The European Community will once again examine the issue of a 100 horsepower cap on motorcycles, per the current limit in France. Despite the absolute lack of evidence to support a correlation between high horsepower and accident frequency or severity, the horsepower reduction is one of many options being reviewed to increase motorcycle safety. The EC will also consider mandating ABS on motorcycles, which would leave manufacturers frantic to install ABS systems across their European product ranges. Consumers would immediately feel the impact of higher motorcycle prices.
I feel your pain, my EU compadres. Back in 1987, U.S. Senator John Danforth nearly accomplished a ban on all high performance motorcycles in America, which he termed “killer motorcycles”. While he never clearly defined what a killer motorcycle was, he did single out the Kawasaki Ninja, the Honda Hurricane, the Suzuki GSXR and the Yamaha FZ. Our Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) joined in on the party as well, and for years afterward the insurance rates for “sport motorcycles” were outrageously high (in some cases 1/2 the value of the bike per year, even for low risk riders). There was never any rhyme nor reason to the insurance ratings; back then, I rode a 1985 Suzuki GS-700ES, with the quarter fairing. My bike was cheap to insure, while the GS 700E (identical, but without a quarter fairing) was 3x the cost. BMW K bikes, not known for their stunning acceleration back in 1987, were also “blacklisted” as sport bikes.
If you can keep the issue out of the hands of the politicians, you may still have a fighting chance. I’m not sure you have a voice as powerful as our AMA, but here’s hoping you do; otherwise, I’m afraid the writing an die Mauer ist.
Source: Two Wheels Blog