Wakefield MAG September 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) Whitby Rideout Report
2) Treasure Hunt
3) Yorkshire MAG AGM
4) Super MoT threatens higher costs and restrictions
5) Biker Quiz Nite
6) MAG Member Discount
7) Ethanol in Petrol
8) VJMC Show Feedback
9) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

1) Whitby Rideout Report

Check out the rideout report Here

2) Treasure Hunt

Our 8th Annual Treasure Hunt will be held on Sunday 23rd September 2012, rearranged from it's usual slot in July. The Treasure Hunt will have Multiple Clues, Multiple Answers, Multiple Destinations and of course, Multiple Opportunities to get totally lost.

Prizes for 1st , 2nd & 3rd place, plus a booby prize for coming last. The rankings are determined by a combination of correct answers, correct destinations, route taken and time elapsed, so the first back to base isn't necessarily the winner ... it's why it's the Ultimate Thinking Riders Rideout !!!

Meet 9:30am (to get clues/instructions) at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. Leave when you have worked out where you are going !!!

£1 p.p. Entry Fee (to cover the cost of the prizes). All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund.

Hope to see you there.

3) Yorkshire MAG AGM

Details of the 2012 Yorkshire Region Annual General Meeting have now been confirmed and AGM is being held on Saturday 20 October 2012 in Scarborough at the Forge Valley Hotel, Pickering Road, West Ayton. The AGM will start at 12:30 so please arrive for 12 noon.

Tea, coffee and biccies will be provided and Snacks will be available at the bar.

If anyone wants to stay over, The Forge can do B&B for £30 per night per person. Book by calling 01723 862146. Alternatively, Sandra and Graeme at the Rosedene Hotel, 106 Columbus Ravine, Scarborough, YO11 7QZ can accomodate anyone wishing to stay over. Tel. 01723 374252 or 07790676839. www.rosedenehotel.co.uk Secure parking for bikes.

So we have an idea of numbers, please email admin@yorkshire-mag.co.uk to let them know you are attending. Alternatively, let me know at the Wakefield meeting(s), and i'll pass your name on. Pre-booking isn't absolutely essential, but it really helps so we can get the catering right as you will be mightily disappointed if we run out of Hob Nobs !!!!

4) Super MoT threatens higher costs and restrictions

In mid-July, the European Commission published proposals to mandate regular Road Worthiness Testing (RWT) for bikes, trikes and other road vehicles, in all EU member states. You may remember, that more than 18 months ago, many of you completed a consultation on the subject, one which was incredibly badly drafted and which was only available in English. Great for the UK perhaps, but not so good for all the European countries who don't use English as their first language.

MAG member Jon Strong subsequently lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman that it wasn't fit for purpose, something the Ombudsman acknowledged was a case the Commission needs to answer.

I'm pleased to say that over 9000 people did respond to the consultation though, and it was noted that by far the highest proportion of respondents were riders, so thanks.

MAG is investigating the implications for Powered Two-Wheelers (PTW) - mopeds, motorcycles, sidecar outfits - and trikes, compared to the UK's current 'MoT' test with the proposals for RWT. We are in touch with the various UK authorities and are working in Europe with our FEMA colleagues. The UK authorities are now holding a consultation (until Sept 5th) with invited parties, and don't worry, MAG is involved. Formal discussions on these proposals at EU level will commence on 7th September.

The proposed RWT inspections go far beyond the current requirements for a bike MoT. Riders and MoT stations would see some significant changes, and a £50.00 test fee seems likely based on the available data.

MAG(UK) believes the effect of the proposed additional tests and minimum requirements would be to transform the MoT we are familiar with into a Super-MoT - more extensive, more invasive, more costly.

Much of the evidence being offered to justify these changes appears to be flimsy and there is other evidence that indicates that any road safety or environmental benefits would be small compared to the costs of making the changes. From what we can see there appears to be little support for the proposals and we hope that by working with other organisations and politicians we will be successful in opposing the changes we are concerned about. In the meantime, we believe the proposals as they are currently drafted represent a real and genuine threat to biking as we know it.

MAG Netherlands and MAG Belgium are organising a protest ride to Brussels on the 22nd September leaving at 11:00 from Hazeldonk south of Breda, along the A16 (E19) (just before the border crossing Netherlands-Belgium). It's being supported by other FEMA rider organisations, such as those from Norway and even Germany, home of the TuV test.

