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January 2014

To: at ([email address suppressed])

Happy New Year from all of us in MAG Ireland!

With the holiday season now well behind us we're already lining up a busy year. Happily, we saw out 2013 on a high note with a win on Roadworthiness Testing (more below).

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.


Roadworthiness Testing - A win for riders

Protesting bikers

MAG Ireland, working with and through our partners in FEMA, the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations has achieved a fantastic result with the news that the worst elements of the controversial Roadworthiness Testing proposals have been defeated at the EU.

The original announcement by the EU Commission in the Summer of 2010 that they would seek to introduce stringent and mandatory roadworthiness testing for all vehicles including motorcycles took many observers by surprise.

That decision set in motion three years of complex and often very difficult negotiations which saw MAG Ireland engage heavily with Irish MEP's in the campaign for an evidence based approach.

The EU Commission unfortunately chose to ally itself with the testing industry and used biased evidence supplied by that industry to justify more rigourous, expensive and frequent tests.

MAG Ireland joined other EU riders rights organisations co-ordinated via FEMA in sharing evidence and expertise to demolish the Commission proposals.

After a hard fought campaign in which we secured the support of the Irish Government at the Council of Ministers, the RSA and of course the vast majority of Irish riders we managed to defeat the worst aspects of the proposals.

Roadworthiness Testing, or "NCT for bikes", will not be introduced before 2022, and even then member states have various options to defer.

Method of testing and frequency will be left to member states to decide. In the meantime further studies of motorcycle safety will be carried out.

We may yet get the proportional evidence based approach we've been calling for all along. For the full rundown on this campaign see the potted history on our web site - Click Here

Road Racing Feature

Derek McGee by Derek Clegg Photography

Contributed by Aidan Lynam with photos by Derek Clegg, A year between the hedges is another in our series of occasional features by contributors from the wider motorcycling community.

Charting the Irish Road Racing season, Aidan takes us through a year which opened with some trepidation for the future of the sport in the wake of the retirement of crowd pullers like Adrian Archibald and Ryan Farquhar.

To every cloud there is a silver lining, and in this case it was that some of the lesser known competitors got their chance to shine even with household names like William Dunlop, his brother Michael and Guy Martin still gunning for the wins whenever possible.

As it turned out... Well why not find out for yourself and let Aidan's piece walk you through a year between the hedges.

Read the MAG Ireland column in this month's Bike Buyers Guide

Bike Buyers Guide, 2014 Annual

Regular readers will be aware that MAG Ireland has been afforded the opportunity to explore some of the challenges facing riders today through a page in Bike Buyers Guide magazine.

Our opening piece in October looked at the Roadworthiness Testing issue coming from the EU and last time we took a look at how attitudes to motorcycling can directly affect us as riders.

The Bike Buyers Guide 2014 Annual is in shops now, and in it we take a look back at what was a very positive year for riders rights.

As ever, there's a great mix of news, views and reviews including Ducati’s 899 Panigale which bagged the Bike of The Year award from the BBG team. For the classic buffs there's the Harley Davidson XLCR1000 while the second hand section kicks the tyres on the Harley Davidson XL1200 and Yamaha's FJR1300. Fans of new metal are also well catered for with the BMW F800GS Adventure getting a workout.

Top it all off with the usual contributors including MAG Ireland and you won't find better value anywhere.

Bike Buyers Guide is available now from all good newsagents for €4.99.

Irish motorcycle casualties jump in 2013

Irish motorcycle casualties 2003-2013

After years of significant falls, motorcycle casualties rose significantly in 2013 with 27 fatalities recorded according to Garda figures.

The upward trend was spotted early in the year, and MAG Ireland put out a post at the beginning of July in conjunction with the RSA and An Garda Síochána in which we called on drivers to "Think Bike".

Sadly, the trend was not to be halted and the fantastic Summer weather likely saw a far higher number of people take to the roads on two wheels than in previous years.

From record lows achieved in 2010/11 fatalities have begun to creep up. This is a trend which has not gone un-noticed and motorcycle fatalities are right back in the spotlight in the same year in which the RSA has said it intends to make full sleeve high-visibility clothing mandatory for rider and pillion alike.

MAG Ireland will be conducting further research and reporting in-depth on the trend and its implications for us as riders in the coming months.

European Twowheel Retailers’ Association (ETRA) Dissolved


At an extraordinary general meeting on 8th January last, the effective members of the European Twowheel Retailers’ Association (ETRA) announced that have decided to dissolve and liquidate the organisation due to insufficient funding.

ETRA was established in 1995 and had since worked at European level to defend and promote the interests of European two-wheel dealers.

According to the ETRA web site the organisation consisted of nine effective members in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, UK and the Netherlands which represented nearly 7,000 companies which collectively employ around 17,500 people.

ETRA itself maintained an office in Gent, Belgium and employed three staff. Representing both cycle and motorcycle retailers, the organisation was involved in lobbying on the type approval and roadworthiness testing proposals as well as emissions regulations.

