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February 2014

To: at ([email address suppressed])

We aim to bring you information of interest to Irish motorcyclists on a monthly basis. Please feel free to forward this on to other Irish riders. If you are in a club we'd particularly appreciate if you could forward it on to the other club members.

Remember, if you’re planning a motorcycle related event in Ireland in 2014, let us know by sending details to events@magireland.org and we'll add it to the Irish Motorcycle Events Calendar and the MAG Ireland smartphone app for free.

If you have friends, club members or colleagues who would like to receive RoadRunner every month for free they can subscribe at our website or you can just send us their name and email address.

Your feedback (email to roadrunner@magireland.org) is always welcome.


MAG Ireland Rock Night, 7th March

MAG Ireland Rocknight, 7th March 2014

MAG Ireland is holding a Rock Night on Friday, 7th March.

The venue is Moran's pub, Hill of Down, Co. Meath, about four miles from Kinnegad on the Trim road.

We've got some great live music and a DJ lined up so you can be sure of a good night. There'll be a stall plus tattooist & piercing if that's your thing.

Admission is just a fiver for MAG members (€7.50 for non-members). Save the drive home for the Saturday by camping on site.

Enquiries to our Rally Rep Animal on 087 670 5533. All welcome.

NDLS delays cause ongoing problems for learners

Several months after its establishment the new National Driver Licence Service continues to be plagued by delays in the issue of learner permits and licenses.

MAG Ireland has been innundated with calls about the issue with reports of delays of up to 9 weeks in some cases.

In response to the growing number of complaints from trainers, the RSA issued a statement in which they said:

"A number of trainers have been in contact recently asking if (IBT) training can commence were the student is in possession of a receipt for a learner permit. This is not permissible as it is a legal requirement to carry a valid driving licence/learner permit when driving a vehicle in a public place including a public road."

For insurance reasons, MAG Ireland cautions learners not to undertake IBT unless they are in posession of a valid learner permit.

For our part, we continue to pursue the issue of delays through the official channels and we will be reporting any updates as and when new information comes to light.

FEMA elects new board

FEMA Board, 2014.

The new board with FEMA's secretary-general.

From left to right: Morten Hansen (NMCU Norway), Neil Liversidge (MAG UK), Pat van Aalst (MAG UK), Rolf Frieling (Biker Union Germany), Maria Nordqvist (SMC Sweden), Frédéric Jeorge (president), Anna Zee (BMF UK), Aline Delhaye (secretary-general) and Wim Taal (MAG NL).

Delegates from national motorcylists' organizations across the EU met in Brussels on the first of February last for FEMA’s Annual Committee Meeting, 2014.

MAG Ireland was represented at the meeting by European Liaison and Vice Chair, Peter Bartlett. During the day long discussions a new board was elected consisting of seven candidates (pictured above).

MAG Ireland is a co-founder and national delegate member of FEMA and sees the Europe wide co-operation of like-minded motorcyclists groups as the most effective and efficient way to represent the interests of Irish motorcyclists at a European level.

FEMA president Frédéric Jeorge said:

"This will be a very exciting year, not just because of the numerous challenges facing the European motorcyclists' community, but also because in march 2014 FEMA will be organizing the European Motorcyclists' Forum again. With this new board, filled with people that have all earned their stripes in fighting for riders' rights, FEMA is ready for any challenge that comes along!"

The FEMA Committee thanked Juha Lieslinna from the Finnish SMOTO and Njall Gunlaugsson from BLS Iceland, who stepped down as members of the board, but will stay active in FEMA as delegate for their national organization.

The FEMA Committee also thanked Chris Hodder from the British BMF. After many years as ‎Government Relations Executive at BMF and as the representative of his organization within FEMA, Chris will be pursuing a new career.

Source: FEMA

BikeSafe initiative launched


Following our recent publicity of the proposed BikeSafe initiative, we're delighted to report that there has been sufficient interest to get the program established in the Northeast.

Saturday 22nd February last saw us gather at Drogheda Garda Station to meet with Seargent Nigel O'Niell & the BikeSafe team. There was a good turnout with the first riders out on the road at 11 am returning roughly an hour later.