Here in the UK, MAG is supporting the protest ride, but we'll be doing something this side of the Channel too, if you can't make it over to the Continent. We aren't going to demonstrate at this stage as we are working with the Dept for Transport, but we are going to organise 'ride-ins' to MoT centres here to raise awareness of the new proposals and offer information and support. We are also planning the next stage of our own campaign on RWT which is where you, and good old letter writing begins again. It's all to come in the next few weeks.

We have been warning of these developments for more than a year, well before the proposals were published. During that time MAG has been campaigning to expose the EU's failure to consult the public correctly before drafting the proposals. After analysing the background material published by the Commission in July, MAG does not believe there is sufficient or reliable evidence to support the proposals. But in essence:


The goal of road worthiness testing is said to be 'to check the functionality of safety components, the environmental performance and the compliance of a vehicle with its approval'.

MAG's main concerns about the proposals include:

  1. Modified vehicles: RWT is intended to check for modifications to the vehicle and ensure compliance with type-approval; DfT say this may prevent most modifications to vehicles without further approval of the vehicle and will apply to many components. Even 'Historic' vehicles (over 30 years old) that were built before the Type-Approval system was introduced would be subject to checks - the Regulation allows them to be exempted from RWT, but only if they are of original appearance, including replacement components. This would be both difficult to administer and counter-productive as many historic vehicles were supplied in non-standard form and modified for improved reliability, better lighting, etc. throughout their life.
  2. Cost and Complexity of the test: RWT tests would take longer, test more items, more rigorously and will require bike testing stations to invest in new equipment where measurement is not part of the current MoT:
  3. Other impacts on riders:

National governments may opt out of some aspects of RWT and also go beyond the minimum requirements in the Regulation, eg; the proposal for testing bikes and trikes after year-four and then every two years - UK government has already signalled it would not change the frequency of testing from the current year-three, then annual MoT frequency.

The date of implementation is expected to fall sometime between 2014-16 depending on progress of the Regulation. There would be a transition period of up to five years after the new Regulations come in to force, during which time the existing MoT may continue.

This is a significant package of measures, with detailed annexes and three Impact Assessment documents. All documents relating to the proposals may be accessed at from the Commission web site.

Proposed Regulation: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/pdf/road_worthiness_package/proposal_for_a_regulation_on_periodic_roadworthiness_tests_en.pdf

Further detail about the test itself: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/pdf/road_worthiness_package/annex_to_proposal_for_a_regulation_on_periodic_roadworthiness_tests_en.pdf

None of this is good news, and the current MoT system in the UK is perfectly adequate and fit for purpose. Watch this space for further developments. And if you are reading this, and don't particularly relish a £50 MoT fee, but are not a MAG member, I suggest you join now (MAG is fighting this and lots of other legislation detrimental to your lifestyle, but it can only continue to do so with a strong membership base . . . . Don't put it off . . . . JOIN NOW !!!!)

5) Biker Quiz Nite

We have set the date for our much anticipated and hotly contested annual quiz nite. Our 9th Annual Bikers Quiz Nite will be held at 8:00pm on Wednesday 14th November 2012 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield.

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) MAG Member Discount

New Wakefield MAG Member Anthony Hudson is offering a cracking deal for MAG Members - Bike MoT's for £20, on production of a full MAG membership card. Visit www.tonysautorepairs.co.uk or give Anthony a call on 01924 299 349 or 07768 824 445.

Visit the Members Market page on this website for details of other Wakefield MAG member businesses. Of course, Wakefield MAG accept no responsibility for any of the services provided by our members, and given a blatant plug. However, they are Wakefield MAG members so it goes without saying that they are all fine upstanding pillars of the community !!!

7) Ethanol in Petrol

A good number of Wakefield MAG members are concerned about the EU directive 2009/30/EC, which increases the maximum permissible content of ethanol in petrol from 5% to 10% , which is supposed to come into effect in 2013.

The following is an extract from 'Assessing compatibility of fuel systems with bio-ethanol and the risk of carburettor icing. Final Report. Stephen Wall. QINETIQ/10/02471 29 October 2010'. This report was commissioned by the Department for Transport from QinetiQ (Contract No. AEA/ED05390/SC6 Warrant no 14717211).

The British Standard for unleaded petrol BS EN 228 allows up to 5 % ethanol as a blend component. However this does not mean all UK petroleum companies are retailing petrol containing ethanol.

Typically petrol contains either no ethanol or 4 to 5 % depending on the geographical area. At this level (<= %) the retail pumps are not required to be marked as dispensing fuel containing ethanol.

