The European Commission is proposing new rules for motorcycle manufacturers that will drastically reduce the ability of owners to make changes to their bikes.
Starting in 2017, all new motorcycles will be equipped with on board diagnostic (OBD) systems that will report a fault when components are changed. Only dealers would be equipped to decipher the OBD codes, so owners would be prevented from improving the performance of their bikes by making modifications.
Also, engine control units, or ECUs, will be sealed, so changes to the fuel supply would be impossible, and exhaust systems would be attached with bolts that a regular owner could not unfasten, if the EC proposals are adopted.
New motorcycles with engine displacements over 125 cc will be fitted with ABS brakes, and smaller bikes will have either ABS or linked brakes.
The EC proposals also would prevent individual countries from setting their own horsepower limits, and set tough emissions standards that would be introduced sometime before 2020. Motorcycles would be required to pass a second test after 50,000 kilometres.
The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations says the EC “wants to prevent or at least to strictly hamper any private technical modifications of the powertrain aimed at improving torque, power or maximum speed.”
But first, a study will be conducted in order to determine whether making modifications to motorcycles actually constitutes a danger to riders, the public, or the environment.