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7 October, 2014 - Speed Radar Destroyed And No One Will Be Punished! Why?
Ant destroyed radar
France flag
#France #Radars #Destruction #Funny - This is really funny and karma. An automatic speed radar in France got destroyed, the culprits have been identified but will never be fined nor face any jail time. You wonder why??? Read the article and find out. Get ready for a good laugh.


 


6 October, 2014 - A First! Electric Motorcycle Wins National Championship
Bastien Hyete With Electric Motion Winner
Electric Motion logo
#ElectricMotion #Trial #Championship - This has got to be a first! The first national championship won by an electric motorcycle. The country was France, the championship was Trial S2 and the electric motorcycle was made by Electric Motion.


 


29 September, 2014 - World Superbike Race France - Biker Rest Stop
SuperBike France 2014
France flag
The World Superbike Championship race, French leg, is held next weekend, and the French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC) have placed one motorcycle rest stop at your disposal if you are going there on your motorcycle. A good place to stop, rest, eat, drink and meet other bikers.


 


25 September, 2014 - France: Police Want More Repressive Measures. Orwell Was Right
Radar Foiling
France flag
#France #Police #Repression - The top cops are asking the government for more repressive measures so they can get to more citizens. Measures like catching motorcycles speeding, issuing tickets without stopping you and making it mandatory that employers denounce their employees. Crazy world we live in. Orwell was right.


 


17 September, 2014 - Peugeot To Sell Its Scooter Activities To Mahindra & Mahindra
Girls-2009-Peugeot
Peugeot logo
#Peugeot #Mahindra - Cash strapped French car maker, Peugeot, is talking about selling their scooter division to the Indian Mahindra.


 


15 September, 2014 - 24 Hours of Le Mans Motorcycle Race 2014 - Biker Rest Places
24H Le Mans Moto 2014 Poster
Relais Motards Calmos logo
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle endurance race is upcoming weekend, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place several motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open. You will also find a list of the autoroutes (motorways) that are free during the weekend for motorcycles.


 


15 September, 2014 - France: Some Cops Are Just Not Smart - Video
Dumb Cop Holds Radar Wrong
France flag
#Funny #PoliceScrewUpAsWell #Fail - The police are not infallible as this video will show. On France's biggest TV station, this cop is showing the use of the modern laser radar gun. Except he is holding it inversed - he's checking the speed of his eyeballs...FAIL!


 


20 August, 2014 - New Luxury Motorcycle - The Midual Type 1
Midual Type 1
Midual logo
#Midual #Luxury - A new luxury motorcycle has been presented. Coming from France, country of many famous luxury brands, the Midual Type 1 is a beauty, and it's expensive. How much? If you gotta ask, forget about it (pssst... it's €140.000).


 


19 August, 2014 - Darwin Award Nominee #98273
Gendarme manning portable radar
France flag
#France #Speeding #Squid - A French squid got arrested for riding his motorcycle at the speed of light, drunk, and with his license plate bent over so that he could not be photographed by radars. What an idiot.

 


29 July, 2014 - Event: Motors and Soul
Chateau de Villiers
Motors and Soul
#France #Motors&Soul #Event - A great event is coming up in September called "Motors & Soul", bring together great motorcycles, food, live music, a castle and several ride outs. The vent is South of Paris at a real castle. Be there!


 


28 July, 2014 - The Easy Way Of Finishing The Tour de France
Tdf 2014 On Motorcycle Cop Behind
Tour de France logo
#TouDeFrance #TdF #Gendarmerie - There are many ways to finish the tough Tour de France bicycle race, almost all involve superhuman efforts. But this cyclist found the easy way. Somehow I do not think this is legal....


 


25 July, 2014 - France: Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy Shows How To Ride Motorcycle, NOT!
Sarkozy Non ATGATT
#France #Sarkozy #ATGATT - For the former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, who was known to be very strict regarding the rules of the road, the man who started the speed radars craze, the gigantic vehicle repression, but also the man who reduced road fatalities, he should know better.

Sarkozy got caught by the Paris Match magazine riding a Vespa scooter with his lovely wife, none of them dressed appropriately for riding a PTW. No protected clothes, no gloves and more importantly, NO HELMET!


 


21 July, 2014 - Tour de France 2014: The Motorcycle Police
Tour de France 2012 The Race
Tour de France logo
#TourDeFrance #TdF #Police - We're almost getting towards the end of the famous Tour de France for 2014, and I know many motorcycle riders like watching the TdF, not only for the cyclist's inhuman efforts, but also the 100's of motorcycles that ride with the Tour.

One such group of motorcycles play a very important role for the Tour; the motorcycle police.


 


17 July, 2014 - France: ’Funny’ Government Safety Campaign
Ad France All Vurnable Lunch
France flag
#France #Funny #PSA - Sometimes the government has a sense of humor. Like with this safety campaign for motorcycle riders and pedestrians. For two weeks last month, they showed these safety ads with a common text line that translates as "In the greater Paris area, 2 out of 3 killed are motorcycle riders or pedestrians".

That's not funny, but each ad has its own main copy, which is more-or-less funny, or at least light


 


15 July, 2014 - France: Do As I Say, Not As I Do #823743
Segolene Royal Electric Car
France flag
#France #Politicians #Speeding - The president of France stated when elected that he and his cabinet would never speed, and always follow the rules of the road. He promised! 2 years later, what do you think happened to those promises?


 


11 July, 2014 - France: The Real Truth Behind Speed Reductions - Myths Debunked
Country Road Speed Limits
France flag
#France #SpeedLimits #Politicians - The French (unpopular) government wants to reduce the speed limits of country roads in order to reduce pollution and road fatalities. Here are their lies/myths debunked.


 


7 July, 2014 - France: Using Trucks To Save Motorcyclists Lives
France Essonne Truck Ad
France flag
#France #Safety #Truckers - It looks like French truckers are looking after our lives. 30 trucks in France have on the rear of their truck an enormous publicity asking car drivers to watch out for motorcycles. Should be very effective advertising.


 


3 July, 2014 - France: 2012 Map Of All The Accidents - Interesting
France 2012 Accidents Map
France flag
#France #Map #Statistics - Here is a very interesting interactive map of France, with all the accidents that happened during 2012. It allows you to filter accidents with many criteria. Nicely done.


 


2 July, 2014 - France: The Grueling Training of the Motorcycle Gendarmes
Gendarme training Turbo
Gendarme training Turbo
#France #Gendarme #Training - A look at the French motorcycle Gendarme training, photo and video. Quite intense and difficult.

 


27 June, 2014 - France: How The Motorways Are Stealing From Motorcyclists
Automated toll booth
France flag
#France #Autoroutes #RipOffs - A note to all motorcycle riders riding the French autoroutes. More and more toll booths have become unmanned, and the computer has to be able to determine if you are a motorcycle or a car, but often it calculates you as being a car, so you end up paying a higher price. And there's not much you can do about it.


 


24 June, 2014 - France: You’ve Got To Love Lawyers, Specially When You Screw Up
Speeding on Autobahn
France flag
#France #Speeding #Lawyers - Two men were caught speeding in France at 244 kph, racing each other in cars. But thanks to the magic from two lawyers, they got off scot-free.


 


20 June, 2014 - France: Moving Towards No Phone While Driving, Even Hands Free
Phoning on motorcycle in Indonesia
France flag
#France #MobilePhone - The safety authorities are proposing to ban all phones while driving even if equipped with a hands free kit. This because according to them, 10% of all accidents involve phoning while driving.

 


11 June, 2014 - France: Big Reductions in Road Deaths in 2013
Statistics icon
France flag
#France #Statistics #Fatalities - The French authorities have published the road fatalities for 2013, and it's looking very good. But who is to congratulate?


 


10 June, 2014 - France: Finally A Politician Who Is Starting To Use His Brains
Emergency lane traffic jam
France flag
#France #EmergencyLane #TrafficJams - Finally one politician in France that is using his head, not his wallet. Good proposition, now let us see if it gets implemented.


 


2 June, 2014 - France: Motorcycle Feast In Between Cow Dung and Mole Hills
Fete de la Moto Yvetot 2014
Fete de la Moto Yvetot 2014
#France #FeteDelaMoto - The first motorcycle feast took place in the fields in between the cow dung and mole hills and many motorcycle riders. Stunt riding, sidecar cross, trial, motorcycle dealers, swap meet, food and live music. What else can you wish for?

 


22 May, 2014 - France: Paris Moving Forward To Limit Speeds To 30 KPH
Paris Etoille Snail
France flag
#France #Paris #SpeedLimits - The Paris city hall is planning further to reduce the speeds limit in the capital to 30 kph, despite many experts stating that pollution will increase, and it does nothing for safety. The only thing it does is increase the number of fines. Which is what they probably want. The fact that the French rail roads ordered 2000 train cars that were too wide and now need to change all stations will not make things easier.


 


12 May, 2014 - France: MotoGP 2014 Motorcycle Rest Places - Relais Calmos
MotoGP 2014 France Poster
FFMC logo
#MotoGP #France #RelaisCalmos - The French MotoGP motorcycle race is on for 16, 17 and 18 May, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place several motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


9 May, 2014 - Day Trip Tip For South UK: Le Havre Auto/Moto Exhibition
Le Havre Auto Moto Exhibition 2014
France flag
#France #Exhibition #Lehavre - In the ferry city/harbor of Le Havre, there is a nice motorcycle (and car) exhibition that has opened its doors for the first time ever. Sunday is the last day, and bikers from South UK can hop on a ferry to Le Havre or Dieppe to visit this expo.

 


9 May, 2014 - Funny: Biker Sells His Mistress After Paparazzi Photos
Bye Bye Mistress
France flag
#France #Funny #PersonalAd - A funny well thought out personal ad on the French Craiglist equivalent. After photos published of him and his mistress by the paparazzi, he has to end his intense relationship.


 


7 May, 2014 - France: Priest Gets Arrested For Having A Radar Detector
Priests and car
France flag
#France #Priest #radar-detectors - In France a priest was stopped and arrested for using a radar detector in his car, something that is highly illegal. On top of that, he insulted the gendarmes. Maybe the pope can get him out of this mess.

 


6 May, 2014 - France: A Scooter Get Stolen Every 8 Minutes
Grand theft scooter
France flag
#France #Scooter #theft - A scooter gets stolen every 8 minutes in France. Here are some interesting statistics.

 


28 April, 2014 - France: Big Brother Police Car Sees Everything
French Big Brother Police Car
France flag
#France #BigBrother #Police - The French police are testing a new device.. An 8 video camera device installed on a cop car that will see everything, everywhere.

Just riding through a street at a normal speed will generate a windfall of tickets, like if you haven't parked straight, or in an illegal spot. Big Brother is watching you.


 


23 April, 2014 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops Bol D’Or 2014
Bol Dor 2014
France flag
For those of you going to the last ol d'Or motorcycle endurance race at the Magny Cours circuit, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.

Do watch out of the police before and after these rest stop, they are ALWAYS there!


 


21 April, 2014 - France: The Real Reason They Want To Reduce Speed Limits
Boulevard Peripherique
France flag
#France #SpeedLimits #ShowMeTheMoney - The real reasons that France wants to reduce the speed limits on the secondary roads has become obvious with the speed reduction in place on the Parisian ringroad.

Money, money, money!


 


18 April, 2014 - France: Biker Caught At 138 Kph. Angry, Since He Was At 200 Kph
Was Riding Faster Officer
France flag
#France #Speeding #WeirdGuy - Some French motorcycle rider gets caught speeding 138 kph in a 90 kph zone. Instead of manning up, he claims he was doing 200 kph a few minutes before.

Whata dope...


 


17 April, 2014 - Bol D’Or 2014 - Change of Venue for 2015
Bol dOr running start
Bol d'Or logo
#Bol-D'Or #Endurance - The 24 hours motorcycle race, the Bol d'Or will be held 27/28 April on the Magny-Cours circuit. But next year it looks like it is moving down South - very South!

Starting 2015 the 24 hour race returns to the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Casetellet.


 


17 April, 2014 - France: Holiday? One Way Motorcycle Rental Between Paris and Cannes
Harley Davidson Next to Eiffel Tower
Columbus logo
#France #Holidays #Rental - Columbus International, a top motorcycle rental agency in France based in Cannes are now offering one way rentals between Paris and Cannes/Nice.

Not a bad way to visit France on a motorcycle.


 


15 April, 2014 - Video: French Safety - Without The Right Gear
French Safety Video Right Equipment
France flag
#France #PSA #ATGATT - Here is a very good and educational TV commercial what the difference is between real biker clothing and street clothing.

And that at 30 kph.


 


14 April, 2014 - France: Nationwide Protest Against Lowering Of Speed Limits
Le Havre Protest 201404
France flag
#France #Protests - The French motorcyclists, supported by car drivers, went on protest rides throughout the country. They are protesting the proposed lowering of the speed limit on secondary roads from 90 to 80.

A measure not to reduce road fatalities, but to increase the dwindling number of speeding tickets.


 


11 April, 2014 - France: New Double Facing Radars Are Coming
BP Motorcycle Rider
France flag
#France #Radars - France is looking at using double facing radars. Front and rear photo of you speeding.

No more getting out of the ticket, and more money for the government piggy bank.


 


8 April, 2014 - France: 100 Years of Motorcycle Celebration - 2014
2014 Cany Barville Vintage Motorcycle Exhibition
2014 Cany Barville Vintage Motorcycle Exhibition
#Cany-Barville #Vintage #Exhibition - The 2nd year they hold an exhibition entitled '100 Years of Motorcycles' in the communal center of the town close to my house.

Here is a quick photographic visit of the vintage and classic motorcycles.


 


1 April, 2014 - France: Secondary Roads Limited To 80 KPH, Motorcycles At 60
Country Road Speed Limits
France flag
#France #SpeedLimits - The socialist government in France has ruled that on January 1st, 2015, the secondary road network will be limited to 80 kph for cars, and 60 of motorcycle.

Bikers have more accidents (30%) in the country, while only representing 2.7 of traffic.


 


25 March, 2014 - France: Fake Speed Radars Are Coming?
Scarecrow Police Radar
France flag
#France #Radars - France is looking at the UK and Switzerland as example.

They want to install fake radars alongside the roads in France. But they will not do what is needed to really address the many road fatalities, and it's not speed.


 


21 March, 2014 - France: Great Motorcycle Insurance Ad Campaign With Video
Mutuelle des Motards 2014 Campaign
Mutuelle des Motards logo
#France #Insurance #MutuelleDesMotards - Here is a great TV advertisement from a French insurance company dedicated to motorcycles. Also, four print ads, but the video is well done.

 


20 March, 2014 - France: The Real Reason Paris Went For An Odd/Even System
Myanmar Motorway
France flag
#France #Pollution #Greed - The French started an odd/even license plate system in Paris on Monday. Officially it was to fight pollution, but since the pollution was already gone, why do it?

You guessed it.... MONEY!


 


17 March, 2014 - France: Pair/Impair Circulation Starts Today - Including Motorcycles
Ad Pirelli Smoke Italy
France flag
#France #Pollution - Paris is starting a pair/impair license plate riding system today and tomorrow to fight a pollution peak that has already passed.

Another example why French politicians are not a shining light in the brilliance department.


 


14 March, 2014 - France: Double Whammy Radar
Radar Photographed Sign
France flag
#France #radar #Police - The French police in the Alsace region have a new game.

It consists of two speed radars on one stretch of road, and some interesting psychology. Nice game.


 


13 March, 2014 - French ’White House’ - Elysee Palace - Goes Electric
Renault Zoe
France flag
#France #Electric #Government - The French Elysee Palace, the equivalent of the White House, is going to go full electric, replacing 100 diesel guzzling Peugeot 308 cars by electric Renault Zoe cars.

And maybe an electric scooter for the president ;-)


 


3 March, 2014 - France: Cop Places Himself In Danger To Catch Speeders
France Gendarme Hiden Radar
France flag
#France #Police #Dumb - Here is an example of a French cop putting his life at stake in order to catch speeders.

It's illegal and stupid.


 


28 February, 2014 - France: Exceptional Motorcycle Exhibition in Top Museum
Motopoetique expo
Motopoetique expo
#France #Museum #Exhibition - A very nice motorcycle exhibition has opened it doors for the first time in one of France's top museums in Lyon. Food, design and 'real' culture - motorcycle culture.

What more do you want? Called Motopoetique, the expo runs until 20 April 2014.


 


27 February, 2014 - France: First Drive-In Police Station Opened
France Drive In Police Station
France flag
#France #Police #Drive-in - The police in a Southern town of France have opened the very first drive-in police station.

Open 24/7, you can ride in with your motorcycle, do you business and ride away, never leaving your bike. Cool.


 


13 February, 2014 - Idea: Motorcycle Camping With All Your Electronic Gadgets
Orange Solar Concept Tent
Orange logo
#Orange #Gadgets #Camping - Orange have developed a tent that can charge your electric gadgets using a solar panel woven into the tent. And it has a few more interesting functions.

 


13 February, 2014 - France: When The Government Lies or Fuddles The Numbers
Biker Zombies
#France #Statistics - Two cases here in France where the authorities were caught fibbing on statistics that according to them was better for us. How many more?

 


11 February, 2014 - France: Darwin Award Candidate #8273
Darwin Award Logo
France flag
#France #Darwin - Here is one motorcycle ride in France that should be on the list of Darwin Award nominees. Stupidity does not come close to what he did.


 


10 February, 2014 - Paris: Mayor Elections - A Candidate That Wants The Right Thing
NKM Meeting FFMC
NKM Salon de Moto
#Paris #Elections #NKM - The Conservative party candidate for next month's Paris Mayor elections, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (NKM), looks to be quite pro-motorcycle. She has a 3 point program to help our cause. here it is.


 


6 February, 2014 - Le Touquet Enduropale 2014: A16 Motorway To Be Free For Bikers
A16 Le Touquet Map
Enduropale 2014 Poster
#LeTouquet #Enduropale - The Le Touquet Enduropale motorcycle beach race starts tomorrow. The A16 motorway is free for motorcycles, and here are some web sites that will be streaming the race live.


 


29 January, 2014 - France: Top 50 New Motorcycle Sales In 2013
France 2013 Marketshare
France flag
#France #Sales - Here are the (morose) sales figures for 2013 of the French motorcycle industry. Still in decline.

 


23 January, 2014 - France: President Hollande Sells Many Motorcycle Helmets
Juliet Gayet Francois Hollande Closer Helmet
France flag
#Advertisement #Helmet #Mistress - French President Hollande got in the news recently when he visited his mistress on a scooter. Now the helmet manufacturer is thanking the President for the enormous sales of that model helmet.


 


22 January, 2014 - France: Paris 2014 Mayor Elections Heating Up
Scooter Parking Paris
France flag
#France #Paris #Elections - The Paris Mayor elections is shortly, and the candidates are heating up with sound bites. The socialists want to make motorcycles and scooters pay for parking. #Fail


 


8 January, 2014 - France: New Long Range Speed Radar Comes Into Service
Ultralyte Compact.jp
France flag
#Radar #Speeding - A new speed radar is being deployed in France, allowing mobile radars to check the speed of 2 vehicles at a distance of 1 kilometer. UNFAIR!

 


7 January, 2014 - France: Paris Ringroad Drops Top Speed, Gaelic Shrug Ensues
Boulevard Peripherique
France flag
#Paris #Peripherique - The Socialist Mayor of Paris has deemed it important to lower the speed on the Parisian ringroad by 10 kph. Boy, are we lucky.


 


18 December, 2013 - France: Electronic Tickets Enormous Windfall For Government
Electronic Tickets
France flag
#ElectricTicketing #Police #France - By 2016 all tickets (parking, etc) will be electronic and not in paper. All cops will be issued with a PDA to do this. Couple advantages, but also future disadvantages.


 


13 December, 2013 - France: Travel Through France? Take the Motorcycle Train
Auto train
France flag
#Train #France #Travel - Taking the enhanced rail service in France can be an easy way of getting your motorcycle to the South.


 


5 December, 2013 - Paris Salon 2013: And Finally ... The Girls (And No Guys)
Paris Salon 2013 Girls
Paris Salon 2013 Girls
#LeSalondelaMoto #Exhibition #Girls - Here are some of the pretty girls to be found at the Paris motorcycle exhibition. Sorry, no handsome guys.


 


4 December, 2013 - Paris Salon 2013: Odds & Ends
Paris Salon 2013 Odds Ends: Honda Gold Wing Ambulance
Paris Salon 2013 Odds Ends: Yamaha Trike
#LeSalondelaMoto #Exhibition - Here is some of the stuff I found that was too short, or too weird, to put in one article.


 


4 December, 2013 - Paris Salon 2013: MASH Motorcycles
Mash Motorcycle Cafe Racer
Mash Motorcycle Seventy Five
#LeSalondelaMoto #Mash #Exhibition - The largest importer of motorcycle in France showed an interesting and very cheap series of motorcycles called MASH. Nice and cheap.

 


3 December, 2013 - Paris Salon 2013: French Electric Scooter ecCity
eCity
eCity
#LeSalondelaMoto #ecCity #Electric - I found this French manufacturer of electric scooters in the Paris based Le Salon de la Moto exhibition; ecCity.


 


3 December, 2013 - Paris Salon 2013: Honda F6C Muscle Cruiser
Honda F6C Muscle Cruiser
Honda logo
#Honda #F6C #LeSalondelaMoto - Honda presented their muscle cruiser, the F6C, at the Paris motorcycle exhibition.

 


29 November, 2013 - You Dawg, You - On My Way To Paris Motorcycle Expo
You Dawg
Le Salon de la Moto logo
#SalondelaMoto #Exhibition - Dressed up and nowhere to go? Not me, I'm on my way to Paris to visit the Paris Le Salon de la Moto motorcycle exhibition


 


22 November, 2013 - France: Speeding Tickets In The Increase & Show Me The Money
Greed Camera
France flag
#France #Speeding #ShowMeTheMoney - The French government is really going speeding fines crazy. They say it's not a tax, I say it's a super-tax. Here is a breakdown of the money flow.


 


18 November, 2013 - France: French Radar BBQ
French Radar BBQ
France flag
#France #Protests #Radars - The French are fed up with the very bad socialist government who know only how to raise tax after tax. The last taxes, ecological taxes, was the spark. A revolution is coming, and they started burning radars. BBQ time.

 


13 November, 2013 - France: Less Money For Police, More For Radars
Corrupt Politician
France flag
#France #Politics #Police - The French socialist government has decided to cut even more the police budgets by reducing their patrols, but increased significantly the annual radar budget. More money to make money, less money to make its citizens safe.


 


1 November, 2013 - France: Insurance Is Killing Motorcycle Sports
France flag
#France #Insurance #Motorsports - Insurance costs are doubling every year for motorcycle sports events. It is killing the French motorsports, and shortly there will be no more races in France.


 


24 October, 2013 - France: The Real Threat For Speeders
French Unmarked Radar Car
France flag
#France #Speeding #Police - The French police are now using a real threat for speeders, even those that go over the limit by a small percentage. An unmarked radar car that catches you passing, and on the opposite side of the road.

Repression at its best, and a very high tax collecting scheme...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


22 October, 2013 - France: Have Your Motorcycle Washed Wherever In Paris - Nifty
Bike Washer
France flag
#TheBikeWasher #Washing #Motorcycles - Cleaning your motorcycle is a pain. A new service in Paris makes it easy. The Bike Washer will come wherever you are and clean your bike for you. Using an App for your smartphone, it geolocalizes it, you pay for it and you rate the cleaning.

Having your motorcycle or scooter cleaned has never been easier...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


21 October, 2013 - France: More Police Warnings Of Speed Checks Via Facebook
Gendarmerie Yvelines Facebook
France flag
#France #Police #Facebook - Now a 2nd police unit in France is warning road users of upcoming speed and alcohol checks via Facebook.

How cool is that?..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


18 October, 2013 - France: 1/3 Of All Speeds Bumps Are Illegal
High speed bump
France flag
#France #SpeedBumps - A French journalist found that 1/3 of all speed bumps in France are illegal in one way or another...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


16 October, 2013 - Darwin Award Nominee #836652: DUI, Speeding And Child On Tank
Child on fuel tank speeding
Darwin Award Logo
#DarwinAward #DUI #France - A French biker was arrested after a police chase; speeding 120 kph in a 70 kph zone, 4 year old daughter on his fuel tank, and totally DUI...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


10 October, 2013 - France: The Real Costs Of Automatic Radars
France Radar Destroyed by Tractor/Digger
France flag
#France #Radars #Financials - I think that every country has them by now. Radars that not only take a photo of you speeding on your motorcycle, but then send the digital photo to a central computer that analyzes the photo, identifies your motorcycle (or car, or truck) and then sends you a nice letter asking for your financial contribution to the state's coffers.

