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Flanders wants motorcycles tested when sold or after an accident

As an alternative to mandatory periodical technical inspections of motorcycles, the Flemish government wants a technical inspection to take place when a bike is sold or after it was involved in an accident.

Until 1 January 2022, motorcycles with a displacement of more than 125cc are excluded from mandatory periodical technical inspection (PTI), as described in European Directive 2014/45/EU. Member states that take alternative measures to enhance motorcycle road safety can avoid the obligation to introduce periodical technical inspections for > 125cc motorcycles. Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands made use of this possibility and now the government of Flanders introduced its alternative plans (Flanders is the northern state of Belgium).

On 17 December 2021, the Flemish government decided to plan the introduction of non-periodical technical inspection of motorcycles, trikes and quads upon transfer, such as during sale, and after an accident. To ensure that the introduction and course of the inspection run smoothly, the government wants to limit the checks to essential safety checks. The government’s plans will be submitted to the Council of State for advice.

The proposed inspection concerns the following motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles:

  • Motorcycles of the categories, L3e, L4e, L5e and L7e (two-wheel motorcycles with and without side-car, tricycles and heavy on-road quads).
  • Motorcycles with an internal combustion engine with a cylinder capacity greater than 125 cubic centimetres.
  • Electric or hybrid motorcycles with a maximum power greater than 11 kilowatts and a maximum speed greater than 45 kilometres per hour.

The Flemish government expects the costs of the inspection to be slightly lower than the rate for a non-periodic inspection of a passenger car, which is €60. The inspection can take place in a limited number of inspection centres, spread throughout Flanders. A separate line for motorcycles will be set up in those inspection centres. It is estimated that 30,000 second-hand and 200 post-accident inspections will be performed annually.

No periodic inspections will be introduced because the Flemish government will take the following alternative road safety measures:

  • Awareness campaigns about motorcycles for all road users and awareness campaigns for motorcyclists will be set up, with particular emphasis on the good condition of the vehicle.
  • Practical training will be provided to supplement the driving license organised and offered to motorcyclists, with an emphasis on defensive driving.
  • New road construction projects will take into account the safety of motorcyclists.
  • Existing infrastructure will be adapted to reduce the risks of accidents and limit their impact on motorcyclists.
  • Riders and passengers must wear gloves, a long-sleeved jacket, trousers or a suit, as well as boots protecting the ankles.

Motorcycles will be tested for noise during the inspection and rejected if they do not meet the existing noise standards. The exhaust gases will also be checked. After an accident, a motorcycle must go through a technical inspection if the vehicle shows damage to the chassis, steering, suspension or braking system or if the bike is considered a total loss.

In order to give all regions and involved testing authorities in Flanders the time to implement the new technical inspections, the government wants to postpone the introduction of the testing regime until 1 January 2023.

Other regions of Belgium have not yet announced an official position on this matter. Belgium has four regions: Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels and East Cantons (mainly German-speaking).

Written by Wim Taal

Top photograph courtesy of Indian Motorcycles

Source: Flemish government

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