40,000 bikers ride in anti-EU protest

Demo ride against plans for anti-motorcycling proposals from the EU

Posted: 27 September 2011
by Visordown News

PROTESTING against the adoption of EU’s proposed plans for motorcycling, 40,000 riders swarmed UK's motorways in a protest ride against the proposed regulations.

The demonstration, organised by Motorcycle Action Group, took place on Sunday 25th September and was a message to the EU to keep their ‘hands off biking’, as legislations are being put forward for anti-tampering, compulsory ABS and on board diagnostics to enable roadside checks, amongst others. The ride was also in unity against the plans for mandatory day-glo in Ireland and France - enforcing riders, pillions and visitors to wear full-sleeve, high-visibiity jackets whilst riding.

The protest ride, conducted by thousands of bikers including four MPs, against the proposed legislation took place nationwide across the UK’s motorway network, as on mass bikers staged a go-slow ride maintaining a speed of 40mph for around half an hour.

Paddy Tyson, Campaigns Manager for MAG, told Visordown that results from the action have been immediate. The run-up to the event already created a buzz, as the groups have been able to get the committee stage of the legislation postponed in Europe by six weeks, the parliamentary vote put back to next year and MEPs will read and respond to the proposals rather than immediately rubber-stamping the act. The Department for Transport are now also dumbfounded with the commission, as they are displeased with many elements of the proposal.

MAG have been campaigning against the proposal since the legislations were put forward in October last year. The reason for the intensity is that the proposals are part of a regulation rather than a directive; as a regulation it means that they would be automatically implemented into UK law rather than opting for elements that would be done under a directive.

The plans from the EU are on par with what happened 15 years ago in 1996, when plans were introduced to set a 100bhp limit in France – effectively ending sportsbikes. In defense a ride was organised on Brussels where 180,000 bikers descended on the Belgian capital.

MAG are hoping this will not need to happen again, but are prepared to organise a similar ride next year should the need arise. Although the ride was positive MAG are underlining that motorcyclists still need to continue writing to their MEPs.

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After the event, Midlands Today (Late Sunday evening bulletin) gave it 30 seconds... saying that motorcyclist were protesting about EU legislation to make motorcycles safer!! Making us all look a load of brainless idiots! MAG need to get the Pr and work with the media. So a miss informed regional news programme could undo all of the great work and organisation that went into Sunday, pity about the weather (on the M40/42 anyway)

Posted: 27/09/2011 at 18:12

Totally agree.
Hundreds of us rode on the Southampton ride. Result on local TV was a minute or so at very most. Outside of the motorbike media I would be surprised if any car drivers had any idea why they were held up. In fact I’m sure many bikers, even on the protest, knew in any sort of detail as to why they were riding. At our large meet I did not see MAG officials handing out info or invites to join MAG. That combined with lack of impact on the news in my opinion means this was a massive opportunity missed and a total media fail! And where were the BMF? They are also members of FEMA! We have two half baked organisations ‘representing’ bikers. Fail.

Posted: 27/09/2011 at 20:54

And you guys wonder why we push back over even mandatory helmet
usage here over in the US.

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 02:33

Oh puhleeze Joe - Yank biker laws are a JOKE!

Yes you don't have to wear helmets, which is convenient but leads to retards on Harleys going 40mph everywhere, clogging up sideroads because they don't wanna go faster because of wind noise, and the general discomfort that results from riding on an open vehicle w/o proper protection.

But, you can't filter past cars legally, and your speeding laws are in general among the most Draconian in the world. Not to mention your riders are crap and your drivers are even crappier, possessing the peripheral vision of a blind bat!

Thanks but no thanks to the Yank version of "motorcycling" - we'll happily keep things the way they are in Europe

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 03:07

Good luck brothers. Show 'em what you got.

Every single biker should be involved in these protests, these laws must NOT be allowed to pass. Protesting against such laws is a hard sell as motorbiking is anti-intuitive, as intuition tells us motorbikes are dangerous and should be banned, or 'if you do nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about', but we all know thats not exactly accurate to the real world - well I hope you do anyway. If they pass them, raze Belgium. Alternatively I suggest every biker tak off their number plates and ride around, power in the masses, choke up the courts. Sometimes governments just go too far and when they do you have to rise up and stop such nonsense.

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 03:31

Look ..I'm an ATGATT guy and been on 2 wheels for more than 25 years.

Yup we have lots of no helmeted idiots and lots of squids. But I can go out and pretty much do what I please without an EU bureaucrat trying to tell me exactly what color clothing to wear. I do feel bad that you guys need to go to that much of an extreme (the protest ride) just to keep Brussels off your back.

