BMF: Farewell MOTs, Hello RWTs

New EU Proposals for Road Worthiness Tests to replace MOTs

In response to many concerns over the proposed new EU Road Worthiness Tests, the BMF have produced a briefing document, ‘The EU, MOTs, RWTs and You’ summarising the proposal’s main effects.

In the briefing document available now on the BMF’s website, the European Commission’s proposals for an EU wide testing regime that will apply to all cars, motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, trikes and quads, are analysed.

While Road Worthiness Tests (RWT) are set to replace UK MOTs for all such vehicles, eleven of the thirty-five member states, including France, Ireland and the Nederlands (who all test other vehicles but not bikes), will now have to include motorcycles in their annual RWT programme.

The EU proposals are based on claims that more than five people die on roads every day due to technical failures, but the BMF say that other statistics show that there is little correlation in fatality rates between member states that have motorcycle RWTs and those that don’t. Further, the EU Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study (MAIDS) showed that only 1.1% of accidents were caused by vehicle defects.

But the Road Worthiness Test is not all about safety say the BMF. Over and above the UK’s MOT, it will test emissions, noise, brake fluid and anti-theft devices. Re-testing rules will also change depending on the category of failure. The proposals also cover inspections of transmission and engines for ‘illegal modifications’ but the BMF say that as there are no laws covering such components in the UK, this will not apply in the UK.

The BMF say that the significant aspect for UK motorcyclists is emission testing. While new bikes will have been designed to meet emission standards, the draft implies that current bikes would be tested too, but it is not yet clear as to what standards will be adopted.

While the implications for the UK are minor compared with member states that will have to implement RWTs for the first time, the BMF say that nevertheless the wider scope of the tests could mean higher costs for UK bike maintenance, especially with the emissions testing implications. FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations) estimates that across Europe, affected motorcyclists will have to spend an extra €1.2bn in additional operational costs.

For these reasons, the BMF and FEMA  are firmly against these proposals and fully support sister organisations across Europe in opposing this completely unnecessary legislation.

For full BMF briefing see:


For EU proposals see:

For testing details see:


BMF events still to come in 2012:
BMF Tailend, 15/16 September, Peterborough.

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