100% Biker 152

100% Biker 152
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Well, that didn’t take them long, did it? No sooner have they mentioned ‘Anti-Tampering’ than the European Commission is starting to get down to business...
And the first proposal of the day is this: they’ve decided that part of the new regulations, which will affect all bikes registered for the road in the future, should be re-written to prevent folk from using ‘long forks’. Yep, you read that right, and no, we’re not having you on.

Up until now, the regulations have only talked about ‘power-train’ (engine, transmission, final-drive) being tamper-proof, but the Commission now wants any bike being put through the MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval) to complete tight slalom and U-turn manoeuvres to prevent modifications to the length of the forks.

Now I know some of you will be saying something along the lines of ‘I won’t put me bike through the MSVA then, I’ll use the existing loopholes’, and yeah, that’ll work. For a while, until they close those loopholes. What it will mean is that five or ten years from now there will be no chops – no real, old skool, traditional chops – on the roads at all, and an age-old way of life that brings employment and pleasure to a huge group of people will have been scoured from the planet. And, and this is the real pisser, for no reason whatsoever…

I mean, if we were building machines that were demonstrably unsafe then perhaps you would be able to see their point, but we’re not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; the standards of, and materials used in custom bike building have improved dramatically, even over the past 20 years. Chops are no longer (if they ever were) ‘death-traps’, as MoT testers of yore would regularly intone despite rarely having actually ridden one; they’re well-built, safe and practical… well, no, perhaps not practical, but you get the picture. There is no evidence that custom bikes are dangerous, so why do they want to prevent us from building them? It’s fucking ludicrous…

Sadly, I think I’m going to be typing what I’m about to type more and more often over the coming months and I really wish I didn’t have to, but… if you care about custom bikes and custom bike building or even the custom bike lifestyle in general, which I’m fairly sure you do, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this magazine, then please join MAG, the Motorcycle Action Group, and add your support to the fight that they’re putting up against this sort of bullshit. They are, pretty much, our only hope for beating off these downright idiotic, head-in-the-sand proposals, and if we don’t help them to fight for us, what chance have we got?