December 18 2012.

The regulation on the approval and market surveillance of powered two-wheelers has been approved in first reading by the European Parliament and the Council.  The regulation is setting new rules and technical requirements for manufacturers who sell motorcycles in the European Union.

Three weeks after the European Parliament, on 11th December the Council  approved the type approval regulation of two or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles. As from 2016, Member States of the EU will no longer have the option to restrict the maximum power output of motorcycles to 74 kW. New motorcycles with an engine capacity exceeding 125 cm3 (sub-categories A2 and A3) will have to be equipped with Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) while light motorcycles (sub-category A1) between 51 and 125 cm3 will have to have at least Combined Braking Systems (CBS).

Measures to prevent tampering of the powertrain are going to be installed on all new powered two wheelers with a performance of up to 35 kW (sub-categories B, A1 and A2). The riders organisations represented by FEMA successfully managed to exclude A3 motorcycles and sidecars from these measures. Similarly, special schemes for the approval of individually built motorcycles remain in place which means that the possibility to exempt custom motorcycles from some of the strict measures of this regulation remains.

Emissions limits for motorcycles will become stricter in two stages. In 2016 EURO 4 and in 2020 EURO 5 applies for new types of motorcycles (A1, A2 and A3). FEMA had called for high durability requirements to guarantee that emissions remain on a low level throughout the lifetime of the vehicle. The European Parliament has now decided that manufacturers will need to prove the durability of pollution control devices for a mileage of 35.000 kilometers.

In order to increase competition and to help especially small and independent workshops, manufacturers will have to provide easy and unrestricted access to maintenance and repair information for their products. At the same time access ports to On-Board Diagnostic systems, whose installation will also be required as from 2016 for new motorcycles, are going to be standardised.

The details of the regulation, laid down in delegated acts, are being developed by the European Commission until spring 2014. FEMA and the motorcycle manufacturers will closely follow this work.