Choppers Not Banned EU

Those who have followed our two articles “The European Chop Shop” and “Long Forks Or False Prophets” regarding whether the European Commission is banning ““extreme chopper style vehicles” will be interested and intrigued to read a report from the Swedish Riders organisation which contains a statement from FEMAs (Federation Of European Motorcyclists Association) General Secretary, Aline Delhaye.

We previously explained that extreme “Chopper” style brings to mind motorcycles with long forks, stretched frames, high handle bars, modified from an original motorcycle design or built from scratch.

For the general non-motorcycle public the easiest explanation is the Stars & Stripes-adorned fuel tank of the bike used in the 1969 film Easy Rider which with developments and pushing the boundaries in motorcycle customising may not be seen as so extreme by today’s standards even from the motorcycle manufacturers “standard” bikes.

Choppers should not be banned in the EU!


Original Source – SMC – Translated via Google Translate

In more and more Swedish sites there are articles that choppers are to be banned in the EU. It is still wrong. It is totally misleading and a result of people taking a detached view of a working group meeting without accounting for the whole truth.

With SMC, you are a member of FEMA that lobby in Brussels for the future for us to build on, including amateur build and modifying motorcycles. A new regulatory framework for approval is being discussed at the moment but the regulations are primarily about the requirements for standard bikes relating to an approval date. For example, the motorcycles will have ABS, requirements for exhaust emissions and the like.

Today, SMC has put the question to Nich Brown, MAG UK, whose quote is the basis for the article in MCN. According to Nich Brown, he never said choppers shall be prohibited, however, he said, ‘This is a simple case of an official on the Commission who does not understand motorcycles but does not like the look of the extended forks believing he needs to Regulate it . ”

SMC has also asked FEMA to take hold of the issue in Brussels. Here’s what Aline Delhaye, FEMA Secretary General said today:

“In the discussions along the type approval regulation, FEMA and its member organizations including SMC are working hard to convince members of the European Parliament and Member States to make sure that individual vehicle approvals apply in particular “to unique vehicles built by private individuals.” FEMA and SMC are also trying to exempt private built vehicles from stricter type approval rules in order to keep costs to an acceptable level that otherwise apply to mass-produced motorcycles. The consequence otherwise is excessive costs and demands on the individual builder.

In the current discussions on the approval rules, FEMA and member organizations that SMC has worked hard to convince the parliament and member states on the issue of unique motorcycle built by private individuals. FEMA and SMC naturally try to keep these vehicles off as many rules as possible that otherwise apply to mass-produced motorcycles .

Apart from that, in the discussions on test procedures to be defined in the delegated acts, the Commission is proposing to include testing of steer-ability, cornering properties and turn-ability into the type approval requirements for new motorcycles. These ideas have not only been criticized by FEMA but also by the Motorcycle Manufacturers in Europe (ACEM) and several member states. These concerns have been taken into consideration by the Commission.

Long forks should be addressed by individual approvals, not by the EU regulations, therefore we expect that the approval of long forks will remain at the discretion of each Member State.

As soon as FEMA and FEMA’s member organisations receive any signals that the regulation is going otherwise, we will of course act immediately.”

SMC works with SFRO on matters relating to amateur and rebuilt vehicles. We want a framework that allows these vehicles, provided that they meet the national requirements we have in Sweden. This does not stop tests, such as brake tests at 120 km/h. Cooperation began in 2000 when the same question was under discussion. We did then and we will do it now, SMC is convinced of this.

What is SMC doing?

SMC has read the proposal from the Commission.

SMC travelled to Brussels and met the EU Commission together with SFRO, to talk about the importance of a regulatory framework that enables us to keep the rules of amateur-built and rebuilt motorcycles in Sweden.

SMC has read the proposals of the European Parliament.

SMC has lobbied MEPs to vote, in person and via email.

SMC has met with representatives of Sweden in the negotiations.

SMC has expressed our concern every time we had reason to do so.

SMC has raised the issue at several meetings with representatives of the Transport Agency, based on the ability to maintain our national laws when the new regulations come into force.

SMC raised the question yesterday when we met with Sweden’s Minister.

SMC has today been informed of the articles on the same issue. There is nothing about long forks, choppers and the like.

So, from both FEMA and the SMC once again: There is NO evidence that choppers are to be banned.

SMC and FEMA continues to work to clear and transparent rules that make it possible for us to continue to modify, rebuild and have amateur build motorcycles, even with the new EC regulations. When the contents of the four delegated acts are known, a lot of work will be required.

Of course, the SMC will continue to monitor what is to be implemented in Swedish law and regulations. Sweden currently has the most generous rules for rebuilt motorcycles and we want to keep them!

SMC is also trying to exempt private built vehicles from strict type approval regulations. The consequence otherwise is excessive costs and demands on the individual builder.

Right To Ride

We first reported on this issue of extreme “Chopper” style in January and what the European Commission included in a presentation and draft document in December.

This was shortly after MAG UK reported on their website, The European Commission has proposed that part of its controversial new ‘Anti-Tampering’ regulations, which will affect all future bikes registered for the road, should be re-written to prevent chop-builders from using ‘long-forks’.

Then the issue was reported in two editions of Motorcycle News (MCN ) in February, followed by editorials in Back Street Heroes and 100% Biker magazines.

The misguided issue of banning choppers or long forks has spread to America and the rest of Europe, on websites and Facebook pages and at least one petition set up against the EU’s proposal to ban the choppers! – “The latest proposal by the EU came up with, is to ban construction of new choppers. A large and important part of our lifestyle is hereby threatened, as long forks may soon be history! The proposal will go up for voting in April, and it is vital that we let the politicians take part in our discontent.”

We will continue to report on this issue and those relating to the European Commission proposal and Regulation documents. This will continue to be in-depth.

We would like to thank SMC for clarifying the issue and for the response from FEMA, however we are sure the debate on this will continue on who is right or whose interpretation is correct.

At Right To Ride we trust our instincts and our judgement to agree that – There is NO evidence that choppers are to be banned.


This Article on Right To Ride EU – Click Here

The Eu Chop Shop – Click Here

The EU Chop Shop – pdf 702kb – Click Here

Long Forks or False Prophets – Click Here

Working Group on “Motorcycles” (MCWG) 14 December 2011 Regulation for approval and
market surveillance of L-category vehicles – Click Here

Regulation on vehicle functional safety requirements on the vehicle functional safety
requirements (RVFSR) – for the approval of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles – Click Here

Draft meeting minutes of the Motorcycle Working Group MCWG/ MVEG on Motorcycles(L-category vehicles).Brussels, 14 December 2011 – Click Here


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