It's a big money racket, that much we have all gathered by now. Millions and millions of dollars/euros are paid each year to cash-strapped governments. But these modern-day highway robbers have pretty high costs as well...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


8 October, 2013 - France: Douchebags #8273, 8274 and 8275
French Biker Caught Tape
France flag
#Speeding #Squids #YouTube - I am still amazed at the stupidity of some fellow motorcycle riders. How many continue to speed like a bat out of hell, film their exploits and post it on YouTube to find themselves arrested a while later? Reading the news feeds, it would seem like this is a daily occurrence, but bikers keep doing it. Maybe they do not read the news.

 


3 October, 2013 - France: Head Of Speeding Fine Agency Suspected Of Abusing Funds
Speeding Ticket France 2008
France flag
#France #Fraud #Radars - The head of the French national agency that treats all the speeding fines (ANTAI), ie, the government agency that takes the photos made by the speed radars and sends out the fines to the car or motorcycle owners, is suspected for fraud...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


27 September, 2013 - France: Speeding At The Le Mans 24 Hours, Not Only On The Circuit
Aircraft Enforced
France flag
#France #Police #LeMans - That motorcycles go fast, very fast, at the Bugatti race circuit during the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans is not only a given, but expected. That is why they are there. But also a given is speeding vehicles outside the race circuit.

Every year it is the same story; at a motorcycle race, spectators are swept up in the race atmosphere so they start riding fast and if you have been watching 24 hours non-stop racing, you probably thing you can ride fast on the public roads yourself. And every year, the police knowing this is going to happen, send out their troops to catch people speeding...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


25 September, 2013 - France: Ad For Attitude Change Towards Bikers And A Surprise
Change view of bikers
France flag
#France #Biker #Advertisement - In France several national organizations have come together to start a campaign to change the 'negative' view of the general public towards motorcycle riders. In fact, IMHO, it is not half as bad as I have seen in other countries, but anything that promotes motorcycle riders is okay in my book.

The organization, which freely translated from French means 'Let us change the view of bikers', have a first advertisement/poster, and it looks like this. But there is a twist in the photo used which I found...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


17 September, 2013 - France: Next Year No More Appealing Traffic Tickets
Blind justice
France flag
#France #Law #Legal - It is becoming increasing more and more like a dictatorship over here. I can understand it from the far right, or the far left, but from a Socialist political party, this amounts to a complete and utter contempt for the tax paying public.

The current Socialist government slipped in a change in the law during the summer vacation. The new law will make it impossible to appeal a ticket/judgement. If a judge removes points of your license, and you are in disagreement, tough...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


12 September, 2013 - France: Paris Mayor Wannabe - Reduce Speeds To Crawl Speed
Boulevard Peripherique
France flag
#Paris #Elections #Speeds - The elections for next year's Mayor of Paris is heating up, and both side, left and right of the political spectrum, are having their sound bites , saying stuff that will hopefully catch some moments of PR glory.

The main candidate of the Socialist party (the current party for both Paris and the country), Anne Hidalgo, has already expressed her dislike of motorized vehicles, especially motorcycles, and she has been campaigning to reduce lanes and reduce speeds in the country's capital...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


11 September, 2013 - France: Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Special Aerobatic Stunt Team For Sale
Patrouille de France Harley
Harley-Davidson logo
#Aerobatic #Stunt #HarleyDavidson - To celebrate the 110th birthday of Harley-Davidson, France's main aerobatic flying stunt team, the Patrouille de France, a v-Rod was customized in the colors of the stunt team; red, white and blue.

The special motorcycle was used in several key events for both Harley's birthday and the stunt team's flying exhibitions. Now the customized v-Rod is going to be auctioned off...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


6 September, 2013 - France: Monday 9 September - Free Parking Country Wide
Ticketing clamped motorcycle
France flag
#France #Police #Strike - The French love strikes. It is part of their DNA, they will drop everything at the drop of a hat, and head for a strike march. Often strikes get met with a grumble, but an understanding, even if the strike affects your daily life. Railroads are more often on strike than functioning, but deep in their hearts, the average French person supports the strikers. It is therefore that an announced strike that has gotten a wide acclaim here in France: the municipal police has called for a nationwide strike this coming Monday (9 September). What they are going to do that day, or more specifically NOT do that day, is ticket vehicles for bad parking and other minor offenses...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


21 August, 2013 - France: Airplanes Used For Speeding Tickets
Aircraft Enforced
France flag
#France #Police #Aircraft - France has been planting speed radars at a very high rate. It almost looks like the speed radars are copulating; they are spreading like bunny rabbits. But now the French government is going all Apocalypse Now on its citizens.

It used to be that the police would very occasionally use helicopters to spot speeders, often motorcycles, but at a cost of €2,000 per hour, you need to catch a lot of speeders to make it worth their while, and that just is not the case.

But what is interesting, at least for the government, is using light aircraft. The 10 police units operating in France will be equipped with a light aircraft costing €200 per hour...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


20 August, 2013 - France: Speed Radar Goes Skynet- Takes Over Planet
Radar jackpot
France flag
#France #Radar #Crazy - Like Skynet in the Terminator movie series, the computer in a speed radar in Montpellier, France took control. The radar probably realized that it was not issuing enough speeding tickets, so it changed the rules of the game.

On a road limited to 110 kph, it started making photos of cars and motorcycles that were travelling faster than 90 kph. In other words, it had gone mad, but it was a bonanza for the government. Maybe the radar could start fining vehicles over 10 kph?..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


14 August, 2013 - France: Less Car But More Deadly Motorcycle Accidents
France July 2013 Motorcycle Accidents
France flag
#Statistics #Accidents - I am surprised that the French authorities are surprised.... The number of cars and trucks having fatal accidents have decreased last month by 5.7%, a record. But the number of deadly motorcycle accidents has increased between June and July 2013 by 19.3%

As the authorities state, the motorcycle fatal accidents had been decreasing months before that, and now they have started increasing again.

So let me get this straight.... in the winter there were less motorcycle accidents, and in the summer they increased.... hmmmmmmm .... I wonder why?

All these statistics actually mean nothing if you do not have something to compare with, like the number of motorcycles on the road at that time. If only 100 motorcycles are on the road during winter and 50 of them died, that is enormous, with a 50% casualty rate. But if 1,000,000 are on the road and 50 died, it's a small percentage.

But the government will never publish these kind of statistics since then they can not keep the repression going, making a lot of money in the process. So they just try to scare us with one-sided figures.


 


8 August, 2013 - Darwin Award Nominee #82763: Self Filming Speeding Motorcycle 271 kph
French Biker Caught Tape
France flag
#Darwin #Speeding #Motorcycles - Some people really do not deserve to be called "human", and some have a room temperature I.Q. A French biker was stopped by the local Gendarmes after he was spotted riding his motorcycle in excess of 250 kph. The cops were drawn to his bike because of the extreme high noise it was making, since it was riding in full revs.

The cops stopped him and while inspecting his Suzuki bike, discovered a camera mounted on his handlebar. After watching the homemade video, they discovered that this 22 year old biker, with 2 years experience riding motorcycles, filmed himself riding at 271 kph on a road limited to 110, and 227 kph on a road limited to 90 kph.

The young biker explained his actions by saying he was "testing the video camera". He is now without a motorcycle and camera, no license and a court date.


 


18 July, 2013 - France: Law Changes For Motorcycle Taxis - Status Quo
Taxi Police Inspect Motorcycle Taxi
France flag
#France #Taxi #Motorcycle - The French can be a rather strange people at times (okay, often). They apply laws with as objective to apply laws, not to regulate something properly. The case in point are the motorcycle taxis.

Motorcycle taxis are a boon sent from heaven for some people, while a curse for others. The people who love motorcycle taxis are people who are in a hurry, usually business people traveling for a meeting or celebrities going for a TV show. They need to arrive imperatively on time, and the only ones who can guarantee arrival are motorcycle taxis.

But the people who hate motorcycle taxis are the "normal" taxis. They see the bikes as stealing away their customers. But anyone who has traveled in Paris will know.... there are never enough car taxis available, and often you can not even get one, or will have to wait for hours (my record is 4 hours wait). And when you get one, it can take hours for them to struggle through Paris to your destination, time not only wasted, but you will need to pay for it...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


17 July, 2013 - France: Fighting The Mandatory Technical Inspection For Motorcycles
FFMC No To MOT
FFMC logo
#MOT #France #Protest - With the heavy political horsetrading and self-serving actions by European politicians, the mandatory annual technical inspections for motorcycles is back on the table, despite promises from the politicians ("the cheque is in the mail") of the contrary. Obviously many national motorcycle lobby groups, lead by FEMA, will not take this lying down.

The French very active Association of Angry Bikers, the FFMC, usually takes the fight to the streets, and for sure this will happen. But they also launched another campaign, this one a bit more subtle...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


16 July, 2013 - Extend The Range Of Your Electric Motorcycle By Far
EP Tender
France flag
#Electric #EV #Tender - If you think about it, this is stupid, even FUBAR. People who buy electric motorcycles (or cars) do it to save money on fuel or/and because of ecological convictions (lack of CO2, noise, etc). Some, possibly myself included, because of interesting performances.

But this product goes against any of the above ideas. EP Tender got launched a few days ago in France, and it is a trailer equipped with a small 600cc engine (coming from the Tata Nano car) and a 35 liter fuel tank. The EP Tender "talks" to your electric car (and maybe with some adaptations to your electric motorcycle) and when the batteries start running on empty, kicks-in the 600cc engine to recharge your batteries while you keep driving...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


15 July, 2013 - France: Motorcycle Torch Descent of Fecamp - Burn Baby, Burn
Fecamp Descente Moto 2013
Fecamp Descente Moto 2013
#Fecamp #Event #Motorcycles - Every year since 1972, a bunch of motorcycle riders come together in the coastal city of Fecamp (Normandy region of France) for some fun & games. The date is always the same, namely the day before the national holiday of France; Bastille Day - 14 July. On the 14th there are always parades, the biggest one in Paris, but all cities and bigger towns have their own versions. One of the biggest, and definitely loudest one, is the night before, and it is held in Fecamp.

The idea, already in place in 1972, was to go down the enormous cliffs by motorcycle. The first few years there were a few dozen bikers, but this number steadily grew, reaching 1,000 motorcycles. Then there was a fatal accident in one of the descents, and the parade was interrupted for a few years, until 1980 when some 50 odd bikers decided to start it up again, despite the local authorities forbidding the event.

The biker groups managed to continue the illegal event until 1986, when it got stopped by the authorities again (it is illegal to have fun in France...). In 1992 a different organization took the event in hands, and started organizing a real event..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


12 July, 2013 - Darwin Awards: #82736 - New Motorcycle Gone In 48 Hours
BP Motorcycle Rider
France flag
#Squid #Darwin #Motorcycle - Some people never learn, while some people just do not get it. This Darwin Award nominee falls in the latter category.

A French motorcycle rider, 26 years of age, got caught riding the famous and notorious Parisian ring road (the Boulevard Peripherique) at 144 kph instead of the 80 kph allowed.

So far, nothing to earn this prestigious award. Except for two things:

1. He did not have his motorcycle license yet, since he was still studying for it.
2. He bought this brand new sportsbike 48 hours prior (bought it without a license, and therefore without insurance).

Now a) he has no new motorcycle (it got confiscated and will be turned into an ashtray or something similar), b) he will not be able to get his motorcycle license for a very long time and c) he will have to pay a fine of some €15,000 (and he might just end up in prison for some time).

If that is not worthy for a Darwin Award, what could be?


 


25 June, 2013 - France: Decriminalization Of Parking Fines - What Does It Mean?
Ticketing clamped motorcycle
France flag
#Parking #Fines #Politics - On the 7th of June, the French senate voted for the decriminalization of parking fines. I guess many of you didn't know that it was a crime to badly park your motorcycle, but that means it's time to rejoice ... right?

WRONG. In fact, it's a bad thing. By having bad parking a "crime" meant that it was the government that decided what the fine was. And all over France, the fine for bad parking is €17. It doesn't matter if you are in Paris or in a small shit-kicker town down South, it was going to cost you €17 if you forgot to feed the parking meter, or just parked your motorcycle on the sidewalk.

But now that it's decriminalized, it's up to the commune to decide how much you will pay...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story (4 paragraphs).......


 


24 June, 2013 - France: Mandatory High-Visibility Vests Mandatory (Again) For Motorcyclists, With A French Twist
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
France flag
#France #High-Visibility #Motorcycles - To think we pay these people a salary to do whatever they want, including making senseless laws. It's really incredible, but when you start thinking about it when sitting on the toilet, it makes sense. Politicians, like any other "human", needs to make sure they have a job. And one way of keeping your job is to pretend to be very busy. Even if it means making laws that make no sense whatsoever and are a pain to everyone.

So what got my knickers in a twist you may ask yourself? Remember last year we had a lot of problems, protests, political unrest because the government wanted to make high-visibility vests mandatory for all motorcycle riders, including foreign registered ones. Eventually, because of the heavy handed protests here in France, they dropped the idea. Until now... it's back, but with the typical French twist...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


24 June, 2013 - France: Paris- Motorcycles Can Use Electric Car Charging Points
AutoLib Station
France flag
#Electric #Charing #Motorcycle - Here's something I didn't know. In Paris there's an electric car sharing service (that much I did know), much like their popular bicycle sharing service, called AutoLib (it's quite popular, so much so that Indianapolis have signed a deal to replicate it in their city). With the AutoLib program, you subscribe to the service, and can go to one of the many electricity recharge station, drop in your credit card, hop into one of the funky electric cars, and ride through Paris. When you are finished, you drop the car at any of the fast recharge stations.

So far, nothing of interest to use motorcycle riders. But what I recently learned is that you are allowed to ride your electric motorcycle to one of the charging stations of the AutoLib program and recharge your bike's batteries.

You need to subscribe, which will cost you €15 per year. That includes during the day the first 2 hours (and at night the first 4 hours), and after that it'll cost you €1 per hour of charging time (at night, it'll be €1 for the whole night).

That looks like a pretty good deal. If you ride up at night, plug it in, and it'll cost you €1 to recharge. Not bad.


 


20 June, 2013 - France: Moto Revue Magazine Celebrates 100 years
Moto Revue 100 Years
#France #Magazine #Motorcycles - It's not often that a magazine gets to celebrate 100 years of existence, and for a motorcycle magazine it's even more impressive. The French motorcycle mag, Moto Revue, is celebrating their 100 years. First published 18 June 1913, the magazine has been published, weekly, now every two weeks.

Congratulations to Moto Revue and its staff. Here's to the next 100.


 


19 June, 2013 - France: Cop Gets Driving License Torn Up For Motorcycle Speeding
Speeding Motorcycle
France flag
#France #Police #Speeding - I guess not all cops are born equal, some of them will get hit as hard as we civilians do by their brothers-in-arms. A police officer got caught speeding on his personal motorcycle on a road limited to 110 kph. He was "racing" his motorcycle at 186 kph (with the margins used by the police, he was officially clocked at 176 kph).

When he was stopped by his colleagues, he told them that he was riding in a group, and he was trying to catch up with the other bikers.

Later on he left the scene as a passenger/pillion since his license was taken away on the spot. He'll now have a date with a judge.

So it is possible for cops to ticket cops, which is a good thing, but IMHO it rarely happens. But it shows that at times a) cops are honest enough to ticket other cops and b) cops are human and do things they shouldn't be doing.


 


17 June, 2013 - France: Shocking Motorcycle Students Into Safety
Val d Oise Accident Book
France flag
#France #Accidents #Exams - One of France's states ("departements"), Val d'Oise, has gotten itself in its head that by shocking people they will take things more seriously.

What the local authorities have done, is take photos made by their emergency crews and made a photo book out of them. All the photos are of serious motorcycle accidents, and the books are distributed to students who are to take their motorcycle license exams.

The authorities hope that when the pupils see the terrible accidents they will take care while riding their motorcycles. What these so-called experts fail to see, is that the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents were caused by cars, not motorcycles. Maybe they should give the booklet to student car drivers?..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


13 June, 2013 - France: New Premium Motorcycle Manufacturer Coming?
Motorcycle Unknown
#Motorcycle #New #France - I was killing some time and looking through the wanted advertisements of the motorcycle recruiting site MotoRecrute (honest boss, I'm not looking for another better paid job) when I stumbled upon this job ad: "Responsable Développement Réseau International" which means "Head of International Development". The ad itself started with (freely translated from French):

"Our client, specialized industrial company, has just created a totally new motorcycle. A rare object, this machine is targeted towards the man with taste, passioned by esthetics and technology."

The new company is located in the Maine-et-Loire area in France and they are looking for English speaking people who are used to developing luxury goods (like watches, jevewlery, wines or fashion). They need someone who will develop their international distribution network for the new motorcycle...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


13 June, 2013 - France: Educational Radars Open For Hacking - Have Fun
Pedagiguque Radar Software Hacked
Pedagiguque Radar Software
#Radar #Hacking #France - Here's one we didn't see coming. Since a year or so, France has installed 1,000 of educational radars. These radars, usually found in villages and towns, show you the speed you are travelling at in your car or motorcycle, and if you are speeding, how many license points you would forfeit if caught by a real radar.

The educational radars usually show a message, like "Slow Down" when speeding, etc. One French blogger, Korben, discovered that it's very easy to "hack" into these radars. In fact the word "hack" is way to strong since the manufacturers more or less have invited people to change the settings.

According to the manufacturer's websites, almost all of them are accessible via Bluetooth, and for convenience sake, the Bluetooth code is shown on the site (it's "0000"). The software that you need to run to setup the radar is freely downloadable on the sites as well. No password, no id .... just download.


 


11 June, 2013 - France: Single Operator For Electric Fast Charging Stations?
Autolib Charging Station
France flag
#Electric #Charging #France - In a move that is not typical for the current French politicians (in other words, thoughtful and creative), the French government announced last May that they are looking into creating a central and single operator for all electric fast charging stations for electric cars and motorcycles. Currently, like in most other countries where there are electric vehicles, the vehicle manufacturer tends to install charging stations. Since often the standards differ, the charging station will only work for that manufacturer or for those that have adopted their standards.

The most obvious example here in France is the difference between Renault and the PSA group (Peugeot/Citroen). Both have electric cars, both have electric charging stations, but one can not use the other's.

By appointing a single operator that installs and operates electric fast charging stations, all must adhere to that standard. The idea is to have 5,000 stations alongside motorways and secondary roads. But this being France, there are a lot of different opinions and to "cure" that, they are all talking, so it might take a while before we see this happen.

In principle, we are going to go back in time, to when there was a single telecom operator, a single electricity company and single gas company. So I guess once the single fast charging station operator has been in place, they'll break it up.


 


11 June, 2013 - Paris: No Parking Tickets Today - Strike In progress
Motorcycle cop ticketing a tank
France flag
#France #Strike #Police - I hate strikes, particularly when they make no sense or are political, but this strike will receive 100% of my (and many others) endorsement. The Parisian police officers are on strike today. As if we really need a reason, they are protesting their status change. It has got to do with a change in their civil service status. Not that it matters, just know that today virtually no tickets will be issued, either for parking or at spot checks.

Most of the 1,920 agents are on strike (but watch out of the few strikebreakers). Daily, they issue 10,000 tickets, so the government better pay attention, since it's an enormous revenue loss.

For me, they are allowed to continue their strike.


 


7 June, 2013 - France: Paris Motorcycle Exhibition 2013 Dates
Salon de la moto map 2013
Paris Motorcycle Expo 2011
#Paris #SalondelaMoto #Exhibitions - It used to be that the Paris motorcycles and scooters exhibition, at the time known as the Mondial du Deux Roues, was the 3rd largest motorcycle show, after Eicma (the largest) and Intermot (the second).

Then came the financial crisis and the Paris show, which used to run every two years, had to cancel. So there was a four year hiatus, with no big France exhibition. The Paris show alternates with the German Intermot, but in 2011 the French organizers decided to change their format.

They are now calling the expo "Salon de la Moto". In 2011 I went for a look (you can read my report by clicking here).

This year, the Salon de la Moto will be held between 3 and 8 December at the Porte de Versailes (Paris)..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


4 June, 2013 - France: Motorcycle Sensitivity Program Greater Paris Area
France IdF 15 Days Program 2013
France IdF 15 Days Program 2013
#Safety #France #Motorcycles - For 15 days, in the greater Paris area, called Ile-de-France (Island of France), the local authorities will be conducting an extensive sensitivity communication program for motorcycle and other "fragile" road users (like pedestrians and cyclists).

Although 2011 and 2012 saw an improvement of the number of fatal accidents in that part of France, 326 people died in 2012. 113 of them were motorcycle riders (81 pedestrians and 17 cyclists).

To gain awareness in the general population, the local authorities are running several posters, like this one:..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


22 May, 2013 - France: Electric And Hybrid Vehicles Gather Public Support
Statistics Article
France flag
#Statistics #Survey #Electric #Ecological - After a recent study of the French market, the survey shows that the French as a nation support in rather large numbers the use of electric or hybrid cars and motorcycles.

A survey conducted of some 2,000 people shows that 38% of them would purchase a hybrid vehicle if they had the financial means to do so. That's 15% up over the previous year. 18% of the surveyed said they'd like to purchase an electrical vehicles, up over 2011 when that figure was only 8%...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


20 May, 2013 - France: Self Teaching Site On The Dangers Of Motorcycle Riding
MotoPrev
MotoPrev
#Safety - Here's an interesting site developed by the Prevention Routière et Assureurs Prevention, an organization for the prevention of accidents funded by insurance companies. The site, called MotoPrev (as in Motorcycle Prevention) is like a video game without the controls. It shows you how and when motorcycle accidents happen. It allows you to identify areas where you may be in danger.

There are 7 main areas, and each area loads a video (using high quality animated graphics) which you can view from either the motorcycle's point of view, satellite/above view or the car's view. There's at the end also an explanation, but it's in French (as is the whole site)...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


20 May, 2013 - France: Honda Claims Gold Wing Not Designed For Taxi Service
Honda Gold Wing Taxi
Honda logo
#Taxi #Honda #Goldwing - Honda France may have shot themselves in their feet. 25% of all Gold Wing motorcycle sales are to taxi companies, since many (bikers and clients) consider the luxury and comfortable tourer the best and only way to ride through a busy city.

But taxis ride many kilometers every day, more miles per bike than "civilians". And that's where the problem lies. Honda France have stated that the Gold Wing was never designed to swallow so many kilometers every day, especially the clutch. Riding in an urban environment means shifting gears continuously, and that means actioning the clutch.

So Honda France have stated that they although they will honor the normal warrantee on the Gold Wing if used by a taxi company, but that defects that are related to overuse, especially the clutch, will not be honored or repaired under a warrantee program...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


10 May, 2013 - France: Monks, Motorcycles and Holiday
Abbaye Liguge Enamel Art
France flag
#Exposition #Monks #Abbey - Here's an interesting travel tip for those of you who are planning to visit France shortly. Starting on the 17th of May, until the 30th of June, in the Abbey of Saint-Martin de Ligugé the monks there are holding an exposition of enameled motorcycle art.

The expo is named "A Golden Century of Motorcycles", and consists of 25 enamel based portraits of vintage and modern motorcycles, even the latest Ducati Diavel and the Yamaha V-Max.

Apart from passing through the obligatory gift shop, you can even ask the monks to make an enamel rendering of your favorite motorcycle. All exposed artwork can also be purchased. Each artwork is on a copper plate measuring 17 x 25 cm...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


9 May, 2013 - France: Crowd Sourcing To Highlight Road Dangers
MotoMap France
France flag
#Safety #Facebook - Two organization that have as main goal to reduce road fatalities have launched a crowd-sourcing page within Facebook for French road users. The idea is for the road users, car and motorcycles, to highlight danger points on a map of France. The two organizations are Association Prevention Routiere and Assureurs Prevention (insurers group), and the map is called MotoMap.

Using Google Maps, you locate a danger zone you are familiar with, highlight it, tell the rest of the world what the problem is and save the point.

