The facts behind Europe's pending 100 HP motorcycle limit

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100_HP_Motorcycle_Limit.jpgThere’s a lot of sensational misinformation surrounding proposed European Union regulations that could see all motorcycles sold there restricted to 100 HP, so we’ve asked Norwegian journalist Ivar Kvadsheim to break things down for us. Even if the power limit doesn’t become law, it looks like mandatory ABS and linked brakes could.>

Background:
- EU is working on new legislation for motorcycles. Loads of big and
small directives concerning type approval of motorcycles are put into
one new framework regulation.
- While they’re at it they also want to look at adding new measures to
improve safety and lower emissions.
- Whatever the framework regulation ends up looking like, it’ll be
passed as law in all EU-countries, basically all of Europe.

What’s happening now?
- The EU Commission (the bureaucrats) is working on the proposal for the
EU Parliament (the politicians) to vote over. They want this proposal
ready before the summer and have the vote as soon as possible.
- The motorcycle industry (ACEM), the motorcyclists’ federation (FEMA)
and various road safety organizations are lobbying like mad.

Should European motorcyclists worry?
Yes. Some of the proposals the Commission is working on can potentially
change everyday life for every European motorcyclist. FEMA (in some
cases working with ACEM, in others against them) are directly involved
in negotiations over the final draft, but so are other groups with other
interests. There’s no telling what can be stopped or not before the
proposal reaches the politicians. Whatever happens when they get it is
anyone’s guess.

Any upsides?
Yes, the Commission wants to make labeling of CO2 emissions mandatory.
For some reason the manufacturers want to keep the figures for
themselves. The EU, supported by FEMA sees this as basic consumer
information. The matter is also important for tax levels in several
countries, where lower emissions are rewarded with lower taxes.


If you have shares in Brembo or Bosch you’ll also be happy to know the
Commission considers making brake assistance systems mandatory. ABS,
linked brakes etc, they all help reduce the risk of riding. So why not
make it mandatory? FEMA and ACEM points out that ABS is fast becoming
standard equipment on all types of bikes, so there’s really no need to
make it mandatory, but the proposal is still there.

What should motorcyclists worry about?
FEMA, the European riders’ rights organization have three major concerns:

1.) 100 HP limit
This proposal surfaces regularly on different levels. It seems so easy: Less power, less dangerous. The FEMA argues no study has ever found a link between horsepower and risk. A statistical study done in Norway in the 90′s (later studies show the same) showed a possible link between a motorcycles “image” and risk, but that’s absolutely not connected to horsepower. For instance a 110 hp Kawasaki ZX7 had ten times higher risk of being involved in an accident as a 150 hp Kawasaki ZZR 1100. They also like to point to France, where they’ve been enforcing a 100 hp limit for twenty years, with no effect on accidents. It’s hard to imagine a proposal with no real effect passing, but it does have one effect: it makes politicians look like they’re really doing something, and that’s not to be underestimated.

2.) Stricter anti-tampering regulations.
European mopeds have a constrictive top speed of 45 km/h, and light motorcycles (125 cc) have a restricted power output of 15 hp. Both classes have strict anti-tampering regulations, preventing owners from
increasing performance. The manufacturers association ACEM has now proposed to expand
anti-tampering measures to also include the restricted (stepped licence)
motorcycle (34 hp). With this proposal the industry is in effect
opening doors FEMA considers the gateway to hell: Anti-tampering
regulations for all motorcycles.

First of all it’s wrong to call them anti-tampering regulations. “No
motorcyclist ‘tampers’ with his bike. It’s about making improvements and
optimizing the bike. These senseless suggestions should be called
anti-improvement regulations”, says Morten Hansen, member of FEMA’s
Board of Directors. In FEMA’s opinion, the industry proposal can make it much more difficult
for motorcyclists to improve and perform everyday maintenance on their
bike. Also, the proposal will squeeze out the aftermarket producers,
reducing the choice offered to customers and driving prices higher.
It’s no bombshell that the industry wants this lucrative business to
itself. “We fear a situation where you can’t even choose what tires to
use because manufacturers demand use of original parts and components,” says Hansen.

