Two months after announcing plans to drop the MoT test for pre-1960 vehicles comes word of a new super-test for everything else, and it has far-reaching consequences on older bikes...
The proposed EU Regulation on ‘Road Worthiness Testing’ (RWT) suggests that noise levels will be tested with a meter, pollution tested with a gas analyser and compliance with EU Type-Approval to be checked looking for things like ‘illegal power-train modification’ which in practice means race exhausts, hot cams, bigger carbs and modified or non-standard gearing.
And there’s more. Brake fluid water content and boiling point is to be analysed and anti-theft devices tested. Other suggestions include a retest when the registered keeper changes, or following modification to safety and environmental systems or after serious damage. Dangerous faults will result in the vehicle’s registration being revoked until it passes the test (currently, such vehicles just can’t be driven on the road until rectified).
The new test is expected to come in around 2016 and, obviously, some of the proposals are complete bobbins and will never make it. But, as ever there are reasons to be concerned here.
Paddy Tyson of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) says: “In essence, the RWT covers the similar items to our MoT. But it will treat pass/fail differently. Some EU countries have never tested bike road worthiness; conversely the German ‘TuV’ test is linked to the vehicle’s registration papers, listing any modifications and aftermarket components on the vehicle, type-approved of course, to be checked at the test. The Commission estimates that RWT in all member states will reduce casualties by 8%, but this figure seems high compared to findings from various EU countries.”
Jeff Stone of the BMF said: “The EU proposals are based on claims that more than five people die on roads every day due to technical failures, but there is little correlation in fatality rates between states that have motorcycle RWTs and those that don’t have it.”
The proposals also cover inspections of transmission and engines for ‘illegal modifications’ but the BMF says that as there are no laws covering such components in the UK, this will not apply here.
“The significant aspect for UK motorcyclists is emission testing,” said Jeff. “While new bikes will have been designed to meet emission standards, the draft implies that current bikes would be tested too, but it is not yet clear as to what standards will be adopted.”
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