You can specify the category of problem area; infrastructure, motorcycle specific, dangerous curves, etc...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


7 May, 2013 - France: MotoGP 2013 Motorcycle Rest Places - Relais Calmos
FFMC logo
MotoGP logo
The French MotoGP motorcycle race is on for 17, 18 and 19 May, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place several motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


6 May, 2013 - France: Darwin Award - 253 Kph In 90 Kph Zone and DUI
Speeding Motorcycle
Darwin Award Logo
#Speeding #DarwinAwards - Here's one guy that gets the coveted Darwin Award. A 36 year old Frenchman got caught riding his Kawasaki with a slew of events.

1. He was speeding, doing 253 kph in a 90 kph zone.
2. His motorcycle was not limited to the legal limit of 100 hp, but had 175 hp.
3. He was riding under influence of marijuana...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


26 April, 2013 - France: 40 year Anniversary Of The Notorious Peripherique
Paris Peripherique
France flag
#Paris #Peripherique #Speeding - Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has ever ridden their motorcycle or driven their car in Paris will know about the famous and very notorious Boulevard Peripherique. The BP as is it abbreviated (but known as the "Perif") is the ringroad around Paris. It is a main artery for commuter traffic and it's always very busy, day and night.

This week it celebrated 40 years of existence. The BP sees 1.3 million vehicles everyday, travelling over its 30 kilometers in length (the Perif is 40 meters wide at its widest point). The Perif is also a hot debate point between political parties. On one side it represents a quick and efficient way to go from one side of Paris to another, but on the other hand, it generates a lot of noise and CO2 pollution. This has been one reason why the powers-to-be have reduced speed from 80 kph to 70 kph and are envisaging more reductions.

But no matter how busy the ringroad is, and believe me it is always busy, there are always people who speed...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


25 April, 2013 - France: Cop Dies After Riding Motorcycle Without Helmet
Minibike cop
France flag
#Police #Accident #Motorcycle - Cops should know better, after all they are the ones who give us tickets when we do not obey the law, not matter what the excuse is. In this case, the person didn't get a ticket, worse, he died, and the person was a cop.

A police officer from the anti-crime unit (BAC) died in a traffic accident while riding a motorcycle without a helmet. The motorcycle has just been confiscated during a routine traffic stop, and the 35 year old cop decided to ride the motorcycle back to the police station. The bike was confiscated after having been stopped due to the two bikers (rider and pillion) were on it without helmets. While the two bikers were being transported to the police station in a police car, the third cop took the bike and drove it to the station...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


16 April, 2013 - France: 2 Government Ministers Have Motorcycles - That’s It
Najat Vallaud Belkacem
Stephane Le Foll
#France #Taxevaders - France is going through some strange voyeurism show lately, and it has nothing to do with s.e.x. After the latest tax evasion scandal, though this time it was one of the finance ministers responsible for stopping tax evaders, the current socialist government is caught like a deer in the headlights of your motorcycle; scared silly and doing things you'd expect better from a 5 year old.

To fight the illusion that politicians are not corrupt, the President of France has told all his ministers to publish on Monday what their current financial status are, including real estate, bank accounts and vehicles. It's not going to solve any perception problems, since a corrupt and tax evading politician will just not declare the off shore accounts, the same way they don't declare them in their tax forms. So a stupid and wasted political action.

But 1 interesting thing did come out of it. Now you can see who actually has a motorcycle. And there are 1 and 1/2 ministers who actually have a motorcycle:..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


15 April, 2013 - France: Record Year For Speed Radar Revenues
Radar jackpot
France flag
#France #Radar #Record - For those of you who still think that speed radars are there to reduce speeding on the roads, think again. They are there for one reason only, and that is to raise as much cash as they can.

Last year (2012), the 4000+ speed radars in France managed to generate an incredible 730 MILLION Euros of cash, up €100 million over the previous record year - 2011. On average, a single radar will ticket 5200 times per year. During 2012 12.5 million tickets were issued, many of them for only a few kilometers over the speed limit...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


8 April, 2013 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops Bol D’Or 2013
Bol Dor 2012
For those of you going to the Bol d'Or motorcycle endurance race, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.

Do watch out of the police before and after these rest stop, they are ALWAYS there!


 


5 April, 2013 - France: Motophobia Of The French Airport Orly
Orly Ouest Motorcycle taxi Move
France flag
#Taxi #France #Orly - The life of the French motorcycle taxi is overflown with obstacles, and they are usually not the ones you find on the road. The obstacles encountered by French motorcycle cabs are political, car taxis and obstructive & motophobic airport authorities.

In the latest slap in the face, ADP, the operators of Orly Ouest (West) decided to move motorcycle taxis to another place. Already a few years ago they closed the motorcycle taxi information booth (see related below) and now they decided to move passenger pickup from the door next to the "normal" taxis to the furthest away point in the airport (see diagram).

What this means is that business people who come to Paris for the day, find themselves walking a very long distance to get to their motorcycle taxi. Often these people are pressed for time, the reason they go for motorcycle taxis since normal taxis during rush hours can take hours, and now they need to rush to the other side of the airport to get their ride, not exactly passenger friendly but the airport has caved in several times under pressure of the 4 wheel taxis. To hell with the actual customer!..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


2 April, 2013 - France: Video Ticketing Has Begun
Video Fining Sign Marseille
France flag
#Fines #CCTV #Video #France - In France politicians are grasping at any straw to get money into the state's purse. Things are going bad, with more and more unemployment and deficit, higher taxes, more factories closing down and therefore innumerable ways of ticketing cars and motorcycles. It looks like every few months the authorities think of new ways of parting motorcyclists and car drivers with their hard earned money. We've already seen all sorts of radars, but now the latest weapon to get your money has started in Paris on April 2nd; VIDEO.

The French had reluctantly started rolling out video surveillance equipment to fight crime (it's too expensive while money can be better spent getting money from hard working citizens), but now suddenly someone realized that you can actually use video cameras to find ways of making money. A plan was immediately put into place, and with a speed that you will never see a government do for something good & proper, the video surveillance cameras will now fine you for a host of issues:..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


25 March, 2013 - France: 100 Year Celebration of the Motorcycle
Cany Barville 2013 BMW R69S (600cc) from 1967
Cany Barville 2013 Portuguese Casal from 1980, 50cc (Zundapp base)
Usually when I go out to make photos for an article, it involves packing up my motorcycle with all my cameras, computers, sleeping gear, toothbrush, etc, or it might involve planes, trains and automobiles. But whatever the mode of transportation, it'll mean it's going to take a while before I get there, and even longer before I get back. That's because I live in the real countryside, in a small (186 inhabitants) village in Upper Normandy. My next door neighbors are cows, and I mean the animals.

Once or twice I've had something as a source for an article close-by, usually 15 to 30 minutes ride from my house, and that made me happy, but last weekend on Sunday, in the closest town to me, Cany-Barville, was a exhibition called "100 Years of Motorcycles". Cany-Barville is almost at walking distance from my house, a little over 5 kilometers, so the expo got marked in big black marker in my agenda (something my iPad did not like), since it was going to be one I was not going to miss.

The only thing that troubled me, and I never got a response, was why "100 years". Motorcycles have existed for more than 100 years. Anyway, it didn't spoil my fun. So off I went to the exhibition. Now do remember, we're in the middle of "shit-kicker" country, so whatever it was going to be was small but done with gusto. ..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


21 March, 2013 - France: Some Clarification About The Motorcycle Helmet Stickers
click to see where France is on the map
Two weeks ago I published an article about an old law in France that requires all motorcycle helmets sold in France to have reflective stickers on them. In the article I stated the dimensions, and it was just a reminder of the law.

The article itself drew several questions, and I've been monitoring discussion forums and blogs on this matter, and I'm amazed at some of the things mentioned. Here are some responses to the items ..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


14 March, 2013 - France: Little Known Fact - All Motorcycle Helmets Require Stickers!
Reflective Helmet Stickers
France flag
Here's a little fact that few people know, even those living in France. France is the only country in the world, to my knowledge, that requires all motorcycle helmets to have reflective stickers.

Officially you need four reflective stickers; front, rear and both sides. The surface of each sticker needs to be 18 cm2, and within each sticker you need to be able to draw a 40mm diameter circle, or a 12.50 cm2 rectangle with a minimum 20 mm length. The stickers should not be removable (without damaging the helmet) and remain reflective over time.

Crazy as it may sound, this is true, and if you get caught without one, you get fined €135 and they deduct 3 points from your license. So you get docked the money and points even if you motorcycle helmet itself has been properly homologated...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


11 March, 2013 - France: Doubling The Parking Fines, Even For Motorcycles
Motorcycle pound towing
France flag
A few days ago the French socialist government announced with big ceremony that they would be spending billions of Euros to make "The Greater Paris"; a project for Paris and the extended suburbs. To do that, they would need to beef up the crumbling transportation infrastructure, mainly the metro and commuter rail, and to do that, they would need to spend 30 BILLION Euros. And that in a country that is laden with debt, so much so that it would make the Japanese look debt free.

So you can guess what comes next... the government is going to look at us, the honest hard working tax payer, to finance this idea. And even if you don't live in Paris or its suburbs, pay you will.

But raising the tax rates even more is political suicide (the tax rate will shortly be set at 75%, yes, you read it right, seventy-five %), and the last thing the powers want is a spring uprising and then the chopping off heads. So they're now planning the next best thing; raise the price of fines!

A few days after announcing the Greater Paris project (which goes until 2030), the politicians now want to raise the price of the fine you get when you park badly, or forget to feed to parking-monster (which is easy to do since you can only feed them 2 hours at a time). Currently when fined you pay €17, shortly, if the extension gets approved, it will become €35, double what it is now.

The trouble is the fines are for all of France since it's a police matter. You can not fine someone in Paris for an amount A and someone elsewhere in France an amount B. That is illegal. So people living outside Paris will be paying enormous high fines to subsidize a project they will never benefit from. Or, they de-penalize parking fines and outsource it to private organizations, which will probably make fines even more expensive.

All in all, it really looks like this government does not know what to do. It's stumbling in the dark, bumping into objects while trying to find the bathroom and on the way, loose the content of their bladder. With all the rich people and celebrities fleeing the country because of ridiculous tax rates, with record unemployment, with companies closing down factories because of the power the unions have and the cost of having employees, the only thing successive governments will have left is higher and higher taxes. But I'm ranting....

So back to the subject. If they really want to make traffic fluid in Paris without major influx on money, all they need to do is promote motorcycles and scooters. Make more parking available in Paris, allow motorcycles to ride in the bus lanes and officially allow them to split lanes, and suddenly there's going to be less traffic jams, less pollution and a lot more happy people. But €30 BILLION is way to attractive a sum of money for some. Politicians need to think about their retirement too.


 


6 March, 2013 - France: Interesting Statistics On Motorcycle Usage In Paris
Statistics Article
France flag
#Statistics #France #Paris - With all the troubling issues coming from the Mayor of Paris, and the upcoming 2014 Mayor elections and their moto-phobic candidates, it's interesting to see some statistics about the usage of motorcycles and scooters in Paris. The number crunching was done by the DRIEA (Direction Regionale et Interdepartementale de l'Equipement et de l'Amenagement).

First of all, the stats aren't for just Paris, but what is called "Ile-de-France", or more accurately the Greater Parisian Area, which is Paris and its suburbs. If the candidate politicians ever read these statistics, maybe they'll change their minds about motorcycles, but somehow I doubt it.

Every day there are 570,000 PTW moving around and through Paris. That's half a million per day! Between 2001 and 2010, there was an increase of 34% in the number of daily PTW movements...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


6 March, 2013 - France: No Entry Into Alps For Motorcycles No Longer An Issue
Col de la Schlucht
France flag
In January this year, the local governor of the Haut-Rhin province called for a ban on motorcycles riding the Alps in his area. The ban was supposed to be for the weekends only and would forbid motorcycles from riding the twisting roads to the mountain peaks.

This brought a very loud outcry, not only by motorcycle riders all over Europe, but also from the biker rights lobby groups like the FFMC. Since this goes against the freedom of movement, a fundamental human right in Europe, the local government quickly caved in and stated that this is a non-issue...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


5 March, 2013 - France: Digger Machine Takes Out 2 Automatic Radars, Bikers Rejoice
France Radar Destroyed by Tractor/Digger
France flag
In the time of two days in North East of France (Alsace region), a digger machine was used to totally demolish 2 automatic radars located alongside the road.

People are fed up with these automatic radars, since they will make expensive photos of you and your car or motorcycle, even when you are only a few kilometers over the speed limit.

Radars have been shot at, burnt, garbage bagged, painted, but this solution is far more radical; the radar is totally wasted.


 


4 March, 2013 - France: New Hidden Radar In Service This Month
France New car radar
France flag
A new and very sneaky speed radar starts this month in France. The radar is mounted in unmarked police cars, and there are no visible signs that you're about to be caught by one. No markings, no telltale radar bubble, to visible flash... nothing to tell you that you've been photographed apart from a very expensive photo sent to your house in the next few days (and remember that radar detectors are highly illegal in this country).

The only current sign is that these unmarked police cars are Renault Megane 1.5 dCi, and there will be two uniformed gendarmes inside, and starting on the 15th of March, there will be 20 of them patrolling the French roads. The cost for each car is €70,000, paid for by our taxes and speeding fines...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


22 February, 2013 - France: Paris Mayor Elections - Anti-Motorcycle Candidate
Anne Hidalgo
France flag
The elections for the Parisian mayor will be held next year and already the battles have started. The current mayor Bertrand Delanoe, a man who has done a lot of things AGAINST the motorcycle world, is stepping down. Several candidates have declared themselves, and funny enough they are all women.

The biggest contender is Anne Hidalgo, the current 1st deputy mayor, and the person behind all the current mayor's anti-motorcycle movements.

Already she has mentioned in her programs that she's planning even more drastic measures to curb motorcycles inside Paris (aside from the older motorcycles not allowed in the city, requiring mandatory annual technical inspection of motorcycles, no using of bus lanes). One of her pet peeves is the fact that motorcycles take up parking spaces in Paris. She wants to limit the number of parking spaces allocated to bikes in the country's capital. And that when there's already not enough spaces, and motorcycles are no longer allowed to park on sidewalks...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


18 February, 2013 - France: ATGATT Shortly Mandatory?
Total ATGATT
France flag
It looks like the debate that is happening in some places in the world about the mandatory use of helmets on motorcycles is so minor compared to the one that France is going to have......

.... helmets are mandatory, as is the case in all other European countries, but the French want to go for the next step. Currently the next step is making it mandatory to wear gloves when riding your motorcycle. According to French and international research, gloves can reduce severe corporal accidents, and in a medical system that is in a huge deficit, any penny that can be saved is a penny that can be spent on the politician's campaigns. According to a recent study, it costs the French state €1.1 BILLION for non-lethal motorcycle (over 50cc) accidents per year.

But the next steps might solicit more emotions. The government is looking at introducing bit-by-bit new legislation regarding a sort of ATGATT law..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


14 February, 2013 - France: French Solution For Mandatory Breathalyzer
Alcootel testing
France flag
If you've been following the news here last year, you'll have read about the incredible law that was created, making it mandatory to have at least 1 breathalyzer kit in any motorized vehicle on the French territories. That meant that all motorcycles above 50cc had to have a breathalyzer, in working condition (meaning you'd need to have two, since if you use one, you need to have another one in working condition). If you were stopped and didn't have one, you'd be fined €11.

Since this meant that all European vehicles transiting France needed to have one, you can imagine the nightmare it became to have breathalyzers in your car, or on you on your motorcycle. Especially when you consider you could only use ones that were approved in France. The two factories that made them were churning them out day and night.

The CNSR's recommendation is the continue making breathalyzers mandatory in every vehicle (and now possibly even 50cc mopeds), but not to fine anyone if they don't have it...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


13 February, 2013 - France: Despite Rescinded Law, Mayor Of Paris Wants Motorcycle Technical Tests
Ad Pirelli Smoke Italy
France flag
Last year the French (and many other European countries) were under the menace of having to undergo annual technical inspections (MOT) on their motorcycles, something the European motorcycle associations and lobby groups had been fighting against. After numerous protest rides and heavy lobbying, the proposed law got canned. So no annual technical inspections of motorcycles.....

But now the motorcycle-phobic mayor of Paris, Bernard Delanoe, wants to get the French government to bring in the annual inspection law anyway. The mayor is becoming very unpopular in Paris, since his actions are always against private transportation in general, and motorcycles in particular. He has last month closed down one of the busiest express ways (Rive Gauche) for all traffic and made it a pedestrian area, he's bringing down the speed of the Parisian ringroad (Peripherique) from 80 to 70 kph and he's outlawing all motorcycles that are 10 years old or older from the inner city...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


12 February, 2013 - Ads: 4 Safety Ads - Drinking and Driving - Wrong Place
Ad France DUI Wall
Ad France DUI Rail
Here are four very nicely done print advertisements from France, trying to get people to stop drinking & driving (a very difficult task for a wine producing country).

The images are nicely done, not violent, and the tag line says "Don't let alcohol drive you to the wrong place". Each ad has an object that cars and motorcycle are known to crash into when DUI.

But will it stop people from drinking & driving... I doubt it.


 


8 February, 2013 - France: Motorcycle Taxis Are Allowed To Be Called Taxis
taxi moto paris taxi
France flag
Crazy as it may sound, the French car taxi associations had forced the motorcycle taxis to remove the word "taxi" from their business and motorcycles. In other words, French motorcycle taxis were no longer allowed to call themselves "taxi". This was one of the weapons the "normal" car taxis were deploying to stop motorcycle taxis. Car taxis see motorcycles are an enormous enemy since motorcycles don't have fare meters and more importantly, they don't pay for a taxi license.

But on the other hand, motorcycle taxis aren't allowed to be "hailed" on the road, nor are they allowed to wait for walk-by passengers; they need to be reserved in advance.

Anyway, the organization that controls the industry (FNTDR) has finally judged that motorcycle taxis are allowed to call themselves taxis. So all the motorcycles that had removed the word "TAXI" from motorcycle cabs can be put back again...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


7 February, 2013 - France: Caught Doing A Wheelie At 238 Kph
Rossi Yamaha Wheelie
France flag
Popping a wheelie can be fun, but dangerous. Popping a wheelie on a bumpy road limited to 90 kph and doing it at 238 kph is pure suicide. But doing it on the same road where there's a speed radar can only be described at pure stupidity.

A 31 year old biker in France got caught doing a wheelie at a speed of 238 kph, and not only did he get caught, but he had been caught prior for speeding, and had lost his license already. But that didn't deter him for doing it again, but this time faster.

Of course they can't take away his license, since he doesn't have one, but they did take away his motorcycle. That's one bike he'll never see back again, and now he stands the chance of doing wheelies in jail with a jail mate called Bubba (or whatever the French version of Bubba is).


 


4 February, 2013 - France: A Look At The New Schuberth Helmets For The Police
Schuberth French Police Version
Schuberth logo
There's been quite a lot of heated articles and debates concerning the helmets used by the French police. Even so much so that a part of them went on "strike", since their helmets were totally inadequate.

However, the French National Police and the Gendarmerie (which is a different authority), have contracted German motorcycle helmet manufacturer Schuberth to deliver 7,000 police version C3 helmets (not the C3 PRO which was introduced later). This means that over the next 4 years all the old helmets are being phased out, and replaced by the newer, but heavily modified, Schubert C3...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


4 February, 2013 - France: Le Touquet Enduropale 2013 - Photos and Video
Le Touquet Enduropale 2013
Le Touquet Enduropale 2013
#Touquet #Enduropale - Another year, another crazy Le Touquet Enduropale beach motorcycle race is over. And what a race it was.... suspense, drama, fights, weather. A 3 hour super tough beach race which lasted 2 hours, since the weather had become impossible and the tide was therefore turning in much quicker than expected, making it not only very difficult, but also very dangerous.

And it was a good thing for the declared winner Jean Claude Mousse since he had to rip off his goggles halfway through the last lap (a lap takes 15 minutes to complete) and he couldn't see anything. He was passed just before the finish line by Potisek, but since the red flag was out, the previous lap counted, not the finished one...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


29 January, 2013 - France: 2012 Top 10 Motorcycles Sales
Statistics Article
France flag
#Sales #Statistics - For a fifth consecutive year, the French motorcycles and scooters market shrunk, thanks to the economic crisis. People just don't have the money to buy a new motorcycle, and it shows. During 2012, only 158,106 new motorcycles and scooters were registered. At the turn of the millennium, sales were at a premium, with a constant growth every year. But that stopped in 2007, and since then we've seen a steady decline in sales, and 2013 doesn't look any better.

Here are some of the more salient results of 2012, models, manufacturers and categories...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


29 January, 2013 - France: Major Reduction In Road Deaths for 2012 - Record
France Location Stats 2011 2012
France flag
For once we've got good news coming from France. The number of road deaths and accidents during 2012 has been at an all time low, a record since these figures were recorded (1948). In total for all vehicle types there were "only" 3,645 people killed on the French roads, a significant reduction of 8%. When comparing the statistics between 2011 and 2000 (when a serious effort was undertaken to reduce road accidents), the overall drop has been 52%.

But when you look at all the statistics, motorcycle riders showed the way.... with a reduction of 14.5% in the number of deaths. Although motorcycles have been very good at reducing the number of accidents, they still represent 18% of all road fatalities, while only representing 1.9% of traffic...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


28 January, 2013 - France: 1st Electric Motorcycle & Scooter Exhibition
eBikeTec logo
France flag
#electric #eBikes - You can see that electric motorcycles and scooters are becoming more mainstream when they get their own exhibitions. Between April 16 and 18, Paris will see the opening of the eBikeTec exhibition, an expo dedicated to electric PTW.

The expo runs at the same time as the eCarTec, the electric car exhibition. The venue is Port de Versailles in Paris, and although the accent of the expo is more BtoB (business-to-business) the general public is welcome...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


25 January, 2013 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops for Enduropale 2013
Relais Calmos 27
Enduropale 2013 Poster
If you're planning to attend world's craziest, and biggest, beach motorcycle race, the Le Touquet Enduropale, on next weekend (February 2 & 3), and you're going on a motorcycle, here are the special rest places for bikers.

There are 3 of them, places motorcycle riders can go to, to get their bike checked out, drink hot drinks, and mingle with other bikers.

Also, several motorways should be free for motorcycles going to the race.


 


23 January, 2013 - France: Governor Looking At Forbidding Motorcycles In Mountains On Weekends?
Col de la Schlucht
France flag
It doesn't get any crazier than this.

The governor (in French called a Prefet, but appointed, not elected) of the Haut-Rhin province in France, a beautiful province where the Alps start, is going to put in place a law that will forbid motorcycles from entering the mountain peaks during weekends...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


11 January, 2013 - France: You Would Think He Knew It Was There By Now
Speeding Motorcycle
France flag
A French motorcycle rider on the island of Corsica has been "flashed" 52 times in the last 9 months BY THE SAME RADAR! You'd have thought he should know by now where that radar was located.

But the story is slightly different. He knew very well where the speed radar was located, and he also knew that the radar was front facing, so no way it could photograph his license plate. So he was speeding happily on the Yamaha Vmax, at times doing 172 kph in the 50 kph zone. And he was doing this always around the same time (late at night), wearing very distinctive clothing...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


7 January, 2013 - France: Motorcycle Cops On "Strike" Because Of Helmets
Paris Motorcycle Expo 2011   Gendarme Yamaha
France flag
ATGATT is not only the fact that you need to wear all your safety equipment all of the time, but also that the equipment is in good shape. And that's something that is not the case for the motorcycle gendarmes in Morbihan (in Brittany, France). The motorcycle cops had received new helmets in 2007, and today these helmets have become unusable, the paint is flaking, the shell has deteriorated, and the helmets do no longer sit properly on their heads. Also the visors have become foggy and scratched. The cops have been trying to get replacement helmets, but the authorities are not listening and just paying lip-service...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


17 December, 2012 - France: Hmmm... Nothing Left To Protest
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
France flag
You can clearly see that the end of the world is closing in on us rapidly. This time last year, the French motorcycle riders and their associations had a laundry list with grievances the length of the Eiffel Tower. Now, one year later, there's nothing left. What a difference one year makes..

In one year, hot protest items like mandatory high-visibility armbands for all bikers, mandatory annual technical inspections for motorcycles, mandatory alcohol breathalyzers and 100 HP power limit for motorcycles are all binned or suspended.

