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The Europeans are finally getting around to voting on their "you can't modify your own motorcycle" bill that could put a serious dent in the European (and thus worldwide) motorcycle market.
The basic gist of this is that there's no good reason anyone would need to modify their motorcycle for more power and thus the politicians have decided that motorcycle powertrains should be tamper-proof as a result. Unfortunately, many of them don't even know what this means as amply demonstrated here:
Now, there are many problems with this proposal. What happens when the exhaust fails on your Honda? No more aftermarket parts for you - it will have to be OEM. And almost certainly fitted by an "authorized" dealer. That repair that might have cost you $1000 now costs over $2000. What about if you make aftermarket parts? Not any more you won't, at least not without an expensive license from the OEMs. Cue the demise of yet more small businesses. And that's not to mention the end of club racing as we know it.
In fact, all this will do is make motorcycling significantly more expensive. But maybe that's the point: They're trying to price us off the roads.
The MEP guiding the votes kind of gives himself away in this regard as you can see from the link above. He's no real idea what the outcome of this bill will be.
Of course, he's not alone. While Malcolm Harbour simply acts dumb when confronted, his attitude is at least more palatable than President Sarkozy's outright attack on motorcyclists recently: http://news.motorbiker.org/blogs.nsf/dx/france-president-sarkozy-does-not-like-bikers.htm
if you can't be bothered to read it, Sarkozy basically calls all bikers "human bombs" that kill innocent car drivers. While I'm sure there are some bikers that meet this category, it Sarkozy would do well to check the facts and remember that a large proportion of motorcycle accidents are caused by the cagers and not the bikers.
Europe, you need to get out there and protest this. That, or trade your fireblade in for a nice, shiny automatic Fiat 500.