A new version of BS EN 228 has been proposed that would allow two grades of petrol, one with a low oxygenate content (up to 5 % ethanol) the other grade could contain up to 10 % ethanol. There is an unofficial agreement to maintain the low ethanol grade until at least 2013. Compatibility of the fuel system with E10 (petrol blends containing 10 % ethanol) is a concern as it can affect vehicle durability, vehicle drivability, fuel economy, emissions and safety.

It is widely accepted that vehicles ten years old and older will not be compatible with E10 blends, though of course there will be exceptions to this. There are approximately nine million petrol passenger cars and light duty petrol vehicles in the UK that are ten years old or older, this equates to about 38% of the total petrol vehicle population. In addition to these vehicles there are thousands of relatively new first generation petrol direct injection vehicles in the UK, the last new vehicle probably being sold in 2007, that are not compatible with E10.

The average age for a petrol passenger car at the end of life is 13.13 years while that of a petrol light commercial vehicle is 15.09 years. This essentially means that approximately half these vehicles will still be in use in 2013 when the proposed phase out of petrol blends containing 5 % of ethanol occurs.

It is reported that the majority of carburettored vehicles (passenger cars, light duty commercial vehicles and powered two wheelers) will not be compatible with E10. Again there will be exceptions to this. However at least 1500 new carburettored powered two wheelers are imported into the UK per annum. According to the manufacturer, these powered two wheelers are not compatible with E10. The average life of these vehicles is at least five years. Again thousands of these vehicles will still be on the road in 2013 when the proposed phase out of E5 will occur.

The number of carburettored vehicles in the UK is unknown but 6000 new carburettors are manufactured in the UK each year. Approximately 75 % of the carburettors produced are for the UK market, fitted not only to historic and vintage vehicles but also to relatively new vehicles, reportedly to enhance the latter vehicles performance. This business has grown by 10 % in the last 18 months.

Carburettored vehicles will continue to be present on the roads for the foreseeable future. These new carburettors are compatible with E10 as are the repair kits being supplied by the same manufacturer. However cheaper pattern parts are still being imported that are not compatible with petrol/ethanol blends.

If E5 is phased out by 2013 it is expected that the resulting problems will include:

It should be emphasised that for some older vehicles, or small market value, the required modifications to make the vehicles compatible with E10 or repairs after damage by E10 will be such that the vehicle is beyond economic repair. Hence the effect of will fall disproportionately on the poorer members of society who run these older vehicles and cannot afford to purchase newer more expensive vehicles.

The QinetiQ study for the Department for Transport made a number of key recommendations:

Sound advice, so what is the problem ?

Well, as far as we are aware, the move to E10 next year, as part of the EU Directive is still going ahead full steam, and there is no confirmation from the Department for Transport that the QinetiQ recommendations have, or are to be implemented. If they aren't, then a good many of us will suffer bike (and car) problems when this new fuel becomes compulsary.

What can I do ?

Contact your MP to raise awareness of the issue (and/or the Department for Transport) and request confirmation that the QinetiQ recommendations will be implemented, prior to E10 being introduced in 2013.

Details of your MP are on the Local MAG Page of this website.

If you want a copy of the full report, it is freely available on the Department for Transport website: www.dft.gov.uk/publications/qinetiq-10-02471

Let me know what response you get, and please pass this on to fellow bikers and motorists, as this potentially adversely impacts EVERYONE !!!!!

8) VJMC Show Feedback

A message from our good friends at the West Yorkshire VJMC, following our help at this years Lotherton Hall Japanese Motorcycle Show:

"Hey Guys, thanks for coming and helping out at the show again this year. Your help and organisation of the marshals is a welcome sight every year and I do not know what we would do without you.

This year we dropped our prices slightly to make it easier on the gate charging a fiver instead of 6 quid, also, we reduced the price for traders to 20 quid but this had the desired result as we got extra traders attending the show.

Our overall takings however were down on previous years as obviously if you charge 3,000 people a pound less you loose 3,000 quid. Figures are not yet finalised but we will have in the region of 8,000 pounds for the charities which we will give in October. We will be in touch to let you know about the time and place for the presentations. Thanks again guys."

And a Huge Thank You from me for our marshalling efforts, both at the show and the Yorkshire MAG stand.

9) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

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)

See Above. 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 !!!)

Saturday 20th October - Yorkshire MAG AGM

See Above. Forge Valley Hotel, Pickering Road, West Ayton. The AGM will start at 12:30 so please arrive for 12 noon. Don't forget your MAG Membership Card to gain entry !!!

Sunday 21st October - Wakefield MAG Rideout (Destination: Carnforth/Morecombe)

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. Heading West then returning in the East means we wont have the sun in our eyes - Yes, of course the sun will be shining !!!

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.

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.