Two other hot subjects are about to be granted..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


14 December, 2012 - France: This Guy Is Going To Fail His Motorcycle Exam, For Sure
French Driving School Motorcycles
France flag
A lot of motorcycle riders speed, I'm one of them, though not always on purpose. From experience, there are three instances when you shouldn't speed:

1. When there are cops around
2. When you're doing your motorcycle exam
3. When you are training for your motorcycle exam

A young guy in Beauvais, France missed points #1 and #3, and therefore will not get the chance to try point #2. He was caught riding his motorcycle at 150 kph on a 100 kph road, ON HIS DRIVING-SCHOOL Motorcycle...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


7 December, 2012 - France: Record Number Of Tickets & Points in 2011
French Driving License Torn Up
France flag
2011 was a record year in France, but not a record year were we saw athletes surpass themselves, or a national football team win the world cup, or the French administration reduce the taxes. No, it was the year that saw the most number of points withdrawn from driving licenses, but funnily enough, a reduction in the number of driving licenses being shredded.

12,096,911 points were deducted from driving licenses during 2011 (an increase of 19.3% over 2010). The 12 million points were deducted from some 7,252,738 tickets, 78% of them for speeding and 2.43% for DUI. Because of the new red light radars, a dramatic increase in tickets for driving through a red light was seen, +128%...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


28 November, 2012 - France: Hi-Viz Armband and Breathalyzers Law Suspended
Alcootel testing
France flag
Things always happen when governments change. One law made during the last government gets changed with the new one. And that is what happened here.

Two laws had been created by the previous conservative government, the mandatory wearing of 150 cm2 of high-visibility armband for motorcycle riders and the mandatory breathalyzer kit in your car or motorcycle. Both laws had been heavily criticized by associations and people alike. Even the European Commission intervened saying that the laws were illegal (see related below). And both laws have been suspended.

Here's what this is all about...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


27 November, 2012 - France: Government Suspends Mandatory Armband
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
France flag
According to Moto Magazine (the printed magazine of the French Federation of Angry Bikers - FFMC), after many months of protests and lobbying, the Minister of Interior has suspended today the mandatory wearing of high visibility armbands, a law that was going to be in place starting January 1st 2013...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


23 November, 2012 - France: French Federation of Angry Bikers Against Armbands
FFMC Protest Armband Statue
FFMC logo
Since the French government has decided that for our own interest and safety they want all motorcycle riders, including foreign registered ones, to wear a high visibility armband, the French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) has been strongly opposed. It's a moronic law which serves no one apart from maybe the manufacturers of the armband.

Apart from a couple of advertisements in the newspapers opposing the new law (which comes into effect January 1st, 2013), and a bunch of protest rides, the FFMC have been peppering pubic places with armbands.

Here are a few photos of statues and landmarks that have received the FFMC's "touch".


 


19 November, 2012 - French Radars Made Unusable By .... French Cops
French Radar Unusable By Cops
France flag
And this is the way it should be. France's biggest TV station, TV1, showed last week that the French cops are fed up with quotas and the whole drive towards increased revenue by cops. They are fed up with radars being used to generate money, moved to strategic locations, not for safety but from more money.

So several of them have started to strike back. In the video shown on TV, a camera crew follow a couple of cops going to radars and using garbage bags and duct tape, masking off the radars, rendering them useless.

They are brave cops, since if they get caught, not only will they lose their jobs, but risk 5 years in prison...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


13 November, 2012 - France: The French Association Of Angry Bikers Is Losing Patience
FFMC What Do We Need To Do
France flag
With all the new laws and proposed changes to the motorcycle world, almost all of them bad, the French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) is losing patience.

They currently got an advertisement up that reads:

Do we need to get to this point to get your attention?


 


13 November, 2012 - France: 1 Region Warns About Speed Radars On Facebook - Courtesy Police
Var Gendarmerie facebook Warning
France flag
This is so strange that it's got to be true. In one region in France, the Var region, the Gendarmerie (the national police) have a Facebook page. So far, not so unusual, though you do not find many regional police forces with one. But what's really interesting is that they've started announcing their speed radar traps on their Facebook page.

What they've said in their last posting, that "they'll pay a particular attention to the RN7 road, where there have been several incidents over the last 15 days"...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


6 November, 2012 - France: Police Order Yamaha TDM 900 Motorcycles
Yamaha TDM 900 Police
Yamaha logo
Even though BMW got the French Law Enforcement and Authorities market back from Yamaha, they didn't take away all the market from Yamaha. Yamaha after a 12 year partnership with the French police have re-signed an agreement to continue to deliver the Yamaha 900 TDM motorcycle to the national cops.

The Yamaha will be delivered in a special police version, complete with sirens and strobe lights. No numbers have been issued in terms of sales numbers, horsepower, top speed etc, but the customized TDM motorcycles are part of the "less-than-1000cc" category for the French administration. In other words, you'll mostly see them in big cities.

Have a look at the video below, where you can see two Yamaha TDM 900-Police motorcycles escort a fire truck through a busy streets (and a unmarked police motorcycles).


 


2 November, 2012 - France: Motophobic Mayor Wants To Cut Down All Traffic In Paris
Airplane-exhuast-pollution
France flag
The extreme motophobic and socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, has often been heard about his views on cars and more importantly, motorcycles. He is the man that has started the rent-a-bicycle operations and now even has a rent-an-electric-car thing going in Paris. He has closed many of the lanes in Paris, dedicated them to bus (motorcycles are not allowed to take bus lanes) and he has placed an extensive tramway in the French capital, taking away more lanes in the process. There's also the eternal struggle to get parking spots, both for cars and motorcycles. There just isn't close enough to what is needed in terms of parking spots, but then it's a ticket bonanza for the city, reaping in fortunes for parking tickets. So you know why he's not creating more parking spaces.

But that's not enough for the Parisian mayor. He has now announced that he's going to go many steps further to eliminate traffic from one of world's most beautiful cities, and shortly one of world's most empty.

OLD VEHICLES WILL BE FORBIDDEN TO ENTER

Motorcycles that are 10 years old or older will not be allowed into the city...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


30 October, 2012 - France: Anti-Reflective Armband Ad - FFMC Strikes Again
FFMC Anti Reflective Band
FFMC logo
First the previous government wanted all motorcycle riders (even foreign ones riding into France) to wear reflective clothing. Then, under pressure after multiple protests, they toned it down to making us wear a 150 cm2 fluorescent armband (starting the 1st of January 2013).

This law just adds to the stupidity of governments. Like a small armband will make any difference. The only bit that makes the difference is when you get caught without one... a €68 fine and 2 license points. To illustrate the stupidity, the French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC) have released a print advertisement... I've translated the upper text, the rest is of no use....


 


22 October, 2012 - France: Parliament Rejects Mandatory Technical Inspection for Motorcycles
Motorcycle MOT Bay
France flag
Good news for motorcycle riders living in France (and other European countries: The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland). The European Commission proposed law that would make an annual technical inspection (MOT) of motorcycles mandatory has been massively rejected by the French parliament and senate.

The French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC) had not only been lobbying heavily against the new proposed law, but had also held massive protest rides. The interesting tidbit of this veto was that all parties - left, center and right - were against the law...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


10 October, 2012 - France: Motorcycle Security Tattoo Now With RFID
Stolen Motorcycle Just Chain left
France flag
Most motorcycles (and cars) in France have several tattoos, usually because the insurance company makes it mandatory if you want to be insured. Some tattoos are visible (as a deterrent), some not so. If your motorcycle gets stolen and resold, the tattoo serial number allows a person (buyer, dealer, police) to find out who the real owner is, and since the tattoo is often placed on expensive bike components, selling parts of the motorcycle is complicated. It's not impossible (8 motorized two wheelers are stolen every hour in France) but it does slow down the Sunday-thief.

Now the largest motorcycle tattoo company in France, ICA, is offering an additional high-tech tattoo. They'll still place the serial number as a tattoo in strategically placed locations on your motorcycle, but now they also give you a RFID strip which you can place anywhere you want (obviously you'll want to hide it). RFID, meaning Radio Frequency IDentification..........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


9 October, 2012 - France: Government Back-pedaling On Mandatory Breathalyzer
Breathalyzers bag
France flag
As you may have read in the previous months, the former French government had made it a law that every vehicle (cars, motorcycles and trucks) in France, including foreign registered ones, need to have at least one approved and in good working condition breathalyzer in their possession while driving.

The new law is already in application, but the government had announced that the first fines would occur starting the 1st of November. A lot of protests have risen for this stupid and senseless law, not only from within France, but from other European countries. The main two suppliers had a field day making the breathalysers, so much so that they quickly ran out of stock, and prices went through the roof. Now, a normally €1.50 unit is selling for €10.00.

Yesterday the French government announced that the fines for not having a working unit on you will be moved from the 1st of November to the 1st of March 2013, and that a commission has been formed to study the mandatory breathalyzer law in more detail...........

...........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


28 September, 2012 - France: Police Allowed To Get BMW Motorcycles Again, Finally
BMW logo
France flag
Several years ago, BMW lost the contract of supplying the Gendarmes, National Police and Customs officers with Bavarian-made (Berlin actually) motorcycles. Instead, the authorities decided to buy their officers Yamaha FJR1300 motorcycles.

Now, BMW France announced that they will be supplying the Law Enforcement Officers from the different units with BMW R1200RT "Special Administration", or better "Police" version. BMW's contract is for 3 years.

So now the big question is why are they going back to BMW. Did the Yamaha not fulfill it's role, was it too expensive (doubtful), or what was the reason BMW got the contract back???

No numbers were announced, only that the contract is for 3 years.


 


27 September, 2012 - France: First Breathalyzer Distribution Machine?
Breathalyzers bag
France flag
You knew if was coming. With the mandatory breathalyzer requirement for cars and motorcycles (you need to have at least one in working condition on you) and the difficulties of obtaining the units here in France, the first machine not located in a disco that distributes the homologated breathalyzer has been installed at a driving school.

The owner of the school installed the unit as prevention (imagine showing up for driving lessons drunk..) and because many people didn't know where to buy the mandatory alcohol testing units. He's selling the breathalyzer for €2 per unit (which is what they cost in gas stations, if you can find one).

You used to find some of these machines in discos, but I'm sure you'll be seeing these distributors popping up in the most unexpected places, like parkings, police stations, motorcycle dealers.. etc.

In the mean time, the manufacturer of the breathalyzer is rubbing his hands while raking in the money. But that is because he's the one who got the stupid law passed in France, so that he could sell millions of units.


 


26 September, 2012 - Paris: Ring Road (Peripherique) Speed To Be Lowered?
Boulevard Peripherique
France flag
Yet another proof that the leaders are losing it. The Mayor of Paris, Delanoe (a very anti-motorcycle man), is looking at lowering the important Parisian ring road (called the Boulevard Peripherique, or BP) speed limit to 70 kph from 80 kph.

First of all, it's funny, since between Monday and Friday, day and night, that road is so heavily used, the average speed is 15 kph for cars, and 30 kph for motorcycles. The only times the ring road is open is late at night on the weekend, and then speeds are often 150 kph, way above the authorized speed limit, and then by the young kids from the "burbs" in their GTIs.

So why even bother using the little brain power you have to occupy yourself with issues that do nothing? Instead use your brain cells to do something about important issues in the French capital, like motorcycle parking areas, allowing motorcycles to ride in the bus lanes, allow motorcycles to split lanes, allow motorcycles ...... bla bla bla. There are so many real issues out there. According to the Mayor, it's to fight pollution. Pollution? The only pollution I see is when politicians speak.


 


13 September, 2012 - France: Yet Another New Radar Sees The Light Of Day
Motorway Divider
France flag
It never ceases to amaze me the ingenuity of the authorities when they want to create new radars. The latest radar type that has started a test here in France is luckily not meant for speeders, or people who run red lights. The new radar is being installed to catch people who on a motorway decide at the very last moment, usually too late, to leave the motorway.

What (often) happens is that people don't see the signs for the off-ramp, and then at the last moment, swerve to the right to exit, and often enough don't make it. So what happens is that they hit the big green divider. Until now, when you hit one of these dividers, your vehicle usually escapes without much damage, but the divider is gone and needs to be replaced. Of the 1500 dividers, 5% have to be changed every year due to cars, motorcycle and trucks hitting them. If the crash was not too violent, the vehicle will continue their route, leaving the authorities with the bill to replace the divider. The cost to replace one...??.... $20,000!.......

.......Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


5 September, 2012 - France: Use Smartphone To Get Motorcycle Taxi
Uber Paris Motorcycle Taxi
France flag
It used to be that in the good old days in Paris, you could flag down a taxi by just holding up your hand in the street. But that was a long time ago, and nowadays you need to reserve taxis by using complicated phone-in procedures, or for the more modern companies, a dedicated web service. Even motorcycle taxis don't escape this process.

But the smartphone app Uber is changing this. Available for iPhone and Android devices, you can not only reserve a motorcycle taxi (and normal car taxis) in Paris, but also pay for it using the app. So you don't need to bring your money with you to pay the cab........

..........Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


29 August, 2012 - France: Mandatory Breathalyzer Contested By Luxembourg
Breathalyzer Approved France
Luxembourg flag
The mandatory breathalyzer that every motorist, including motorcycle riders, must have with them at all times when on the road has been a hot iron in a part of the French government that doesn't shine. The previous government had made it a law that all vehicles on French soil must have an "in-working-condition" unit in the vehicle (meaning if you used one, you had to have another one unused). To make matters worse, the unit had to be approved for French soil, visible by the "NF" logo. So even as a foreigner riding your motorcycle in France, you need to buy a French approved unit.

Luxembourg has gone on the attack. They have written to the current president of France, telling him that this is nonsense. This is Europe after all, and politicians over the last few decades have been trying to normalize laws and products over its borders.

If France wants to continue a law that most experts deem inappropriate, then France should allow European breathalyzers, not just French ones.


 


28 August, 2012 - France: Using Radars For Directions
Direction Sign After Radar
France flag
There are so many radars now in France, that they have become part of the landscape. In fact, they've become landmarks.

Here's one smart restaurant, called the "Boucherie" (which means "Butcher" in French), that has put up an advertisement alongside the road, and below the restaurant name, it says "1st exit after the radar"..... smart......

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


24 August, 2012 - France: Record Revenue From Radars Expected
Radar jackpot
Radars, as we all know, are money generating machines; real jackpots for the government. Our fearless & greedy "leaders" will tell you that the radars are there to keep speeds down, to promote safety and to reduce the mortality figures, but in the end it's all about money. Show me the money....

This year in France, the radars are expected to bring in a record 700 million Euros! That's close to ONE BILLION US$. Thanks to many more automatic speed radars, red light radars and the introduction of segment radars, it looks like it's the French government's way of shoveling money into the deficit black hole. By the end of the year, we'll have 4,000 radars in France - another record.

So if you're planning on riding your motorcycle in France, better watch out of the money machines. Despite many election promises by the current socialist government, they are going to continue "taxing" vehicle son the road. It's in our own benefit... meaning they want and need the cash.


 


22 August, 2012 - France: Finally Petrol Taxes To Be Lowered
Motorcycle Tanking Petrol
France flag
For years now, in fact since 1928, France has had a steep tax on petrol. Abbreviated to TIPP, the tax was a percentage of the gross petrol price at the pump. The higher the gas price, the more the government made. Apart from the TIPP tax, they also get 19.6% VAT (Value Added Tax, i.e. a sales tax). The petrol tax is rated differently per product; 60% for unleaded and 52% for diesel. This means that per liter, the government gets around 70%!

Despite the economic crisis, or more because of it, the French government never lowered the tax. Many people were not able to drive their car, or worse, ride their motorcycle, because of very high petrol prices. Many associations and lobby groups have been calling upon the government to lower the taxes when the petrol barrel price goes up. So far, nothing..... until today.......

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


1 August, 2012 - Video: Attack On French Road Security PSA
Video clip
France flag
The French Minister of Transportation does a reasonable good job with its safety commercials for motorcycle riders here in France. Every few months they bring out a thought-provoking PSA. But not thought-provoking enough for Mehdiator.

Mehdiator is a fellow who has a bee up his bonnet about safety, and that the government is not doing enough. He makes his own PSAs, one which got a very wide audience about the crash barriers (link).

Now he is on the war path about the latest government ad -.........

...... Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


23 July, 2012 - Brammo: First Importer In France
Brammo Importer France
Brammo logo
#Brammo - It took a while, but the first importer of Brammo electric motorcycles has started up in France. Port Side Garage in Marseille has started importing the popular electric motorcycles.

Currently only the Enertia and Enertia Plus are being sold, but test rides can be organized in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Lyon and Monaco.

.....Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


9 July, 2012 - A Day At The Tour de France As A Spectator With A Camera
Tour de France 2012 The Race
Tour de France logo
#TDF #Tour - World's most famous bicycle race, the Tour de France, was going to pass for the first time ever very close to my house in Normandy, and as luck was going to have it, I was going to be home, not traipsing somewhere making photos. So I decided to see what the "Tour" was all about. Having seen it on TV, I knew it was about fast bicycles, lots of motorcycles and lots of accidents.

I took many photos, and have been culling ever since. Here are 157 photos, way too much for this part of the site, so I had to move it to a section that would not bother regular readers.

I've divided the day into three sections, The Beginning - the pre-event, several hours of wait before it started, The Caravan - the famous very long publicity caravan and The Race - the actual bicycle race.

After each section is a link to another site with high resolution photos of the day.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


6 July, 2012 - France: Need A Motorcycle Taxi? There’s An App For That
Hi Cab app
France flag
Motorcycle taxis have become part of the everyday scenery in most European cities, and now they've become an everyday commodity. You can see that when the first software for smartphones arrives on the scene allowing you to order a motorcycle taxi.

France based Hi-Cab has some 80 motorcycle riders at your disposal in several French cities, and to get the one you need, they've developed an app for iPhone and Android smartphones.

The app will know where you are thanks to the geo-localization function, and when you indicate where you are going to, it will tell you how much, when and what time you'll arrive.


 


5 July, 2012 - Tour de France 2012 - The Motorcycles
Tour de France 2012 Motorcycles
Tour de France 2012 Motorcycles
#TdF - As luck would have had it, the 2012 Tour de France passed along my house by some 500 meters, enough for me to have a look. Some 6 hours were spent there, 3,000 photos taken, and now many hours of sorting, editing and publishing. It'll take a long time to show you what it looks like being a "spectator" alongside the road of the Tour, so to keep you busy, here's just "some" of the motorcycles that can be found.

There are some 200 bicycles in the race, and at least the same number of motorcycles, maybe even more. I've divided up the motorcycles per category; police, official and press.

Here are 31 photos of the motorcycles in the Tour de France.


 


4 July, 2012 - Off To The Tour de France 2012
TdF Motorcycle Bicycle accident
Tour de France logo
As luck will have it, the famous bicycle race, the Tour de France, is passing some 500 meters from my house in Normandy today. All I need is walk out my door to see the race, but instead I'm getting on my motorcycle to find a "perfect" spot to make some photos.

The complete road for the Tour will have been closed starting at 10 am this morning, but with a motorcycle, and my press pass, I hope to get to the top of a steep hill close by to make photos, not of the bicycles, but of the 100's of motorcycles that surround the race.

If you're watching the race on TV, I'll be located 1 kilometer from the castle of Sassetot-le-Mauconduite, just after Les-Petites-Dalles (seaside town).

I just hope I'm not going to cause what happened on the photo....

I'll be showing the photos either later today (depending on traffic), or tomorrow.


 


3 July, 2012 - France: Man Ride Motorcycle Into Hospital - Really
Montbard Hospital Motorcycle Visit
France flag
The kind of stuff you'd expect in a blockbuster comedy movie coming from Hollywood. A 42 year old man went on his 125cc motorcycle to the Hospital of Montbard. Instead of getting off and walking the last meters, he kept on riding, right into the hospital. There, he kept riding through the corridors, narrowly missing hitting people on his motorcycle. He spent quite some time riding around inside the hospital...... ......Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


29 June, 2012 - France-Belgium: Bilateral Fine Exchange Starts
Belgium flag
France flag
Starting tomorrow, June 30th 2012, all speeding (and other) fines you incurred in either France or Belgium will be exchanged between the two neighboring countries.

Foreign cars and motorcycles represent 25% of speed radar fines (while they only account for 5% of the traffic), and so far, they managed to escape without paying their fines. Last year, 400,000 speeding fines were made by Belgium-registered vehicles in France. Each country will have access to the other country's Motor Vehicle registration database. With that, they have your name and address (at least, if you motorcycle is in your name)........

.......Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


29 June, 2012 - France: Mandatory Breathalyzers - A Conflict of Interest?
Good Party Proof
France flag
According to the very serious Sud-Ouest and Figaro newspapers, the new French law that makes it mandatory for all vehicles, cars, trucks & motorcycles, to carry an approved Breathalyzer, is starting to smell....

Most sane people, and even crazy people, are asking themselves why any government would make the carrying of Breathalyzers mandatory. If you're trying to cut down on DUI, then install ignition-disablers coupled to a Breathalyzer.

But as it would seem that the leader of these alcohol testing units, Contralco (number 1 in the manufacturing and distribution in Europe of Breathalyzers), and the organization that convinced the government that it was a great idea, I-test, have someone in common.... Mr. Daniel Orgeval, a senior executive for the constructor, and president of the second. Contralco was doing badly financially..

....Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


25 June, 2012 - France: Next Week Starts The Mandatory Breathalyzers For Motorcycles
Breathalyzer Approved France
France flag
We've warned you already, but now it's just around the corner. Starting the 1st of July, all motorized vehicles (cars, motorcycles, ATV, trucks, but not mopeds) will be required to have an approved alcohol testing unit on them.

The Breathalyzer units can be bought in most pharmacies and gas stations, or can be bought on-line, but they will need to have the "NF" logo on it (meaning it's an approved brand). It's not like it will empty your piggy bank, since a unit will cost you €1-€2.

The law does not say you have to use the unit, just that you need to have it on you (or in the car). Starting November 2012, getting caught without a unit will cost you an €11 fine.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


21 June, 2012 - France: First 3 Segment Radars
Segment Radar Beure
France flag
We've already told you that France was going to deploy segment radars, or radars that would take a photo of your motorcycle when entering the segment, and then again when exiting the segment, usually several kilometers further. Then by simple mathematics, they'll calculate your average speed. If it's above the authorized maximum speed, you'll get a nice letter from the government asking you for your first born. Or an arm & a leg.

The segment radars, like all new radars in France, will not be signposted, and the exact locations are not allowed to be stored in a GPS or smartphone (they only will tell you that you'll be entering a "danger zone"). The 3 segment radars will be operational starting July 20th, 2012, but for the first week, they'll not send you the nice government letter, but will just be tested. On August the 1st, the machines will start generating the much needed money for the government.

The first three segment radars will be located.......

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


8 June, 2012 - Le Touquet Enduropale Motorcycle Race 2013 + Video 2012
Video clip
The dates for the 2013 Le Touquet Enduropale motorcycle beach race, world's biggest motorcycle race, have been announced.

If you have never been, or want to see more about this amazing and very tough motorcycle race, check out the red Bull video in the article.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


7 June, 2012 - France: President - Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Video clip
The recently elected President Francois Hollande of France got the top job because he promised that he would be "normal", compared to the previous occupant of the Elysee, Nicolas Zarkozy, who was known as the bling-bling president.

He had his cabinet sign a charter that stated that when they would be going somewhere they would go as cheap as possible, and respect the rules of the road 100%.

To give him his due, when he went to Brussels, Belgium, he took high-speed train, his predecessor would take 2 airplanes (one for backup). Of course the bedlam in the railway stations was something else.

His ministers are indeed taking the metro, one went to Berlin and onwards to Rome flying a low cost airline. Of course, the Minister of Foreign Affairs could not give his press conference afterwards, since the low cost airline was not going to wait for him.

Yesterday, the President had to go to Caen in Lower Normandy, a 2 1/2 hour road trip trip. Normally, the Presidents before him would take a helicopter, but this Socialist president decided to take the car (he obviously has the time for 2 x3 hours). But like Presidents before him, and going specifically against his own orders, the parade of cars and motorcycles were speeding. According to the reporter in the video, he had plenty of time, and did not need to speed.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


1 June, 2012 - France: Anti-Radar Political Party Created
Anti Radar Political Group
Since France has political parties for almost every occupation, interest or activity of the day-to-day life in France, from clowns (he even ran for president), to hookers, it's no surprise to see one that is anti-radar.

In the upcoming legislative elections scheduled for June 10th and 17th, a new party has been formed called the Mouvement Anti-Radar (MAR), the Anti-radar Movement.

