Wakefield MAG November 2021 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the November 2021 Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend our Tuesday meetings regularly, it's the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Bingo Night Report
2) Wakefield MAG NY500 cafe (Pickering) Rideout Report
3) Anti-Tampering Proposals - Call to Action
4) New Motorcycling Minister
5) Government Manipulation of Market Demand
6) Remembrance Sunday - Sunday 14th November
7) 2022 Rally dates
8) Biker Quiz Nite
9) Wakefield MAG Christmas Raffle
10) Kidzaware Christmas Toy Collection
11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

1) Bingo Night Report

Read the event report here

2) Wakefield MAG NY500 cafe (Pickering) Rideout Report

Read the event report here

3) Anti-Tampering Proposals - Call to Action

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is set to oppose restrictions on the rights of motorcycle owners to modify their own property. Highlighting a new Government consultation, MAG warns of the potential end of motorcycle customisation, aftermarket parts and even what it means to own a motorcycle.

A recent suite of consultations published by the Department for Transport (DfT) include proposals to give the state powers to prevent riders from making modifications to their motorcycles. MAG has long opposed anti-tampering legislation from Brussels but now the post-Brexit UK Government is making a bid to introduce its own powers to limit what aftermarket motorcycle parts can be bought and sold in the UK.

MAG attended an online webinar hosted by the DfT on the consultation. MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, was quick to point out to officials that proposals for electric vehicle charging infrastructure simply failed to recognise that the Government also plans to electrify motorcycles.

Colin said: "I was expecting the lack of motorcycle focus in policies for the charging infrastructure, but the anti-tampering proposals came as a real sucker punch. As the owner of a motorcycle with less OEM parts than aftermarket ones you can imagine my reaction! This renewed attack on the right to do with your own property what you wish is not something that I can see many motorcyclists welcoming. Just look at how many memes appear on social media about pay day and bike parts! I paid good money for the ownership my motorcycle on the understanding that ownership buys the right to do what I like to it."

MAG will be meeting with Department officials to gain a full understanding of the implications of the proposals before forming a detailed response to the consultation. MAG will also discuss these issues with other groups in the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) and the industry.

The charging infrastructure proposals can be found here.

The anti-tampering proposals can be found here.

Reaction and responses already sent in response to the DfT's Anti-tampering proposals have undeniably had an impact.

Director of Campaigns and Political Engagement, Colin Brown met with DfT officials, along with Craig Carey Clinch (NMC) and Anna Zee (BMF) on 27th October. It was clear from comments made by the officials that they realise that there is an enormous strength of feeling on this issue. It is certainly not one on which they will be able to push their luck.

As expected officials were keen to point out that the intended scope of their proposals is very narrow and that they recognised that there were many unintended consequences that could potentially follow if the voice of riders is not closely considered. The stated aim is to avoid tampering of vehicles in a way that makes them less safe or increases their emissions footprint. There is also a focus on autonomous vehicles and vulnerabilities to cyber-attack for want of a better term. Questions raised in the meeting covered issues around assumption of malice intent, as well as the practicalities of policing any legislative proposals. Scope, exemptions, proportionality, retrospection, time-scales and legislative prioritisation were all discussed.

Colin believes that significant commitments were also secured in the meeting. Colin secured a commitment from officials to supply a detailed line by line explanation of the DfT's perceived gaps in existing legislation. This is significant as without the detail we can neither understand the exact impacts, nor ensure that any forthcoming legislation is suitably proportionate or limited. We need to fully understand definitions of components and systems that will be subject to the legislation as well as the outcomes of modification that are classed as needing restriction. Delivery of this information has been promised no later than 1 week before the end of the formal consultation period.

Allied to this was an offer to answer specific detailed written questions that can take the form of scenarios to once again determine the expected impacts. This is where the urgent action comes in.

ACTION: We need all members to list all kinds of activity and modification that they view to be legitimate that are potentially going to be impacted by the proposals. This includes questions such as restoration of older machines, customisation, performance and ergonomic modifications and not forgetting the different uses of bikes whether that be for off-road or sport activities. We will need to supply a list of questions within a week to allow time for officials to respond. Time is short.

Additionally we have secured a commitment from officials to continue to take comment and input from MAG and the other organisations represented at the meeting beyond the formal end point of the consultation. We will also receive the opportunity to comment on detailed drafts of legislation before publication.

We are thus locked in to the design process of the legislation allowing us maximum potential to ensure that our rights as owners of the motorcycles we ride are treated with respect. So please contact MAG Central at central-office@mag-uk.org with all questions and scenarios that you would like presented.

4) New Motorcycling Minister

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) asks if new Minister, Trudy Harrison, is a sign of a bright future for riders. Is her appointment a signal that attitudes towards motorcycling are changing at the Department for Transport (DfT)? At a Westminster Hall debate the new minister praised MAG for its lobbying work.

