd), plus booby prize for the least number of correct answers.

All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund.

6) VJMC Show Charity Presentation Evening

Check out the event report Here

7) Guest Speakers

Wayne Rooney (no relation to the overpaid Shrek lookalike footballer), the new Yorkshire MAG Rep, started his tour of Yorkshire MAG branches with a visit to Wakefield MAG on Wednesday 24th October. Wayne gave us a talk about his plans for Yorkshire MAG and the way he wants it to work. Basically, expect lots of information updates, cascades and increased activity. The first major activity of which is the launch of the Yorkshire MAG Ethanol Campaign, building on the previous Wakefield MAG campaign (see 4 above). Yorkshire MAG is in firm hands with Wayne at the helm and we are more than happy to support him.

It is obviously guest speaker season as we also host a visit from Andy Foody on Wednesday 7th November. Andy is the current MAP Director for West Yorkshire, and is up for re-election at the MAP AGM on Saturday 17th November. Each MAP Director represents groups in their local areas, with Andy representing Leeds, Huddersfield, Colne Valley & Wakefield's interests. Each of these Groups must approve the re-election of their director, prior to the AGM, and signify that they are happy for them to make decisions on your behalf. The directors look after the business affairs of MAP, whereas the MAP Consultative Committee Rep (currently me for Wakefield MAG), represents the rally and events side of MAP. Andy will explain all about MAP and how it works so please try to attend the meeting on the 7th November and show your support to Andy.

8) Super MoT Update (Good News)

Both MAG(UK) and it's counterparts in FEMA (the riders voice in Europe) agree that there is no need for an EU-wide 'Super-MoT' as they will mean riders face significant extra cost and complexity without any real benefit, there is also a significant threat to small bike businesses who may find themselves pushed-out of MoT-testing.

The Swedish and Dutch parliaments have rejected the EU proposals, which is significant since both countries have very good records on road-safety and environmental-protection (the two justifications claimed for the proposals). The French parliament has also rejected the Commission's proposals. And now, following the evidence MAG and others gave to the DfT, the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has released a document outlining why the UK cannot support plans for a new Super MoT !!!!

It criticises all the 'assumptions' the EU Commission has made and acknowledges that they have very little evidence on which to base their ideas. The report acknowledges what MAG said about vastly increased costs to motorists and that the costs far out weigh any justified gains. It takes particular issue with the assumptions made about possible lives saved and notes the inclusion of trailers would cost the UK an estimated £237 million.

This is great news indeed.

Recent analysis of the available evidence by MAG(UK) and other members of FEMA shows that less than 1% of bike crashes are directly caused by defects on the bike and that defects only contribute to around 5% of crashes - most of these defects are to do with tyres; problems that can arise at any time (blow-outs, under-inflation, damage from debris on the road, etc.), so an annual vehicle check isn't going to solve the problem.

The European Commission believe that so many bike crashes are due to defects on the bike and that a Super-MoT will reduce casualties. This is based on an absurd reliance on a single study of local crash data by DEKRA a German-based commercial provider of vehicle testing. DEKRA carries out roadworthiness testing (what we think of as the MoT) through more than 400 locations in Germany and, it appears, would like to be doing so in a town near – well ... everybody in the EU. DEKRA is a global business specialising in testing, inspection and certification in the fields of safety, environment and health. It operates throughout Europe and North America, also South Africa, India and China and appears to like the idea of creating an even bigger market to move in to. As such, DEKRA can hardly be considered a source of impartial advice on the value of Road Worthiness Testing for bikes.

9) Type Approval (Bad News)

The EU Parliament has issued a press release saying they are happy they've now closed a deal on the Type Approval Regulation and seem pleased that they've got the EU Commission to promise it will have done a cost analysis in 4 years time. Perhaps that'll be enough time to ensure they have gathered some evidence to justify the move !!!

Even though the European Ombudsman found that the Commission had a case to answer as it had failed to supply supporting evidence for the proposals on anti-tampering, and even though the UK Government felt it necessary to do its own impact assessments as the Commission's offerings weren't robust, the EU Parliamentarians have pressed on regardless.

Campaigning to date has certainly lessened the blow and now the anti-modification rules included in the regulation will only apply to bikes under 48hp (as opposed to all bikes as originally intended), but this is still a terrible day for 'Project Europe'.

