The Motorcycle Cycle Industry Association has requested a review of the current testing procedure in the UK.
So good news there followed by an announcement that the motorcycle test is to be reviewed following all the recent problems we have often highlighted in these reports. In keeping with pre-election promises, the new Transport Minister, Mike Penning MP has ordered a review of the two-part test which was introduced in April 2009 as a result of European regulations.
After a specially-convened meeting involving the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA) along with rider groups MAG and BMF and after visiting a test center to look at the testing procedure in more detail, he has ordered that a full-scale review be carried out. In doing so he has also asked for input from all motorcyclists as well as concerned and involved bodies such as those mentioned above.
The review will look at the maneuvers carried out in both modules, the first being the off-road test and the second on-road part of the test to see whether these maneuvers could safely be conducted as part of the on-road test. It will also look at other related motorcycle testing and training issues, including the options for training and testing for progressive access under the third European driving license directive which will come into being in 2013. Hopefully this will prevent a repeat of the confusion and loss of jobs, not to mention lack of test take-up that has happened recently.
More good news for all motorized road users really, the same Transport Minister, Mike Penning, has said that the government will stop handing millions of pounds in grants to local authorities for new speed cameras. He has told them to find other measures for pursuing road safety strategies within their various geographical areas. The number of speed cameras has tripled over the last 10 years, and raise around £110 million a year in income from speeding motorists.
It is figures such as this that has caused the motoring public to view them as another tax source for the government and see them as having done nothing for road safety. Penning has said that local authorities will still be able to install new cameras; however, the funding will have to come from council tax.
Mr. Penning said, “’The public must be confident speed cameras are there for road safety, not as a cash cow. Under this government it will not be so.”
So with the news that the new government might well be road user friendly and have some empathy with motorcycling, coupled with decreasing casualty figures and move to get away from cameras being used for revenue collecting, it all looks good over here in the UK. There is even a rise in sales figures to go with the long awaited sun!
Things too have picked up a bit over Europe, so time to take a look at what else is newsworthy on the motorcycle front here and abroad.
Peugeot reveals a new 125cc gas sipping nimble scooter, with the Vivacity 125 claimed to receive up to 60 mpg.
Peugeot Scooters have just announced the new 125cc Vivacity scooter which they claim is “compact, agile, well-equipped and comfortable and a real cost-effective solution to urban mobility”. Coming in three color options, the bike will cost in the region of $2400 with a two-year warranty. Power comes from a 125cc 4-stroke motor producing 8.5 hp complete with the usual ‘twist and go’ transmission train to the rear wheel. Peugeot claim the machine is capable of returning over 80 mpg while emitting 30% less CO2 than a small car.
Thanks to its compact dimensions the Vivacity should prove ideal in towns and cities throughout the world. A low seat height of 31in combined with leg room of 17.3in should, the makers claim, make it a comfortable ride for the whole range and size of rider. Hydraulic forks and twin rear shocks provide the suspension and the bike rolls along on 12-inch alloy wheels fitted with sports profile tires for good handling characteristics. Braking comes a combination of a 200mm dual piston caliper front disc brake combined with a rear 130mm rear drum brake.
To ensure that both the shopper and business user are catered for, there is a 22-liter storage bay beneath the seat and a 13-liter compartment in the front. Charging on the move for the personal electronics package is possible thanks to an integral 12v power socket.
The Inline Six configuration has been used extensively throughout the BMW’s automotive line, but is now showcased on the two-wheeled side in the K1600GT.
Italian manufacturer Italjet is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Despite a recent rocky past which has seen several owners it is back in the hands of Massimo Tartarini, the son of founder Leopoldo Tartarini, and now has a 650 prototype to go with the small machines for which it is famous.
Difficult to know which country heading to put this piece of information under really, but as Russia is not often mentioned it seemed appropriate given the riders were born there. Russia’s first female-only road racing team is bidding to compete on the road racing world stage. Support is already coming from Italian leather manufacturer Spyke for Nadia Yakhnich and Nataliya Lyubimova, who are both riding for Yakhnich Motorsport, during this season. The team has campaigned in the European Championships for the past two years, but eventually wants to step up a level.
Both ladies have quite impressive CV’s already. Nadia was the first woman to ride in the Russian Road Racing Championship in 2006, finishing in bronze and silver positions in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
She was also the first Russian to participate in the European Road Racing Championships and scooped fourth in the Women’s Italian Championship in 2009. Nataliya Lyubimova won the 2009 STK Women’s championship, finishing second in the Women’s Italian Championships and took silver in the Russian road Racing Cup in 2007.
Ian Hutchison took a win in all five solo Isle of Man TT races, the first rider to do so in the 103-year history of the race.