The main political platform of the 80 candidates is to dismantle all photo enforcement devices; speed, red light, etc. They also want to stop the license point system, and they want to raise the legal speed limit on the excellent autoroutes to 160 kph (from 130 kph) - 99 mph.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


30 May, 2012 - France: ZAPA - Several Cities Forbidding Motorcycles and Cars
Pollution India
France flag
The French ecology movement, several misguided politicians and many technocrats are moving forward to banning "older" motorcycles and cars from 8 big city centers.

Called ZAPA, these areas are meant to allow people to breath by limiting "older" cars and motorcycles. A law that favors rich people, while making poorer people suffer, something that a socialist government should not allow.

Not a law yet, the first official publication is listing which category motorcycles and scooters are involved in the ban.


 


24 May, 2012 - France: Another Excellent Motorcycle Safety Campaign - 2012
Video clip
France flag
The French government, notably the Minister of Transportation, knows how to make hard hitting safety campaigns. They have released their latest creation to the French TV and print magazines.

I'll not bother you with the print ad, since it's a bit difficult to translate, but their TV commercial/PSA is very good. Just watching it made my skin get goose bumps.

The main motto of the campaign is pretty good: "On a motorcycle, the biggest danger is to think there is none". Good start...


 


24 May, 2012 - France: Motorcycle Parking Becoming A Luxury
Ticketing clamped motorcycle
France flag
Living in a world dominated by socialists and left-wing green parties, plus an explosive growth of motorcycles and scooters in the big cities, can bring a lot of problems, and some of them are not that evident.

One of the biggest headaches for both bikers and city planners is that when the motorcycle market expands very rapidly, the problem is "where do you park your motorcycle?".

Some 15 years ago, it wasn't a problem. You could ride up to the sidewalk and park your bike there as long as you didn't hinder pedestrians. But then 1) the treehuggers came, 2) the socialsts started running Paris and 3) the number of motorcycles and scooters coming into the big cities exploded. In Paris, parking a motorcycle on the sidewalk, became illegal, though it had always been the case, but until now it was tolerated. No longer. Parking tickets, and even removals of "badly" parked bikes have become the norm.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


23 May, 2012 - France: 2011 Sales of Electric Motorcycles
Matra e Mo
Top Weekly Web Article
#electric - Electric motorcycles and scooters are not high on the shopping list for the French buyers. 2011 sales figures were lower than 2010 (-17%), and 2012 is not going to be very different.

Of the 1200 electric motorcycles and scooters sold in France during 2011, the majority were 50cc equivalent, and one company outsold everyone else, and that was Matra with the e-Mo, representing 40% of the market, followed by e-Solex.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


15 May, 2012 - France: Net Decrease In New Motorcycle Sales Q1 2012
Statistics Article
click to see where France is on the map
According to CSIAM, the French Association of International Vehicle Manufacturers, the sales of new motorcycles during the 1st quarter of 2012 in France was pretty bad.

Last year during the same time frame, 61,504 motorcycles were sold, this time this year it dropped by 7.8% down to 56,711 motorcycles.

Strangely enough, it's the 125cc market that has suffered the most, with a drop of -19.4%, while the best increase was that of three wheelers (MP3 etc) by +25.6%. Motorcycles and scooters over 125cc stayed stable, only increasing by +0.08%.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story for a brand by brand breakdown.......


 


14 May, 2012 - France: MotoGP 2012 Motorcycle Rest Places
FFMC logo
MotoGP logo
The French MotoGP motorcycle race is on this weekend, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place several motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


10 May, 2012 - France: 150 Average Trip Speed Radars To Be Installed
Speeding motorcycle sign.jpg
click to see where France is on the map
One of the last things the current French president has been able to push through before becoming unemployed, is the installation of 150 route trip radars.

Route trip radars consist of 2 sets of radars, one at the beginning of a road segment, the other at the end. When you arrive at the beginning of the segment on your motorcycle, the first radar makes a photo of your motorcycle license plate, recording the date & time. Then when you pass through the end part of the segment, another photo is made, and the average speed is calculated. If you have been speeding, and your average exceeds the maximum speed authorized, you'll get fined, and license points will be deducted.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


7 May, 2012 - France: The End Of The Road - For Me?
Francois Hollande
You may have heard it on the news, but France has a new government, and it doesn't look good. The country has gone from the right to the left, i.e., a socialist government.

The current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had been trying hard to get rid of the debt left to him by previous socialist governments, and with the state of the world economic crisis, was having problems. This made him very unpopular, but that is always what happens when someone tries to solve difficult problems; they must make hard decisions and unless you run a dictatorship, the people will not like it. Unfortunately, he did not like motorcycles and their riders much either, so that was another strike against him, albeit a minor one for the majority of the population.

The new president of France, Francois Hollande, is a true-blooded socialist. Despite the country having an enormous debt, he has already promised to hire an extra 65,000 civil servants, to tax anyone earning over €1 million with a whopping 75% tax rate, to bring back the minimum retirement age from 62 to 60 (Sarkozy increased it since the retirement funds are going bankrupt), and to increase minimum wages. All that while there is no money.

So how is he going to do this? Unless he is Jesus, and can split bread in more and more parts, the only way is to increase further taxes, both revenue and corporate. He has also stated that he plans to un-hire, un-appoint, all appointments made by the previous government. Which means less and less companies will be coming to France. It'll mean an exodus of wealthy people and companies that are making profits. But at least, he has said he will not hinder immigrations, so we'll be getting plenty of folks from countries worse off than France. And then things will go belly-up and Greece will look like a well-run country compared to France.

But at least there's a positive side to this event; Francois Hollande is a biker; he rides scooters, and he does it a lot (just look at the photo at his left hand fingers, the mark of a veteran rider).

So at least, he knows what it is means being on two wheels, so hopefully he'll be more clement towards us.

So apart from the motorcycle side of things, economical and political things do not look good. The French have voted with their hearts, not their brains, and they'll pay for it later.

Anyone want to hire a motorcycle journalist who wants to live outside of France. Any honest proposition will be considered with care. Only places I'll not go and live is Nigeria (I lived there, don't want to again), Syria (for the time being) and possibly Sudan.


 


30 April, 2012 - Cafe Racers: 1st Balneo Cafe Racer Event of Dieppe 2012
Balneo Cafe Racer Dieppe 2012
Balneo Cafe Racer Dieppe 2012
Despite tropical downpours and heavy winds, I managed to ride my motorcycle to the very first Balneo Cafe Racer event of Dieppe, a weekend long cafe racer exhibition, races, parades and demonstrations.

I managed to stay for 2 hours, and then totally soaked, I headed back home, not to return, but I did manage to make some photos of these amazing motorcycles and people.

Here are 37 photos of motorcycles, people and the area.


 


27 April, 2012 - France: New President? No Amnesty!
OJ get out of jail free
France flag
We're close to the second round of the French presidential elections, with two candidates leftover after the slaughter of the 1st round, when there were 10 candidates. The race to the top job is now between the socialist Francois Hollande and the conservative and current president Nicolas Sarkozy.

It has been a tradition here in France, when a president gets elected, on his first day of office, to grant a general amnesty. Obviously convicts who are about to be released get an earlier expected "get-out-of-jail" card, but also car and motorcycle owners who have been caught speeding, badly parking and running red lights get their outstanding tickets torn up. In fact, I remember under the previous socialist government of Mitterand, I had over 500 parking fines that I had not paid that were cancelled. So it was worth it to hold on to tickets and not pay them.

But no longer! Both candidates have let it be known that they will not grant any amnesty, not for convicts, not for tickets.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


20 April, 2012 - 1st Cafe Racer Event Of Dieppe - Balneo Cafe Racer Days
Poster 1st Balneo Cafe Racer Dieppe
<France flag
For those of you, especially in the UK, who are looking to do something interesting on the 28th and 29th of April 2012, here's an idea. A short ferry hop to the city of Dieppe in North France, and you will faced with the first Cafe Racer event of the city.

Called the Balneo Cafe Racer Days de Dieppe, the weekend-long event focuses on cafe racers. Some 200 cafe racers will be gathering alongside the beach front, with Saturday afternoon a parade through the city followed by a 200 meter sprint race. Sunday will see demonstrations of these special motorcycles on a 1200 meter long circuit.

A couple of big names will be present during the weekend. names like Jim Redman, Dave Hailwood (the son of "Mike the Bike" Hailwood), Paul Smart, Ron Chandler and others will be there.

Entrance is free, and if you want, there are camping grounds close by in the towns surrounding the city, plus a plethora of hotels & B&Bs. And all things considered, I should be attending the event, so expect photos the following day for those of you who will be missing the event.


 


20 April, 2012 - France: Excellent Motorcycle Protest This Important Weekend
Biker Voting
France flag
Usually a motorcycle protest here in France, involves lots of motorcycles riding slowly through cities and motorways, blocking traffic, generating bedlam everywhere as much as possible. It usually works, and bikers, despite being a pain in the *$$ are supported by the general population.

But this weekend's protest is going to be different, very different. This Sunday is an important day for France, since it's the 1st round of the presidential elections. 10 candidates are up for the top job, and during the whole of the day, voting booths will be open all over the country.

What the French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) are asking is that the bikers that are going to vote, go around 10:00 AM, and go dressed in full ATGATT gear. If enough bikers go and vote at the same time, all dressed up in full gear, it should become a clear message to the round 2 candidates:- BIKERS DO VOTE!

It's a great idea, since no one is bothered by the protest (well, maybe the old lady standing next to a big biker at the voting booth), and it does send a clear message that bikers do vote, so do not forget us in your policies.


 


16 April, 2012 - A Photographic Visit Of The Magny-Cours Circuit
Magny Cours Finish Line
Magny Cours Medical Clinic
I realize that not many people get to visit the Magny-Cours circuit here in France, let alone visit the "special" and off-limit areas. So after my little visit to the circuit for the FIM e-Power race (which wasn't much of a race), I've decided to show you a lot of photos of the circuit. Most of them were taken really early in the morning (Friday 13th). Magny-Cours, together with the Le Mans Bugatti circuit are the two main race circuits in France, hosting races for the MotoGP, World SuperBike, Formula 1 and of course the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This weekend was the other large 24 hours endurance motorcycle race, that of the Bol d'Or.

The one thing you'll notice at this circuit, the same as with the other French motorcycle races, is the incredible noise, 24 hours per day. It's not the race bikes, but the bikers who have come to attend the race and are camping around the circuit. All the time, and I mean all the time, there are several who are revving up their bikes, spitting and flaming. At 6 AM in the morning of the 13th you could still hear them. A pity if you need to sleep....

Here are 44 photos of the circuit I've taken. You can click on any photo for a bigger version, but if you are going to do that, let the whole page load with all its photos.

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


13 April, 2012 - Bol d’Argent - A Quick Action Photo Look
Bol D Argent Stock
Bol D Argent Stock
Apart from the premature e-bike race, the FIM e-Power, and the always impressive sidecars, the main pre-event for the Bol d'Or race is the Bol d'Argent. For those who don't read French, "Or" means gold, "Argent" means silver. The "Or" are the supersports bikes racing for 24 hours, the "Argent" are stock road bikes, racing for 3 hours. Any stock bike will do, single, bi or 100 cylinders.

The Bol d'Or gets enough publicity, so here are some action shots of the Bol d'Argent qualifiers for your amusement.

NOTE: All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them, but let the whole page load first before you do.


 


10 April, 2012 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops Bol D’Or 2012
Bol Dor 2012
For those of you going to the Bol d'Or motorcycle endurance race, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.

Do watch out of the police before and after these rest stop, they are ALWAYS there!


 


6 April, 2012 - 1st Backflip With An Electric Motorcycle
Video clip
The 1st #backflip on an #electric motorcycle? Apparently, during the Paris X-Trial championships held last week, the public got to see the first backflip on an electric motorcycle.

Backflips are common in extreme sports, you get to see them in almost every X-Games show, but apparently this the first time it has been accomplished with an electric motorcycle. The whole idea of a backflip rests on a proper weight distribution, which on an electric bike is different. The rider, Christophe Bruand, did the backflip on an Electric Motion trial motorcycle.

Here's the video of the flip (narrated in French).


 


2 April, 2012 - Bol d’Or: 1 Biker Rest Area Cancelled Due To Police Action
Relais Calmos 27
Relais Motards Calmos logo
One of the three Relais Calmos, the Biker rest areas, for the upcoming Bol d'Or motorcycle endurance race, has been cancelled.

The reason? Police presence last year made it impossible to organize one of the safe rest places, forcing bikers to continue their long journey towards the Magny-Cours circuit.

What is supposed to be an area for safety reasons, is going to become a danger area. That you police, and thank you French government for making our lives more dangerous.


 


30 March, 2012 - France: The Position Towards Motorcycle Of The Main Parties
France Article
A look at the presidential candidates for the upcoming elections here in France, and what their political platform means for us motorcycle riders.

We'll only be looking at the main parties, from extreme right to extreme left. The really small parties are ignored.


 


29 March, 2012 - Foreign Motorcycle Riders and France (UPDATE)
France Article
Many are planning their holidays, and it might involve riding your motorcycle through France, so here's the scope about the recent law changes.

- Breathalysers

- Reflective Clothing


 


29 March, 2012 - France: Contest A Fine, You Are Now In The Computer Systems
Speeding Tickets France
It just keeps getting worse and worse. Running up to the elections, politicians are doing the craziest things to get noticed. The latest comes from the reigning political party, who have been repressing cars and motorcycle drivers since they have been in power. With automatic radars distributing fines like little croissants, making it impossible for people to contest a speeding fine (they have already been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights - see related articles below), the government have now added a step to prevent people from contesting speeding fines, even if the fines are not justified. They do this by scaring the Beejeezus out of them....

As off the 16th of March of this year, the government has authorized the creation of a computer system, named ARES, that will record the details of every person who contests a fine. They'll record data like vehicles, name, address and even profession. In other words, "we've got your name, and we know where you live!"

Click on the headline to continue reading this story.......


 


27 March, 2012 - Want To Ride The Magny-Cours Circuit At Night? Yes You Can
Night time racing
Bol Dor 2012
For those of you who are planning to attend the Bol d'Or 24 hour motorcycle endurance race next month (14/15 April), there's an added advantage for going. The organizers are opening the circuit for all and their dogs (or bikes).

But the really interesting thing about this open circuit is that they plan to allow you to ride your motorcycle AT NIGHT. Friday the 13th of April (for some it's lucky, for some it's unlucky), starting at 21:00 (9 PM) until midnight, there will be several "trackday" sessions, allowing you to race on the circuit for 3 laps at night.

Click on the headline to read more .....


 


27 March, 2012 - France: Mandatory Audible White Lines
Scooter on white line
A strange law has recently passed here in France undetected, that does not have many applications, but can cause harm to motorcycle riders.

It's a law applied to statistics that have been liberally analyzed, and has so many escape clauses that it'll not be applied in many areas.

Your government at work for you, spending you money....


 


26 March, 2012 - France: Massive Motorcycle Protest Last Weekend
Paris Motorcycle Protest 2012/03
We're in the final stretch for the French presidential elections, and the French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) organized massive protest ride-outs through the country.

The protest was organized to send a message to the political powers to-be, that as a motorcycle group, we should be heard. 3.5 million PTW in France should be enough to get their attention. And after this weekend, the message should be loud & clear. An estimated 80,000 motorcycle, scooters and quads took part throughout France, with some 15-20,000 in Paris alone (with many coming from all over France, Belgium and even the UK to help pass the message.


 


22 March, 2012 - France Condemned By The European Court For Automatic Fines
Human Rights Sign
Here in France, when you get fined for speeding on your motorcycle (or car), you do not really have any chance of contesting the fine. You receive the fine at home, and you have so many days to pay. You must pay, even if you do not agree with the fine. Afterwards, you can try to argue that it was not you riding the motorcycle, or you were not speeding.... but, the process is incredibly complicated, and often with no results. The only people who have a say in it, is the Ministry of Interior, not a judge. In other words, you don't get to see a judge.

This did not sit well with a few drivers who got fined. Despite following the complicated procedure to get the fine cancelled, no one listened, and they not only had to pay up, but also lost their license points. So they went to the European Court for Human Rights.

Click the headline to read more......


 


21 March, 2012 - France: Government Survey Of The Motorcycle World In Progress
Survey Check Marks
After many years of debate, the French government has finally listened to the motorcycle associations (FFMC), and is now conducting a massive survey of the French motorcycle scene.

A survey is being sent out to 30,500 motorcycle riders, trying to understand more about us.

It's a bit late, but at least they are trying to do something about it.


 


19 March, 2012 - France: New Radar Type Started - WIP
Radar France WIP
We've got fixed, mobile, handheld, airborne, red light and even garbage can radars. But now we've got a new radar type. The new radar type has started over the weekend in France, on test, and this one I completely agree with. It's a WIP (Work In Progress) radar, and they are to be installed just before areas where there are road works in progress.

Continue reading by clicking on the headline.......


 


15 March, 2012 - Dominique Voynet: A Mayor Of A Big City Who Understands
Dominique Voynet On A Scooter
Politicians usually don't get it. Their thinking is clouded with judgements and biases. But one politician gets it.....

.. and that is Dominique Voynet, the current Mayor of Montreuil, a large city north of Paris. Despite being a treehugger and key member of the Green party, her official vehicle as Mayor is ...... a chauffeur driven .... scooter!

She's probably the only Mayor of a large city who has a scooter as official vehicle.


 


9 March, 2012 - France February 2012 Record Month For Road Safety
Statistics Article
The numbers are in, and they are looking good, if not spectacular. In France, during the month of February 2012 the number of people who have died on the roads has dropped dramatically, a record.

During the month, 25.3% less people died in their cars and on their motorcycles. The politicians are all slapping their own backs, since the presidential elections are only a few weeks away. But IMHO, I don't think it has anything to do with politics, but more with a) weather (the coldest we've had in a very long time) and b) the price of gasoline.

Click on headline to continue reading......


 


2 March, 2012 - France: Alcohol Test Unit Mandatory, Also On Motorcycles
Alcootel testing
Already last year, the outgoing President of France had announced that he was planning to introduce mandatory alcohol testing units in every car in France. The alcohol test unit would need to be approved, but could be a simple, single-use unit that can be bought on the internet for a few Euros. God knows why, since someone who is drunk and insists on driving will do it anyway. Someone who takes care, and just wants to be on the safe side, will not have drunk enough to be unsafe... so a totally useless measure.

But yesterday the law was published by the Prime Minister, and now there's a twist.... the measure applies to motorcycles and scooter as well. Only mopeds are exempt.

So now we need to keep a alcohol test unit on us at all times, even in the hot summer. If you don't have any storage on your motorcycle, tough. Failing to have one, will cost you $11.

Click on the headline to read more...


 


23 February, 2012 - France: Pre-Presidential Elections Motorcycle Protest
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
In about 3 months the French presidential elections are upon us. The French get a chance to elect yet another leader to ruin run the country for 5 years. And as is always the case with French elections, there are more candidates than snails.

But in the end, there are two serious candidates, both belong to the biggest political parties in the country. One, Sarkozy, is the current President and sits on the right of the political spectrum - and is pretty anti-motorcycles. On the other side of the spectrum, a Socialist, is Hollande - a biker himself.

But whoever wins, the motorcycle world will not get any better here in France. So to reenforce the message to all presidential candidates, the French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC) is calling for a massive motorcycle protest ride on March 24 and 25th, one month before the elections.


 


17 February, 2012 - France: Michelin Guide For Motorcycles 2012
Michelin France Motorcycle Guide 2012
Michelin logo
French tire giant, and renowned map maker, Michelin, have for the last few years been publishing a nice guide for motorcycle in France. The guide, published like one of Michelin's guide books, has many motorcycle trips detailed.

This year, the Michelin guide has 96 fully explored itineraries available. All the itineraries are available on their ViaMichelin website to down load, either in one of the GPS standards, or as a printable roadbook. The downloads are free, but you'll miss out on all the detail.

The details for each itinerary is encompassing. You'll see which are the good restaurants along the way, what the tourist sites are which you can visit, maps of the area, including elevations. Each trip is graded between 1 and 3 stars (like the Michelin Red Restaurant guides). They are also categorized for fun, duo riding and sightseeing.

Click the headline to read on.....


 


16 February, 2012 - France: Fines Bring In €1.4 BILLION In 2011
Radar-jackpot
It pays having speed radars in France! Not for safety as has been determined by many studies, but for the cash strapped government. Last year, the combined issued fines brought in a whopping €1.398 BILLION, that's almost 1.5 Billion Euros (at today's rate, almost US$2 Billion).

€660 Million of that collected windfall goes to the local communities, in order to help them improve roads. €65 Million is used for processing the fines (administration costs), €52 Million to maintain the radars, €20 Million to fight the increasing vandalism (I wonder why?), €18 Million to purchase and install new radars, €37 Million to put in place a new electronic and automated fine system and €35 Million for some delinquents program and €16 Million to change the old license files to the new one.

That leaves €474 Million for the government, to be used as they please. It's not going to be used to increase safety the way it should (like motorcycle crash barriers, reduction in sales tax for motorcycle safety equipment, etc... the list is long). Instead, the money will be used to fill that big black hole they call the budget.


 


9 February, 2012 - France: Top Motorcycle Sales For 2011
France 2011 Motorcycles Sales
For a fourth consecutive year, sales of motorcycles and scooters in France has declined. While 2007 was a record year, 2011 is turning out to be one of the worst of this millennium.

But interestingly enough, the European motorcycle manufacturers saw incredible sales increases, while the Japanese (except Honda) saw the reverse.


 


6 February, 2012 - Le Touquet Enduropale - Photos and Video
Le Touquet Enduropale 2012
Le Touquet Enduropale 2012
For those of you who saw the Enduropale beach race in Le Touquet (either on the spot, on TV or the Web), you'll agree that it was incredible... incredibly crazy that is. 1080 motorcycles leaving the start at the same time in snow & ice, not to mention the deep sand was a sight to see.

But this year, to slow down the holeshot winner, they made several curves in the circuit. Which is fine when you arrive as one of the first, but when the 1000+ Sunday riders arrive, they get stuck. On its own, not a problem, but it becomes an enormous problem when the front of the pack has done a complete lap (about 10-15 minutes), and reaches the backmarkers who are still stuck in their first curve or hill.

That is a sight to see. Check the video below (for as long as it plays since it might be removed). You'll see the front leader loose his position since he got stuck in a still-standing pack of Sunday riders, while the number 2 manages to pass on the outside. Fun. That's life on the Enduropale, it's not the circuit, nor the obstacles, nor the professional competitors who are a threat, but the Sunday riders, all 1000+ of them.

Here are some photos of the event, and below that videos.

 


3 February, 2012 - Enduropale 2012: Live On The Web
EnduroPale 2012 Poster
Even if you are not coming to that wacky and incredible beach motorcycle enduro, the Le Touquet Enduropale, you can still see it.

The France3 national TV stations will be broadcasting it live on TV, but will also be streaming it on their web, all 3 hours worth.

This year might just be a notable one, since they are predicting snow for the weekend....


 


1 February, 2012 - France: 50% Discounted Gasoline
Extra fuel on motorcycle
In these times of economic and financial hardships, when you have to think twice before going for a pleasure ride on your motorcycle, one company here in France has got an answer.

They are offering 50% discount on gasoline. Not bad. The deal applies to selected gas stations in 9 cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Lille and Toulouse), and starts today at 10:00 CET.


 


31 January, 2012 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops for Enduropale 2012
Relais Calmos 27
EnduroPale 2012 Poster
If you're planning to attend world's craziest, and biggest, beach motorcycle race, the Le Touquet Enduropale, on next weekend (February 4 & 5), and you're going on a motorcycle, here are the special rest places for bikers.

There are 3 of them, places motorcycle riders can go to, to get their bike checked out, drink hot drinks, and mingle with other bikers.

Also, several motorways should be free for motorcycles going to the race.


 


25 January, 2012 - France: Divide and Conquer
FFMC logo
FFM logo
It's so close to the Presidential elections here in France, that the politicians are falling over themselves trying to outdo each other in stupidity. Now, the Minister of Transportation's road safety commission called a meeting to talk about motorcycle road safety (lane splitting and clothing), and instead of calling both main motorcycle organizations, FFMC (French Angry Biker Association) and FFM (French Motorcycle Federation), they only summoned the FFMC.

When questioned why they only invited one organization, the government answered that they wanted to keep to number of participants low. In other words, we do not want to be ganged up upon - Divide & Conquer.

The FFMC did the right thing, and left the meeting. Now, there was only one participant, the government. And to think I pay my taxes to these idiots.