The feedback from the fifteen participants on the day was universally positive.

BikeSafe in Ireland is a purely voluntary effort by individual members of  An Garda Síochána who give freely of their time and expertise for the benefit of all riders.

We in MAG Ireland wholly endorse this effort, and we strongly encourage all riders regardless of age or experience to participate in and support this valuable initiative.

To take part simply e-mail louthbikesafe@gmail.com with your name and contact details.

Irish motorcycle sales continue to fall

Irish motorcycle sales 2004-2013

Some rather worrying numbers on registrations and deliveries have come to light in the latest provisional stats from ACEM.

ACEM is the European Association of the Motorcycle Industry and represents manufacturers & distributors in the EU.

The Irish sales figures are truly shocking as the graph above shows. ACEM figures are provisional, but indicate that just 610 motorcycles sold through offical channels in 2013.

From a high of almost 4,000 units in 2004, sales have steadily declined since 2007 with a near 50% drop between 2008 and 2009 alone.

We reported on this trend some two years ago (click here) and the situation has deteriorated since. Clearly these numbers do not represent a sustainable market.

MAG Ireland is currently working with industry representatives to get a true picture of the market in Ireland and will be reporting further in due course.

Sponsorship opportunities

MAG Ireland

MAG Ireland exists to promote and protect motorcycling.

As part of the promotional aspect, we've worked hard to facilitate motorcycle realted businesses through entirely FREE listings in our smart phone app which has seen over 1,500 downloads since launch.

We'll continue to offer completely free listings in the app thanks to the generousity of our sponsors, Carole Nash Insurance.

Now we want to take it to the next level, and so we're about to launch sponsorship opportunities on our web site at www.magireland.org for motorcycle related businesses.

Our web site gets well in excess of 3,000 unique visitors per month on average, with up to 9,000 page views.

By sponsoring MAG Ireland, your motorcycle related business or product will be advertised on our web site & you'll be engaging an audience of like minded individuals who share a commmon bond - motorcycling.

Interested? e-mail office@magireland.org

Motorcycle Sidecar & Trailer legislation

MAG Ireland has received a number of enquiries over the past year or so relating to the relevant legislation covering the use of sidecars and trailers.

Now, with the assistance of the RSA, we've put together a summary. 

First the basics:

  • A motorcycle may not be used to draw any passenger in a trailer.
  • A motorcycle may not be used to draw a trailer with an unladen weight exceeding 250 kilograms.
  • A motorcycle may not be used to draw more than one trailer.

If you want to tow a trailer you can, provided that:

  • The motorcycle engine is 125cc or larger.
  • The overall width of the trailer does not exceed 1 metre.
  • The distance between the rear axle of the motorcycle and the back of the trailer does not exceed 2.5 metres.
  • The motorcycle is clearly labeled to indicate the weight of the heaviest trailer which it’s designed to tow, or two thirds of the weight of the motorcycle in running order, whichever is less.
  • The laden weight of the trailer does not exceed 150 kilograms or the weight specified by the manufacturer, whichever is less.

These conditions also apply to motorcycles fitted with sidecars.

The text of the relevant legislation and the context can be found on our web site.

FEMA to organize European Motorcyclist Forum in March

The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) will host on 5 and 6 March 2014 its annual European Motorcyclist Forum. This year’s event will focus on how intelligent transport systems’ (ITS) can change road users’ behaviour and to what extent ITS solutions can be implemented on powered two wheelers (PTWs). Preliminary results of the ongoing Riderscan project will be presented during the conference. The Riderscan survey is still open.

Speakers will include Fotis Karamitsos, Acting Deputy Director General in DG MOVE, Adina-Ioana Valean MEP, co-chair of the Forum for the Automobile and Society and rapporteur on the eCall legislative package, Jacques Compagne, ACEM Secretary General, Erwin Segers (Honda / ACEM) and Hennes Fischer (Yamaha Motor Europe / ACEM).

