Motorcycle Monday: Motorcycle Bans Seem To Be Increasing

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What is the end game of this push?

Many publications have gone into overdrive to assure motorcyclists that nobody is trying to take their beloved two-wheelers away from them. While that might technically be true, at least for now, there have been numerous attempts to restrict the use of motorcycles on public roads in the recent past. Some of these bike bans have been successful and others have been rolled back or never went into effect. However, these attempts seem to be happening more frequently, so the likelihood some will stick also increases.

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One of the most concerning items comes via the so-called European Green Deal. It aims at reducing net greenhouse gas emissions on the continent by at least 55% by the year 2030. While motorcycles aren’t mentioned in the plan, for many riders it’s obvious this will be used to enforce only all-electric bikes will be allowed on public roads. Thanks to packaging constraints, electrifying anything with two wheels to be ridden longer distances is problematic.

Not shockingly, motorcycle owners aren’t onboard with a ban on internal combustion engine bikes. A study done by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) revealed last fall indicated 92.91% of respondents were not in favor of such a ban. That might be shocking to those who live in highly urban areas and only associate with those who don’t ride, which is part of the problem. Many of the bans which have gone into effect or are being considered aren’t being influenced in the least by people who actually own motorcycles.


The UK has been more overt with its proposed ban on internal combustion engine motorcycles. Last summer, the island nation unveiled a plan to decarbonize transportation by 2035, which includes L-class vehicles, covering motorcycles. In other words, those will have to be zero emissions vehicles by the deadline.

German federal states weighed banning the use of motorcycles on Sundays and during public holidays. This ban ostensibly was about noise pollution, with some trying to figure out how to reduce the noise of all bikes to nothing more than what a lawnmower or passing truck would emit. I know everyone’s excited to ride a two-wheeled lawnmower. Enthusiasts weren’t happy, so they took to the streets in big numbers with 5,000 joining into a protest in Friedrichshafen and 8,000 in Stuttgart.

I’ve covered before how Paris has looked into restricting the operation of internal combustion engine motorcycles and scooters as a way to reduce noise pollution. Already, there is a ban in place for any two-wheeled vehicle made before 2000 from entering the city in the name of reducing air pollution.