Riders will have anti-lock braking systems (ABS) with no option to disable them whether they like them or not if the European Commission gets its way. The Commission plans to enforce the fitment of ABS to all new bikes above 125cc.
A compromise that might have enabled riders to switch their ABS off has been rejected by the Commission on the grounds that ABS will offer safety benefits far more often than it will pose safety problems. The Commission is concerned that what they describe as false anxiety about ABS, may lead riders to disable their systems in normal on-road use and thus lose the benefits these systems offer.
The Commission acknowledges that ABS may pose disadvantages in off-road situations but considers the number of citizens living in areas with a high percentage of unpaved roads as negligible compared to the broader riding population.
MAG President Ian Mutch said, “This is typical Commission bullishness of the ‘one size fits all philosophy.’ Very few road accidents have anything to do with the machines themselves. Unless we can steer the Commission away from this obsession with technical solutions then we are just going to face a lot of expense with no certainty that it will reduce accidents at all.”
The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) argues that in addition to the limitation of consumer choice, the fitment of ABS will significantly increase the purchase cost and maintenance cost of motorcycles.
On a positive note, following FEMA’s suggestion, the Commission proposes to prohibit member states from applying national power limits like the 100hp limit currently in place in France.
Another month, another issue... This one is super fine, though. We've had the cover photo of Adam's Bonneville pinned up on the wall at BSH Towers for a couple of months because we loved its cool, On Any Sunday look. Now, with the weather decidely autumnal, we figured it would be a splendid reminder of summer days. Also in this issue there's more sunshine courtesy of huge coverage of Stormin' The Castle, Sturgis, Van Dieman MCC's Van Taz Tik show and the Faro Rally, as well as a host of brilliant bikes - a futuristic Kawasaki KZ750 chop, an old school BSA A10, two XS650s - one spangly and the other, er, not spangly, as well as a centrespread with a definite Dave Mann feel about it. Then, of course, there's all the regulars - Tech, Trike Tech and, last but very much not least, the great Ogri.
It'll all be coming to a newsagent near you on 4th November.
Here's one of the first bits of footage which shows how Freddie Bertrand's World Championship of Custom Bike Building winner, 'Veon' changes rake and trail at the touch of a button. No camera trickery involved; I've seen it work for myself.
With Remembrance Day approaching next month, there's a way that you can contribute to the excellent Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal as well as buying your label poppy. A few years ago, good friend of BSH, Stevie, wrote a song specifically to raise money for the RBL Poppy Appeal, a moving song called 'Lest We Forget' that many of you will have heard him play at rallies up and down the country (it's the one tune where you can always hear a pin drop). You can download 'Lest We Forget' HERE, get yourself a damn fine song and give a few pennies to the RBL. As Stevie would say, Cheers!