All posts by marcus

Leeds MAG Newsletter – December/January 2019

Welcome to the latest Leeds MAG newsletter
The Yorkshire Political reps, Steve and Ian, have been working their socks off to get a better deal for the bikers of West Yorkshire.
As anyone who has ever had dealings with their local council will know, getting anything done is akin to wading through treacle. Dealing with five separate councils is like hearding cats, so I thank them for their tenacity.
We had several responses from the plea in the last newsletter for suggestions for secure parking locations in Bradford. This is brilliant as the five West Yorkshire councils have all been given £16k per year for the next four years to pay for secure motorcycle parking. If the money isn’t earmarked for this use it is absorbed into other projects, so it’s important that we tell them what we want and where. If you have any suggestions within West Yorkshire, get in touch with me or your local rep.
I’ve sent a couple of emails off to the lead member for transport in Leeds City Council but have yet to receive a response – it turns out that your local councillors don’t have to respond to contact from their constituents. This is worth bearing in mind when it comes to election time!
Here is the link to the current “Network” which will keep you informed with MAG happenings around the country.
Last Saturday was the December National Committee meeting in Warwick. This is attended by Lembit and Colin, all the board members and the regional reps.
Here is the national campaigns update.
The recent online survey gleaned lots of useful and relevant information with over 950 respondents. This info will be analysed and used appropriately. Central office has taken a Survey Monkey subscription out so we can do as many surveys as we want including more local/regional ones
Vision zero is now being pushed as a concept in London. The aim is zero road deaths by 2040. Motorcycles have no place within the vision zero model – for the London statistics, cycles have been excluded from the figures! As with all these things, what starts in London is often quickly jumped on by other local authorities, nationally. This is a very worrying development.
A report called “The Atkins report on 20mph zones” has been published and has found that there is no difference, nationally, to accident statistics where areas have been changed from 30mph to 20mph. It is stated though that by reducing road speeds it will push more people towards cycling.
The push towards CAZ’s has hit problems with full funding for Leeds been denied by central government and Nottingham has decided not to charge. The group of “environmental solicitors” behind this CAZ/ULEZ push is up in arms about current developments so expect this one to rumble on.
London MAG met with the London mayor Sadiq Khan and his team. The ULEZ rules are to charge all pre Euro 4 internal combustion engine vehicles – regardless of engine size. They have agreed to look at our arguments regarding motorcycles easing congestion thus lowering emissions which is a turn up considering we’ve been stonewalled throughout this process. The mayor also wants our help to try get bikes in bus lanes throughout the capital so things are starting to look up.
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) is rebranding and their new head wants to concentrate on “L category vehicles” rather than motorcycles. These are all the strange things like, leaning three wheelers, micro cars, 2/3/4 wheelers up to a given weight. The director of the MCIA has gone on record to say that he’d rather not be associated with motorcycles! We discussed approaching Triumph/Norton etc to find out their feelings on this debacle.
Autonomous vehicles are being discussed at FEMA with the FIM. It was pointed out that a lot of vehicles now have “smart” cruise control and in the handbooks it states that “smaller vehicles may not be seen by the systems in certain situations”. These vehicles are currently on the road and nothing is being said!
There is a consultation for the lower Thames crossing currently going on. They are currently looking at charging motorcycles and also classing it as a motorway so learner riders can’t use it. If you have time you can fill it in here
Next year we’re going to have a big membership drive with the aim of raising membership by 15%. The message will be “your right to ride” and will be aimed at sports bike riders, commuters and born again bikers
Membership continues to rise steadily. NEC was a great success and they want to use more grass roots members to man the stand in the future. If you fancy helping out next year, get in touch.
Wakefield MAG hosted their annual Biker Quiz on 21st November. There were plenty of teams fighting it out for the coveted title. Steve Travis had outdone himself this year with some especially fiendish questions but the eventual winners were Leeds MAG A team, closely followed by Leeds MAG B team and the VJMCC in third. The booby prize of the “fat bird on a scooter” trophy was won by Lorna’s Wakey MAG team with a truly pitiful score of 12.5 points out of 60. Funds were raised for MAG and a great night was had by all in attendance. Well done Wakefield MAG.
We’ve got a few events coming up in the next few months that you may want to add to your diaries.
Tuesday 22nd January – Leeds MAG’s “Owl with laughter” 7th Comedy night @ The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR from 8. Limited tickets available soon. First come first served.
Tuesday 29th January – Leeds MAG AGM from 8pm upstairs at The Royal Hotel, LS28 8PR. Don’t forget your membership cards if you want to vote.
Sunday 17th March – Yorkshire MAG and MAP meetings at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR from 10am. All MAG members welcome.
Saturday 23rd March – Leeds MAG presents An Evening With Ed March! Following the success of our previous motorcycle travel talks, we’ve managed to secure madcap C90 adventurer Ed March to come and talk to us. Check out his exploits on YouTube then come and meet the man himself
Finally if you want to get more involved at a local level (and to really get the most out of your MAG membership, I strongly recommend that you do) here are the meeting details of the Leeds MAG group – though we are looking to expand with more groups so if you haven’t got one close by and fancy getting together with like minded bikers, get in touch with me at
Leeds MAG meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 8pm at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR
Ride safe
Manny (Yorkshire MAG rep)