 


23 January, 2012 - France: Shocking Road Safety Campaign - As Long As...
Video clip
The French Minister of Transportation, the road safety commission, are known to have produced several high quality, high hitting, safety campaigns. Many have been produced with strong messages and visuals that hit home. They do make you think...

They have released a new TV commercial that will be shown on several TV stations in France with very strong images. The campaign in is Black & White (probably to spare you with a lot of red color).

There is only one part with a motorcycle, actually a scooter, and the accident is not his fault, but a truck running a red light. Jeez, I hope this was a trick shot, and not a real accident....


 


19 January, 2012 - France: About The Hi-Viz Law For Motorcycles
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
Several publications have been writing about the new law in France making it mandatory to wear reflective material on your motorcycle clothing. Many got it wrong!

Here's the details of the new law, what you can wear, how much, when, and where.


 


13 January, 2012 - France: Le Touquet Enduropale 2012 - No Biker Camping
EnduroPale 2012 Poster
The famous motorcycle beach race, world's biggest, the Le Touquet Enduropale, is held on Sunday 5 February. For the first time, one lonely American is taking part... he probably got lost and ended up in Le Touquet...

This year, the city has decided not to allow camping at the horse track, since bikers get drunk, and they wreck the place. The city, celebrating 100 years, is also the overflow for the London Olympics this year, so they want to keep the city intact.

So if you want to camp, you'll need to go to a real camping...

BTW, the oldest competitor is 91 Years old..


 


9 January, 2012 - France: TomTom Warns Users About Not Using GPS Radar Data
TomTom Radar Supression Database
 logo
TomTom have issued a warning to its GPS owners (cars and motorcycle devices), that it illegal to use their radar mapping service, and to dis-activate it, and delete the database.

The next update of their smartphone software will see the service disappear automatically.


 


6 January, 2012 - France: Motorcycle License Plates Bigger Starting July
French License Plates
The French government has finally published the new legal sizes for license plates for motorcycles and scooters. The new size will start being implemented July 2012, but not for existing motorcycles and scooters. You'll only need to replace your license plate for the new one, if you re-register your bike.

Failing to comply with the very long size will result in a €135 fine.


 


4 January, 2012 - France: Radar Localization Hardware - Forbidden, But..
Radar Photographed Sign
Fun and games on the French roads....

New laws are being applied for radar localization devices such as Coyote/Inforad, and all smartphone with a GPS app. They are no longer allowed to tell you that you are approaching a radar, just that you are approaching a "danger" zone.

But thanks to the law, cops are not allowed to inspect your smartphone without a warrant, since it's a privacy issue. So if your smartphone has a GPS with radar warning, they can't touch it... fun!


 


29 December, 2011 - France: Fake License Plates On The Rise
French License Plates
With the French government coming down very hard of speeders, the number of fake or false license plates in circulation has increased 19% last year, and probably much more this year.

The only way to escape hefty fines on your motorcycle nowadays is to use someone else's license plate.

But you can spend 7 years are the guest of the state for doing it...


 


15 December, 2011 - France: Campaign Against Souping Up Mopeds
Cyclo Debride
If there's one thing that bothers the daylights out of me are teenagers racing around on souped up mopeds. Many are 2-strokes, with their exhaust removed, and they race around town and villages, often with their helmets loose on their heads. ... and the noise is ear splitting.

Many of these kids get involved in accidents, often with terrible life-long consequences. Mopeds are limited in horsepower and speed, but what the teenagers do is modify the engine to give them more speed. The first thing they do is remove the exhaust, often put in a bigger carburetor, and the more mechanically inclined, rebuild the engine.

According to the statistics from the French government, 37 teenagers are involved in bad accidents daily. On top of that, they not only face a fine of €135, but in case of an accident, the insurance will not pay up if the moped has been modified. So the parents are out of pocket, often for a lifetime.

To try to change their mindsets, the government had recently launched a publicity campaign. The photo below is exactly the way these kids ride their mopeds, trying to keep down wind resistance.


 


9 December, 2011 - France: Police All Seeing Strobe Light
Police All Seeing Beacon Strobe
The French cops got a new high-tech toy to play with, and to fine us with. It's a fully automated strobe light, that has 4 video cameras hidden inside, recording everything we do continuously, and then the onboard computer analyzes it.

It'll be used to track stolen cars & motorcycles, but also to fine you for not wearing seat belts, using your mobile phone, not stopping at a stop sign, picking your nose, etc.

... someone got to pay the €17,000 for this new toy...


 


8 December, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Thefts 2011
Stolen Motorcycle Just Chain left
Theft of motorcycles and scooters in France is getting to be bad. Statistics for the last 12 months, show that 8 motorcycles get stolen every hour!

95% are stolen the classic way (though 50% get taken from garages), while bike jacking has increased to 5%.


 


6 December, 2011 - France: President Sarkozy Does Not Like Bikers
Breathalyzers bag
President Nicolas Sarkozy has last week declared war on many things, but most importantly, on motorcycle riders.

He has announced several drastic, and often stupid, measures, like mandatory breathalyzers in every car in France starting next spring..

But the worst was his statement on motorcycle riders. He's convinced that bikers are the reason so many people die on the French roads. He calls them "Human Bombs"!!


 


2 December, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Taxi Operator Tests The Victory 1700
Victory 1700
Motorcycle taxis usually use Honda Gold Wing as their workhorse, but since they are expensive to purchase, the operators are always looking for alternatives.

Here's one operator that has tested the Victory 1700 motorcycle. This is his view...

 


30 November, 2011 - The Paris Motorcycles and Scooters Exhibition 2011
Paris Motorcycle Expo 2011
Le Salon de la Moto logo
The French motorcycle exhibition, the "Le Salon de la Moto" opened its doors after 4 years absence. What used to be called the "Mondial", and what was a real international motorcycle show, has turned into a small provincial exhibition.

Apart from a few minor new things, the show was lackluster. Placing it after Eicma makes it even look worse.

Here's a few photos I took, after a big struggle to be let in.


 


28 November, 2011 - On My Way To The Paris Motorcycle Exhibition 2011
Self made motorcycle SUV
Le Salon de la Moto logo
I'm on the way to the Paris motorcycle exhibition, the "Le Salon de la Moto" 2011.

They've been not active for four years, thanks to the financial crisis, but now are back with a vengeance.

Hopefully, there'll be some new motorcycles, but I doubt it..


 


21 November, 2011 - France: 1 Biker Tries To Get Rid Of Crash Barrier Guillotines
Crash Barrier Guillotine Abolition
Video clip
One biker here in France is trying hard to get the government to do something about the deadly crash barriers. His name is Mehdiator, and he's produced photos and 14 videos explaining why they are so deadly.

When you fall off your motorcycle and you slide towards a crash barrier, you stand a very big chance of losing your head and limbs. The government knows this, but the adding of an extra barrier at the bottom costs money, and they don't really want to spend it on bikers.


 


16 November, 2011 - France: Moped Caught Speeding On Motorway - 142 kph
Dominique Nancy on his moped
How can one take speed tickets serious here in France (and other countries) when they make a lot of mistakes. Speeding tractors, parked cars, and now a moped doing 141 kph on the motorway in France.

The vintage moped, a Peugeot 102, is on a good day, with a strong tailwind and downhill, capable of doing a fantastic top speed of 50 kph!

On top of that, the moped doesn't even have a license plate, so how could the cops send him a ticket?


 


7 November, 2011 - Broken Down On The Motorway? There’s An App For That
SOS AutoRoute
SOS AutoRoute
When your motorcycle stops working on a motorway, it can turn into a disaster. Imagine having to walk in a storm to the nearest emergency phone booth, usually placed miles apart. Trucks thundering past, wind and rain... not fun.

But there's an app to help you out. Available in both iPhone and Android version, press the button, and the emergency center immediately knows where you are, and will send a crew to help you out asap.

Nothing simpler..


 


2 November, 2011 - Motorcycle Towed Away? Where Is It? There’s An App For That
iPhone App Paris Police
iPhone App Paris Police
The Parisian police have released an iPhone/Android/Mobile Windows application that allows you to find the closet police station, find lost objects and most importantly, find out if your motorcycle was towed away for illegal parking, where it is, and how much it'll cost to get it back.

Service with a smile...


 


28 October, 2011 - French Politicians Getting Caught Speeding
Speeding Ticket France 2008
Last Sunday, the President of the Great Paris area (Ile-de-France) got caught speeding and lost his driving license on the spot. He's the last one in a long series of politicians who are caught speeding, including the President of France.

If the politicians who make up these repressive laws can't even be seen to be respecting them, what chance do we motorcycle riders have?


 


25 October, 2011 - France: Car Association Recommendations For Motorcycles
France Article
Politics Article
After many motorcycle lobby groups and associations, it's the turn of France's largest car association (40 million car drivers association) to thrown in their recommendations for motorcycles in France.

All of them, except one, have already been fought for by the French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC).


 


20 October, 2011 - Renting An Electric Scooter In France
Peugeot eVivaCity
Peugeot logo
Peugeot is offering a rental service, initially in the French cities, but shortly all over the big European cities of not only their normal scooter range, but also of their electric scooter, the e-VivaCity.

Prices are very reasonable. Currently their web site only allows rentals in France (and in French).


 


13 October, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Cop Crashes Into Barrier And Dies! Debate Open
Republican Guard Bastille Day
A member of the elite French Republican Guard, on a motorcycle, while doing a recon mission in France, fell of his motorcycle and crashed into an unprotected crash barrier, killing him on the spot.

Dubbed Guillotine Barriers, many bikers have been decapitated by them, and pressure has been put on the government to do something about it. But they have been moving very slowly.

Maybe now, with the unfortunate death of a government representative, will they do something now.


 


13 October, 2011 - France: Lane Splitting To Be Legalized? Hell Freezes Over
France Article
Politics Article
You can see that the presidential elections are coming up..... the French Minister of Interior has stated yesterday during a parliament debate that they would need to look into legalizing lane splitting....

... and we thought that this would happen when Easter and Christmas fell on the same day. Motorcycle world rejoices...


 


12 October, 2011 - France Primary Presidential Candidate On A Motorcycle
Francois Hollande On Motorcycle
It looks like the front runner of the 2012 French Presidential elections, the socialist Francois Hollande, doesn't mind using motorcycle for getting around Paris.

Let's hope he doesn't forget how useful those things are after he becomes the Prez. But as usual, politicians have small memory banks.


 


3 October, 2011 - France’s Minister of Sport: 1st Official Visit? A Motorcycle Race
David Douillet Enduro GP France
The recently appointed French Minister of Sports, former multiple world champion Judo David Douillet, went for his first official visit.... and it was to the world champion round of motorcycle enduro in France.

David, himself a passionate motorcycle rider, handed out the prizes and spent some time talking to enduro legend David Knight.

Not bad for a member of the government who do not like motorcycles. Wonder how much time he'll last?


 


30 September, 2011 - Paris Motorcycle Exhibition To Re-Open Its Doors
Salon de la Moto 2011
After 4 years, the Paris motorcycle exhibition "Le Salon de la Moto" re-opens its doors end November.

Cancelled because of the financial and economical crisis, and held every 2 years (alternating with the German Intermot), the French expo finally is on again with 375 brands and covering 3 halls.


 


29 September, 2011 - World’s Biggest Motorcycle Beach Race Inscriptions Opens
Le Touquet 2007 Funnel
The famous Le Touquet Enduropale beach motorcycle race opens for registration this Saturday for the 1,000 motorcycles participating in the 5th of February 2012 race.

First come, first served. If you don't plan to race, you might want to come and have a look at these mad 1,000 bikers racing in deep sand, jumps and chicanes. 3 hours of total fun.


 


28 September, 2011 - Guy Caught Doing 230 KPH On Motorcycle With Wife And Dog
Yorkshite Terrier Biker
27 year old French biker got caught racing a Renault Clio RS, doing 233 kph, with his wife and dog on the Kawasaki ZZR 1400 motorcycle.

Both biker and car driver lost their vehicles, license and have a date with a judge.


 


27 September, 2011 - France: New Minister Appointed Who Loves Motorcycles
David Douillet
France has appointed a new Minister (of Sport, but who cares since he's in the main minister meetings) who loves motorcycles.

David Douillet is not only Minister of Sports, but is also the most decorated Judo athlete in the world, and an enormous passionate motorcycle rider.


 


26 September, 2011 - 24 Hours Of Le Mans 2011 Motorcycle Race - The Photos
24 Hours Le Mans 2011 Motorcycle Race
24 Hours Le Mans 2011 Motorcycle Race
It was a great race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance motorcycle race. It was like a 24 hours SuperBike race.

Here are 14 photos and 1 video of the motorcycle race.


 


23 September, 2011 - Follow 24 Hours of Le Mans Motorcycle 2011 Race Live
24 Hours Le Mans 2011
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle endurance race, for the first time ever, can be watched on your PC or laptop. The organizers are streaming the whole 24 hours event LIVE and free on the internet.

Just as well, since a new ordinance in Le Mans city and surroundings forbids to sales and transportation of quantities of alcohol and other booze.


 


9 September, 2011 - Motorcycle 24 Hours of Le Mans 2011: Biker Resting Places
24 Hours Le Mans 2011
FFMC logo
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race is on in 2 weekends from now, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place several motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


8 September, 2011 - France: Another Major Motorcycle Protest! Europe Joins In
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
France, but with other European countries are going on the attack again this month. Coming weekend, most big cities in France will be blocked by not only motorcycles, but all other groups of road users.

UK, Belgium and Spain are not only supporting the French movement, but organizing their own protest rides. So this month, you'll see plenty of motorcycles on the road, even if you didn't want to..


 


6 September, 2011 - France: FFMC Fed Up, And On The Attack
Ad FFMC Crash Barriers
The French Association of Angry Bikers are fed up with the unpopular government, and has gone on the attack. Already, we're seeing a lot of protest rides, but they have now also unleased a advertising campaign, ridiculing the government's decisions.

 


31 August, 2011 - 4 Hours Of Valmont Vintage Motorcycle Race 2011
Every year, in a small village close to me in Normandy, France, they hold a 4 hour vintage/classic motorcycle race. Despite a persistent rain, the spectators were there to admire the old motorcycles.

Here are some photos of the wonderful event, starting with the "paddock" motorcycles, and then the races.

I'm not an expert in vintage motorcycles, so you can guess the names and dates yourself.


 


26 August, 2011 - France: For The Lazy Ones, Have Your Motorcycle Cleaned
Clean Bike
One of France's first full motorcycle and scooter cleaning services. Called Clean-Bike, they offer a wide range of cleaning services, ranging from basic to a full restoration service.

They are, of course, located in the posh district of Paris, the 16th.


 


17 August, 2011 - God, Decibels and Motorcycles
Madone des Motards 2011 Blessing
Once a year, in a small and sleepy village in Brittany, France, population 635, some 20,000 motorcycles and 10,000 spectators come on a pilgrimage to the Madonna of Bikers statue, and to receive a blessing by one of the (bike riding) priests.

A special prayer is held for all bikers that have died in the last year, and for the rest, it's party time.


 


9 August, 2011 - France: The FFMC Calls B.S.
FFMC logo
The French Association of Angry Bikers (FFMC) have called on the government's B.S.

The government, using statistics from the beginning of the year (during one of the worst and coldest winters on record) correlated them for the rest of the year, and used that as an excuse to repress all and sunder.

The FFMC called B.S. and using one of the government's own agencies, showed that motorcycle mortality has dropped 20.7%!


 


28 July, 2011 - France: 10 Million License Points Lost In 2010
French driving license
During 2010 a total off over 10 MILLION license points were deducted from driving licenses in France.

The majority for small speeds, typically less than 20 kph on motorways. 20 kph? That accelerating on your motorcycle to overtake.

Over 85,000 driving licenses were revoked during the same year.


 


25 July, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Cops No Longer Unsafe
Gendarme New Clothing
Finally, after many years dressed in the most unsafe motorcycle clothing you can expect, the French motorcycle Gendarmes are going to ride ATGATT, proper ATGATT.

Apart from the already announced Schuberth C3 helmet, they'll now have airbag jackets, proper pants and real motorcycle boots.

All uniforms will have reflective and high-viz stripes on them.


 


15 July, 2011 - Paris: Peripherique - Ring Road - To Reduce Max Speed
Boulevard Peripherique
The greenies from the Paris City Council have asked the police to reduce the speed limit on the city's ring road (the Peripherique) from 80 to 70 kph (for a trial period).

But their reasoning to reduce it is a bit strange. It's not to save lives, lessen pollution, but for ......


 


12 July, 2011 - Tour Paris On A Vespa Scooter
Paris Tours Vespa Scooter
Visiting Paris on holiday (or even business). Here's a tip for you....

2 Wheel Tours offer Vespa scooter tours of the French capital. Up to 3 scooters with a guide, will navigate you through the French streets. No traffic jams, and a great way of seeing the city of lights.


 


12 July, 2011 - New Radar Cars Even More Difficult To Detect
Hidden Radar In French Police Car
The police and government are coming up with new methods to part you from your hard earned money.

A new mobile radar meant for unmarked cars is being tested in France. Not visible, no flash, infrared and highly intelligent. There goes our money...

Now if only they would use the money spent on radars and invest it in road safety, lives would actually be saved.


 


11 July, 2011 - Tour de France To Reduce Motorcycles In 2012
Video clip
Tour de France logo
After last week's motorcycle taking out a cyclist in the 2011 Tour de France, ASO (the organizers) announced not only suspending the motorcycle rider, but that they plan to reduce the number of motorcycles in next year's race.

But then Sunday, a TV car took out 2 cyclists who were riding up front (see the video), one of them a favorite. The diver got suspended too (despite the fact that it was the race steward's fault), but will they no also reduce the number of cars?


 


8 July, 2011 - Motorcycles: Germany Gets It, France Does Not
German License plate Difference
On one side, we have Germany, with a Transport Minister who understands motorcycle riders, and has reduced the minimum dimensions for license plates, and on the other side we have France, where the Minister of Interior hates motorcycles, and is trying to increase license plates dimensions.

So what happened to the unified and uniform Europe? Only when it suits you.... right?


 


7 July, 2011 - France: Hi-Viz Motorcycle Vest Confusion
Motorcycle Hi Viz Band
Now the French government, after lots of changes, protests, discussions, wheeling & dealing, are planning to have all motorcycle and scooter riders (with engines over 125 cc) to wear hi-viz reflective armbands.

Two colors are allowed, yellow and gray, and you'll need to wear two of them, one on each arm.

Do you think it'll make any difference???


 


7 July, 2011 - Motorcycle Takes Away Bicycle In Tour De France 2011
Tour De France 2011 Motorcycle vs Bicycle crash
Tour de France logo
In a bizarre accident yesterday in the Tour de France, a motorcycle carrying a press photographer hooked a bicycle with Danish racer Sorensen on it.

Sorensen got ejected onto the grass (lucky) but the bicycle was hooked onto the motorcycle which happily and blissfully unaware of what had happened, continued its course.


 


30 June, 2011 - France: Why Is The Government Trying To Kill Motorcycle Riders?
France Road Spikes
Here's a sign that the French government is really trying to kill motorcycles riders.

Can you imagine falling off your motorcycle onto one of these?


 


24 June, 2011 - France: Ride A Motorcycle Taxi, Fly Air France
City Bird logo
The number 1 motorcycle taxi company in France, City-Bird, has signed an agreement with France's national airline, Air France. The agreement will in a first phase, allow the Flying Blue Frequent Flyers program users to reserve a motorcycle to go to, or return from, the airport.

In a second phase, Air France will package the motorcycle taxi in an all-inclusive package for business folks flying to/from Paris.


 


23 June, 2011 - France: Score 2 For The Motorcycle Movement
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
After the massive motorcycle protests of last weekend concerning a series of repression laws that the unpopular French government wanted to levy on the unsuspecting French people, it would seem that they have taken note...

3 of the unpopular measures have been watered down, or all together removed.

You see, protests do work....


 


22 June, 2011 - France: Score 1 For The Motorcycle Movement
French motorcycle gendarme in sleeveless shirt.
After the enormously successful motorcycle protest last Saturday, the Minister of Interior is down peddling, spin-doctoring, face-saving...

He's now claiming that he never wanted motorcycle riders to wear hi-vis vests, yellow or orange, but just reflective stripes on our jackets...

... like the French motorcycle cops... right???


 


20 June, 2011 - Anatomy Of A French Motorcycle Protest Ride
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
18th of June was a national day of protests in France against the government's planned repression tactics. Usually it's motorcycles that protest, but for the first time ever, car, trucks, taxi and other road users joined forces, but led by the motorcycle associations, to protest these drastic steps the unpopular French government is undertaking.

Here is a photo article of the protest in Rouen, Normandy, with some 4-5,000 motorcycles. 40 photos and 1 video, so it'll take some time to load.

 


15 June, 2011 - France: 18 June - Better Not Come To France, But If You Come...
Manif 20110618
If you're planning to visit France this weekend, 18th of June, better think again!

The 18th is when all of France will protest the French government's new traffic laws, biased heavily towards repression. As a first, it's all the road users who are joining the protest, cars, trucks and motorcycles. In short, it will be hell in all major cities.

Most neighboring countries are sending official delegations to help us fight these stupid rules. Many foreign motorcycle riders are expected, so if you're in for some fun, head over to the closest city.


 


1 June, 2011 - French Way Of Dealing With Radar Warning Devices
AlerteGPS G520
France Article
Buckling under the enormous pressure from dissatisfied voters and their own elected politicians, the French government has made a few changes to the planned banning of radar location devices (such as smartphones, GPSs and dedicated radar location devices on your motorcycle).

They have found a "French" way of dealing with the problem, while still trying to maintain face....


 


25 May, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Taxis Not Allowed To Use The Word Taxi
No Taxi Signs
In the eternal struggle for world domination, or at least for the French roads, the car taxi companies have struck another blow against their motorcycle counterpart.... Some obscure French law defines the word "taxi" belonging to the four wheel vehicles, and therefore excludes motorcycles.

The taxi drivers are demanding that motorcycle taxi companies remove the word taxi from their names, commercial info and web.

But they don't ask that for boat, airplane, bicycle and donkey taxi companies. They are making themselves (the cagers) look ridicules and childish.


 


25 May, 2011 - France: G8 Summit - Motorcycles Are Ready Sir
G8 Summit Motorcycles
The French motorcycle police is getting ready for the G8 summit held in Deauville, France....

... about 100 kms from my home. Will the tear gas reach that far?


 


24 May, 2011 - France: 1000 Pedagogic Radars To Be Installed
Pedagogic Radar
France Article
The French Minister of Interior, under political pressure, has announced that he's not totally a bad guy. Apart from all the drastic measures, he's installing 1,000 pedagogic radars in France.

These new radars will show you in real-time, how fats you were riding your motorcycle, and if you were speeding, how much your fine would have been, and how many points would have been deducted from your license.


 


20 May, 2011 - France: What Does It Mean That The Radar Signs Are Going?
Radar Photographed Sign
With the abolishing of radar warning signs in France, what does this mean for us motorcycle riders?


 


19 May, 2011 - France: Anti-Government Swelling In The Make
FFMC Protest 18June
France Article
As could be expected after the announcement of the new drastic measures agaisnt motorcycle riders (and cars and other vehicles) in France, a large series of protests rides have been organized, with the biggest one on June the 18th.

But the biggest one has not been organized by the motorcycle associations, but from a more unlikely corner, the Association of Manufacturers of Technology for Driving Assistance (AFFTAC), the association that looks after the makers of GPS based speed radar warning devices, of which there are some 6 million users.

They plan to bring France to a standstill on June the 2nd.


 


18 May, 2011 - France: Good Actions By Paris Police, Bad Vibes
French Police Solex Squad
France Article
The Paris police force went for a "good conduct" drive....

They followed on unmarked motorcycles any motorcycle riders in the French capital that was showing a good behavior. The good biker would then be pulled over and given some symbolic gifts from a B-list celeb.

Either a gift, or CPR from getting a heart attack from being pulled over while minding your own business.

10 points for the idea, 0 points for the execution. At least it's positive, not repression.


 


13 May, 2011 - France: The French Fight Back, Government Indifferent
Protest Sign Crap
After the French government announced even stricter measures to get our money, the associations are getting their acts together ..... PROTESTS coming up.

The biggest association, the one that looks after cars (40 million car users in France) is making some very strong noises.

The guillotine is apparently being taken from storage and dusted off...


 


11 May, 2011 - France: Government Has Had Enough! Gloves Come Off
France Article
France has had several months of increase in road mortality, and the French government held an urgent meeting to address the issue.

