Consultation closes on Type Approval changes

suzuki engine

Published on 8 March 2018 by Robert Drane

A Government consultation on the implementation of an updated EU Regulation for Type Approval for motorcycles, tricycles, quadricycles and some power-assisted pedal cycles has now closed. It paves the way for a number of changes which will affect all new motorcycles.

The new regulation

EU Regulation 168/2013 governs the Type Approval of vehicles such as motorcycles. Type Approval is a process whereby a manufacturer can get approval for their machine, enabling them to sell it throughout the EU.

The latest regulation made a number of revisions to the Type Approval process, which make for some complex reading. But how will it affect the motorcycle industry?

In a nutshell, the key changes in the regulation focused on more stringent environmental and safety standards:

  • Manufacturers must now submit to laboratory testing of their machine's fuel consumption to reduce polluting effects on air quality. Results have to be published afterwards.
  • Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) must be applied to motorcycles with engine capacities of 125cc or more. Combined Braking Systems (CBS) must be applied on all other motorcycles over 50cc.
  • Anti-tampering measures must be enhanced to avoid performance enhancing modifications to machines that are limited in speed and power for driving licence restrictions.
  • Enduro and Trials motorcycles used on the road will now be subject to Type Approval

The regulation also stipulated a stronger stance on those using so-called 'defeat devices'. This includes any hardware or software that interferes with, or disables, emissions controls in real-life driving (such as those revealed to be used by Volkswagen in 2015). The regulation requires participating governments to impose penalties on those who cheat the legislation and use a defeat device.

motorcycle front wheel spokesThe consultation

A consultation on the changes ran for six weeks between July and September 2017 and, although the response rate was small (just 17 people), it threw up some interesting concerns and support.

The consultation revealed that 58% of respondents were content with the draft regulation, thinking it fit for purpose and well developed.

“Substantial support” was also shown for the application of penalties for supplying vehicles with a defeat device. However, this did also attract some concerns.

Chief among them was that penalties should not be applied to end-users or consumers. This is because the vast majority of people will not know how to detect their presence. Other respondents also recommended exempting dealerships and importers, as the Type Approval process should determine whether a machine has a defeat device.

Nevertheless, there were also voices raised in support of penalties across the supply chain as well as increased market surveillance.

At the moment, the UK government is still working on its policy for defeat devices, so all these opinions will be separately evaluated.

Other concerns addressed by the government included those raised against the tamper-proof motorcycles for learner riders. Some respondents had argued that a tamper-proof motorcycle would force riders to buy a larger capacity bike after passing their test. Others maintained that it would stop riders from altering or modifying their bike

In the government response, it stated that Regulation 168/2013 permitted manufacturers to design motorcycles in one category so that they can be de-restricted – albeit only by the same manufacturer. The response also set riders' minds to rest in terms of modification – current DVLA rules on 'radically altered' and 'rebuilt' motorcycles are to remain the same even after the regulation is in force.

Concerns regarding the cost, both to manufacturers and the consumer, of installing ABS and CBS were also acknowledged if not immediately addressed, as were calls for a transition period once the regulation is set in stone.

The consultation period for this new regulation has now passed and we'll have to wait and see how exactly it will be implemented…