- Sep 26, 2008
- Funster No
- C class, Chieftain
- since 2006 ( I think ! )
BMF NEWS ROUND UP – March 2023
The monthly news round-up, brought to you by the BMF
Meetings and issues addressed by the BMF in March:
National Motorcycle Working Group. National Highways outlined updates to the Road Policing Review; research presented by Bauer Media and Bikertek about the promotion of their campaign; discussions around the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges improving inclusion for motorcycles. Land Access and Recreation Association. Discussed options for future development in LARA. DEFRA have issued revised draft TROs (Traffic Regulation Orders) for the Green Roads Working Group.
PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety). Presentation on Strategic Policing Requirement (roads policing now included as a core requirement); aviation working group Chair expressed concern about the effect of automation on road vehicle drivers – pilots using automated systems may not have the experience to know what to do when things go wrong.
Hackney Council motorcycle parking charges. Council was due to meet on March 27th – it seemed probable they would approve implementation of their original proposals regardless of objections.
Coming Up. The BMF looks forward to taking part in the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group and the Motorcycle Strategy Group meetings in April.
In other news:
EU members finally confirmed the ban on sales of new petrol/diesel cars in 2035. The measure had been held up by Germany, but a last-minute compromise, which leaves the door open for alternative CO2-neutral fuels post-2035, got it through – members voted 22 in favour, two against, with two abstentions.
Meanwhile, the BMF, National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) and Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA)have called for less stringent cut-off dates in the UK – 2030 for mopeds, 2035 for 125s and 2040 for bigger bikes, with a ‘readiness check’ two years before each ban comes into force. At the moment, the UK is focusing on battery-electric as the means to decarbonise transport, but the House of Commons Transport Committee has urged the Government to keep an open mind on hydrogen, bio-fuels and synthetic fuels, arguing that these could be used to power ‘legacy’ petrol/diesel vehicles still in use after the 2030 ban on new sales.
As you’d expect, development of electric bikes continues apace, with BMW working on a battery-powered G310, using an adapted powertrain from the CE-04 scooter. And in racing, Energica made history with a top five finish in a petrol/electric race at Daytona – it’s the allegedly first time petrol and electric racers have shared a track competitively.
Back in London, the NMC has clarified the position of classic bikes in London’s Congestion Zone. Transport for London has confirmed that motorcycles of all ages are exempt from the Congestion Zone – concerns had been raised by the Vintage Motorcycle Club that old bikes could be charged, since four-wheeled historic vehicles do have to pay. The NMC is now calling for all pre-Euro 3 motorcycles to be exempt from Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) as well.
Just before the March Budget, the UK Government announced it was giving £200 million to help fix Britain’s potholes. Holes in the road are a particular problem for bikers, so maybe the answer is more stable motorcycles. Kawasaki is developing a tilting trike, in the same mould as the Yamaha Niken or Piaggio MP3 but promising a narrower front end thanks to the linkage system being unsprung. Perhaps the ultimate stability machine is the Yamaha AMSAS project, which uses sensor-controlled power-assist steering and a small front wheel electric motor to give unrivalled stability at very low speeds and even when stopped. Fancy being feet-up and stationary at red lights while on two wheels? It could happen.
On a historical note, there’s a rediscovered contender for first woman to ride solo round the world on a motorcycle. Credit has usually gone to Frenchwoman Anne-France Duatheville, who did the big trip in 1973 aboard her Kawasaki 125. Mary Siever (as detailed in the BMF’s Motorcycle Rider magazine) headed off on her BSA Bantam in 1967, but didn’t get home until ’76. But now it looks as if New Zealander Joy McKean did it (also on a Bantam) in the mid-1950s, riding 54,000 miles on a 148cc tiddler with a cruising speed of 40mph.
And finally, remember when cheap Chinese-made 125s had a warranty to match their bargain basement price? Not anymore. Brighton-based Sinnis has just launched a seven-year warranty on its range of bikes and scooters – buy one now, and the guarantee should last until the 2030 petrol/diesel ban. In theory.
Written by Peter Henshaw – Editor BMF firstname.lastname@example.org