Here's what the politicians have decided.


 


11 May, 2011 - MotoGP Truck Kills Biker, Dangers Of Motorways For Motorcycles
Truck at Peage
This would not have happened if companies operating the motorways/autoroutes in France would place motorcycle-only toll booths next to the normal toll booths.....

At a toll booth in France, a motorcycle pulled in behind a truck, waiting to pay the toll (motorcycles are only allowed to use the manual/truck toll gate). The truck driver reversed his truck in order to take a shorter/faster toll booth, crushing the biker. The biker died.

To make things worse, the truck belonged to the MotoGP Tech3 Team. The driver has been detained for involuntary manslaughter.

It's rare, but it does happen. This is why we need our own toll booths.


 


11 May, 2011 - France: MotoGP 2011 Motorcycle Rest Places
FFMC logo
MotoGP logo
The French MotoGP motorcycle race is on this weekend, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place several motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


21 April, 2011 - France: Government Withdraws From Motorcycle Rest Stops
Relais Calmos 27
FFMC logo
The French government, like all governments, speaks with two (at least) tongues.....

On one side they are reprimanding motorcycle riders for not being safe, and on the other, they have withdrawn their financial support for the motorcycle rests tops (Relais Motard Calmos) at the big motorcycle events. In other words, give us your money because you are not safe, but keep riding without stopping, and kill yourselves.

Is there any government out there that does a proper job?


 


15 April, 2011 - France: 49% Increase In Motorcycle Mortality For March 2011
France Article
Statistics Article
The month of March 2011, compared to March 2010, saw an increase in road deaths of 2.7% for all vehicles types..... but motorcycles saw an increase of 49% during the same month.

That's very bad, and to make things worse, it's a great excuse for the French government to even further hammer our heads into submission.


 


13 April, 2011 - Ad: French Safety - Things To Remember
Ad Things to remember France
On one side the French government does everything in its power to stop us from riding our motorcycles, but on the other hand, they do come out with some very good safety advertisement campaigns. You'd almost think they care....

Here's a nice ad they published a year or so ago. On the helmet you see several Post-It notes of things to watch out for or to remember

The text reads "On two wheels, let's be twice as alert".


 


12 April, 2011 - France: Give And Take On Motorcycle Laws
100HP-Limit sign
Motorcycle Orange Yellow Vest
Looks like political horse trading in France.

We'll finally be able to buy and ride motorcycle with more than 100 HP, but on the other hand, it's going to be mandatory to have an orange or yellow fluorescent vest.

... and there are a few more mandatory protective clothing coming up...


 


8 April, 2011 - Ad: Taming Your Ride - French Safety
Ad Things to remember France
Here in France if you've got a car license for more than 2 years, you are allowed to ride a 125cc motorcycle or scooter. But... you need to spend seven hours with a qualified instructor learning to master the two wheeler.

For that purpose, the French government had launched a campaign last year to tell newbie motorcycle riders that they needed to take some lessons.


 


7 April, 2011 - France: More Troubles Looming For Motorcycles
Big License Plate Suzuki
It's a week where it seems that the French government has latched onto the motorcycle world trying to score political brownie points for the upcoming presidential elections.

This time their latest brainchild is to enlarge motorcycle license plates.


 


6 April, 2011 - France: Older Motorcycles To Be Forbidden In Big Cities
Valmont Sidecar Rally
It's shortly election time here in France, and the politicians are coming out of the woodwork with hair raising schemes. The latest is from the minister of ecology, who wants to forbid all motorcycles built before 2004 from riding in the big cities in France.

Also concerned are cars (before 1997), utility trucks and big trucks.

Any more bright ideas???


 


6 April, 2011 - France: Paris To Go 30 KPH?
Paris Taxi Protest
The Mayor of the French capital Paris is trying to get a citywide reduction of speed to 30 kph, and at night a speed limit of 50 kph on the ring road.

Try keeping your motorcycle upright at 30 kph while riding through a major city.... but we all know that the Mayor hates motorcycles...


 


4 April, 2011 - France: Valmont 100 Years Of Motorcycles Expo
Romeo 50 FP M4 Monster 1974
Moto Guzzi 50cc Cross 1974
Once a year, in deep Normandy, the local motorcycle club holds an exhibition of old, vintage and classic motorcycles.

This year's theme were the Italian manufacturers. Some motorcycle were in good running state, and some were barn-finds, but all very interesting. Here's what we saw...


 


31 March, 2011 - France: Orly Airport Cave In To Car vs Motorcycle Taxis
Orly No Taxi Counter
The only airport in France that had a counter for motorcycle taxis, Orly airport, has caved in to cage taxi pressure and are removing the counter.

The law says you need a reservation to use a motorcycle taxi, and the counter gave travellers the possibility to "reserve" on the spot. No longer, ADP (the airport management company) waved a white flag.


 


31 March, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops Bol D’Or 2011
Bol D'or 2011 Poster
For those of you going to the Bol d'Or motorcycle endurance race, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.


 


30 March, 2011 - France: Radar Equipped Motorcycles This Year
Aprilia With Mobile Radar
The French government has found another very effective way of parting us from our hard earned money. They are planning this year to equip several unmarked motorcycles with onboard digital radars and cameras to catch us speeding.

There's no way you can see them, and even worse, next year, the motorcycles can photograph you on opposing lanes.


 


30 March, 2011 - Product Review: Parisian Motorcycle Taxi
Trish On Motorcycle Taxi
Motorcycle Taxis are more and more popular in the big cities. To have a first person view, I sent my intrepid reporter, my wife, to try one out.

Here is her account.


 


29 March, 2011 - France: Minister Holds Motorcycle Safety Meeting Without Bikers
Protest ride
The New Minister of Interior for France held a meeting about motorcycle "safety" (read "how to get more money out of motorcycle riders"), and invited the whole world ... except the FFMC - the association for motorcycle riders - an association for the defense of biker rights.

They are planning to get even stricter with bikers, and will try anything in their power to bleed us dry. It's got nothing to do with safety, and all to do with money.


 


25 March, 2011 - France: Funny Electric Safety Sign For Motorcycle Riders
France Electric Safety Sign Motorcycles
France Article
Very funny French electric sign for motorcycle safety.

Written by a woman, meant for men. Read the translation, and make sure you're not drinking anything...


 


23 March, 2011 - France: Interesting Local Motorcycle Safety Campaign
Seine Maritime Safety Ad
Spotted this interesting motorcycle safety advertisement on one of the local roads where I live in France.

Nice reminder...


 


31 January, 2011 - Le Touquet Enduropale 2011: The Photos And Results
Le Touquet 2011
Le Touquet 2011
The famous and biggest motorcycle beach race, the Le Touquet Enduropale is over for another year.

Here are the results... and no, you'll not find the electric motorcycle (a Zero) anywhere in the top.


 


26 January, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Taxis Now To Be Regulated
Taxi carte professionnelle
Motorcycle taxis in France are finally better regulated.

Starting on the 1st of April, 2011, motorcycle taxis will require several certificate & papers (medical, maintenance, professional cards, etc), that are delivered by the local government.

Hopefully, this will sort out the cowboys from the serious operators, and make the motorcycle taxi more "accepted".


 


25 January, 2011 - Cyril Despres To Race Le Touquet This Weekend
Le Touquet Motorcycle Enduro (Enduropale)
Just back from the Dakar, and Cyril Despres is already competing this weekend. And what a competition he racing in... he's racing in world's toughest motorcycle beach race, the Le Touquet Enduropale.

1100 motorcycles (800 quads) racing around like crazy for 3 hours in freezing temperature. Despres has won the holeshot in the past with a special motorcycle, but this year, he's going to compete for the whole distance.


 


17 January, 2011 - France: Bad 2010 For Motorcycle Sales
2010 France Motorcycle Sales
France Article
Another year, and another year of bad motorcycles sales in France. 2009 was already one of the worst years on record, and still motorcycles are being sold in few quantities.


 


13 January, 2011 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops Le Touquet Enduropale 2011
Relais Calmos 27
France Article
If you're planning to attend world's craziest, and biggest, beach motorcycle race, the Le Touquet Enduropale, on the last weekend of January (29/30), and you're going on a motorcycle, here are the special rest places for bikers.

There are 3 of them, places motorcycle riders can go to, to get their bike checked out, drink hot drinks, and mingle with other bikers.

Also, several motorways should be free for motorcycles going to the race.


 


7 January, 2011 - France: Milestone In Road Deaths, Motorcycles Way Down
France Article
Statistics Article
For the first time road deaths in France went under the 4,000 during 2010.

Even motorcycles contributed, with a noticeable drop of 20% for biker deaths.

Do we now get a cigar?


 


28 December, 2010 - Ads: Tame French Motorcycle Safety Ads
IDF Securite Routier
Three very tame motorcycle safety ads from the Paris area in France.

Not hard hitting, not something you need to think about... in fact very tame.


 


16 December, 2010 - France: Government Selling DMV Data To 3rd Parties?
Carte Gris
The French latest trampling over civil rights comes under the banner "security".

Their latest law allows the government to sell DMV data (car/motorcycle registration data) to 3rd parties. Not only will you be telemarkeded to death, but now the criminals will know what expensive vehicles you have. The DMV data will become a shopping list of thieves.


 


8 December, 2010 - Le Touquet 2011: Speeds To Be Lowered
Enduropale 2011 Poster
Le Touquet 2007 Start
The Enduropale of Le Touquet, the French wacky and famous beach race held 29/30 January has had a slight change in their rules.

There's no longer a long straight line for the first lap to wards the holeshot. Speeds have reach 200+ kph, and serious accidents have happened in the past.

The circuit length remains the same, but now the first lap is no longer at top speeds, increasing the spectacle, and increasing the chance to win the holeshot for anyone.


 


1 December, 2010 - France: Dedicated Motorcycle Bookshop
LibraMoto logo
The first motorcycle-only book store is opening its doors in Paris this coming Friday.

Motorcycle related books, DVDs, cartoons and scale models. Just in time for Christmas.


 


22 November, 2010 - France: New Laws Protecting Sacred Cows
Cows Crossing Road
France Article
A new French law has declared that pedestrians are sacred cows. Hitting one with your motorcycle has always been a bad idea, but now even more.

A pedestrians who decides to cross the road outside a normal pedestrian crossing, can do so, and you'll need to stop. If not, big fine and many points gone on your license.


 


27 October, 2010 - France: Le Touquet Enduropale Beach Race Open For Registration
Enduropale 2011 Poster
Le Touquet 2007 Funnel
On-line registrations of one of world's wackiest and craziest motorcycle beach races, the Le Touquet Enduropale, is open for all. You can register for this epic beach race before November 30th and receive a nice discount.

The race is held on the 29th and 30th of January, so bring plenty of warms clothing. It's free for the 250,000+ spectators.


 


22 October, 2010 - France: Exhaustive List Of Paris Based Motorcycle Taxi
France Article
With all the strikes, protests and traffic jams, the French capital has become a jungle. If you need to catch a flight, or go to an important meeting, your only real transportation choice is the motorcycle taxi.

For those of you needing to travel to Paris, here's a (long) list of motorcycle taxis and their phone numbers, motorcycles used and web links.


 


21 October, 2010 - France: Mondial du Deux Roues Expo Fixed For 2011
Paris Mondial 2007
The French Mondial du Deux Roues motorcycle exhibition, held every two year, and cancelled last year due to the world economic crisis, is on next year - 2011.

Last seen in 2007, the Mondial is now changing dates. It will be 30 November until 4 December. Dates that are really strange, since no manufacturer is going to wait until then to release new information or models. Is this the end of the Mondial?


 


13 October, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Magazine Adds Web TV
Moto Journal TV
The French weekly motorcycle magazine, Moto Journal, has created a Web TV site full of videos of motorcycles.

Tests and funny motorcycle videos can be seen here.


 


12 October, 2010 - France: Revenge Of The Cagers! Is Paris Burning?
Burning Motorcycle
Some cagers don't like seeing precious real estate going to motorcycles-only parking spots.

In fact, they are so angry that they are burning down the motorcycles. In two different attacks, motorcycles have been torched in reserved motorcycle parking.

The revenge of the cagers.


 


8 October, 2010 - France: Gendarmerie Goes For Schuberth For Motorcycle Squads
Schuberth C3 Gendarmerie
The French motorcycle cops are going to be happy campers. They are getting 6,000 Schuberth C3 flip-up helmets.

Finally they are getting some proper gear...


 


4 October, 2010 - European Union Angry With France Because Of Motorcycle Politics
100HP-Limit sign
The European Commission is up in arms against France's 100 hp restriction for motorcycles.

Brought into law in 1984 to reduce road deaths among motorcyclists, it has been proven that there is no correlation between horsepower and road fatalities. So Europe is telling France to remove the law.

But will they listen? Do they ever?


 


28 September, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Caught With Bond Style License Plate
French License Plate Bond Style
Guy got caught in France with a James Bond style license plate.

A small button close to the clutch turned an "E" into an "I" on his plate. He was stupid enough to have the wrong letters in the plate on, when stopped for a routine paper check by the cops.


 


23 September, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Taxis Not Allowed To Stop At Airport
Roissy CDG drop off
First it was good news for French motorcycle taxis, now it's really bad.

The local authorities at France's main airport, CDG/Roissy, have declared that motorcycle taxis are not allowed to drop off their clients in the drop off lane, but instead need to go to their reserved waiting area, away from the terminal buildings, to drop off their fare.

It's scandalous, and it reeks of bribery by the authorities.


 


21 September, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Taxis Now Bookable By Travel Agents
CityBird Electri City Vectrix scooter
French motorcycle taxi CityBird have been contracted by world's biggest business travel agency, Carlson WagonLit, to provide taxi services in France for the travel chain's business travellers.

This in addition to the contracts they already had with the French railroads and British Airways.

Things are getting more solid for motorcycle taxis.


 


14 September, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Caught At 300 Kph On The Internet
Speeding Motorcycle
A French motorcycle rider went out of a ride, clocking speeds up to 300 kph. Stupid idiot filmed himself doing it, and the cops traced his IP address and caught him.

He might get 5 years prison, and €45,000 fine. Was it worth it?


 


13 September, 2010 - France: Bol D’Or 2010 Results
Bol Dor Start 2010
Yet another 24 hour motorcycle endurance race of the Bol d'Or is over, and despite the many accidents and safety cars, the SERT Suzuki team has yet won again.


 


8 September, 2010 - France: The President of France Also Rides A Motorcycle
President Sarkozy on a Piaggio
The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been spotted riding a Piaggio scooter during his summer holidays.

Despite the fact that he should be fined €135 and docked 3 points from his license, for not properly wearing his helmet, I think it's great news. Maybe he'll understand the joy we get from riding motorcycles, and leave us alone...


 


30 August, 2010 - France: One Motorcycle Racing Minister
Christian Estrosi
Estrosi Race
Christian Estrosi, the current French Minister of Industry and Mayor of Nice, not only loves motorcycles (which is unusual for politicians), but he actually used to race them professionally, most notably in the MotoGP world.

He never won a MotoGP race, but did end up 2nd in the Bol d'Or, and even raced last year in the Legends race.

Now that's a Minister/politician after my own heart!


 


25 August, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops Bol D’Or 2010
Bol D'or 2010
For those of you going to the Bol d'Or motorcycle endurancerace, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.


 


24 August, 2010 - France: Shocking Motorcycle Mortality 2009
France Article
Statistics Article
Deadly accidents in France during 2009 for motorcycle riders saw a dramatic increase, up 11.1%. A reason for the Minister of Interior to target all motorcycle riders in France with police actions.

But what they fail to mention, is that over the last 4 years, France recorded an increase of some 40% in motorcycles on the road, so on per-biker basis, mortality has gone down. And most accidents are caused by cars, not motorcycles.

But do they listen..... no!


 


28 July, 2010 - France: The New Radar Warning Signs
France Radar New sign
This is the new radar warning sign in France. No longer do you get an advanced warning of an upcoming speed radar so you can slow down your motorcycle, but now all it tells you is that you are in a zone covered by a radar a few kilometers long.


 


26 July, 2010 - iPhone: Best Motorcycle Roads In France
iPhone France Moto
The guide to the best French motorcycle roads is now available on the iPhone as an app.

Some 100+ roads in France to ride your motorcycle on.


 


22 July, 2010 - Tour de France: More Motorcycles Than Bicycles?
TdF Cantador Motorcycles
Are there more motorcycles then bicycles at the Tour de France race?

Sure looks like it...


 


12 July, 2010 - France: Paris Airport Motorcycle Discount Parking
Motorcycle parking only sign
It was bound to happen!

The first off-airport motorcycle parking garage in Paris. 24/7 shuttle service, secure and inside parking, lockers for your helmet & stuff.


 


9 July, 2010 - France: Road Mortality Rate Getting Better & Better
Motorcycle into car accident
Statistics Article
The French Ministry of Transportation published the safety figures of last month, and for the first 6 months of 2010.

Woow. Less and less people are being killed on the roads in France, even motorcycle riders.

So why all the new radars?


 


7 July, 2010 - France: Tour de France 2010 - Motorcycle and Some Figures
Tour de France Media Motorcycle
Tour de France 2010 Kawasaki
A closer look at the impressive Tour de France; the incredible, money-generating, publicity caravan, and some of the motorcycles.


 


2 July, 2010 - France: Cops Reward Good Drivers With Gasoline
Kid on toy motorcycle
This is one ticket I'd like to receive from the French police.

During the next 4 weekends, when France Inc. goes on holiday, the French cops in the Essone departement (=state) will be on the lookout not only for bad drivers, but also good ones.

50 lucky car or motorcycle riders will receive a ticket to get €50 worth of free gasoline.

Great idea... should work better than repression.


 


23 June, 2010 - France: New Location Type For Radars Cameras
Toy Railway crossing
The French authorities, always on the look out for novel ways of parting you from your hard earned money, have found a new location for their radar cameras.

The first railroad crossing camera was installed this week, in Picardy (North France). They are hoping to catch 60 motorcycles and cars per day, at €135 per photo.

Obviously, placing barriers is not in our interest, since it doesn't generate money...


 


21 June, 2010 - Paris: Motorcycles Are Problem #1
Paris Hilton on motorcycle
The Paris police have released the 2009 mortality stats of the French capital city, and almost half of them are motorcycles.

But is that the whole story, or are the authorities hiding the real truth?


 


16 June, 2010 - France: 18 June Another Day Of Motorcycle Protests
Protest ride
FFMC logo
The French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) is calling a massive motorcycle protest gathering on the 18 and 19th of June to protest the French government's lack of positive actions towards the motorcycle world.

One of the main points is to legalize lane splitting, something until recently tolerated, but now deemed illegal.


 


14 June, 2010 - France: Cany-Barville’s Vintage Vehicles Market
Cany Barville Vintage Vehicles 2010
At the small provincial town of Cany-Barville in Normandy, France, a few miles from my house, they held last weekend a rather large vintage cars and motorcycle swap-meet, spare parts and exposition gathering.

It was quite an interesting event, with some pristine classic cars and motorcycles.

Who ever said it was boring living in the country?


 


14 June, 2010 - France: Declining Road Mortality In May 2010
Statistics Article
France Article
The road deaths for the month of May 2010 has dropped significantly, as have the first 5 months of the year.

Is this the result of strict driving rules, or is it that people take out their car or motorcycle less since it has become very expensive?


 


11 June, 2010 - France: 4 New Motorcycle Safety TV Ads. New Campaign
Video clip
Video clip
The French government has come out with four new TV ads promoting motorcycle safety.

3 of the ads are targeted towards motorcycle riders, 1 towards car drivers. The ads are well done, showing you the perspective of the biker. Nice stunt work.


 


10 June, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Illegally Parked? To The Pound
Motorcycle pound towing
Looks like the gloves have come off in Paris, France. Already it was raining parking tickets for motorcycles who did not park in one of the rare motorcycle-only parking places, but now they're towing you to the pound, and charging you for the privilege.

In fact, you get charged the same fee as a car would have to pay, and it ain't cheap.


 


3 June, 2010 - Voxan Brand Bought By Car Maker Venturi
Voxan Stark concept
Voxan logo
French motorcycle manufacturer, Voxan, that went bust and sold piece-by-piece, has been bought (the name) by Venturi, another French manufacturer (cars) that went bust and got resurrected in 2001.

Venturi plan to produce electric motorcycles using the Voxan name. They themselves make electric cars, so they should know how.


 


2 June, 2010 - France: Due To Bureaucracy 30% Of Radars Not Working
Motorcycle Police France Radar
Due to its own inertia, the French government shot itself in the foot. They themselves passed a law making it mandatory that a neutral company inspect all mobile radar guns annually, but were so slow getting the contracts organized, that 1/3 of all mobile radar devices are not-to-be-used.

And they still haven't signed a contract, so more and more radars are unserviceable.


 


20 May, 2010 - #fiatyamahateam MotoGP France Report: Day 0
MotoGP France 2010 paddock
Fiat-Yamaha Team logo
Here's my first report on the Le Mans French MotoGP as invitee of the #fiatyamahateam.

My hosts had not arrived yet, but went to the circuit and bullshitted myself in. Here are some photos.


 


14 May, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Rest Areas For The MotoGP 2010
FFMC logo
MotoGP logo
The French MotoGP motorcycle race is on next weekend, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place many motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


7 May, 2010 - France: The Life Of A Biker Is Worth Euro 100
OJ get out of jail free
A motorcycle rider here in France was killed when a guy cut him off in his car. The police stated that this was 100% the car driver's fault.

But the defense lawyer dug up a mystery witness who stated that he was passed by the biker some time ago while he was speeding. So the judge said he was probably speeding at the time of the accident (despite police reports denying it).

The car driver got fined €100. That's the price of a motorcycle rider here in France.


 


28 April, 2010 - France: Insurance Company Subsidizes Airbag Vest Purchase
Helite Airbag Vest
In France, if you use a motorcycle insurance from Mutuelle-Europe insurance company, the will reimburse you between €100 and €200 for the purchase of an Helite airbag vest or jacket.


 


19 April, 2010 - France: A Closer Look At A Relais Calmos - Motorcycle Rest Place
Relais Calmos 27
A closer look at one motorcycle rest place, the "Relais Motard Calmos" put in place for the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race.

It was a small one, but between 500 and 1,000 bikers were expected on Saturday alone. Paid for my the French government, the rest area is a great place to meet up, repair your bike, inflate tires, drink coffee, eat, and all that for free!


 


19 April, 2010 - 24 Hours of Le Mans Motorcycle Race 2010
24 Hours of Le Mans 2010 Motorcycle race
Video clip
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race were held last weekend, and here are 9 photos and 1 video for you to watch (the video is that of an impressive pit fire).


 


13 April, 2010 - France: 1 Year Prison For Speeding On Motorcycle
Jail Prisoner
22 year old motorcycle rider gets caught speeding on his motorcycle. He was doing 190 kph on the Paris ring road.

The judge threw the book at him: 1 year prison (no parol), €7500 fine, license gone for 2 years, redo the driving test, motorcycle confiscated.

A bit heavy handed??? Read on!


 


9 April, 2010 - Ride Exceptional Motorcycles In The South Of France
Columbus Club
Now you can join the equivalent of the supercar clubs, but on motorcycles.

Columbus International, based in sunny Cannes, South France, offer an annual membership that allows you to ride one of their super motorcycles, Ducati, BMW, MV Agusta, or even a Triumph Rocket III.

Fly in to Cannes, pickup your motorcycles, ride via the beaches through the mountains, end up in the casino of Monte Carlo.

James Bond, move over;...


 


9 April, 2010 - Motorcycle Rest Stops 24 Hours Of Le Mans 2010
25 Hours Le Mans 2010
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race is on the weekend of the 17th of April, and the French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) has put in place many motorcycle rest stops along the way, where you can tank up, get hot/cold drinks, eat, visors cleaned, mechanics, etc.

Here's a list and map of where they are, and when they are open.


 


1 April, 2010 - France: They Just Do Not Get It
Systeject
The French think they have come up with some motorcycle safety device on the roads, even the Prime Minister, says so, but in reality, it's of no use to us.

Their idea is a pole (that carries road signs, billboards, etc), that snaps in two when something crashes into it.

Only problem is that the "it" that crashes into it is a car, not a bike... we are too light.


 


30 March, 2010 - France: Confusion About License Point System
French driving license
France Article
There's some confusion about the point system for French driving license according to some smart lawyers....

According to the law, licenses delivered before 1992 are for life, and therefore can not be taken away with the point system...

