Category Archives: News

09-03-2018 Manchester revs up for Biker event


MAG, is pleased to be supporting the forthcoming Manchester Bike Show. Billed as “the number one bike show in the North”, Manchester Bike Show will take place at Event City on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March 2018.

This event is taking place for the seventh year, having rapidly become a fixture on the bike show circuit.
Full details regarding this premier event and how to purchase tickets can be found at
MAG’s North West Regional Rep, Tony Cox, said “MAG is very pleased to be supporting this event, which should attract bikers from all quarters, and we’ll be celebrating all that’s good about biking.  Do come along to our stand number 430 and have a chat with us about what we do.”

MAG is a leading riders’ rights organisation, campaigning via lobbying and education for a better deal for bikers.
Individual MAG membership is just £27.00 a year, a great deal given the benefits and protection the organisation gives to the biking community on many riders’ rights issues.  To join, visit the MAG membership page or call our office (number below) or speak to a MAG member.

We also offer several levels of corporate membership for businesses who feel they could support MAG.  Please contact Central Office for further details (see below).

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

05-03-2018 Join the ‘holey’ crusade: MAG backs National Pothole Day


The Motorcycle Action Group calls on riders to use National Pothole Day on March 8th 2018 to get local authorities to fill holes and save lives.
MAG is inviting all riders to highlight holes in the road on National Pothole Day: March 8th 2018. MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, asks bikers to ‘make a simple call to the Council or send an email about the road damage you’ve noticed – and which could cost lives.’ Colin is determined to hold local authorities accountable for providing safe road surfaces: ‘bikers are a hardy lot, but that won’t prevent dangerous accidents because of holes in the road.
Hospital treatment is far more costly than fixing a pothole. We’re determined to work with the authorities to ensure road-related accidents are prevented before they happen.’

It’s worth noting that adverse weather conditions wreck badly repaired potholes, making the investment pointless and the repair potentially more dangerous than it was in the first place. Frost fractures a poor repair, making it an accident waiting to happen. By contrast, a good repair leads to a lasting improvement to the road surface and doesn’t need repeated maintenance.

Colin adds, ‘MAG asks you to take two minutes to tell your local authority about troublesome irregularities in the road. It’s essential to preventing spills. If we don’t tell them, they won’t know. If we do tell them, then they’ve got a responsibility to act. It’s as simple as that. Let’s help ourselves by giving them the information they need to stop avoidable – and potentially life-threatening – accidents. It’s common sense and easy to do.’ Find out who to contact by calling your local authority, or follow this link:

You can learn more about National Pothole Day at:

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

16-02-2018 MAG announces new team member


MAG is pleased to announce that it has recruited a Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement.

MAG’s Board of Directors was impressed by the high calibre of applicants for the post and, following a rigorous interview process, the position has been offered to and accepted by Colin Brown.

Colin will already be known to some of the membership and also to a number of external agencies as he is currently MAG’s Regional Representative for the West Midlands.

Colin stated “I have enjoyed working within MAG on a voluntary basis for over 5 years; the passion, integrity and dedication of its National Committee, Board of Directors, and the many volunteers is inspiring.  I am delighted to have been appointed to this new role and am very much looking forward to the challenges this will bring and for the opportunity to serve the organisation, working to protect and promote riders’ rights across the UK.”

Lembit Öpik, MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, said ‘When I heard the news of Colin’s appointment it made immediate sense to me:  I’ve been supporting Colin in his role as a Regional Representative of MAG for some time.  He’s always treated it very professionally and with such a depth of knowledge that, more recently, on some key projects, we’ve effectively been supporting each other.  I regard his appointment to this full time role as a natural progression both for him and for MAG.  I’m looking forward to 2018 even more now.  It’s going to be a great year. Welcome aboard, Colin!’

The new role of Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement came about following the retirement of Dr. Leon Mannings at last September’s Annual Group Conference. MAG’s Board of Directors took the opportunity to reassess the role required to enhance the team in recognition of the threats motorcycling currently faces.

