Tuesday, 26 May 2009

EU demands for changes in Motorbike Test are INJURING our riders.

This one isn't mine, but I have one just like it.
Riding it scares me to death sometimes
That's why I'm still alive to rode it another day (!)

by johnofgwent

When I was seventeen, you learned to ride a motorbike by going to the dealers, buying it, listening to the chap talk you throught the controls for about five minutes, pinning a single 'L' plate under the rear number plate, and off you went. If you felt inclined, you wandered in to a test centre a few months later and a bloke would stand on a street corner and watch you ride round the block a couple of times, and then taking his life in his hands he would step out into the road and hope you knew how to do an emergency stop.

Well that's how my brother, three and a bit years my junior, lstarted learning to ride the Yamaha XS250 he bought in 1981. Mind you, the first place he rode it to was where the Army White Helmets motorbike display team were billeted and a couple of their people taught him how to ride it properly.

In contrast I was the one of the first people to have to put up with the new "pursuit" test when I finally decided to add Full Group D to my driving licence. I'll never forget the look on the examiner's face as we rounded the bend at the bottom of Lake Road West to be greeted by the sight of a council dustcart cutting right across our path racing to complete a right turn into Wedal Road where the council refuse depot was, right in front of us.

I will also never forget the cool manouvere I used to dodge the three large string bags of waste paper, each about twelve feet long by two feet wide, which were poorly attached to the side of the dustcart and each of which flew off the side and came right for us.

I swerved the Honda CG125, leaned over insanely and and pulled a rear wheel turn in the middle of the road a stuntman would be proud of. The bags flew past where my head had been ... and whacked my examiner square in the chest.

I'd never seen a 1000cc BMW R100 stop on full ABS before and I haven't since. I was well bloody impressed with the examiner's ability to stay on the bike and keep it upright.

He must have been impressed with me because (a) I passed the test and (b) for some reason we never had to do the simulated emergency stop !!!

GA knows I have, from time to time, made use of my former skills as the owner of an RAC Car Rallying Competion Licence with hime riding shotgun in the passenger seat - and the sight of him fighting to find the door handle to get out as we round the bend is something else (!) but on two wheels I leave the stunt riding to stuntmen.

My own motorcycle test had a happy ending but an extra two miles an hour on my part, a few lesson the part of the tosser of a refuse lorry driver, a bit of rain or grease on the road, and an oncoming vehicle in what was normally a busy Cardiff suburban street and I'd have been playing a starring role in the next series of "Real Life CSI" as the lump of meat on the coroners slab.

So I was incandescent with rage when I accidentally tripped over this BBC Web Page. Not content with meddling with our construction and use regulations, the assholes at the EU have demanded yet another change to our motorcycle test. One that has caused countless accidents and injuries since its introduction.

Riders are now required to approach a simulated "obstacle" in the road at a speed not slower than 31 mph and then violently swerve as if to avoid it. The test protocol makes no allowance for deterioration in roadholding in cases of bad weather. Having done such a manouvere personally in good wather I say that to force people to do this as part of their training when the road is wet is insanity.
  • The AA said this was insanity.
  • The Motorcycle Action Group said this was insanity.
  • Motorcycle Instructors accustomed to teaching not only rank amateurs on their first lesson for the Compulsory Basic Training but also showing people like me with more than ten years in the saddle we are far from knowing it all say it's insanity.
  • And my elder daughter's friend from college, a professional stuntman currently working on a Hollywood Movie Set, thinks it is insanity.
But the spokesarsehole for the British Driving Standards Agency is unapologetic.

So, if you want to see your sons and daughters who fancy becoming bikers needlessly injured because the Eurocrats demand we accede to their way of thinking when it is clearly recklessly negligent of their health and safety to do so, then go out and vote for a Pro-European-Union party next week.