3.) Road Worthiness Testing
European authorities need some way to make sure the motorcycle complies
with the tailpipe emission limits throughout its life. Not surprisingly
the industry (ACEM) and the consumers (FEMA) don’t agree on whose
responsibility this is.

ACEM calls for the use of On Board Diagnostics as well as compulsory
periodical inspections (Road Worthiness Testing) to make sure the bike
complies with standards. ”The industry position is to shift the manufacturer’s responsibility
and cost over to the motorcyclists,” says Morten Hansen. The customers
will have to pay for the diagnostics system, the periodical inspection
and the repair if emissions are outside the type approval limits.
FEMA instead supports a regime where the manufacturer would have to
give assurances that their motorcycles comply with type approval limits
for a certain distance (e.g. 50.000 km). FEMA calls this In Use Compliance.
FEMA also suggests the product warranty to be extended to a minimum of 3
years, maybe even 5 or 7 years, giving the industry an incentive to
provide better, more reliable products. That will make the owners follow a service schedule over a long period
of time. “If the bike is found to be outside the type approval demands
during this period, the manufacturer will bear the cost of fixing the
problem, not the customer,” says Hansen.


Where and how will it end?

There will be a new framework regulation, and the EU Parliament will
vote over it some time this year, probably making the regulations
effective by 2012. What the Parliament will end up voting over and how
they’ll vote is down to the last few months of hectic lobbying. Having
the motorcycle industry and the consumers working against each other on
critical issues isn’t helpful.

Anything else?
There’s one more unanswered question to worry about. Nobody knows if this is the EU’s attempt to do a proper job once and for all, or if it’s just the start of a new regime where we will see a raft of stricter regulations. One factor pointing towards the latter is the fact that the widely hated Third Driving License Directive, effective from 2013, raises the bar for new riders so high you’ll need Ninja skills, a degree in political science and a gold mine to get a driving licence for an unrestricted motorcycle.

Ivar Kvadsheim

  • http://www.emotorules.com Harry Mallin

    Excellent comprehensive coverage of this issue, Ivar. And to think I found this thought-provoking piece, on, of all places, hellforleathermagazine.com ! I’d like to hear more about the Third Driving License Directive and what Ninja skills are needed.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk Urban Rider

    Yeh, motorcycling is dangerous. So it skiing, horse riding etc.. don’t see licences need for them let alone stricter and stricter rules.

    I hate beaurocrats.

    • Isaac

      “Yeh, motorcycling is dangerous. So it skiing, horse riding etc.. don’t see licences need for them let alone stricter and stricter rules.

      I hate beaurocrats.”

      +1

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

    I laude the EU’s commitment to reduced emissions, as well as mandating ABS and linked brakes. These are common sense regulations which, for the most part, motorcyclists, if they aren’t exactly excited about them, grudgingly accept. Obviously, pretty much everybody here would have a tough time swallowing a 100 hp limit, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it passed.

    I’m all for expanding riders education (and stepped licenses in the US might be a good idea!), but WOW! Those are some crazy Ninja skills.

  • vic

    thanks for the write-up Ivar

    what worries me is that the european parliament will have the final say over this.those guys are idiots.
    limit top speed not hp.on a light bike 100 hp are plenty enough to kill you

  • http://www.mc-addict.com HansP

    Great write-up as always, Ivar.
    European riders have fended off 100 bhp limits before. I bet we can do it again. Last time we blocked Brussels with tens of thousands of mad bikers. I suspect our opinion might be recognized if we do it again.

  • http://www.writetoride.co.uk Elaine Hardy

    Just a couple of comments:

    You wrote “European mopeds have a constructive top speed of 45 km/h, and light motorcycles (125 cc) have a restricted power output of 15 hp. Both classes have strict anti-tampering regulations, preventing owners from increasing performance”.

    this is not correct – only mopeds are restricted through anti-tampering measures infact the manufacturers have requested to expand anti-tampering measures from anti-tampering of mopeds to include various components and have also included 125cc as well as A2 driving licence category (35kW = 46.6 bhp) also known as category C which will come into force with the 3rd Driving Licence Directive.