The event will be hosted and presented by Bernd Lange MEP. It will take place in the European Parliament premises (5 March) and at the Thon Hotel EU (6 March).

More info

195 drivers caught using mobiles in 48 hours

As part of Operation Artery, Gardaí from the Dublin Metropolitan Region traffic division, along with divisional traffic units around the city, set up a number of checkpoints across Dublin recently.

While the emphasis of the checkpoints was to target drink driving, no less than 195 drivers were issued with fixed penalty notices for using a mobile phone while driving during just two nights of the crackdown.

That's 195 drivers who approached a high visibility mandatory alcohol testing checkpoint while on the phone. Read more.

Irish bike at won AMD World Championship

We missed this news back in October but it's here now.

Award winning work from Don Cronin and Michael O’Shea.

More info at WIRED.com

Help us reach 500 followers on Twitter!

MAG Twitter

We're a little shy of our first big Twitter milestone and we'd like your help to get us over the line!

We're aiming to break the 500 follower mark so If you're not already following us on Twitter, all we're asking is that you pop over to the MAG Ireland twitter page and click on follow.

Apart from helping us reach our target, Twitter is a handy way of keeping up with MAG Ireland activities and you'll occasionally find exclusive special offers or competitions too. What's not to like?

Go on, you know it makes sense! https://twitter.com/mag_ireland/


MAG Ireland Logo

MAG Ireland represents Irish riders and is funded by Irish riders. We aim to keep the membership cost and process as low and uncomplicated as possible:

Has your membership expired? We’ve recently completed the process of transferring over to a new membership management system and as a result some members may not have received a renewal notice in a timely manner. If your membership has expired, we’d really appreciate your continued support with a renewal online at www.magireland.org/membership

Not a member? MAG Ireland works tirelessly on behalf of all Irish riders but we can only do that with the financial support of our members subscriptions. It costs just €25.00 for a years membership, that’s less than 7 cent per day. Not only that but we aim to save you the cost of your membership many times over via our exclusive vouchers and our group discount scheme. If you can’t stretch to a membership subscription but you’d still like to help, just click the donate link on the menu at www.magireland.org and give whatever you can.

Get your member-only discounts - Following feedback from members we’ve made it even easier to claim your member discounts with a link on the top right hand side of the web site. All you need is your membership number to potentially save the cost of your membership many times over with great discounts like 10% off at all Halfords stores. http://www.magireland.groupscheme.com

Android App Assistance

MAG Ireland Android App

Since we launched the MAG Ireland Smart Phone App, quite a few people have said they couldn’t get past the Carole Nash splash screen when they opened the App. We’re taking this up with the developers, and it should be fixed in a future version.

What you need to do is to tap the phone’s menu key.

See the illustrations here:


Upcoming Events


  • Saturday 8th March,  Blood Bike Leinster "Hogs & Heifers" Fundraising run
  • Saturday 15th March, Shamrock Rose MCC "Wet the Shamrock" Rally
  • Satturday 15th March, Midlands Motorcycle Club (Luke the Biker) Rock night, Dundalk.

For full details and more events check out our calendar.

Organisers: To add your event, send an e-mail to events@magireland.org with a brief description of the event, facebook or web site link and the contact details of the organiser. 


Previous issues can be seen here: (May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December).

You can also follow us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, RSS and download our smartphone app.

MAG Ireland is specifically interested in hearing from riders with relevant expertise to assist the effort.

Areas include

  • Civil/Roads engineers for barrier and parking issues
  • Accountancy
  • Journalism/copywriter
  • Research (accidents / legal / roads / international / political)

We are also interested in hearing from riders with a specific issue or campaign which they are pursuing at an individual level or local level.


If you have received this from someone else please visit www.magireland.org/roadrunner for your free subscription.

We aim to bring you information of interest to Irish motorcyclists on a monthly basis. Please feel free to forward this on to other Irish riders. If you are in a club we'd particularly appreciate if you could forward it on to the other club members.

If you have friends or club members who would like to receive RoadRunner every month they can sign up at our website or you can just send us their name and email address.