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British bikers stand up against European anti-bike measures

July 3, 2011

Like their French counterparts a couple of weeks ago, British bikers gathered yesterday in Birmingham, UK’s second largest city, to protest at a series of anti-bike measures proposed by the European Union (EU), of which the United Kingdom is a full and permanent member state.

Among those measures, which are designed to bring extra cash to the national government of each member state, we could soon see all bikers across Europe having to wear high-visibility fluorescent vests, as well as banning the same bikers from servicing their motorbikes and scooters themselves, thus forcing them to have the job done by a registered mechanic instead. Those who currently service their bike themselves, including changing brakes, tyres and replacing defective parts, could soon be facing fines and prosecution under European rules if they fail to bring their motorcycle to a registered mechanic. report that Engine Control Units (ECUs), which govern fuel supply, could become sealed to prevent tampering, and exhausts could get bolts and could only be removed by dealers with specialised tools, according to the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA). All new motorbikes and scooters over 125cc will have ABS from 2017 under the plans, while smaller models will have to have either ABS or linked front and rear brakes.

MAGMotorcycle Action Group, a leading UK based motorcycle pressure group – organised yesterday a UK wide demonstration in Birmingham to show the EU politicians who are trying to push through the above measures (among others) that British bikers, along with their French neighbours, will stand up against them until these vile attacks on motorcyclists across the EU are totally abandoned. Whilst France and the United Kingdom each have their own domestic issues (such as for instance a ban on traffic filtering / lane splitting in France and the unpopular introduction of a motorcycle parking tax in central London by Westminster City Council), anything that is Europe driven will be fought against in a united manner across borders.

This biker is wearing a high-visibility vest - that's all they need according to the proposed European legislation!

It was interesting to see how forcing all bikers to wear a high-visibility vest was perceived in the UK compared with France. Bikers in both nations seem to be totally opposed to the idea on the basis that the proposed legislation fails to consider what protective clothing must be worn underneath that vest to ensure the safety of all riders. Like in France a couple of weeks ago, a few riders turned up at the demonstration yesterday wearing what politicians consider to be absolutely legal across the European Union (see left). Could we say that those politicians have just not got the slightest clue about riders’ safety or would that be an under-statement? If a candidate turned up for module 2 of the motorcycle test dressed like the rider shown on the left and made absolutely no mistakes during the test, would the examiner have grounds to make the rider fail the test just because of their clothing?





Further reading:

Riders urged to join high-vis demo

The end of home servicing?


If you’re based in France and want to take part of the fight against the Government’s proposed introduction of a compulsory annual environmental and road safety test for motorcycles and their continued policy to ban motorcyclists from filtering through traffic, then contact the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – French Federation of Angry Bikers).

Si vous habitez en France et souhaitez participer aux manifestations contre la proposition du gouvernement d’introduire un controle technique pour les 2 roues motorises ansi que de continuer a empecher la circulation inter files pour les motocyclistes dans les embouteillages, contactez la Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC).


Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez


If you have a story you would like to see published on UK France, please contact us here.

Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur UK France, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

  1. Kev Garrington permalink

    Well done to everyone that turned up at the Birmingham demo yesterday. Just wanted to say that having done both the Leeds and Brum demo I’m staggered by the apathy and lack of support for these demos from UK motorcyclists.
    Apathy from UK motorcyclists is nothing new but faced with the legislation now imminent from Europe (and I guess more to come) how come France puts more than 100,000 on the streets and we put hundreds? – perhaps when its too late and the laws are passed the people who didn’t turn up will then point the finger at someone else and say why didn’t MAG stop this?!!!! – pathetic whinging moaners.
    Those people wont be reading this so its up to you and me to tell them what they need to be doing if they want to continue riding bikes; at least we can take responsibility to spread the word and fight for freedom of choice……..come on, we can’t be outdone by the French for Crissakes….there’s a lot at stake here

    By the way I did spot you Mutch going northbound on the M42, while we were going southbound, late again, very distinctive helmet, should make em compulsory in that colour?! 😉

    Kev Garrington

  2. Derek Goffin permalink

    I didn’t turn up.. I like to think if the bike wasn’t off the road I would have been there. im doing mods to the bike, I agree we need to take responsibility and stand up for our rights and spread the word to fight for our freedom of choice..if these ridiculous laws get passed.. doing our own mods will be thing of the pass.

  3. ann permalink

    keep it up guys…we are all with you !

  4. chris permalink

    back on a bike after 15 years i had no idea what was going on i ride out with 15/16 other bikers ,they knew nothing about this ..;if you rely on contact through the internet no wonder only a few hundred turned up ,
    regards chris.

  5. I have literally just found this site and I must admit I was unaware of the Birmingham and Leeds events, many of us were unaware of them and only became aware of our impending doom from the idiots at the EU in recent weeks. I agree with Kev, many bikers do seem to think that if they do nothing the problem will just go away.
    Also and I find this more disturbing than anything else, the French event which was massive went completely unreported by British media including the BBC, from my perspective they come across as not wanting to rock the boat with the UK government by not printing or reporting on what could be classed as inflammatory material, errm excuse me but they are supposed to report the news and they totally failed in that regard.

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