The Irish member was SIMI, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

The loss of ETRA serves to highlight the increasing challenges facing organisations working to represent special interest groups at the EU level.

Footnote: Motorcycle riders are represented, in the first instance, through their national organisations such as MAG Ireland, and at the EU level by FEMA, The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations.

Mandatory high visibility clothing becomes law...

Image credit: www.heritageresorts.mu

...for riders on the paradise island of Mauritius. 

Since January 1st, 2014, it is mandatory for all motorcyclists and pillion passengers to wear reflective jackets or vests when riding in the Republic of Mauritius.

The law states that:
“No person shall drive (or ride as a pillion rider on) a motorcycle or auto cycle, unless he wears high visibility clothing without any covering being worn over it that may cause obstruction to its visibility.”

The regulations even dictate the type of polyester material, size of reflective strips and specific fluorescent colors (lime yellow, red or orange) “intended to provide conspicuity at all times.”

Following protests by Mauritian riders, the regulations were changed so that they apply only during the hours of darkness.

Failure to comply incus a fine of 1000 Mauritian Rupees (MUR), or about €24.30. This is double the fine for not wearing a seatbelt or a helmet.

(image credit: www.heritageresorts.mu)

Riderscan Survey

Riderscan Survey

FEMA, The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations, has asked members including MAG Ireland to publicise the third and final Riderscan survey.

The survey aims to guage the opinion of riders in relation to so-called "Intelligent Transport Systems". These are technologies applied to vehicles and infrastructure with the aim of improving safety.

Broadly they are categorised as follows:

  • Rider warnings and information
  • Maintenance and diagnostics
  • Lightning and visibility
  • Braking
  • Stability and balance
  • Rider fitness
  • Passive systems
  • Communication - Vehicle to Vehicle
  • Communication - Vehicle to Infrastructure

The survey takes between fifteen and twenty minutes to complete and the results will be collated by FEMA as part of the Riderscan project.

To participate, click here.

A question of attitude

A question of attitude

Consider this quote from the European Commission Road Safety Knowledgebase: 

"In the World Report, the World Health Organisation and World Bank have advised that care should be taken to avoid the adoption of policies which could encourage the growth of motorized two-wheeler traffic by giving advantages to motorized two-wheeler users."

This knowledgebase is used by road safety professionals across the EU and it's telling them to actively discriminate against motorcycles.

This is an example of passive hostility. But the issue runs far deeper than you might think. Last November we looked at the subject for our column in Bike Buyers Guide. Now we've republished the article in full on our web site.

In it we take a close look at the attitudes of ordinary people and examine how they can impact on us as riders every day. You may be surprised by our conclusions. Click Here

MAG Ireland reviewing RSA list of test motorcycles

RSA Logo

In our last issue we reported that the RSA published a list of motorcycles which are supposed to be suitable for the learner test but may not be.

Our researcher has found several inconsistencies in the list, and it's proving a difficult tak to pin down many of the entries as the RSA has not revealed the source of its data. 

We'll have more details in a future issue when we've had time to chase it all down, but in the meantime please treat the RSA list with care if you are going for your test.

Remember: The RSA list applies only to motorcycles used for the actual learner test.

This is because the criteria for the motorcycle on which you sit the test are much tighter than the criteria for a given license category. For more, see the "Representarive Vehicles" table on this page.


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

Senator calls out distracted drivers...

Seanad debates :Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Road Traffic (No. 2) Bill 2013: Second Stage


Particularly when one is on a motorcycle or travelling as a pedestrian, one is amazed by what one sees such as: the amount of speeding and traffic lights and stop signs being broken; the number of children sitting in the back of cars without proper safety equipment; the number of adults not wearing safety belts; and the number of people using mobile telephones and texting. Despite the public awareness campaigns undertaken by the Road Safety Authority, RSA, drivers with an attitude problem will not listen and will not respect or care for the law or their fellow citizens. They tell themselves that it will never happen to them. While I am out jogging or on my motorcycle, I sometimes refer to people using mobile telephones on their blind sides where a pedestrian, car, cyclist or motorcyclist is not visible. They just give me the two fingers and tell me to mind my own business.

Eamonn Coghlan (Independent)

Full text courtesy of KildareStreet.com.

MAG Ireland's mobile web site gets a facelift

Those of you who browse magireland.org from your smart phone or tablet will likely have noticed the new look mobile version of our web site.

From a situation three years ago where almost all our traffic came from desktop users, today it's rougly an even split between desktop and mobile.

We're always looking for ways to improve and the mobile version of our web site was not up to scratch, so we completely reworked it with a new layout and better navigation.

If you haven't seen it yet point your smart phone or tablet at www.magireland.org and let us know what you think.

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


  • Friday 7th Feb: Adelaide Belfast Motorcycle Show
  • Sunday 9th Feb: Scooter Run - Dublin
  • Saturday 22nd Feb: Rocknight - Boothill MCC

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.