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland since 2017, has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfT as part of the September cabinet reshuffle. Her primary responsibility is decarbonisation of transport. MAG believes that her appointment signifies a DfT change in attitudes to motorcycling as Trudy is a motorcyclist herself.

In a Westminster Hall debate held on 26th October, Trudy mentioned her delight when her father gave her her first motorcycle at age 16. She commented: "Dad took me to the garage and unveiled my first motorbike, as I thought, though it was probably a moped - a 50 cc bright blue Honda Camino. I have since had many enjoyable days out riding pillion on bikes from a Honda 900 CBR Fireblade, through to my dad's last bike, which was a Yamaha FZR1000."

MAG's Director of Campaigns and Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said: "MAG has long said that the best policy decisions for motorcycling are likely to be made by people with experience of riding motorcycles. Having a DfT minister with a first-hand understanding of what it means to ride a motorcycle can only be a good thing. I was particularly pleased to hear the warm words spoken about MAG by the Minister and many of the speakers in the debate."

Bill Wiggin MP thanked the National Motorcyclists Council saying: "The NMC has representatives drawn from a wide range of stakeholder groups, including the Auto-Cycle Union, the British Motorcyclists Federation, IAM RoadSmart and the Motorcycle Action Group. I am a member of both the National Motorcycle Dealers Association, and the Trail Riders Fellowship. What an august body it is."

Ian Paisley MP said: "I am also a member of MAG, which was mentioned by the Hon. Gentleman."

Steve Baker commented: "Like my Hon. Friend the Member for North Herefordshire, I am a member of Motorcycle Action Group. In fact, I have just received their latest excellent edition of The Road magazine, and if it does not contain at least one letter from my father, I will be extremely surprised, it usually does."

Stewart Hosie said: "Can I start with a declaration of sorts? I am a biker. I am proud to ride with YesBikers for Scottish independence and, like almost every other speaker, I am very happy to support many of the campaigns run by the Motorcycle Action Group, which I particularly thank for its help preparing for today."

MAG members in Cumbria have long had an excellent relationship with the newly appointed minister. In making her ministerial response to the debate, Trudy Harrison said: "There were many references to the Motorcycle Action Group, which does a great deal of good both in lobbying for policy change and with it's charitable work. I have had the pleasure of seeing that for myself in Copeland. That group's work, along with that of other charitable organisations, is superb."

The debate covered many themes and issues that form MAG campaigns. The influence that MAG commands in the 'corridors of power' is clear. It is also clear that Trudy Harrison is prepared to champion motorcycling within the department as summed up in her comments: "One of the first things my Hon. Friend asked for was confidence that motorbikes are appreciated. They certainly will be by me. We have not had long this afternoon, but I have heard a lot. I agree with Members about the importance of road safety for motorcycle users, and the key role that motorcycling can play in meeting our current mobility needs. There was a request for an acceptance of motorbikes. I assure my Hon. Friends and other Members that they have my personal advocacy."

A full recording of the debate can be seen on Parliament TV: here.

5) Government Manipulation of Market Demand

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has pointed out to motorcyclists how Government policies impact motorcycle business plans. Recent headlines proclaiming that Kawasaki will go all electric by 2035 are unlikely to be the last as other manufacturers follow.

Kawasaki released a business policy briefing on October 6th, 2021, stating that they are planning to introduce at least ten battery and hybrid electric models by 2025, and that their entire range for 'developed countries' would be electric by 2035. There is evidence that the brand is also working on using carbon-neutral fuel (hydrogen).

Both MAG and, more recently, the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) conducted polls of riders in the UK and throughout Europe showing that the vast majority of motorcycle enthusiasts are not creating the demand for such bikes.

Recently elected MAG Chair, Neil Liversidge, said: "This announcement clearly demonstrates that Government policy is designed to limit our choice of the kind of motorcycle we ride by forcing industry to supply what the Government wants, not what riders want. Whilst we have no opposition to the march of progress, we are opposed to Government dictating our transport choices in this way. MAG is opposed to plans to ban the sale of petrol motorcycles by 2035 because we value our freedoms and have no faith in governments to make the right market decisions. We cannot guarantee to accurately predict the state of the technology or the viability of an all-electric vehicle fleet by any arbitrary date, but we are prepared to predict that the Government's predictions will be wrong."

MAG's newly appointed Vice Chair, Ian Churchlow, added: "I have been an enthusiastic Kawasaki owner and rider since I started out as a 17-year-old learner. During this period Kawasaki has built an extraordinary road and racing heritage. The announcement that they will no longer offer a traditional petrol-powered engine in Europe after 2035 is a severe disappointment that must surely damage Kawasaki's standing and alienate the many marque enthusiasts who have supported the company's growth from its inception in the early 1960s."