Colin joins just three other employed team members: Lembit Öpik (Director of Communication & Public Affairs), Julie Sperling (Executive Officer) and Carol Ferrari (Membership Administration). The organisation remains streamlined and continues to rely on volunteers for much of its work.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

22-02-2018 Khan’s bike tax will charge poorest workers £12.50 a day for ‘privilege of emptying his bin

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is challenging the Mayor of London with three clear questions regarding ‘extraordinary and discriminatory claims about motorcycling in London.’

MAG has challenged London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to justify ‘some of the biggest transport contradictions in London’s history’ – following what they feel is a ‘discriminatory’ plan to charge motorcyclists for using the eco-friendly option of powered two wheelers (PTWs).

London’s Regional Rep, Tim Fawthrop, called Khan’s comments about motorcycles in a letter to Conservative MP (now Minister) Kelly Tolhurst ‘extraordinary and discriminatory.’  Tim says ‘in his reply to Ms Tolhurst, Mayor Khan states that charging users of older bikes £12.50 a day will – and I’m quoting his words directly here – deter the use of older vehicles, including those with highly polluting two-stroke engines.  Doesn’t he realise that these bikes often do more than 120 miles per gallon, and produce far fewer emissions than many exempt vehicles?  He doesn’t offer a single data source for his claims yet the poorest workers in London who depend on older motorcycles to get to, say, City Hall to clean his office, and whose commute currently costs about £1.20 a day, will pay an extra £12.50 every day to him and his authority – for the privilege of emptying his bin.  That’s not just wrong, it’s disgusting.  So, I’ve got three questions for him:

1       Why are riders of older, small-capacity bikes being charged when other forms of transport, e.g. taxis, which produce considerably higher emissions with a single occupant, aren’t?  We’re not asking for taxis to be charged – only for a level playing field.

2       Why does the Mayor want to force riders onto a public transport system that will expose them to up to eight times more particulate matter, according to publicly available research, than using private transport such as a motorbike, when the whole purpose of the change is meant to be environmental and health related?

3       Will Khan compensate the thousands of low-paid workers using small, older motorbikes because it’s all they can afford, and what scheme will he be setting up to pay the difference in cost between cheap, older bikes and expensive public transport?

If he can’t answer these questions satisfactorily, he’ll be proving that
this tax on older bikes is discriminatory and a social in justice that could seal his political fate at the next Mayoral election.  MAG is asking all riders to contact the Mayor and ask these three questions. Please also contact your MP to challenge Mr Khan.  The lack of understanding about basic transport theory in which motorcycles, regardless of age or size, reduce net congestion and pollution, is something which should concern all London citizens, not just bikers.’

MAG urgently requests you to make your views known before 28th February 2018 online, at:

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

26-01-2018 MAG comments on London Mayor’s summit with motorcycle manufacturers

Representatives from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW and Piaggio were invited to meet with the Metropolitan Police, MOPAC, the Motorcycle Industry Association and Secure by Design at City Hall on 23rd January.
On social media, Sadiq Khan commented “today I met with leading motorcycle manufacturers to say it is vital they design anti-theft measures into their vehicles to help keep Londoners safe”.
Following the meeting, MCIA boss Tony Campbell commented “We know the Mayor would like to hear there is a ‘magic bullet’ which can be fitted to all bikes to stop them from being stolen, but unfortunately there isn’t. If there was, we would be fitting it, as theft is particularly damaging to business and to our customers.”
He went on to say “We have explained to the Mayor that a ‘layered’ approach to security is proving to be the most effective and realistic way of making theft more difficult. This uses a combination of new technologies like ‘tagging’ and ‘tracking’ and riders are encouraged to always supplement this with physical security in the form of locks and chains. However they need something to lock their bikes to, which is where City Hall can make a difference by providing more secure parking across London.
Powered two wheelers are a solution in reducing congestion in the capital, improving air quality and relieving the pressure on parking, as they do in other European cities. They need to be properly factored into London’s transport planning over the long term and secure parking is one of the elements to ensure this is successful.”
Colin Brown of the Motorcycle Action Group’s TACT (The Anti-Crime Team) says:
“We wholeheartedly agree with Tony Campbell’s position that there is no single Silver Bullet solution. All parties need to accept responsibility for bringing this crime epidemic to an end. We are keen to see an immediate response to an immediate problem. The priority that the Metropolitan Police have given to the issue needs to be applauded, but we feel it is now time for Sadiq Khan and all local authorities to put their hands into their pockets to supply the kind of secure parking infrastructure that has been given to cyclists. This is a proven solution that can show results far sooner than any design changes to the machines that are being targeted by criminals. Riders need to be recognised as the primary victims and should be afforded the budgets required to support them just as the victims of any other crime are supported rather than blamed.
Equally we look forward to London’s Mayor delivering on the promises made during his election campaign. In 2016 Sadiq Khan said ‘I don’t make promises I can’t keep, so let me make a promise I can definitely honour. As Mayor, I will meet with representatives of riders’ rights organisations and learn at first-hand what you need and want. This will include a discussion about lane width and secure parking.’ Now is the time to deliver on that promise.”
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

