http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/General-news/2011/September/sep2811-sign-petition-to-fight-eu/_/R-EPI-132945

It's a short article, and I urge you to read it. To summarize here, it effectively bans aftermarket modification of the motorcycle you just bought... This is important for all of us, as the risk is, if it passes, that it will head to North America too.

I'm not sure who the major beneficiary of this is, but one thing I do know is that it's not you.

Clearly, part of this is driven by OEMs looking to more tightly control the market, which seems to be so common these days. Parts prices will inevitably go up, in part due to the cost of adding the support for this new system, but also because the technology will have to be licensed from the manufacturer. It's the reason iPhone cases are $25 bucks for a piece of molded plastic...

It also, I think, benefits governments. There seems to be a creeping agenda against all personal freedoms and the homogenization of the roads is clearly a step in that regard. But it's also counter productive. All those small companies making aftermarket parts will suffer greatly. Sure, a few might survive, but the parts catalogue at your local European store is about to get much skinnier. That's going to affect all those businesses that offer on-line access to parts, too. And if this is so beneficial to the industry, why is the same control not being placed cars and targeted only at bikes?

And you modders out there: Forget it. You'll forever be constrained to working with older bikes, for which the parts source will dry up pretty quickly once the small suppliers start to go under.

The ultimate losers will, of course, by you and me. Parts get more expensive, as do new bikes. Moreover, they'll be constrained to only what the manufacturers say you can do with it. No more personalization. You won't even be able to change the oil yourself or any of those little jobs you take care of yourself. Would you still ride if a $20 brake pad replacement turned into a typical dealer visit? i.e. you have to book three weeks in advance, wait for a half day and get charged a minimum one hour labour ($90 here) for a 15 minute job?

I'm sure a lot of you might read this and think I am over-reacting, but it's a slope. If passed, that bike will detect unmodded pieces and display a light. Tomorrow, it might simply refuse to run. Or notify your insurance company and invalidate your insurance. Put another way, we all need to be asking the question "why is this good for biking?". If you can't find a single positive for you as the rider, then it needs to be opposed without question.

If you live in the EU, or at a citizen (as I am) you can sign the petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16322

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