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Northern Irish electric bicycle riders need motorcycle licenses!

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No motorcycle license or helmet? Face a fine of upto £1000.

Throughout the rest of the UK, anyone who is aged 14 or over and wants to ride a battery-powered bicycle can do so – they don’t need tax, insurance or a license. But if you’re wanting to do the same in Northern Ireland, then you’d better have jumped through your motorcycle licensing hoops!

According to the Department of Infrastructure, anyone who owns an electric bicycle in the country must have both a license AND equivalent tax and insurance in order to legally ride the two-wheeler on the road.

And if that person were to be caught, then they could be liable for a hefty find and a minimum of six penalty points on their license.

Despite only having small motors and generally only being capable of speeds of around 15mph, the bikes are still legally classed as powered two-wheelers and in the same classification as mopeds.

Throughout the rest of the UK, legislation was passed in 1995 that ruled the Electrical Assisted Pedal Bicycles – or EAPCs – exempt from that ‘moped equivalent’ law, but it’s come to light that Northern Ireland didn’t implement the same exemption.

A statement from the Department of Infrastructure said, “The department was recently approached by Sustrans NI and the Bicycle Association of Great Britain seeking clarification of the legal requirements in NI.

They were advised that EAPCs have never been exempted from licensing or registration requirements in NI and that those selling them here should highlight to any customers wishing to use these vehicles on public roads that they must register their vehicle through DVLA in Swansea.

Customers must also be made aware that they may have to pay vehicle excise duty and insure these vehicles.

Anyone found riding an EAPC in NI and not complying with one or more of the legal requirement could, theoretically, face a fine between £500 and £1,000 depending on the nature of the offence. However, no prosecutions have taken place.”

Legislation was started in late 2016 to update the law but as the assembly is not sitting it’s been unable to be completed at this time.

So we’re sorry NI eBikers, but you’re going to be lumbered with sitting your Module 1 and 2 tests like the rest of us motorised two-wheelers for a bit longer.

Source: BBC

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Video: Watch Sarah Lezito show you how to drift a motorcycle

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Yes, drifting on two wheels is possible. Especially if you’re an insanely talented stunt rider from France.

There are a few stunt riders worth following across social media and YouTube but few get the numbers of French stunter Sarah Lezito.

Shot in a cold, wet and snowy location, it’s hardly the easiest of environments for riding a motorcycle – although possibly better for skids! – but the control from Lezito, and her instruction, is captivating.

Why learn how to drift? Well, Lezito says that it might help in learning how to save from slipping, keeping the balance on your bike or just improving your stunting skills.

And her top tips?

  • First find a small bike – a 50cc or 125cc machine that’s easy to handle.
  • Find a slippery spot, like a wet floor after some light rain.
  • Put hard tyres on the rear and more air in the front tyre.
  • Protect everything… On you and your bike.
  • Prepare to crash. A lot.

We’re hoping she’ll be adding to her channel over the coming months and that this is the start of a series of ‘How To…’ videos from the young stunt rider.

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Custom of the Week: Ducati Leggero by Walt Siegl

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FOR WALT SIEGL, performance and beauty go hand-in-hand. The bikes in his Ducati Leggero series are drop dead gorgeous, but they’re also light, quick and handle well. And that puts them in high demand.

This newest build was commissioned by Jamie Waters, one of the leading lights behind the REV’IT! and Rizoma brands in the USA. Jamie owns a significant collection of race bikes, European sports cars and American muscle cars, but they’re more than just show pieces: he regularly pilots his rare factory racers at AHRMA events.

That makes him the perfect client for Walt. “I’m thrilled that I could build this bike for Jamie,” says Walt from his New Hampshire workshop, “because I know he will ride it and enjoy it.”

Each Leggero is hand made to order with room for customization, but the building blocks are always the same. It starts with a Walt Siegl Motorcycles 4130 chromoly steel frame, created in-house and weighing just 15 pounds.

Walt slots in a two-valve Ducati motor, rebuilt and blueprinted by Bruce Meyers Performance. It’s then finished with top-shelf components, and custom Kevlar bodywork.

On this build, the donor motor came from a Monster 1100. It’s been blueprinted and bumped to 1125 cc with Mahle pistons, warmer cams, ported and flowed heads, and titanium valves. The carbs have been ditched in favour of the fuel injection system from a Hypermotard, and the bottom end has been lightened too.

Since Jamie’s pretty serious about actually riding the Leggero, he wanted top spec chassis and suspension components too. The lightweight chromoly Leggero frame is matched up to an aluminum subframe, and a Ducati S2R swing arm.

It would take days of careful study to spot all the details on this Ducati, so we’ll just run through the highlights. The custom-built, ceramic-coated stainless steel exhaust is stunning, right down to its carefully placed heat shields.

The cockpit’s pretty slick too, and includes a racy Motogadget tacho bearing the WSM logo. And there’s a sprinkling of carbon fiber and Rizoma bits, to drive the performance ethos home.

When it came to the final livery, Jamie’s hobby provided all the inspiration needed. “Jamie wanted to incorporate elements from the early muscle car era in my Leggero design,” says Walt, “which is decidedly European, if you will.”

So the white ceramic coating on the exhaust system references early Shelby Cobras, and the frame’s been nickel plated, as a nod to the 1960s and 70s.

The primary paint color was sampled from a car in Jamie’s collection. “Jamie has a 1968 Corvette in Laguna Blue,” says Walt. “For that series Corvette, it was a one-year color only—painted by Peach Pit Racing.”

Now we’re really jealous.


This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on Bike Exif. It is republished here with permission.

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