    With regards to emissions, yes the manufacturers must be responsible from the point of sale, but by confining the warranty for emissions to only 3 years (or even 5 years) would be a problem for Northern Ireland riders where road worthiness testing (MOT) only commences from the third year after sale – so effectively the rider would have to be responsible for the normal technical failures AND emissions at their first road worthiness test. What we believe should happen is that the manufacturers are responsible for emissions for the same period of time as for car manufacturers – for example in the US cars are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles for specified major emission control components.

    • TeeJay

      Limits are:
      125ccm, 11kW
      250ccm, 25kW = 34HP (250cc limit can be ignored if power to weigth ratio not better then 1kW:4kg)

      Definition of moped varies from country to country, some defines 50ccm, some say 40, 45km/h and there is performance limit as well, but I do not remember the number.

  • telekom

    Surely these emissions regulations are the responsibility of not just the bike manufacturer, but the fuel companies too? As oil becomes more scarce and the price of petrol rises isn’t it likely that lower-quality fuel will be more common, which produces potentially “non-regulation” emissions? You can’t blame that on either the manufacturer of the bike or the rider.

    They didn’t think this through…

  • http://psrey.com/wp @Reyzie

    Ya know, I could live with 100HP max. bikes! Then development in other areas begins to get our power-to-weight ratios back!

    A 250LB, 100HP, carbon fiber framed and wheeled sport bike, might just be a lot of fun! :-)

    • http://www.mc24.no Ivar

      So could I, but that’s not the problem. 100 hp won’t reduce accidents, so what will they try next time? 75 hp? 50 hp?

    • robotribe

      Reyzie:“A 250LB, 100HP, carbon fiber framed and wheeled sport bike, might just be a lot of fun! :-)”

      It would be a SHIT TON of fun.

      The politicos will always meddle in our business, for better AND for worse. In this case, should the legislation go through, I’d hope it challenges the bike companies to build more power/weight efficient bikes that perform. I don’t care if my bike has 60 or 160 horses for as long as it can do 0-60 in less than 4 sec., is fun to ride and yes, is pleasing to the eye.

      This view may be very unpopular with most riders, but I think the only “tragedy” that comes with a 100hp limit on a motorbike is the loss of bragging rights.

  • Lemurpilot

    As long as they restrict the car industry to 150bhp. Lordy knows what a 19 year old in daddies 450hp Audi RS5 could do…

  • Tim

    As far as emissions are concerned, perhaps we should read this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8594000/8594561.stm The scientist in question is not a right-wing loon, he came up with the Gaia theory years ago.

    In any event, the U.S. riders should keep a close eye on these devolpments. The U.S. is usually a few years behind Europe with “stricter government mandates” on nearly everything. So, “comming soon to a government near you” is a reasonable expectation.

    Daniel Webster said, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”

  • W

    EU plans have been well known for some period of time and the information ABS been accessible on official websites:

    Targets:

    by 2010 50% road bikes equipped with ABS stock
    by 2015 75% road bikes equipped with ABS stock

    Emissions – parity with cars
    Euro 4 by 2012 (25%)
    Euro 5 by 2015 (25%)

  • Oscar

    Europeans and Americans have been giving their liberty away to their governments at varying rates for decades, and now they’re worried?

    It’s usually better late than never, but for Europe it was TOO late years ago.

  • Nick

    race pipes without a baffle or catalytic converter are also illegal. just saying.

  • Nick

    and besides, a 100hp supermoto encourages far worse hooliganism than a 170bhp superbike.

    • Bronson

      “…a 100hp supermoto encourages far worse hooliganism”

      SIGN ME UP!!!

  • Nick

    Einstein once said: “…nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”

    I’d love to see Spain try and pass this 100HP law. As many Spaniards would abide as Greeks pay income tax.