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee IMCO (who lead the parliament on this and who seem deaf to the needs of the consumers they are tasked to protect) have only to rubber stamp the agreement before it goes to the full EU Parliament, or Plenary Session, on 19th November 2012.

The technical detail is still to be finalised, but under the Lisbon Treaty the bureaucrats still have over a year to complete the 'delegated acts' which contain them.

So not only is much of the rationale for this regulation unsubstantiated, it won't even have been fully written before our Parliamentarians vote it into law.

As disappointing as this is, we should not be too downhearted, because all the letters we wrote and awareness we raised, did make a difference. Remember those early amendments for ABS on everything from 50cc up, or the desire to remove from sale all aftermarket parts which may improve performance or alter the power-train from standard? They've now gone and riders who choose a bike over 48hp in future will still be able to modify it, for now.

But the precedent has been set, both curbing modifications and being prepared to pass legislation without any evidential base.

Our own Dept for Transport (responding in a letter to the (UK) Transport Select Committee) has just stated that they expect the compulsion of ABS on bikes over 125cc (through this EU legislation) to mean 70 fewer fatalities each year. That's almost an amazing 20% which doesn't match any of the studies that have been cited or indeed what the UK concluded in its own assessment of the proposal last year! But it should be easy to measure if they're right and all the research is wrong. Perhaps even they just can't be bothered fighting any more and would rather paint the legislation in a good light.

Motorcycling is a very small lobby, but it's only because we work together we even manage the representation we do and with every issue we address, the cumulative effect is that legislators are taking notice of motorcycling, especially in the UK.

As you will have just read above, great advances have been made to stave off the worst excesses of the new Road Worthiness Test (RWT) Regulation and if we are completely successful, the UK will get to keep the MoT we have. Of course we are being aided in this by the car and caravan lobby as this RWT will affect them too, but that is a perfect example of why all riders should involve themselves with riders' rights, because sitting back and hoping someone else will preserve motorcycling will mean we never have a voice.

10) Wakefield MAG Christmas Do

The Wakefield MAG 2012 Christmas Do will be held on Saturday 8th December, and will be a lunchtime meal at the Chinese Buffet in Trinity Walk, then a pub crawl around many of Wakefield's fine hostelries. We will meet for the 'All You Can Eat' buffet, at 13:00, then, following the buffet, we are going to do the 'world famous' Westgate Walk pub crawl, in the afternoon, starting in town at the Strafford Arms, and working our way down Westgate. This gives lots of options for just coming for the meal, joining us at one of the many Westgate Walk pubs, or both !!!!

The lunchtime buffet costs £6.99 (a price increase of an outrageous 4 pence from last year !!). We are now taking a fiver deposit to secure the booking so if you would like to attend the meal, please forward your deposit asap.

11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

Wednesday 7th November - Guest Speaker (Andy Foody, WY MAP Director)

See Above.

Sunday 11th November - Wakefield MAG at the City of Wakefield Memorial Sunday Parade & Service

10:50, Wood Street War Memorial. Rideout to Royal British Legion Riders Branch event at Mirfield, following our attendance at the Remembrance Service.

Wednesday 14th November - Wakefield MAG Biker Quiz Night

See Above.

Saturday 17th of November - MAP AGM & Events Debrief

Green Gables Hotel, Scarborough. The AGM will start at 11am on Saturday the 17th of November and will have a buffet lunch about 1:30pm , expect to be finished for 5pm. 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. Hope you can attend and 75 branch points to every Wakefield MAG member who goes.

Saturday 8th December - Wakefield MAG 2012 Christmas Do

See Above.

Wednesday 9th January 2013 - Wakefield MAG AGM

7:30pm for a prompt 8:00pm start at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield. All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can. At this meeting there will be a review of the year, elections for the branch committee and the prize giving for our branch heroes.

Wednesday 30th January 2012 - Wakefield MAG 9th Post Christmas Auction

Our 9th Post Christmas Auction will be held on Wednesday 30th January 2012, at 20:00, at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, and if previous years events are anything to go by, an event not to be missed. The idea is that you bring along all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, donate them to the branch, and we auction them off to the highest bidder. Proceeds: 2/3 to MAG and 1/3 to Charitable Causes.

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.