MAG will be contacting Kawasaki to discuss their business plans and understand the potential opportunities that could result from a free market. MAG will also continue to campaign against the proposed ban of petrol-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles. A major new campaign reflecting riders' calls to defeat all proposals for banning the choice of riders to buy new petrol-powered ICE motorcycles is now MAG's urgent priority.

6) Remembrance Sunday - Sunday 14th November

Wakefield MAG will be attending en-masse the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service on Sunday 14th November. We have attended this service for more years now than we care to remember, to honour the fallen from our own area, in our own area. We will again be laying a Wakefield MAG wreath at the war memorial, that we have already purchased from the Royal British Legion. Following the Wakefield Service, we will be attending (at the invitation of the Royal British Legion Riders), the parade and service in nearby Mirfield - The role of the motorcyclists, is to lead the procession through Mirfield, with the marching bands, service personnel, cadets, veterans, and everyone else following on behind. The remembrance parade culminates in an afternoon service at Mirfield War Memorial.

We will remember them

Meet 10:45 (or earlier) at the Wood Street War Memorial in Wakefield for the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service. We will then be riding over to the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, to meet up at 13:00ish with the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR). We will be leaving the pub at 13:15ish for a ride to the Mirfield parade start point, ready for the 'off' at 14:00, followed then by the service at Mirfield War Memorial. As a thank you for attending, food is laid on afterwards at the Old Colonial by landlord Tim.

7) 2022 Rally dates

2022 Rally dates

8) Biker Quiz Nite

Quiz flyer

The legendary and hugely popular Wakefield MAG Bikers Quiz Nite is this month !!!

The quiz will be held at 8:00pm on Wednesday 30th November 2021 at the Thatched House, 434 Aberford Road, Stanley, Wakefield, WF3 4AA. We wont mess with a winning formula so it's the same tried and tested 60 questions, 30 of which will be motorcycle related and 30 will be general knowledge. The quiz is hotly contested throughout Yorkshire and the prestigious roll of honour is:

Who will win in 2021 ? .... Leeds Again Probably !

Open to All. £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.

And just for a change ....... All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund ;-)

9) Wakefield MAG Christmas Raffle

Following the undoubted success of our Christmas raffle in 2019, we are hosting another Christmas Hamper Raffle for 2021 with the chance to win a luxury hamper plus other prizes. The tickets are available to buy NOW !!! Tickets are £1 each (although Chas prefers to sell a book at a time for £5 ;-) and will be drawn at the Wakefield MAG meeting on Tuesday 14th December at 20:30. All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund for the on-going protection of your freedom to ride your motorcycle. Please buy some and let's boost the MAG coffers.

10) Kidzaware Christmas Toy Collection

Christmas Toy Collection

We are hosting another Christmas Toy Collection for Kidzaware, for Christmas 2021. We are collecting toys and presents (age range: A few months to early twenties) which we will deliver to this very worthwhile local charity in early December.

Please bring along any toys / presents (unwrapped at this stage) to any Tuesday Wakefield MAG meeting, up to and including Tuesday 14th December. If you can't make a meeting but would still like to donate some toys / presents, please let us know, and we'll arrange to collect them from you. Thank you in advance for supporting this most worthwhile Wakefield based charity.

11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

Sunday 14th November - Remembrance Sunday

See Above. Attending the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday service, followed by the Mirfield Remembrance Sunday Parade, alongside the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR) where bikes head up the parade.

Tuesday 30th November - Biker Quiz Nite

See Above. 60 questions, 30 of which will be motorcycle related and 30 will be general knowledge. The quiz is hotly contested throughout Yorkshire (although Leeds MAG invariably win). Open to All. £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. 20:00 in the Thatched House.

Saturday 11th December - Christmas Do

A Christmas Meal, proceeded and followed by several goblets of foaming ale, at the Thatched House

Tuesday 14th December - Christmas Hamper Draw

See Above

Tuesday 14th December - Deadline for Kidzaware Christmas Toy Collection Donations

See Above

Tuesday 11th January 2022 - Wakefield Branch 20th AGM - The branch will be 20 years old !!!!

Tuesday 25th January 2022 - Post Christmas Auction

Got lots of unwanted Christmas presents ? Got items that are of use/value but you don't have the space for them any more ? Prepared to donate them for a good cause ? Bring them along to the Wakefield MAG 'Post Christmas Auction' where they will be raffled off to the highest bidder, with all the proceeds being donated to MAG and other worthy causes. 20:00 in the Thatched House.

See the events page for further details and more !!!

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

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

Wakefield MAG meet at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.