Of course the government disagrees....


 


19 March, 2010 - France: Ticket Quotas For Police Confirmed
Paris parking ticket
The French daily newspaper, Le Parisien, has obtained a secret document from the Parisian police department highlighting the fact that the police has quotas for tickets.

Officers that reach their objectives receive a cash bonus.


 


17 March, 2010 - France: Motorcycle Taxi Counter At Airport Vandalized
France Article
There is a war going on between car taxis and motorcycle taxis here in France. And the car taxis play dirty since they are loosing the legal battle.

Now, for the 2nd time in a month, the information desk at Orly, a busy international airport in France, got vandalized, furniture wrecked and computer equipment rendered useless. Imagine!!! In a busy airport where there is supposed to be security....


 


15 March, 2010 - France: The Massive Motorcycle Protest Of This Weekend
Motorcycle Protest Paris
Last Saturday saw a massive motorcycle protest ride in 40 cities n France.

Despite the miserable weather, 10,000 bikers paralyzed Paris traffic for hours.


 


11 March, 2010 - France: Ruling Political Party Chairman Caught Speeding, Blames Everyone Else
France Article
Xavier Bertrand UMP
The chairman of the ruling party in France got caught speeding, 140 kph in a 90 kph zone... enough for a loss of license and impounding his car...

He blames the radar, the driver and the cops who caught him.... not his fault.

Poor guy....


 


10 March, 2010 - France: Regional Elections, Politicians And Motorcycles
Opinion Article
France Anti Motorcycle
The French regional elections are to be held next week, and the three main motorcycle organizations have sent all candidates an 8 questionnaire, asking them for their position towards motorcycles.

Sad.... a quarter of politicians responded, the green party want to kill all bikers, and the rest are not interested.... sad.


 


19 February, 2010 - France: Getting Ugly, Time To Immigrate?
Handcuffed
Yesterday the French government announced a new series of repressive measures towards vehicles in general, and motorcycle specifically!

Time to look for another country?


 


15 February, 2010 - France: Biker Tapes His Speeding, Looses Camera, Cops Find It
French Biker Caught Tape
A French biker decide to tape himself speeding on his Triumph Daytona motorcycle. He went out and bought a video camera, installed it, and raced on the country roads.

But... he lost his camera. Lucky for him, it was found. Unlucky for him, it was found by the cops.

To make matters worse, he went back to look for the most camera, where the cops were waiting for him. Not only has he lost his camera, but also his motorcycle and has a date with the courts.


 


11 February, 2010 - Banks Still Not Doing Their Job! Gima In Trouble
GIMA 125
Remember this cute retro-looking motorcycle, the French Gima 125?

It's got quite a success, with 150 orders so far. To make the motorcycle available in France, the company needs to put in place dealers, spare parts, training, etc. For that, they need €400,000. But banks just aren't interested in parting with the taxpayer's money used to bail them out. They prefer to give themselves a big bonus than to lend money.

Now the CEO of Gima has gone on hunger strike to get some attention from the media and politicians.


 


9 February, 2010 - France: 13 March 2010 - Major Protest Ride Planned
Lane Split Lights Bangkok
Motivational Poster Lane splitting
The French government are looking at removing the last freedom motorcycle have in France; lane-splitting (filtering). Many years it was tolerated, now they want to make it illegal.

The French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) is planning a protest day on March the 13th. They will be asking all bikers to stay in the lane during rush hour, adding 100,000's of vehicles to the traffic jams.

That should show the authorities why it's a stupid idea...


 


8 February, 2010 - Enduropale 2010: Major Upsets! Cause: Loud Pipes
Enduropale 2010 race start
Enduropale 2010 Mickael Pichon
After an upset for the winner, due to a too loud motorcycle, Mickael Pichon won the 2010 Le Touquet Enduropale beach motorcycle race.

1050 motorcycles started, and there were several leaders in the 3 hour race. But to loose on a too loud exhaust must be a first...


 


5 February, 2010 - See The Le Touquet Beach Race Live On The Web
FR3 Le Touqet 2010 Feed
Le Touquet 2007 Start
If you can't make it to France to see this weekend's crazy Le Touquet Enduropale, and don't live in France so you can see one of the 2 TV channels transmitting the race live, then there's still hope....

France 3, one of the main TV channels here, are transmitting 5 feeds from the race on the web. You can see the race as it happens. That's 3 hours of fun....


 


3 February, 2010 - Motorcycle Rest Areas For The Le Touquet Enduropale 2010 Race
France Article
If you're planning to attend world's craziest, and biggest, beach motorcycle race, the Le Touquet Enduropale, on the weekend of 6/7th of Feb, and you're going on a motorcycle, here are the special rest places for bikers.

There are 3 of them, places motorcycle riders can go to, to get their bike checked out, drink hot drinks, and mingle with other bikers.

Also, several motorways are free for motorcycles going to the race.


 


27 January, 2010 - France: New Average Speed Camera To Go In Operation
Radar-jackpot
The French government is not content with the money the current speed radars generate. Everybody slows down before one, and then speeds up on their motorcycle. That will shortly change. The government is installing 2 cameras, distant by several 10's of kilometers, that will calculate your average speed, and then ticket you if it was too fast.

Please go to the cash register and pay....


 


26 January, 2010 - France: New Old Motorcycle - GIMA 125
GIMA 125
GIMA 125
There is a classic, but new, motorcycle manufacturer here in France, that is reproducing a motorcycle from 1946. Called the GIMA 125, the motorcycle is an exact copy of the old bike, apart from current legislation technical specification, such as a 4 stroke engine.

The GIMA 125 will not win any speed race, but it will use only 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers. And it's very pretty....


 


22 January, 2010 - France: Honda - No Warrantee On Professional Goldwings
Motocycle taxi in Paris
Honda logo
It would appear that Honda France is no longer honoring its warrantee on Goldwing motorcycles used by the French motorcycle taxis.

The Goldwing was never designed to work in the city environment they are working in now, and seem to have a lot of problems, which, according to this French motorcycle taxi web site, Honda will not pay for anymore.

Dilemma for Honda....


 


15 January, 2010 - France: New Motorcycles Sales 2009 Down
Statistics Article
The new motorcycle & scooters sales for 2009 in France, at a first glance look pretty bad. Down 15.8%, but that's because they don't take the MP3 into account, since it has three wheels.

Piaggio have been selling the MP3 like hot-cakes (or hot croissants) in France, and if you take them into account, sales "only" fell 10%.


 


15 January, 2010 - France: President Sarkozy Not Happy With Motorcycle Riding Minister
Frederic Mitterrand
Frederic Mitterrand, nephew of the former French President, is the Minister of Culture and Communication. Mitterrand loves riding his scooter in Paris, but this winter he crashed on the icy roads (yes, he continues to ride, even in freezing temperatures).

This gave the French President Sarkozy a lot of grief, telling his Minister to stop riding "mopeds".

No class, no humor for the Prez.


 


9 December, 2009 - France: Motorcycle Taxis Thank Their Cage Counterparts
Motocycle taxi in Paris
After yesterday's cager taxi strike, a protest against motorcycle taxis, the motorcycle taxi in Paris say a big MERCI to their cage counterparts.

Thank you for blocking Paris traffic, since the motorcycle taxi reached record high revenue that day.

So the next time there's a strike, here's the list of motorcycle taxis in Paris.


 


8 December, 2009 - France: Paris Taxis On Strike Because Of Motorcycles
Paris Taxi Protest
The Parisian taxis went on strike today, paralyzing the French capital with their protest.

The reason? Car taxis want motorcycle taxi to be stopped, and not allowed to use the taxi ranks at airports.


 


3 December, 2009 - Riding A Motorcycle Taxi In Paris Is Profitable
moto taxi paris with trailor
Motorcycle taxis are popular in the French capital, despite the attempts by many to stop them.

But do you know how much these motorcycle taxi rider earn per month?

Read on...


 


23 November, 2009 - France: New Regional Motorcycle Safety Campaign
Motorcycle Safety Poster
Motorcycle Safety Poster
The state ("departement") of France called Haute-Garonne has started its own motorcycle safety campaign after the death rate on the roads for motorcycles and scooters increased.

Now, 1 out of 3 death are motorcycles and scooters.


 


23 November, 2009 - France: Motorcycles Running Out Of Gas
Extra fuel on motorcycle
More and more gas stations have converted to the ecological fuel E10, but apart from 3 motorcycle manufacturers, most motorcycles can not run the ethanol additives fuel. E10, according to many experts, is NOT ecological, and growing products for E10 means growing less fuel.

So now many motorcycles are stranded, since they've run out of fuel, and there's no gas station with proper 95 RON fuel.


 


10 November, 2009 - Death Of French Beach Motorcycle Racer, Timotei Potisek
Timotei Potisek
Timotei Potisek, a great French beach motorcycle racer has just died after a training accident on a beach. He was 25.

At the age of 25, he had already won several of the toughest beach races in Europe, including the crazy Le Touquet Enduropale.

Sad..


 


29 October, 2009 - France And The Carbon Tax
co2
France is going to tax CO2 starting the 1st of January 2010. €17 per tonne of CO2.

Here's what I understand of the new tax. I don't know if I've got it 100% right, since you need a double PhD to understand the formula.


 


15 October, 2009 - 1st All Electric Motorcycle & Scooter Shop In Paris?
Elecity
The 1st all-electric scooters and motorcycle shop opens in Paris, France.

With a €400 cash-back from Paris, prices are interesting, specially since charging up your battery at one of the city's charging points is FREE! Plus free parking and very low insurance, this could move many commuters to use an electric vehicle.


 


12 October, 2009 - Harley: Funny French Print Ad
Harley-Ad-France
Harley-Davidson logo
Funny Harley-Davidson print ad found in one of the French motorcycle magazines.

Sexist ? Yeah, but funny....


 


6 October, 2009 - Congestion Charge Coming To France
Congestion-charge-sign-london
France Article
Last month, the French senate approved a law that will allow French cities with more than 300,000 inhabitants to apply a congestion charge for entering their city.

None have taken up the charge (yet), but that will change.

No information was given whether motorcycles are exempt.


 


30 September, 2009 - France: Motorcycle Study - Then and Now
France Article
Statistics Article
A study report has been published about the motorcycle world in France. Compared to a similar study made in 2004, you can see some evolution.

Here are the salient facts of this year's research on the motorcycle world in France.


 


21 September, 2009 - Motorcycle Trial In Shit-Kickers Country
Trial-Sotteville-2009
A day in the back country of Normandy, France looking at a motorcycle trial competition.

It's a difficult motorcycle sport, very technical. Here's a photographic impression of the day..


 


16 September, 2009 - France: Massive Communication Campaign On Road Safety
French-TV-ad-2009
The French government have started a massive TV campaign to prevent further road deaths.

20 TV ads, each with a specific topic, will be shown over the next few weeks.

The slogan? "Accidents Never Happen By Accident".


 


13 September, 2009 - Bol D’Or 2009 Over: Nice Photo
Bol-D-Or-2009-Sunset
The famous 24 hour motorcycle endurance race, the Bol D'Or, is over for another year.

The winner was SERT -Suzuki Endurance Racing Team. Congrats!

Isn't this a beautiful photo?


 


8 September, 2009 - France: Scorpa Then Voxan Motorcycles Go Chapter 11
Voxan logo
Scorpa  logo
Two out of three French motorcycle manufacturers have hit it bad in these economic downturns. Scorpa went first, filing for bankruptcy protection, and then taken-over by the third manufacturer Sherco.

Now it's the turn of the main French manufacturer, Voxan. They have just filed for bankruptcy protection...


 


2 September, 2009 - French Motorcycle Taxi Uses Royal Enfield Motorcycle
Motorcycle-kilt
A motorcycle taxi operator in the South of France is using an unusual motorcycle as his vehicle of choice: a Royal Enfield Bullet 500.

Go to your meeting in style...


 


31 August, 2009 - France: Motorcycle Rest Stops For Bol D’Or 2009
France Article
Racing Article
For those of you going to the Bol d'Or motorcycle endurancerace, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.


 


24 August, 2009 - France: Millau Bridge Free On 11 & 13/14 September For Motorcycles
Motorcycles crossing the Millau bridge
Friday 11 September, and Sunday & Monday 13/14 September, the famous and impressive Millau bridge will be free for motorcycles. This because of the Bol d'Or motorcycle race held at Magny Cours.


 


20 August, 2009 - France: A1 Autoroute And The Taxi Lane
Paris-A1-Taxi-Lane
The main motorway into Paris from the North, the A1, has one (out of three) lane closed for traffic, and is now reserved for taxis and buses.

Even motorcycles are fined €135 when they stray into that lane, so be aware!


 


6 August, 2009 - A Special 24 Hours Motorcycle Race
24-Solex-Race
Every year, in Chaumont, France, there's a 24 hours motorcycle race, using a very special type of motorcycle: the SOLEX.

For 24 hours, mad bikers race around on a small, 2-stroke, pedal assisted, moped. The "prototypes" are able to reach 100 kph.


 


6 August, 2009 - Trucking Your Motorcycle In France
MotoByCat
There's now a new service in France that will transport your motorcycle anywhere in France. They offer a door-to-door service, or from drop-off and pick-up points.

Their website (in French) will give your on-line quotations...


 


29 July, 2009 - France: Luxury Touring On A Ducati Motorcycle
Columbus-France-Ducati-Holidays
Columbus International offer motorcycle tours of a lifetime! Riding a Ducati motorcycle (including the latest Streetfighter) in Southern France, eating at the top Michelin rated restaurants, helicopter transfers, driving a Formula One car, riding a Superbike or staying on your own private yacht while fishing for barracudas.

You can also just rent one of their Ducati motorcycles and tour by yourself.


 


27 July, 2009 - Official English Document For Tourists In France
English-Info-France
Everything you need to know about riding your motorcycle in France, in different languages, straight from the horse's mouth (the French Minister of Transport).

Downloadable Acrobat documents in English, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.


 


23 July, 2009 - Bilateral Agreement On Speeding Fines Between France And Belgium
Europe-Bilateral
Another bilateral agreement, this time between France and Belgium. Speeding offenses, motorcycle and car, will be exchanged between the two countries, and LEOs in each other's country now will have access to each other's car and license database.

Not fair! So far, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium have created these bilateral agreements.


 


20 July, 2009 - Tour de France 2009: Motorcycle Kills Woman Spectator
TdF-2009-Death
Sad. A stupid woman decides to cross the road in between bicycles during the Tour de France 2009 and gets hits by a Police motorcycle.

Sad.. for the cop, since he'll have to live with it for the rest of his life.


 


17 July, 2009 - French Railroads Invest In Electric Motorcycle Company
SMERA
Video clip
The French railroads, the SNCF, have invested money in a French start-up that is going to produce an electric motorcycle/car.

The SMERA is halfway between a car and a motorcycle. Nice looking vehicle!

The SNCF are planning to place these motocars at railway stations, and renting them out.


 


14 July, 2009 - Bastille Day 2009: I’m Out Of Here
Republican-Guard-Bastille-Day
Bastille-Day
It's Bastille Day, the French national holiday, and I've taken the day off to see what's going on in the country.

Who knows, maybe they've brought out the guillotine again somewhere...


 


6 July, 2009 - France: Further Intolerance Towards Speeding-Money Please
Radar-jackpot
France have announced that they are increasing their intolerance for speeders.

Before, if you were riding your motorcycle in town for example at 55 kph in a 50 kph zone, you were not ticketed. Now, in a 50 kph zone, you'll get a ticket riding at 53 kph!

That's a money generating law, guaranteed! It's a jackpot for the cash strapped French government!


 


17 June, 2009 - Xenon HID Lights Outlawed In France
Xenon-HID lights
The Police in the French capital, Paris, have started distributing fines to motorcycles that are equipped with Xenon HID. Apparently, some obscure law forbids you to use lights that have not been supplied with the motorcycle. Even if the HID lights have received type approval, and were installed by official mechanics, you'll still receive a fine.

What other creative ways can governments come up with to get your money?


 


12 June, 2009 - Germany/France Most Expensive For An Accident
Car-crash
Having an accident, motorcycle or car, in Germany or France can result in 50% more cost than the average European countries.

So beware...


 


3 June, 2009 - France: Fire Brigade Hold Their 10th Motorcycle Safety Course
The French fire brigade are very well respected and liked by the French. Therefore, when they organize an event, it is usually well attended.

On the 27th of June, they are holding their 10th training for cars and motorcycles. In the day long event you learn to respect each other on the road (car and motorcycle), you learn a thing or two about riding, and you get to meet professionals, even celebrities.


 


2 June, 2009 - France: 8 Million Drivers/Riders Have Bad Eyesight
new-eyesight-test-for-man.jpg
France Article
According to a French optician organization, 8 million, out of 20 million, rider/drivers have bad eyesight.

They are saying you should take regular eyesight tests (see photo of proposed test....). Your life on your motorcycle depends on your eyesight...


 


1 June, 2009 - Paris To Create 18,000 Motorcycle Parking Spaces! Miracle
Hanoi motorcycle parking
The Mayor of Paris had promised during his election campaign that he would create more motorcycle parking space. Now he is saying it will happen.... by the year 2014.

2014? That happens to be the year of his re-election campaign... hmmmmmmm...


 


26 May, 2009 - France: More Repression On The Way
Go to Jail card
The French government is planning even more draconian measures against us car and motorcycle riders.

They are planning to confiscate your precious motorcycle, and sell it, and keep the money. Plus you still get to pay the fine...

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!


 


20 May, 2009 - French Motorcycle Accommodation 100-1
This Site Article
France Article
I've reached 99 biker friendly accommodation in France. There's still a lot more to go, but I have to change the program since it only can only count in 2 digits.

I've also made several changes to the pages.


 


14 May, 2009 - Paris Motorcycle Show Moved To 2010
No Mondial 2009
Not only is the Paris motorcycle exhibition, the "Mondial du Deux Roues" cancelled, but they plan to hold it again next year, instead of 2011, and compete head on with Intermot AND EICMA. Silly.

There's also a strong rumor floating that Honda and possibly Yamaha will not attend EICMA this year. Bad news...


 


13 May, 2009 - The Upside Of Some French Strikes
Stickered Radar
France Article
Don't you love it when once in a while a strike in France actually benefits you.

In this case, employees of the German tire manufacturer, Continental, have stickered one of the most productive speed radars with Continental stickers, rendering the radar inoperative for 12 days.

I wonder how many motorcycle riders have been saved from getting a speeding ticket?


 


11 May, 2009 - Motorcycle Ride-Out With The French Gendarmes
Gendarmerie2009-Rallyemoto
France Article
The French Gendarmerie are organizing their 9th annual ride out in the Alps mountains.

Everyone is invited for a memorable ride in the mountains.


 


9 May, 2009 - Riding Motorcycle In France
France flag
Riding in France on a motorcycle, here is what you need to know

 


8 May, 2009 - Motorcycle Rest Stops For the 2009 French MotoGP
FFMC-Calmos-Motard-Tent
FFMC logo
The French Angry Biker Association (FFMC) have organized free motorcycle rest stops again this year for the 2009 French MotoGP race.

So if you'll be coming on your motorcycle on one of the free autoroutes (toll free), you now know where to stop and meet like minded bikers.


 


6 May, 2009 - France: Crisis? Maybe, But Not For Radars
Radar-Sign
There may be a crisis, but here in France, speed radars are not suffering from it. Far from it.

Radars are expected to generate more than HALF A BILLION Euros (€550 Million to be exact) in speeding fines, and increase of 28% over 2008.

This is no longer a security/safety matter, but big bucks paid for as a "tax" by motorcycle riders and car drivers.


 


6 May, 2009 - MotoGP France 2009: Some Autoroutes Free For Motorcycles
LeMans-MotoGP2009-Tollfree
France Article
If you're planning to attend the 2009 edition of the French MotoGP race in Le Mans, the good news is that most autoroutes leading to Le Mans are going to be free.

Here they are.


 


29 April, 2009 - A Strike I Do Like Here In France
EDF Strike
France Article
The French have a love affair with going on strike. They do it so often, that its no longer fun.

But one utility company has recently started going for full strikes, and now we LOVE them. This is one strike we endorse.

Find out why.... click on the headline....


 


20 April, 2009 - Listing of Motorcycle Friendly Accommodation In France
Bitfl-Biker-friendly
France Article
We've produced a comprehensive listing of motorcycle friendly camping, hotel and gites here in France.

A Google Map, with different colored icons shows you where they are, and clicking on one of the icons will give you all the info you need.

Now you can really plan your holiday.


 


14 April, 2009 - France: Autoroute Companies Waking Up To Motorcycles
Motorcycle toll booth
France Article
One of the main autoroutes in France, the A13 that goes from Paris to Normandy has finally installed motorcycle toll booths. This is great, since it means you no longer need to queue up for the manned toll booths.

And for me, it's excellent, since I often take that toll-road.


 


10 April, 2009 - Crisis: Mondial du Deux-Roue In Danger
France Article
One of Europe's largest motorcycle exhibitions, the French Mondial du Deux-Roues, is in danger of having some of the top motorcycle manufacturers not attending.

According to the French motorcycle magazine, Moto Journal, Honda, BMW and Yamaha are in doubt. They have not yet cancelled, but their plans are currently unclear, and the required paperwork has not yet been submitted.

It would surely be a pity for a show that is held every 2 years to miss out of these biggies!


 


6 April, 2009 - French Motorcycle Mag Pulls A Fast One - April 1st
z-lib
z-lib
The French motorcycle mag, Moto Journal, played a well done 1st of April joke on their readers (on the 2nd of April...).

The claimed, supported by good Photoshop photos, that the Paris City Hall was going to come out with a motorcycle rental service the same way they are renting out bicycles.

Photos of a self-service motorcycle rental station, publicity and a fake interview with the City Hall project manager were included.


 


2 April, 2009 - Biker Rest Stops For The 24 Hours Of Le Mans
France Article
Racing Article
For those of you going to the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race, and going by motorcycle, here are all the active motorcycle rest stops.

At the "Relais Calmos Motards" you will be able to rest between bikers, eat, hot drinks, check your tire pressure, minor repairs, etc.


 


2 April, 2009 - France: Most Stolen Motorcycles 2008
France Article
Statistics Article
There has been a reduction in stolen motorcycles in France during 2008.

In the top 10 of stolen motorcycles and scooters, better not have a Yamaha, since you stand a good chance of not finding your motorcycle...


 


1 April, 2009 - France: 17.15 Million Speed Radar Photos During 2008
Radar-jackpot
Speed radars are jackpots for governments. In France, during 2008, 17,150,000 speed photos were made (for 65,000,000 inhabitants), generating €550,000,000 in revenues.

Talk about a great ROI!


 


19 March, 2009 - France: Motorcycle Rental Listing Now With Map
France-Rental-Map
France Article
The listing of motorcycle rental agencies in France has just gotten better.

All agencies, including the ones with multiple locations, are now mapped out on a Google Map. You can zoom and pan the map, and when you've found an agency you'd like to see, click on the map marker icon to get more info, like motorcycle brands and prices.


 


9 March, 2009 - New Electric Scooters Subsidized In Paris
Paris charging station maps
Paris is subsidizing the purchase of electric motorcycles/scooters at 25% of the purchase price, with a cap of €400. It also needs to be in the moped category, ie, not faster than 45 kph.

There are now some 40 recharging stations in Paris, and more on the way. Charging your car or motorcycle is FREE!


 


5 March, 2009 - France: Bikers: 1 Government: 0
France Article
FFMC logo
The FFMC (the French Angry Biker Association) have gained an enormous victory. After a meeting with the Ministry of Transportation, the proposed law that would make on-the-spot technical inspections possible, towing to a garage and inspections by non-trained mechanics, is off the table for motorcycles.

From now on, we'll be consulted for all new laws, and several study/working groups have been created to make recommendations about all those other pesky laws (100 HP limit, lane splitting, bus lanes, etc).

Spring is going to be nice...


 


26 February, 2009 - France: The 2008 +125cc Motorcycle Market Share
France 2008 Market Share
France Article
The 2008 market of motorcycles over 125cc looked pretty good, specially in the first half.

Here's what the market share per manufacturer looked like. The Japanese motorcycle gained the vast majority of the market (67+%).


 


18 February, 2009 - France: A16 Autoroute Free For Motorcycle This Weekend
France Article
Racing Article
This weekend, for the Le Touquet Enduropale motorcycle beach race, world's craziest race, the A16 autoroute will be free for all motorcycles going to this event.

They've also added one rest point for bikers, with free hot soup to warm you up.