BMF's News Round Up – June 2022
The month's top motorcycle stories, brought to you by the BMF
Remember last month, when we kicked off this column with news that the issue of taking bikes into the EU had apparently been solved? Turns out it’s not quite that simple... True, the EU Commissioner did write a letter saying that ‘means of transport’ crossing into the EU would not be subject to customs formalities. All good, except that some customs authorities are arguing that a motorcycle being taken in by van or trailer isn’t a ‘means of transport’ but ‘goods in transit.’ Talks between UK, EU and French officials continue…watch this space.
Back in Blighty, the rocketing price of petrol and diesel has been dominating the headlines, leading many drivers to cut back on their car use, according to surveys – one found that 54% of them had changed their habits, driving less, driving more slowly or working at home to cut commuting costs. Are bikers reacting in the same way? The BMF would like to know, so hop onto our Facebook page and tell us whether pricey petrol has affected your riding habits.
All this talk of expensive fossil fuels leads to increasing focus on the alternatives. Is hydrogen viable as a bike fuel? Bosch grabbed some headlines by announcing it would be building 4000 hydrogen filling stations worldwide by 2030 – sounds a lot, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to petrol/diesel infrastructure. Hydrogen faces other big hurdles too, including efficiency (it needs a lot of energy to produce the stuff), emissions and costs. Meanwhile, the electric revolution gathers pace. The electric motorcycle plug-in grant carries on, despite the car grant being dropped. Norton announced a new electric bike project and Triumph’s TE-1 prototype is now being road tested. Triumph also bought Oset, the hugely successful seller of kids’ electric off-road bike, underlining Hinckley’s off-road ambitions as well as its transition to battery power. And if you have an old BMW airhead lurking in the garage, Dutch custom house Luuc Muis is now offering an electric conversion for the R series. Its name? Not R80 or R100, but ‘R00’.
There was good positive news from the NMC (Britain’s coalition of biking groups, which includes the BMF), which has signed an agreement with FEMA and FIM Europe to work together on motorcycling issues which affect us all. Make no mistake, FEMA and FIM are the big boys among motorcycle advocacy groups, and working with them can only maximise the NMC’s clout. Stronger together, as they say.
Closer to home came news that Transport for London can now fine drivers and riders for straying into cycle lanes…you have been warned…while Honda has been offering free test rides to non-motorcyclists this summer, well worth doing.
And finally…you know the Purple Helmets? Of course, you do. Wacky motorcycle display team famous for their wobbly and hilarious stunts aboard Honda C90s and other tiddler bikes. Well, they’ve been doing it for 27 years and have decided to retire – if you read this in time, their farewell performance will be on 20th August at the Great Laxey Duck Races, Isle of Man. That’s enough purple prose – see you next month.
For detail on all these news stories, go to www.britishmotorcyclists.co.uk or catch up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Written by Peter Henshaw – BMF Editor
Today we said farewell to one of our favourite friends. Au Revoir, Rona, you will always be remembered and always in our hearts and minds.
The pictures on this page are a reminder and a tribute to the bubbly personality that was Rona.
You will be missed.