  • Brett Vegas

    Oregon is passing mandatory rider safety course requirement for anybody under 31 years old, it goes up to under 41 years old in a year or two. Not so bad, but they are also requiring testing for off-road, which is stupid. The state has no idea how to test competency, you have to be competent first to test it. The only reason the rider safety courses are any good is that they are a privately held company. I took the rider safety course(my bike couldn’t pass inspection at the DMV), it was OK. It does weed out the complete dunderheads from getting a license, but off-road? Part of the whole point of riding off-road is the little bit of lawlessness.

  • Nick

    I’m looking forward to the little bit of lawlessness you mention should the 100HP limit come into effect. you can bet your bottom Euro that my 180bhp ‘track bike’ without linked brakes or ABS will be tearing along the A23 on a Sunday morning.

  • http://www.duccutters.com/ Bill Johnson

    What is the world coming to 100HP limit on motorcycles. I also read that in 2011 Lamborgotti’s will be offered in automatic transmission only. I am depressed…

  • MTGR

    Historically it seems like what starts in Europe spreads to California and then slowly to the rest of the USA so I am very concerned about this.

    And big government trying to justify their paychecks have never let things like facts and proof stop them from implementing laws that defy common snese (see the whole ‘banning kids motorcycles because they could cause lead poisoning if swallowed’ bill we are still fighting from last year. I guess you could argue it might save the lives of countless carnival folks).

    Government just follows the time honored ‘two steps forward and only one back’ approach until they eventually get what they want.

    At least I am in Texas where we typically are the last to lay down our arms and stop fighting big government. God save us from the righteous Safety Nazis before the outlaw sex as dangerous and put an end to our species altogether.

  • Unintended consequences

    With national healthcare now a reality in the United States, how long do you think it will be before some government health panel decides motorcycles are an unnecessary risk?

    Anyone remember Missouri senator Danforth’s bill to ban “killer motorcycles” back in the 80’s?

  • John Ashman

    This could actually be a good thing. Maybe we’ll finally get some engines with some torque and a real power band.

  • Core

    @Article
    (Note I live in the US)
    The only time I have seen a motorcycle in bad shape… or “not tuned”… is when its one that has wiped out.. or just one that’s flat out junk and has been parked.

    Normally all of the motorcycles I see out on the road are well maintained. (Which makes sense) Riding a motorcycle is dangerous enough aspect in itself, let alone add mechanical failures to the fray.

    To me this looks like the EU is just trying to find ways to go.. Oh! your fined, your not in line with so in so .. regulation etc..

  • Zippy

    Just what we need more rules and laws, there are not enough.

  • Timmah

    How the hell can 100 HP even move a Goldwing? The EU is a scary fucking place.

  • erik

    Leave me and my bikes alone, thats why I ride them in the first place.

    100HP limit is just so dumb on so many levels, it addresses nothing, absolutely nothing. It does limit quite a few things people look forward too when buying a bike though. You guys better be fighting like bloody hell.

  • justiceforall

    Come ON guys!! Why all the fuss? Better safe than sorry. Do you wear helmets? What about race suits? One man’s caution is another man’s recklessness no? Is not better to be safe , secure and protected by laws passed by our betters, (if they were not our betters then we would be in their place)? Why should non-riders pay higher insurance and medical premiums just to indulge foolish behavior. 100 hp is way over the top. Motorcycles and cars should be both hp and top speed limited. We can’t have free medical care without limiting behavior that causes the consumption of more than an individual’s fair share of scarece health resources.

    • pauljones

      Thank you, Ralph.

      As you point out, one man’s caution can be another man’s recklessness. But it isn’t the place of either man to tell the other how to interpret 100+ hp bikes. It isn’t for either man to impose their interpretations on the other, or anyone else. It is the place of both men to purchase the means of transportation that they want, regardless of how much power it has. If there is a market for it and customers lined up willing to pay, it’s the place of motorcycle manufacturers to give the consumers what they want. The government may not tell individuals what their opinion on the matter is supposed to be.

      The job of any government in the Western world is to facilitate basic operations of the country that it governs at the request of the people, not to govern simply for the sake of governing, and certainly not to pass laws because they can and it makes them feel important.

