Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Are You Responsible? RealRoadRacing Judicial Decision Time!

Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

Well if you're not responsible for the unacceptable deaths and injuries during the 2012 motorcycle real road racing season, who is?  Dare one suggest it’s whosoever was responsible for granting road closure orders for the purpose of motorcycles to race around the unfit for purpose public roads of Northern Ireland?

Now that the season has drawn to a close, one has to ask why there were yet more deaths and serious injuries at these Northern Ireland motorcycle realroadracing events as held under the auspices of the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited but more importantly, who so readily permitted these deaths and injuries to occur on our public roads?

In a letter from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister received prior to the 2012 season getting underway, moi was informed that as part of the promoter's arrangements for the conduct of a real road race, DRD were requesting sight of a safety plan for each proposed event. As soon as possible after submitting an application for the road closure the promoter would be expected to provide a copy of the draft safety plan and prior to the race taking place - provide a copy of their finalised safety plan. This was to be taken as evidence by the DRD that the promoters had considered health and safety as part of their arrangements for the race meeting. Unfortunately one has to say that a promoter considering health and safety is a world away from actually doing something constructive about health and safety at a real road racing event and therefore one now wonders how many safety plans DRD had sight off prior to issuing road closing orders during 2012.

Added to this though was the worrying admission that the DRD is primarily concerned with road traffic when making road closing orders and advised that it has no in-house expertise to advise what reasonable measures of safety are required against the degree of risks that are inevitably associated with motorcycle road racing or to verify that the safety measures proposed by a particular promoter are fit for purpose. More worrying - confusing even - was their statement that it is the governing body - MCUI-UC aka Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Limited - who approve races from a safety viewpoint and carry out the relevant safety inspections. So moi has to ask what is the point of acquiring a safety plan when DRD has no in-house expertise regarding the matter? Who is responsible for safety inspections and granting permission to hold racing events from a safety viewpoint is made crystal clear though - the Dinosaurs aka our old friends the MCUI-UC - but with their track record, one has to ask - why? Seems to moi that there's a comedian ensconced in an office somewhere who is perhaps suggesting the lunatics should continue to run the asylum. Whatever next - will R. P. McMurphy be drafted in?

Government information received prior to the 2012 season also declared that Sport NI and the Irish Sports Council were at that time facilitating the development of a new Safety Code of Practice for road racing by the MCUI (Ulster and Southern Centres), and DCAL had also conveyed to the MCUI its view that racing should not take place this year (2012) in the absence of a published Code of Practice. And of course the MCUI had given an undertaking to publish such a document before the start of the 2012 season. The crucial point is - on which date before the 2012 season started was the new Safety Code of Practice document received by DCAL/DRD?

It would appear that DCAL, DRD, MCUI-UC and many others have been putting lives at risk for many years and are allegedly continuing to do so by allowing these events to take place without any apparent regard for the lives of the competitors or the spectators - children included. Back in April a great many people within the motorcycle racing fraternity here in Northern Ireland were somewhat relieved to learn that DCAL had conveyed to the MCUI its view that racing should not take place this year in the absence of a published Code of Practice but in reality was this the case? Let us hope that the new Code of Practice was in place before DCAL/DRD permitted any motorcycle racing upon the public roads of Northern Ireland, otherwise someone might rightly suggest it's judicial decision time - who is responsible for the already mentioned deaths and serious injuries during the 2012 motorcycle racing season?

If it transpires that a new Code of Practice was not in place prior to the commencement of the 2012 motorcycle real road racing season, should DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín and DRD Minister Danny Kennedy be jointly held responsible for failing to end the motorcycle real road racing carnage on the public roads of Northern Ireland?

Open Letter to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure - DCAL - Northern Ireland
Real Road Racing Safety and Responsibility - Who is Responsible?
Real Road Racing MCUI-UC Task Force Dinosaurs
The Mystery of Task Force 2000 - An MCUI Production
MCUI-UC Task Force 2000 Revisted - The Unfinished 2011 Sequel

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2012 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

An American Icon - 100 Years Plus - Harley Davidson

Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

If you’re a motorcyclist, you know that the name “Harley Davidson” simply can’t be touched by other names in the business. They're a regular sight on the roads of Northern Ireland, Easy Riders one and all. Harley Davidson started out as a pipe dream nearly 110 years ago now, and it’s spent the past century becoming perhaps the most prestigious motorcycle company across the entire globe. Over the course of the past century, Harley Davidson has produced some of the most beloved motorcycles in history. This house name continues to faithfully roll out new, beautiful bikes, all under the same dedication to craft and quality that the original Harley and Davidson stood by. From huge bikes to smaller one, everyone has their own personal Harley preference—and whatever model you love most, you know you’re riding a roaring piece of high quality machinery. You love your Harley, but you may not know the history behind the business. From humble beginnings Harley’s design of an engine to fit on a bicycle went on to become a real money maker, Harley Davidson has left a rich legacy in the US and all over the world.The following timeline chronicles just a few of the great moments in time for the big business of Harley Davidson.
History of Harley Infographic
Thanks to Allison Morris and Save Our Sport From Evil

©2012 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

Friday, 23 November 2012

ABS Mandatory On Motorcycles From 2016

Irish Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

Think you're the King of the local neighbourhood late brakers? Courtesy of those nice people at the  European Parliament, all motorcycles over 125cc will be required to have anti-lock braking systems fitted - ABS to you and me - from 2016. Begin retraining your brain now!

The following from Isabelle Smets @ Europolitics
'New type-approval rules that will make mopeds and motorcycles safer and greener by 2016 were approved by members of the European Parliament during their 20 November plenary session in Strasbourg. The vote was 643 in favor, 16 against and 18 abstentions. The rules must now be formally approved by the Council of Ministers. It will be a formality as the text adopted by Parliament is the result of an agreement with the Council, even though the UK may vote against because of the “disproportionate costs” the implementation of the new rules would entail.

The text covers all L-category (‘light’) vehicles, ie mopeds, scooters, motorcycles and quads. There are some 30 million of such vehicles in the EU. The new rules extend the Euro 4 emission standards to motorbikes from 2016 or 2017, depending on engine capacity. From 2020, the Euro 5 standard will be required for every two or three wheeler. The Commission is expected to evaluate the emissions from L-category vehicles before 1 January 2016. Legislation will likely be further adapted.

Under the new rules, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) will have to be fitted to all “bigger” motorbikes (ie those over 125 cc), while ABS or combined brake systems (CBS) could be fitted to smaller ones (under 125 cc), including scooters. This is a point on which Parliament had to backtrack because members had begun negotiations with the Council requesting to make ABS mandatory for all motorbikes. FEMA, the association representing motorcyclists in Europe, said that CBS had a similar effect to ABS on light-weight bikes for a much lower cost. Since this segment is particularly sensitive to price, the imposition of the ABS requirement could discourage future or young riders.

By the end of 2019, the Commission should present a cost-effectiveness analysis with recommendations as to whether the rules should be revised to make ABS mandatory for smaller motorbikes too.'

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2012 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland