Welcome to another TUG.
It’s been a funny spring. My family are certainly moaning about how cold May has been and they’re not wrong but from a motorcyclist’s point of view I think it has been quite agreeable. Most days have been dry and whatever I’ve worn whilst on my bike has not been too warm to walk around after arriving at my destination so I think my wife and I are just going to agree to differ on that one!
With plans for a couple of trips into central London by bike and the likely expansion of ULEZ to our county’s border, it seemed like a good time to see if my 1999 Blackbird would meet the ULEZ emission requirements. You can read about how I got on later in this publication.
I was fortunate to win tickets to the British Superbike round at Donington this month. What a super day out. It was a full race schedule as always and apart from lunch time, only 10 to 20 minutes between races which is just enough time to find a new vantage point Donington has spectator access to most areas around and inside the track with several tunnels enabling a quick transition between viewing areas. The hills also provide varied views of the track so even without a trackside pass I was able to get plenty of good photos.
One of my planned trips into London was to visit the Bikeshed Motorcycle Show at Tobacco Dock. An event I attend every year with my son who lives just a short bus ride from the venue. I might have asked my wife to drop me at Chelmsford station so I could enjoy a beer or two at the show but due to Ride London we could not get to the station. Even travelling by bike I had to ride north to Great Dunmow and take the A120 to join the M11 at Stansted which adds miles a very boring route but sadly the only practical option that day. Ride London is a great event but why does it have to use the same routes every year? Perhaps the event for 2024 could be Ride London and Surrey?
Graham Simpkins, Editor
Slow Riding Day, June 2023 at North Weald.
CHAIRMAN’S PIECE SOLD OUT
The sun has now come out, the evenings have a long stretch with beautiful sunsets, all of a sudden cold and rain seem a distant memory, it would be perfect with less potholes though! For some it is the time of year the bike covers come off, so please ease yourselves back in slowly if that is the case. Also it is TT time. I will never forget going to the TT, I am not often lost for words, but the racing absolutely took my breath away. Quite something and so unique. I wish all the competitors good and safe racing. So as the roads begin to fill with all sorts of other users, some with very low abilities please do take care out there.
Above title is so nice to see. We very quickly sold out of places for the Slow Riding Skills Day in June, to those that we could not accommodate there is another SRD 3rd September. John Tippers training days have been very much in demand and also the Triumph visit is a sell out too. Our member rides and midweek rides are popular. This is very good news and we hope it shows a that our programme of events is working. But the committee would be very interested in hearing your suggestions as to what we should be doing that we are not. Please do not be shy with suggestions. Do tell us whenever you have the chance. We very much want to fill the diary with activities that are tailor made.
We are considering doing a UK trip later in the year, maybe September, we discussed Wales which would need at least 2 to 3 nights accommodation, or 1 night away elsewhere. It would be great to have your feedback and destination suggestions, places to stay etc , as 2 to 3 nights away and several hundred miles is not cheap, but Wales is a well known favourite if the weather behaves. So please do tell us ASAP on your thoughts.
And now we must say a big thanks to Steve Mariner who is hanging up his Secretary title. Steve has been a superb secretary, it is not an easy role, someone has to keep me in check, and I thank him for doing such a fantastic job over the last three years. He has made a great contribution with his wisdom and calm demeanour even when I know he is losing patience with me.
And with Steve soon leaving the committee we now give a very warm welcome to Magali Ellis. Magali is taking on the role as secretary. In the short time Magali has been on the committee I can see that her input is already giving us fresh approaches and Magali is already part of the team. Magali rides a cool bike too and I can speak with her in French.
Another new committee member who has made a great contribution in a short time frame is Adam Bhoyroo. Adam has amazed the old committee with his in depth knowledge and understanding of all things social media, (He now realises this was a mistake) Adam is our social media guru and saviour! I am half joking, Graham Simpkins has helped us so much in these and other areas, but it now does give us the opportunity to have committee members looking after areas they have skills in, rather than us all volunteering to do more and more as we did not have enough committee members with the right skill sets. This is also a very good time to remind you all that Jill Winn re-joined the committee recently as the new membership secretary, a big thanks to Jill and we welcome her back with open arms.
Please do not forget to book your tickets for the BBQ 28th August at simply £2 per head. Book your places by emailing Clive Taylor at email@example.com when you have made payment online.
Also a reminder that Eamg members get a 10% discount when shopping instore at Sportsbike Shop Harlow. Apparently quite a few of us have already made use of this, details on how to get the discount are on our forum.
We have guests lined up at group night for the rest of the year, keep a lookout for info via email, Facebook, Forum and Instagram, YES we do even now have an Instagram page that needs following and liking.
I might sound like a broken record, but I do want to say thanks to all the volunteers at EAMG who give so much. Without them there is NO EAMG, simple as that, and they do a fantastic job. And a thanks to our membership, who renew year after year to support a great cause, stay safe out there.
PS We want that feedback!
A question often asked by prospective new members is whether their machine is suitable. A look at the variety of machines ridden by existing members would reassure them that the answer is most likely YES.
PRESENTATIONS AT MAY GROUP NIGHT.
Michel had the pleasure of presenting an EAMG Full Member certificate to Craig Pearson and an Observer pass certificate to Phil Wilkinson.
Rospa Test Passes
Congratulations to the following for achieving RoSPA test passes
Thanks also to the Observers and Examiners
Test Passed Observer Examiner
DANNY BYRNE Rospa - GOLD
CRAIG PEARSON Rospa - GOLD
Paul Reynolds Mick Jones
Paul Carden Mick Jones
STEVE LINDSELL Rospa - GOLD Paul Carden Mick Jones
STEVE ASUMADU SAKYI Rospa - GOLD
PAUL ROBINSON Rospa - GOLD
Paul Carden Mick Jones
Andy Parnham Mick Jones
Trainee Observer Assessment Pass
Congratulations to Colin Foley on passing the Trainee Observer Assessment
Thanks to his examiner, Mick Hewitt.
REMINDER: ADDITIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL MEMBERS.
EAMG AMT & FMT – 2023
EAMG’s independence enables the Group to draw upon the most appropriate riding techniques to meet the training needs of our Members, without having to accommodate restrictions imposed by an external governing body. With independence, came the responsibility to ensure our training standards progressed and maintained at the highest level.
EAMG Observers fulfil a crucial role within the Group. All are required to hold a cur-rent RoSPA Gold qualification before they can be considered for observer training. Once qualified, Observers are reassessed every two years by one of four Senior Observer Assessors (SOA’s). In turn, SOA’s are re-assessed externally every two years by serving or retired Police Class: 1 riders. Full Members and Associates can therefore be assured that EAMG’s training is of the highest standard.
EAMG; ‘Promoting Motorcycling Excellence’.
Associate Member Training (AMT)
AMT training courses are available for Associate Members who may be approach-ing test standard, have been recommended to apply by their 1 to 1 Observer or those familiar with riding greater distances than covered on a typical Observed ride. Associates will be encouraged to make their most recent Ride Report Forms availa-ble to ensure the Observer on the day has the necessary information to identify needs and address any issues that may be apparent.
Full Member Training (FMT)
FMT format allows greater focus on many aspects of advanced motorcycling over longer distances on less familiar roads. Make no mistake, passing an advanced mo-torcycle test is an excellent achievement but it’s only a measure of your riding standard on test day. Riding skills require continued practice to be retained or they will sadly be lost.
Duration of rides will be circa 100-120 mls for Associates and circa 200 mls for Full Members. Regular stops, most including refreshments, will include debriefs so that issues identified can be addressed during subsequent legs. We will NOT be riding in one large group. Allocation will usually be on a 2 to 1 basis to avoid continuous Observation. Every effort will be made to match riding ability and/or aspirations. Preplanned routes will be forwarded to all participants beforehand. Initial briefing will be comprehensive and a full Ride Report will be provided.
2023 Events Joining Fees
AMT £30 & FMT – £45
Sunday July 30th
Sunday October 22nd
Register by completing and returning this form to: John Tipper
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0208 360 8590 or Mbl: 07860 773711
Pay direct to Sort Code: 30-96-94 a/c no: 00791646 Ref: AMT or FMT + your name
Post Code: Tel:
Annual mileage: Machine:
DOES YOUR MOTORCYCLE MEET ULEZ REQUIREMENTS?
London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been making headlines recently, particularly due to its impending expansion to cover the entire M25 area. As an avid rider frequently traveling into central London, I realized it was time to assess my options for complying with the ULEZ requirements.
After discovering that my 1999 Honda Blackbird did not meet the emission standards set by Transport for London (TFL), I decided to explore the necessary steps to ensure compliance. Motorcycles produced since 2007 had to meet Euro 3 emission standards to be sold in the UK so by default will meet the ULEZ emissions requirements
For motorcycles registered before 2007, like mine, it becomes essential to check whether TFL considers the bike compliant. The TFL website provides a tool where you can enter your registration number to verify compliance.
If your motorcycle falls within the 2000-2007 range, contacting the manufacturer to request a Certificate of Conformity may be an option. While some manufacturers may charge an administrative fee for this service, it is by far the cheapest option if available to you.
Once you obtain a Certificate of Conformity, it can be used to apply for exemption from ULEZ charges. You only need to go through this process once. TFL provides guidelines on their website to submit the necessary proof of compliance which you can find from the same page as linked above.
For motorcycles too old to obtain a Certificate of Conformity, emissions testing is the only remaining option, aside from purchasing a newer bike. TFL has registered three test centres authorized to conduct ULEZ emissions testing, and they can be found on the TFL website. The standard testing fee set by TFL is £175.
After thorough research, I chose The Test Centre in Deptford to have my Blackbird emissions tested. They also conduct MOT tests on most classes of vehicle and have a strong reputation for unbiased testing as they are not a repair centre. I booked online at https://www.thetestcentre.co.uk/emission-testing/ which was a simple process of choosing a date and timeslot which was confirmed to me by a friendly email with a brief history of the ULEZ test and the Test Centre’s involvement, explained the process and reminded me to take my V5 logbook.
Before the test, I ensured my bike received a proper service, including the installation of new spark plugs but two days before the test I suffered a flat battery! A few checks confirmed the battery was not holding charge as it should but was eight years old so not surprising. I quickly obtained a replacement as I didn’t want a flat battery to jeopardize the test.
I had booked the 11am test slot so I wouldn’t be caught up with morning commuter traffic but parts of the route were still very busy and it took an hour and a quarter to get from my home north of Chelmsford to the centre on Deptford Even with a stop for fuel, I arrived with ample time to spare. In the reception area I met Ian, founder of The Test Centre, who was to conduct the emissions test. For safety and insurance reasons I was not able to be in the dyno room during the test so handed over my keys and waited 40 minutes for Ian to return. Following a successful test, Ian explained that my bike recorded a NOx reading of 0.11 g/km, well below the ULEZ compliance requirement of 0.15 g/km.
After the test Michelle, the centres manager, handed me an envelope containing information about ULEZ, a letter confirming my test pass, and my V5 logbook, which The Test Centre used to report the results directly to TFL. By the following day, my bike would be exempt from ULEZ charges.
My experience navigating ULEZ compliance for my motorcycle highlighted the options available for riders whose bikes don't automatically meet TFL’s requirements. By checking compliance, obtaining a Certificate of Conformity, or undergoing emissions testing, riders can discover whether their bikes are eligible for ULEZ exemption
Many other cities in the UK have also recently introduced Clean Air Zones (CAZ) or Low Emission Zones (LEZ).
Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Greater Manchester (under review), Portsmouth, Sheffield, Tyneside – Newcastle and Gateshead.
Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow.
The good news for us is that none of the cities listed above currently plan to restrict motorcycles.
It is worth noting that Oxford is currently trialling a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) so every petrol or diesel powered vehicle will be charged to enter that part of the city. The current daily charge for motorcycles is £2 but the zone is just a small area in the centre of the city so should be easy to avoid altogether.
Another aspect of city riding that causes confusion and concern is congestion charges. Two wheeled motorcycles are currently exempt from all UK congestion charges including inner London. If you have three wheels you will qualify if under one meter wide and two meters long but you will need to apply to TFL for exemption.
I hope this helps other EAMG members to navigate the bureaucracy of low emissions zones and continue to enjoy the advantages of riding in our cities.
2023 EAMG EVENT DIARY
Month Date Event
June Sunday, 4th Slow Riding Day, North Weald Airfield
Tuesday, 6th Neil’s Mid-Week Full Member Ride
Tuesday, 6th Group Night
Sunday, 11th Associate Group Training (AGT)
Sunday, 18th Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Sunday, 25th Colin's Full Member Ride
Tuesday, 4th Group Night
Sunday, 9th Associate Group Training (AGT)
Tuesday, 11th Neil’s Mid-Week Full Member Ride
Sunday, 16th Colin's Full Member Ride
Sunday, 16th Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Sunday, 23rd Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2303)
Sunday, 30th Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2303)
August Tuesday, 1st Group Night
Sunday, 6th Associate Group Training (AGT)
Tuesday, 8th Neil’s Mid-Week Full Member Ride
Sunday, 13th Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride
Sunday, 20th Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Sunday, 27th Colin's Full Member Ride
Sunday, 3rd Slow Riding Day, North Weald Airfield
Sunday, 3rd Copdock Bike Show
Tuesday, 5th Group Night
Sunday, 10th Associate Group Training (AGT)
Sunday, 10th Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Run
Tuesday, 12th Neil’s Mid-Week Full Member Ride
Sunday, 17th Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Sunday, 24th Colin's Full Member Ride
Sunday, 1st Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2304)
Tuesday, 3rd Group Night
Sunday, 8th Associate Group Training (AGT)
Tuesday, 10th Neil’s Mid-Week Full Member Ride
Sunday, 15th Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Sunday, 22nd Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2304)
Sunday, 29th Colin's Full Member Ride
November Sunday, 5th Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Tuesday, 7th Group Night
Sunday, 12th Associate Group Training (AGT) – Remembrance Sunday
Sunday, 19th Colin's Full Member Ride
Sunday, 3rd Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride
Tuesday, 5th Group Night - Xmas Quiz
Sunday, 10th Associate Group Training (AGT)
Sunday, 17th Colin's Full Member Ride