      • mototom

        pj, that post by justiceforall was a test. So far you and I are the only ones who get it. What is taking place in the EU and will in some form occur here. If you read the preceeding posts most people are already finding a reason to justify their future accomodation to and acceptance of more and more control by their “betters”. The sheeple who don’t ride couldn’t care less about this issue because a)it does not affect them directly and b) do not grasp the broader implication of such regulation.

  • GeddyT

    This is good, this is bad, and this is sooooo wrong. I completely agree that this isn’t the way to achieve the goals they’re looking to achieve. I also agree with the earlier MotoGP 800cc move analogy: it’s not necessarily the horsepower that’s killing people.

    This is a pretty broad topic to discuss, and I’m afraid a novel might evolve in this box, but a couple of thoughts that I’ve had are:

    1.) If this does make its way to the U.S., we asked for it.
    Every time some wise journalist points out something obvious like, “Hey, we all like doing wheelies and lane splitting at triple digits too, but you squids are giving all bikers a bad name and it’s going to come back to haunt us,” or “You may love your loud pipes and your misunderstanding of the doppler effect leads you to believe that they save lives, but everyone else thinks you’re a jackass, and you’re going to ruin it for the rest of us,” the response is always anger from the offended parties. The typical response is a lot like Eric Cartman in drag on the Maury Povich Show: “I do what I want!” Won’t it suck for them when they find out the goodie-goodies were right? These things could have all been prevented by people just taking some personal responsibility: Keep your hooning off of public roads. Respect your neighbors, recognize that you’re not impressing anyone, and keep the volume of your exhaust reasonable. Wear some friggin’ protective gear so public perception is not that you’re an accident waiting to happen! This is too tough for people, though, I guess. In this country, at least, it’s all about “Me Me Me” and image first.

    2.) Will this hurt or help Harley-Davidson?
    In a way, one might think that laws such as these might help H-D. I mean, do they even build a bike with more than 100hp? Their model lineup will stay the same while the Japanese and European manufacturers will take a big punch to the nuts. Even from a financial aspect this is a big deal. How much money would this cost the manufacturers of high-power motorcycles to retool and completely revamp their lineups? Or have to even further diversify their lineups across different regions? Meanwhile, H-D won’t even blink.
    On the other hand, with strict noise regulation and anti-tampering laws, how many people are going to want an H-D either? If people can’t blast megaphones to draw attention to all of their chrome and tough-guy appeal, what’s the point?

    3.) Street bikes better, track bikes WAY worse…
    I agree that regulation like this could actually have a POSITIVE impact on the bikes we ride on the street. The reality is that every 600cc supersport on the market would only need to lose less than 10rwhp to get under that line–which would be achieved just from complying with the new emissions rules and no other changes to the engine. Is there ANYONE who needs MORE than a current 600cc supersport on the street!? On the other hand, I think we all agree that we could use less weight and more torque and midrange power. When that big peak number isn’t where all the R&D money is going to, maybe we’ll finally get street legal bikes that handle like 250GP bikes. Maybe we’ll finally get sub-400lb. sport tourers! Maybe we’ll get a bike with an incredibly fun motor like that in the SV650, but in a chassis that doesn’t totally suck. How mindblowingly AWESOME would a street legal version of THIS be!?
    On the other hand, what about the track bikes? More and more people are taking their bikes to the track where they can actually be fully exploited. What makes a fun street bike does not necessarily make a great track bike. Whereas an R6 is a tedious street bike, it’s a scalpel on the track. And when you’ve got the safe environment and room to stretch, being limited to the meager top speeds of a 100hp limit would suck!
    Take it one step further and ask yourself what production racing will look like. Will British SuperBike riders be banging bars on a Suzuki Gladius? Or will club racing become prohibitively expensive because everyone that does it will have to import their bikes from Australia or straight from the factory? Or will the factories have to built non-homologated racing specials (essentially their street bikes now) to sell to racers at exorbitant prices due to the low volume? As a former racer that wants to get back into it some day, this is my biggest fear concerning these laws moving stateside. How cool is it that we can ride a new bike out of a dealer, slap some race glass on it, change the tires and brake lines, and be competitive in a club race!? That would disappear.

