Ixion FAQ

Are power limits a Good Thing?

[Short answer: NO! Defi********nitely not!]

It's being passed on to us in an undemocratic way, without reason. This is why almost all motorcyclists are furious about power limits and opposed to them, and regard the legislation as a complete load of crap.

I myself am convinced that for motorbikes the power is irrelevant to how safe we are. However arguing with Bangeman on this ground is pointless because he doesn't ride bikes and therefore can't see this for himself. He's extending a car driver mentality, without thinking, onto bikes, which is a nonsensical thing to do. Furthermore, he's not applying this limit to cars, so it's also a disgustingly discriminatory thing to do.

The power limit directive is being pushed through by him because he doesn't care beyond what looks good for his own career. In his case, passing simplistic "safety" legislation looks good. He should consult with the motorcycle organisations about how safety can be improved, but doesn't.

Excerpts from files

Martin Bangemann is the Commissioner in charge of the directive. During questioning by Richard Needham the UK Minister, Roger Barton and FEM officials, he said that he was unaware the European Parliament had voted against the limit, insisted the evidence supported the limit, had no plans to limit the power of cars, and that mad riders of motorcycles are more dangerous than mad drivers in cars.
(from Fast Bikes)

The driving force behind the proposal to limit motorcycles to a maximum 100 bhp, EEC Commissioner Martin Bangemann has been pushed relentlessly by the riders' groups (as always, the BMF, MAG and the FEM) to actually produce the evidence he's been quoting which purports to prove that a power ceiling would significantly improve safety statistics. The motive for this stubbornness to force his hand is that the five major studies which have already been made public have unequivocally shown that there is no relationship between horsepower and accident probability. Only Bangemann's survey (by the German transport research group BAST - it's supporters are known as BASTards) indicated otherwise, and he wouldn't let anyone see it... Until now, and as anticipated, the results are truly scandalous. Not only is this obnoxious, Big Brother piece of legislation being inked into the statue, books on the strength of one survey which conflicts with five others, but that single batch of figures can now be seen to be completely erroneous anyway. The report's author, Dr Stocker, himself admits that the sample sizes are not large enough for any conclusions to be drawn - in some of the years covered less than a hundred incidents were recorded, and these were from small sample areas not considered to be representative anyway (a tourist region with an unusually large proportion of big capacity machines). Other important factors, such as the age of the rider involved (which all the other surveys show to be the single most important factor - hardly something to be ignored) have not even been taken into account. Peter Beazley, the MEP who's taken up the cause of trying to halt the legislation, succinctly summed it up: "It is a disgrace that this report has been used to prop up such an important issue."

the FEM sent the Commission the safety report to argue the fact that power had no bearing on accident statistics.

The Commission replied that "Motorcycles were more dangerous than motorbikes"!!

I was at the Lobbying of Parliament when this statement was announced by Roger Barton MEP (Triumph rider). Roger had been back to the Commission asking them to qualify this statement, they couldn't.

This page last updated 18/09/02
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