Pointless & Angry RWT Demos

Like a bus you wait for one to come along and then two demonstrations on RWT (Road Worthiness Testing) arrive one after the other.

The “No Con Test” Demo Ride is being organised by MAG Ireland, takes place in Dublin on 22nd September and ask riders to join the run to show your feelings on pointless legislation.

The Belgium rider organisation FBMC (Belgian Federation of Angry Motorcyclists) have also announced their own demonstration on the 22nd September in Brussels.

In April this year FBMC held a demonstration which denounced Europe as “motophobe”, estimates from reports at the time said that between 1000 and 1400 angry bikers roamed the streets of Brussels to basically say no to bike engineering controls, yes to a real consideration in the road infrastructure for motorcyclists and yes for real constructive consideration for motorcyclists safety.

So we can only imagine how many will turn out as regards to Road Worthiness Testing!

The MAG Ireland demonstration, is being held in support and complementing, those rider organisations who are members of FEMA (Federation Of European Motorcyclists Association), who have organised their demonstration in Brussels on the 22nd September.

Organised initially by MAG Netherlands in collaboration with MAG Belgium the demonstration is against the plans for a compulsory European wide MOT for motorcycles.

European Wide MOT for Motorcycles

So what’s it all about?

In Northern Ireland (NI) and Great Britain (GB), aka the UK, we have the MoT (Ministry of Transport test) for motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and trikes.

The annual MoT, for motorcycles over four years old, is an annual test of safety, including roadworthiness aspects.

The MoT in GB and NI run differently in each region.

In NI the MoT is managed and operated, they do the testing at test centres, by a Government Agency, the Driver Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA).

In GB the MoT and issuing of MoT Certificates is managed by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), authorised places such as motorcycle dealers/workshops are authorised to perform testing and to issue certificates.

The MOT test was first introduced to the UK in 1960, any country who has introduced an MoT/Periodical Technical Inspection/Road Worthiness Testing to date for motorcycles has done so under its own steam.

It is only now that the European Commission has decided to put forward a proposal to introduce mandatory motorcycle Road Worthiness Testing across Europe.

So what does the proposal mean if it goes ahead, which is planned for around 2016, as it winds it way through the European processes?

Well those countries that don’t have an MoT will get one.

Those that have an MoT might see older motorcycles tested annually instead of every two years. Those that have testing for motorcycles would see mopeds also tested.

Some say that those countries that have testing will see their test turn into a “Super MoT” with no modification of your motorcycle allowed. The “‘roadworthiness test’ means a verification that the parts and components of a vehicle comply with its safety and environmental characteristics in force at the time of approval, first registration or entry into service”

So as an example – fitting better brakes or braided hoses to your motorcycle will not fail this – because not only does it comply with the safety characteristics of your motorcycle it also exceeds it. There would more than likely be emissions testing, just like cars and perhaps a Tax exemption for some bikes, if our own Government could be pushed for this exemption. This compliance should be within the environmental characteristics in force at the time of approval (when it was built).

There is online back chat that parts will have to be removed to be checked eg Brake Drums, while the proposal says “Visual Checks” and specifically mentions, “The tests shall be carried out using techniques and equipment currently available without the use of tools to dismantle or remove any part of the vehicle.” Maybe we will get Super MoT testers, as the proposal mentions training and standards of those completing the testing, that can remove wheel nuts with their bare hands.

There is mention of extra investment in equipment for testing stations, which would then see a heavy increase in our MoT cost or a test that would have negative economical consequences across Europe.

Here in Northern when an MoT Certificate is issued, you keep that part safe and sound. Attached to the certificate is an MoT disc, the same size as the TAX (VED – Vehicle Excise Disc) which must be displayed on your vehicle – cars and motorcycles, would that be part of an EU RWT?

The proposal is a minimum requirement, there is nothing stopping member states to introduce or continue operating a stricter testing regime or a parallel regime, that checks for aftermarket non standard parts as they are fitted, similar to what happens in Germany.

However that is down to the member state concerned, there is no suggestion in the proposal that this would be the norm across Europe.

Back To Demos

As we have said we originally supported the original demonstration organised for Brussels.

We support the right to protest about national issues, wherever that protest is being held. There are different countries with different situations which require a different solution and we certainly believe that the EU should not interfere. That RWT is a national issue which the individual national organisations should lead on.

For example countries such as Norway only ride around 6 months of the year and do far lower mileage, consequently there would be less wear = less defects. So not wanting RWT is understandable.

In the Netherlands, we are told that the motorcycle parc (bikes in circulation) is older than in the UK, and generally motorcycles are kept in good condition, so we can understand the logic of not wanting RWT there either. We assume that the situation is similar in Belgium.

MAG Ireland says that its own Road Safety Authority (RSA) agrees that technical problems on motorcycles are not a road safety issue. From their own survey earlier this year as many as three out of four riders own more than one motorcycle, a fact which would make RWT prohibitively expensive for Irish riders.

At Right To Ride we will be on mainland Europe during the period of the demonstrations in Brussels, so we may yet turn up as we further understand the reasons why motorcyclists in other countries are against this proposal.

Read this on Right To Ride EU –  Click Here

Links Information

MAG Ireland – www.magireland.org

FBMC – www.fbmc.eu

Brussels Protest – On Facebook

FEMA – No To Usless Mandatory Inspections – On Facebook

Wunderlich Parts and TüV – pdf 270kb – Click Here


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