    4.) Emissions regulations are a good thing, but consumers are going to pick up the tab one way or another.
    I see the debate over emissions compliance as kind of academic. The real issue is who pays for it, and I don’t see how that’s going to be anyone but the customers. If the manufacturers build the emissions systems to last a gillion miles, they’ll just up the purchase price to compensate. Either way, you pay. It’s also a lot more difficult to control emissions on a motorcycle than on a car. Catalysts are heavy, exhausts are smaller and designed differently (packing needs to be replaced, etc.). Personally, I see it no differently than the need to check valves or oil the chain. These are all things that have to be done more frequently in bikes than cars. If people insist this isn’t the case, the bikes will just get more expensive and ridiculously heavy. I’d rather pay to have my exhaust repacked every couple of years, emissions tested, fuel system cleaned out, etc., than ride a 600lb. sport bike.

    5.) Tiered licenses are a great idea. Endorsements for dirt bike riding (Oregon) is idiotic.
    What would result in better safety statistics? De-tuning the retiree’s Goldwing, or NOT handing the keys of a GSX-R1000 to a 16 year old that’s never ridden? I would guess the latter. I’ve never read any statistics on whether Europe’s tiered licensing system is actually a success. Can anyone help with that?
    On the other hand, why would we want to make it harder for people to get out and ride in the dirt? Isn’t that the best way TO learn how to ride? In a safer environment without traffic? Requiring offroad riders to get licensed first is kind of putting the cart before the horse!

    6.) Anti-tampering laws are made superfluous by the rest of the regulations.
    If you’re requiring emissions and noise testing at regular intervals, what is the point of preventing people from altering their bikes? If the alterations pass emissions and noise checks, then they’re good, right? A more sensible regulation would be, for instance, requirements that aftermarket exhausts that wouldn’t meet regulation be stamped with a large “Offroad Use Only” stamp or something. If you’re seen/heard on the road with one, you’re ticketed. This way you could still buy a race exhaust for your track bike, still could improve the looks/power/sound of your street bike with an aftermarket pipe, and would still meet the regulations.
    To me, this sounds more like the manufacturers wanting a little monopoly on bolt-on accessories and performance parts.

    Well, enjoy it all while you’ve got it… Fire sale on literbikes!

    • Isaac

      GeddyT you said it all brother!

      I guess I wont hold my breath fro a world with common sense, LOL.

      Oh well, looks like My R6 will have to loose 3hp LOL.

  • shinigami

    Why draw the line with power restrictions? Why not also include a medical certification, such as is required for pilots? Or how about psychological screening??

    Wake up frogs… the water’s getting warmer.

  • http://www.writetoride.co.uk Trevor B

    While they (Europe) look at enforcing for the near future they can not get it right at present.

    300,000 motorcycles imported into Europe that do not comply with standards regarding: emissions – braking performance – restricter removed – exceeding noise limits – bike delivered in a crate with no assembly instructions – final assembly leading to dangerous motorcycles – alleged forged certificates of conformity – but have passed and have been issued with the necessary certificates to allow them to be imported.

    Full document http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/enterprise/automotive/library?l=/technical_committee/11th_meeting_2010/100126_compliant/_EN_1.0_&a=d

  • Skip

    Then Europe would be a great market for Harley Davidson. There bikes only have 60 or 70 hp.

  • Sean Tempère

    Being french i speak as a 105hp Corsaro Veloce owner (which should be 140).

    This law is just plain dumb.

