Regulation New Rules

New EU rules will bring safer, cleaner motorbikes without driving up costs

Motorbikes, trikes, quads and lightweight vehicles will be safer and cleaner, and manufacturers will have greater certainty over how they should develop their vehicles after the European Parliament today adopted new performance and design standards.

Malcolm Harbour MEP, Chairman of the parliament’s internal market committee that worked on the proposals, welcomed agreement on the new rules that bring 15 existing EU directives into one new regulation.

Among the specific improvements is mandatory anti-lock braking (ABS) on powerful motorbikes, advanced braking on scooters, reduced exhaust emissions targets, and basic on board diagnostics.

To resolve concerns around the anti-tampering measures that the European Commission had initially proposed, the agreement now only requires manufacturers to build in anti-tampering measures on bikes where power or speed is restricted, for young or inexperienced riders.

Opening up technical information will help independent repairers to maintain bikes, trikes and quads, and enthusiasts to customise them.

The motorcycle industry has been keenly awaiting the new legislation so it can start making investments in the next generation of cleaner and safer machines.

Mr Harbour has been working closely with a number of motorcyclist organisations, attempting to shape the law to better suit the wishes of enthusiasts.

Accompanying the regulation on motorbikes is a separate proposal setting standards for tractors.

Under the new regulation tractor categories will be split into two groups according to speed, with higher speed tractors requiring ABS. The distinction would enable companies such as JCB to invest in new tractor technologies

Speaking after today’s vote, Mr Harbour said:

“This vote is the culmination of a great deal of listening to biking enthusiasts so that we could put in place a law that makes two, three and four wheeled machines safer and cleaner, without ruining their cherished hobby.

“This new type approval framework will secure the future of motor biking for a generation.

“There has been significant scaremongering about the purpose behind this law. It was simply to make 15 outdated laws setting technical standards into one current law, which will be easier for manufacturers to decipher. We always had at heart the best interests of millions of people across Europe for whom biking is a way of life.”

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