100% Biker 169

100% Biker 169
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I have some sad news to report this issue; the death of an old friend…

It was announced a few weeks ago that Streetfighters magazine would be closing at the end of May. It’s the end of an era; 20-plus years of a magazine that was once described as ‘a maverick cult at the fringes of respectable motorcycling’, and of a magazine that inspired just about all the major motorcycle manufacturers to build factory machines to emulate the ones made by British bikers in their sheds. That’s no mean feat in anyone’s book.

Now the reasons for its demise are many and varied, and it’s not my place to go into them here, but there’s one thing I’d like you to think about, and that’s the role that EU legislation has had in killing off one of the UK’s three custom bike mags. I feel, you see, that Streetfighters is the first real victim, the first obvious one, of the anti-motorcycling laws and legislation that’s been foisted upon us in the last few years. The streetfighter, traditionally, has been a young man’s bike (yes, there are exceptions to that, I know…) and, as has been well documented in just about all the bike press, those most affected by changes in law over the last few years have been, yep, you guessed it, young people wanting to get into bikes.

Thanks to the new legislation it’s now more difficult than ever for anyone who wants to get a bike licence and ride a big bike to do so. They have to jump through what seems to be an ever-increasing number of hoops (stricter tests, age limits, power limits, increased insurance costs) to get a bike on the road, and yet, at the same time, anyone with a car licence can go out and buy the most powerful car they can get their hands on, assuming they can afford it, after passing just the basic car test. It’s not about safety, blatantly, otherwise they’d have to go through the same rigmarole as anyone wanting a bike does; it’s about legislating bikes off the roads in a more subtle, more underhand, more devious, way than they’re tried before. And sadly, it seems to be working.

RIP Streetfighters. No matter what the politics, you will be sadly missed.

-Nik

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