    Many owners of +100hp bikes have their bikes unbridled (not sure about the term here) to get the intended power.
    While i can understand why, what i know is the folowing :
    - a majority (i don’t recall the exact figure) of 2 wheeled vehicle accidents in france occure below 70km/h 45mph (and are caused by inattentive car drivers, but that’s another debate)
    - knowing the previous, getting in an accident with an unbridled motorycle automaticly gives you 100% reponsability, whatever the speed and conditions were

    Exemple :
    You’re stopped at a red light, with your unbridled and perfectly maintained crotch rocket because let’s face it, most riders love their bikes and maintain them at least decently because their safety directly depends on it. A guy comes speeding from being you in some peace of junk civic with barely any light working and washed up tires (who cares, it runs). He fails to notice you soon enough and slams into your rear. You’re thrown in the intersection, possibly injured by incoming vehicles and you’re bike is demolished.
    You will have to pay for your bike damages, medical bills and possibly damages on the civic.
    The kicker? You’ll never be able to get a motorcycle insured again or if you do it’ll be with a piece of shit company that doesn’t cover anything and charges you 5000€ a year.

    Oh yeah that law is a good thing for road safety for sure.
    Instead of giving fines to motorcycles because their rear-view mirrors aren’t authorized (and limiting power) they should control pieces of shit car that barely run, THAT is a real safety issue as i see it.

    I do hope (for your sake) euro manufacturers (german, italians, british) will do what they can to prevent this from happening.

    (sorry about the long rant and the shabby english)

  • MTGR

    Here is what I don’t get about people saying this might be good.

    Why does it have to be a law? If you want ABS and 100 hp because you think it is safer or better, then go buy it. No one is stopping you.

    But, if these were truly the only things anyone wanted then it is all that would sell and, therefore, all that would end up being produced. The market self-regulates.

    And claiming this will help in any way with the cost of national health care!? You people are dreaming, this is the government, same organization that instituted taxes as a “temporary war time measure” during the world war, what, about 60 or 70 years ago?

    I would fight this tooth and nail for the same reason I fight anti-smoking, even though I hate smoking. For all the added taxes and legislation regarding health costs relate to smoking have any of your medical bills ever been reduced? Did your health care premiums lower after helmet laws went into effect. lol. Once a cost is in place it never goes down, anyone who claims it will is selling something, usually snake oil.

    And once a legal precedent is set it then can be applied to other things, next would be drinking (already tried once), then sugar (already being considered in many states), and somewhere down that list is Motorcycles. They equal personal freedom after all, not a big plus for big government these days. They are far more likely to ban Motorcycles altogether than lower national costs if we institute restrictions that no one has been able to prove help anyway.

    I moved to a land with clearly mandated freedom of choice for a reason. I wear a helmet every ride even though it is not the law where I live. But just because I choose to does not mean everyone else should have to also.

    What tremendous conceit and narrow-minded thinking to assume your personal beliefs should be mandated as law so they can be forced on everyone else too.

    Do what you want with your own life, but leave mine alone.

  • Epyx

    Does not insurance already regulate “degree of safety” Lower HP and lower accident rates = lower insurance rates.

    If the “risk” gets higher so does the rate. Risk gets too high rites get too high and most consumers stop buying the product. Not enough interest results in the manufacturers reducing levels to mitigate the insurance cost.

    This is scary stuff. What ever happened to self determination? Hard to believe this is from the same continent that once brought us the Enlightenment and defeated Fascism.

    Bring back objective reason and rational thought, this is what happens when citizens give away rights to bureaucrats.

  • Tony

    April fools? Please?

    I could live with a limit of 150 HP or thereabouts, but 100?!?! Half the currently available bikes out there must be over 100 HP.

    I’m much more concerned about the damage a 500 HP 4000 lb vehicle can do than a 400 lb. 120 hp one.

    But of course the European auto manufacturers (and consumers) have more political pull than the motorcycle manufacturers and consumers, so that kind of regulation won’t be coming . . . hopefully.

    • Epyx

      It is not about the limits per se. It is more about a government bureaucrat regulating liberty and how this should be a terrifying to us all. It may seem minor but this is far more an encroachment on liberty than the Patriot Act ever hopped to be (in terms of actually touching my, and many others, life.)

  • P Stroud

    “It’s hard to imagine a proposal with no real effect passing

    What banana boat did the author just fall off of. Politicians pass laws all the time the harm people. Why would they care if a law has an effect?