Yes you can lane split in California and in the western states you pretty much dial it up without to much intervention by the locals.

Don't make sweeping judgements as it makes you look like a pretty big douche bag.

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 03:42

oops........too much intervention........

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 03:50

"The ride was also in unity with the plans for mandatory day-glo in Ireland and France - enforcing riders, pillions and visitors to wear full-sleeve, high-visibiity jackets whilst riding."

Really? "in unity with"? That sounds like the protest supported mandatory day-glo.


Posted: 28/09/2011 at 09:36

Oh come on - your blaming MAG for lazy journalism ?!!

ALL MAG members, who had previously bothered to join the activist list, were provided with a brief for journalists. What those journalists then did with the information was up to them...

At our meet, all attending were supplied with both rules for the ride & its aims. If that didn't happen at your meet, perhaps you could get involved to improve things?

As for 'half-baked', suggest you look at the MAG site to see what has been done over months of hard work. Aside from anything else, it is now no longer a EU rubber stamping exercise, the UK Gov is now aware of the implications & is not happy with many, and the process has been forced to slow down & take heed of concerns which continue to be fed into the process.

I am sure that things could be done better, 'though not for lack of effort, and I look forward to seeing a few more arm-chair warriors getting involved week in, week out with MAG or their own better organisations.

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 10:01

Well done MAG if it wasn't for you we would have no voice at all

Posted: 28/09/2011 at 11:32

This legislation isn't likely to pass and in my home country of Ireland, the police have better things to do than enforce this law anyway so its basically irrelevant.

You're right: you can wear whatever you want in the States and you have no displacement restrictions on new riders. However, speeding is much more of an issue in the US (I've lived there before, and am currently living in Chicago for the next month or so on business) and given the choice b/w riding lidless or being able to regularly go 100-120mph on the motorway and on B-roads, I'll choose the latter thanks

As for sweeping generalizations making me look like a douchebag, I think everything i said is true.
Certainly there is variation w/in the US but compared to Europe, your drivers ARE NOT as good, neither are your bikers either, in general. I didn't say that Yank bikers were crap period, jst by comparison, and we can all agree w that can' t we? :)

Posted: 29/09/2011 at 06:04

BlackPrince, regret that you are missing the point - your government doesn't get a say, or under its current routing, the option of a veto. This tranche of regulations (dayglo aside which is currently France & Rep. of Ireland) is an EU initiative & includes proposals for random, road-side MOTs to be undertaken by either the police or another agency.
As things stand, if you believe that we in europe will just carry on as we are, you could be in for a very nasty shock.....

Posted: 29/09/2011 at 13:09

Thanks BikerBookworm, that is exactly my point.

I already spend a decent amount of money on gear. But I will actively protest against helmet laws mostly because I do not trust my elected officials to stop there. Know what you get when you get lots of lawyers and bureaucrats together in one place? They will expand to fill any vacuum with laws, regulations, etc.

Stopping the politicians early before they get in your shorts is a good policy just ask the National Rifle Association. No I don't own a gun but I like the feeling that I have the ability to obtain one if I decide I want one. Now think about that last sentence replacing the word gun with Hyabusa.

To BlackPrince, don't be so hard on Harleys. They may not go as fast or turn as well as a gixxer but the paint and chrome work is top notch
and the Harley guys always throw the best parties.

BTW...Las Vegas is only a 3 day ride away, what have you got??? haha

Posted: 29/09/2011 at 18:18

Villafan & Room101 - MAG members? BMF members? Doing anything at all to defend your right to ride your bikes? No? Quit whinging or put your money/time/effort where your mouse is!

Armchair warriors? Don't make me laugh.

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 09:15

Where you on the protest - my comments where not about a lack of effort on the part of MAG, but more the mindless journalism. I was there and supported it and as it happens a fully paid up member of MAG. So what is your suggestion wait until it all goes through and then cry in your beer

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 16:16

OK fellow MAG member, yes I was there - my mistake, I took you for one of the many non-members who snipe from the sidelines.

I thought MAG's PR was pretty good, but yes, journalists are stupid.

Stunts like this do raise awareness among Joe Public and I believe it's helped. Let's see what the follow-up is.

Posted: 08/10/2011 at 09:22

Apology accepted - but accept there are lot of armchair whingers!!! Out of all my mates only one could be bothered to turn up

Posted: 08/10/2011 at 09:27

BTW...Las Vegas is only a 3 day ride away, what have you got??? haha

Response - Blackpool LOL

Posted: 10/10/2011 at 16:23

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