NOTES for editors

MCIA press release:…/london-mayor-and-motorcycle-industr…

Mayors social media comment:

Mayors Press Release…/mayor-working-to-end-moped-rela…

Mayor’s letter to MAG…/a/a6/Sadiq_Khan_MP_2016_03_26.docx

16-01-2018 MAG meets Transport Chair at Greater London Authority

GL_meetingThe Motorcycle Action Group met the Chair of the Greater London Authority (GLA) Transport Committee, Keith Prince, to begin a serious dialogue about the future of motorcycling in London.
MAG’s Chair, Selina Lavender, and London Rep, Tim Fawthrop, met GLA Transport Committee Chair, Keith Prince, in a high-level meeting to discuss the Committee’s attitude and approach towards motorcycle and scooter use in the city.  The meeting, held on 10th January 2018 at the GLA’s City Hall headquarters, covered a number of policy areas which have been of major concern to MAG in recent months.  MAG’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, was also there to support the delegation.
Selina observes: ‘we covered four key areas of work with Mr Prince.  These were bike-related crime, secure parking, charging riders for using the roads and the case for promoting motorbikes as a net reducer of congestion and pollution.   As Keith himself is a rider, it made him easy to talk with and meant there was little need to explain the benefits we all get from the freedom of two wheels. This enabled us to focus the meeting as he could see our viewpoint. Keith was most supportive of riders and I look forward to MAG maintaining an open dialogue with him and the GLA.’
As a specific next step, MAG will be providing some detailed technical information to justify the benefits that motorcycles bring to the city in reducing congestion and pollution, as well as increasing mobility for less wealthy citizens.

Tim Fawthrop also raised the question of access to bus lanes.  ‘We keep being told that Transport for London wants to enable motorbikes to use bus lanes across the city.  Mr Prince was supportive of this, and gave us very good advice on how to proceed.  The specific steps he proposed – and offered to support – really make sense. We’ve created a lot of work for ourselves in meeting the Chair of the committee, and this kind of investment will undoubtedly generate a much more powerful voice for the riding community in London.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

02-01-2018 MAG starts the New Year determined to make a difference


MAG is looking forward to driving the agenda for riders’ rights in 2018: here’s how.

MAG is gearing up to a new year of activities defending riders’ rights and contributing to the decision-making process at national and local governmental levels.

Selina Lavender, the Chair of MAG, stated that whilst there had been substantial challenges during 2017, MAG’s personnel are refreshed and ready to work just as hard during 2018 as throughout 2017.  “We had to respond to some very serious issues last year, not least the moped-enabled crime epidemic and the horrific attacks that went alongside those crimes, but we are strong and we are upbeat about what we can achieve going forward.

“We will be meeting with various high-level authorities early in the year to discuss this problem” she continued, “and we are pleased to note that these authorities recognise just how serious this problem has become and that a robust approach to sorting it out is required.”

MAG will continue to engage with Government and Local Authorities wherever a need to protect riders’ rights is identified and will be building on the relationships forged during the past year.  The organisation will also look forward to announcing a replacement for Dr Leon Mannings, who stepped down at last year’s Annual Group Conference from his role as Transport Policy Advisor, in due course.