    • Mrs Doyle

      Not a banana boat – but the Banana Republic of Europe. It’s another world over here – in Europe, politicians don’t decide the laws – they are told what they can vote on by a bunch of overpaid, “snouts in the trough” bureaucrats aka the EU Commission. After going through numerous committees, co-decision procedures etc – a proposal finally gets presented to another parliamentary committee – and only then – the members of parliament get to vote.

      So if the EU Commission – in this case the Directorate General of Enterprise presents a set of proposals which are part of an ongoing policy to reduce emission and at the same time road casualties at all costs (in this case by restricting and/or discouraging motorcycling) to discuss in parliament, the politicians aka Members of the European Parliament are effectively the last bastion between the idiots (EU Commission) and the real world – us.

      So that’s why in Europe, it is understandable to comment about a proposal that should not pass (EU Parliament) without any effect. Our representatives in parliament are our only hope.

      • mototom

        “So that’s why in Europe, it is understandable to comment about a proposal that should not pass (EU Parliament) without any effect. Our representatives in parliament are our only hope”

        Sorry, your only hope is a gun and barricades in the streets. Take back your rights before you forget what they were.

  • Unintended consequences

    So what started out as a confederation of countries wanting to integrate their economies has turned into an intrusive federal government.

    You would think that with all the terrible things that happened to Europe over the past hundred years as the result of totalitarianism (communism, fascism etc.) that they would collectively reject it any form.
    Why are they letting this disease come back?

    • Mrs Doyle

      Q: Why are they letting this disease come back?

      A: Money for the poorer European countries, power for the richer European countries.

      The people of Europe did not vote to elect the new European President (who BTW looks like a twin of Krusty the Clown). We can’t vote on who gets to become a Commissioner and the bureaucrats – who are appointed and make the decisions.

      We can only vote for our MEPs. So for motorcyclists, we can lobby our national governments and MEPs. In the end, it is no different from the US or anywhere else – it’s the power of lobbyists who can shout the loudest to get their voices heard and for us it’s FEMA, FIM, FIA and ACEM and the list goes on.

      In 1997 FEMA organised a protest of 20,000 bikers in the centre of Brussels – that’s when the bureaucrats listened, because it scared the hell out of them. So maybe it’s time to get on our bikes again.

      • Klaus

        And thats why, we are going to Brussels again…

        • Mrs Doyle

          When? Do you know something that the rest of us don’t? If there is going to be another Brussels demo – why hasn’t it been made public?

  • BL

    “if you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face—forever”

    orwell

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    I am not in favor of a flat HP limit because blanket rulings like that merely give the semblance of doing something to save us from ourselves without actually accomplishing anything.

    OTOH, does anyone here really believe that One Hundred Full Grown Horses would be insufficient to haul your fat arse around?

    PS. Neither my BMW nor my Yamaha has over 100hp and I’ve received plenty of “performance awards” in spite of my “lack of power”. That does not mean I think that everybody should have to have it.

    • Nick

      for transport even 4HP is enough as demonstrated by the Honda Cub. there’s a certain enjoyment that comes from having 170hp but i agree it’s not for everyone.

  • Brett Vegas

    Yeah, my old bmw k100 is 90hp, and plenty fast for me, but a horsepower limitation law is ‘the thin edge of the wedge’, as are stricter guidelines for licensing. The next step on that slippery slope is GPS units on every vehicle(starting on drivers under 18, that sounds sensible, doesn’t it?), commit a moving violation, and get your ticket in the mail.

    ‘If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’-stalin

  • fish_bate

    “Sorry, your only hope is a gun and barricades in the streets. Take back your rights before you forget what they were.”

    Don’t retreat, RELOAD! Right? Right.

  • http://www.adalbraut.is Njall Gunnlaugsson

    Linked brakes and ABS in particular are BAD news for Icelandic motorcyclists, because of the gravel roads that cover more than 60% af our roads. ABS is ok if you can turn it off when you need it but linked brakes are for people who dont know how to brake. I know a little about this, I have been teaching motorcycle skills for more than a decade.

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