The Isle of Man TT has been and gone with many records being blitzed, especially with Ian Hutchinson winning all five solo races in the program. Arai too for being the helmet of choice for all the winners on two and three wheels, as well as most of the other competitors.
No doubt everyone in the US is pleased that Mark Miller won the second TT Zero for electric bikes on the home built MotoCzysz EPIC with an average lap of 98.820 mph. However, while it is a TT race, for many die-hard fans it is not a ‘proper’ TT, more a novelty and the race for the first American rider to win a ‘proper’ TT (4-6 laps) is still on.
Having watched Jimmy Moore the past few years and seen his methodical approach to learning the course and gradually improving his times I think he has the real potential to win a TT race. I think he could have made the first electric 100 lap as well!
What do I base this on? Well 33 years watching and observing riders at the TT and looking at his times for each race and speaking to him talk about the race. Take a look at the official TT site and you will see what I mean. Besides he has Motorcycle USA on his leathers, so you should be supporting him!
The UK’s Dirt Bike Show has proven it’s all about the name with the addition of “International” it has bumped up 30% ahead of last year’s space sales.
Last month we mentioned that the annual UK Dirt bike show had changed its name to include the word “International” to attract more exhibitors. Well, it seems to be working as exhibition space sales for the 2010 International Dirt Bike Show are already running 30% ahead of the similar period last year according to the organizers. Last year’s show saw visitor attendance rising when other shows saw quite dramatic falls in final attendance figures. The 2010 International Dirt Bike Show is at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, UK from November 4-7 2010. www.dirtbikeshow.co.uk
In contrast the major NEC Bike Show covering all aspects of motorcycling will now run from Saturday November 27th through to Sunday December 5th, two days less than usual.
There is more good news, for London bikers at least, with the announcement that London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced he will continue to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes for the time being. This follows an 18-month experiment that was carried out to see if a permanent arrangement would improve road safety. Various studies revealed that more than half of motorcyclists switched from riding on the outside of the road (filtering) to use the bus lanes thus increasing their safety.
Despite the many objections that such a move would increase the risk of pedal cycle (already allowed to use them) collisions with motorcyclists, these fears have proved unfounded. Journey times for motorcycles using bus lanes have been more than 10% quicker than those not using bus lanes and 36% quicker than cars.
The demonstration against parking fees for bikes in central London attracted over 2000 bikes which clogged up London’s ring road, the M25, as they rode all 121 miles to bring attention to the problem before riding into London itself. The court case is currently awaiting the judge’s decision.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is probably the largest motoring garden party in the world. Held in the immaculate grounds of Goodwood House, this annual hill-climb event up the driveway of the historic stately home brings together a very eclectic mix of cars, motorcycles, A-list stars and motor sport celebrities to create the largest automotive event of its kind in the world.
Such is the increasing prestige of the event that MV Agusta will be exhibiting their latest models despite having no firm buyer as yet. Legendary 15-times World Champion, Giacomo Agostini, will be holding an exclusive autograph session and will also ride his classic MV Agusta 500 Grand Prix machine up the famous hill-climb.
EICMA China was a success with many companies participating in the first year of the event and this success has secured its place next year.
Rest of the World
Despite fears that the ‘hastily’ organized EICMA China motorcycle show would flop, the organizers are claiming “an immediate and resounding success”. The three main partners, CIME (China Italy Motorcycle Exhibition), the Chinese partners, CCCM and Genertec, and the Italian EICMA spa, feel their decision in the current economic climate was justified given the level of interest from the public and the Chinese government.
The Motorcycle Show was held at the National Agricultural Exhibition Center of Beijing from the 11th to the 13th of June and covered over 20,000 square meters of space. Chinese manufacturers displayed next to brands such as Yamaha, Suzuki and Peugeot, while a selection of high-end products by Italian brands – Ducati, MV Agusta, Malaguti, Magneti Marelli, Catene Regina, GIVI, Ducati Energia, Caberg, Nolan, Luma, Oxygen, Motoinfinito and PPG.
The successful debut and the interest shown by both the Chinese government and the Italian government in supporting the event means the future of the event is secure according to sources.
Following the other Japanese brands, Honda once again reached profitability with a 30% increase in domestic sales.
Honda has once again reached profitability thanks to a last minute surge in the year ending March 31 2010. Amongst the figures, motorcycles saw an increase of 30% to 2.60 million units mainly thanks to growth in the Asian market.
Yamaha continues it moves to profitability with an increase in its presence in India where it showed a 25% increase in domestic sales.
Kawasaki seems to be bucking the trend of moving production to countries with cheaper labor rates. According to the Japanese press it intends to increase domestic production by 25% this year. Perhaps they know something the rest of us do not?