MAG invites riders, dealers, mechanics and manufacturers to join MAG and help create a united voice for the common good of the riding community.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

21-12-2017 Wishing you all a Merry MAG Christmas


The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, ends 2017 by offering a huge ‘thank you’ to all of its members for their support during the year and wishing them many miles of happy riding in the year ahead.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said “We have seen some tough issues during 2017; particularly the significant rise in moped-enabled crime and the appalling attacks that have taken place with acid or machetes. MAG stands firm regarding these crimes: they are unacceptable and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to help stamp it out. We are able to engage with these processes because of our fantastic members. So ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you for your support over the past year. I hope you enjoy a very happy festive season and I look forward to helping take MAG forward with you all in 2018.”

Lembit Öpik, MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, added “MAG has had to deal with some very difficult things during the year, but we are holding fast and will continue to fight against threats to motorcycling in the year ahead. We can only do this because of our staunch members so I’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to you all because you make MAG what it is: the country’s leading riders’ rights organisation and every MAG member should be proud of their contribution.”

MAG’s Central Office will be closed over the Christmas period from Friday 22nd December at 12:30 to Tuesday 2nd January at 09:00, but you can still join on-line at Normal office hours are 09:00 to 17:00.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

23-11-2017 MAG opposes ‘disproportionate’ pillion passenger ban

MAG has expressed concerns about the prospect of a ban on pillion passengers in London – a proposal which has been raised to combat the scooter crime epidemic currently gripping the city.

The idea has been put forward by Green Greater London Authority member, Sian Berry who said ‘A very small number of people are causing large amounts of fear on our streets…  A local safer-neighbourhood panel Chair pointed out a tactic used in some other countries: to temporarily ban the carrying of pillion passengers across whole cities.’

of us recognise the need to find solutions to the scooter mugger problem, the honest law-abiding, hard-working Londoner who takes his partner to work to cut costs and commuting time will be badly affected by this.  It’s not as if the criminals will obey this law amongst all the others they are breaking. The Police will be hard-pushed with current staffing levels to enforce it and that will undermine the effectiveness of all laws.’
Tim adds ‘In 2011, Honduras banned motorcycle passengers after a series of drive-by killings.  In addition, a ban was imposed in Medellin, Colombia, at the height of drugs cartel violence.  Are we really saying London is comparable to Honduras and Columbia?  I don’t think so.  While it may be legitimate to impose a passenger ban on convicted criminals, doing so on a blanket basis is a disproportionate response to the challenge we’re trying to address.’
MAG will make these points in December 2017 at the Home Office forum which has been set up to address the moped mugger problem.
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

07-11-2017 New low with London acid attacks and Merseyside killing

MAG has described the most recent acid attack as a ‘new low in bike crime’ and expressed its frustration at the shocking assault on a rider, potentially leaving him with a visual impairment.

MAG has offered its sincere sympathy to the victim of the attack, a delivery moped rider named Muhammed Nawshad Kamal, who was assaulted by thugs attempting to steal his moped in the Walthamstow area of London.
MAG’s London Regional Representative Tim Fawthrop said ‘there’s not much to say which helps in this situation, except that a shudder went through the riding community when news of this attack became known.  We’re already working with local authorities and the police to reduce bike crime, but our efforts have come too late for Mr Kamal and that grieves me as a rider and us as a movement.’

MAG’s National Chair, Selina Lavender, adds ‘after the relative success of preventing mass lawbreaking at Halloween, this incident dampens the mood and leaves me feeling exasperated that such criminal, lawless behaviour still exposes riders to continual danger.  We’re drawing up a plan of action which we intend to share with relevant groups later in November, and with the next Home Office anti-bike crime meeting shortly after that.  If ever there was a dreadful example of the constant peril bikers have to put up with, the attack on Mr Kamal is it.’

MAG understands that the police have arrested two teenagers for this attack and that acid was thrown at the victim more than once.  While there are options regarding the penalty, it is worth noting that there have been calls for involving the parents or guardians.  It has also been pointed out that compensation is a factor, given the potentially permanent effect this attack will have on the rest of the victim’s life.
There is provision in law to hold people for very long periods if their crimes are serious enough and courts can commit people of any age to detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure, potentially indefinitely.

In separate incidents, a man in Merseyside was fatally stabbed by a number of criminals who used scrambler bikes for the assault, and reports are coming in regarding yet another acid attack.  These appalling crimes underline the national nature of this epidemic.  MAG is investigating the situation and has previously engaged with police on these matters.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or