Daft Way Up Raffle Results

Yesterday at the Yorkshire Pudding Rally, NABD Chairman Rick Hulse drew out the winning ticket for the Daft Way Up C90 raffle to win Manny’s bike.

The lucky winner is number 109, Lorna from Brighouse. Thanks to all who supported the Daft Way Up for the past few months. We’ll release the final total raised at the MAG AGC, but suffice to say both MAG and Macmillan cancer care will both be getting sizeable donations.

The Daft Way Up – The Full Story

Daft Way Up MAG and Macmillan fundraiser 1st – 7th April


The initial idea for this fundraiser came about after Leeds MAG had hosted a talk by Nathan Millward, who’d ridden a Honda postie bike from Australia to the UK.

“We should do something daft like that!” We said…..and if we do we should raise some funds for MAG. Last year the MAG family lost Ian Williamson to cancer, so Macmillan cancer care was added to the beneficiaries of the ride.

After batting a few ideas around we decided on Lands End to John O Groats and instead of one type of bike, we said inappropriate motorcycles should be ridden. Basically, if the bike you chose to ride was inappropriate for a trip of 1000 miles, that would do!

We decided to self fund the ride so the two causes would benefit from all the money raised, this meant that each rider paid out of their own pocket for an inappropriate motorcycle, all fuel, accommodation, and holiday time to complete the trip.

We were amazed at the response from interested MAG members and finally ended up with 17 riders, 2 support drivers a cameraman and a fixer (to sort out all the odds and ends for everyone)

We set the start date for 1st April (when else?) and planned everything from that.

Due to time restrictions (getting time off work) we planned to get the bikes from home to Lands End and from John O Groats to home at the end in hire vans.

Continue reading The Daft Way Up – The Full Story

They Did It!

Congratulations to the Daft Way Up team for successfully completing their journey. It wasn’t easy. Snow in Alston claimed a few casualties and they also had to cope with speed cameras on the A9 to Inverness. However they arrived at John O’Groats yesterday.

You can still donate via and remember, it’s 50% to MAG and 50% to Macmillan Nurses, both very good causes.

The Daft Way Up!

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders, will be hoping for good weather over the Easter weekend as riders set off on a lengthy fundraising trip.

Around twenty intrepid MAG members hope to embark on a week-long adventure entitled ‘The Daft Way Up’ to raise funds for MAG and Macmillan Cancer Support.  The trip will be self-funded, ridden on ‘inappropriate’ motorcycles and will take a week to complete.

Richard Manton, Leeds and Yorkshire Regional Rep for MAG said: “We are inviting members to join us along the route on their own motorcycles (inappropriate or not) to support and highlight our efforts.  We will set off each day at 10.00 am from the following venues:

Sunday April 1st – Lands’ End visitors centre, TR19 7AA
Monday April 2nd – Bishops Taejon Road, Barnstaple, EX32 0AX
Tuesday April 3rd – The Blacksmiths Arms, Lydney, GL15 6AU
Wednesday April 4th – Glossop Travelodge, SK13 8HT
Thursday April 5th – Haggs Bank Bunkhouse, Alston, CA9 3LH
Friday April 6th – Glenrothes Travelodge, KY7 6GH
Saturday April 7th – Inverness Fairways Travelodge, IV2 6AA

and we hope to arrive at John O’ Groats at approximately 2.00 pm on the final day.

If you can see us off, welcome us in or join in yourself at any point, it will be greatly appreciated.   Anyone who does join in will be able to obtain a pair of ‘Daft Way Up’ stickers for a suggested donation of £5.00.  All support and donations will be very gratefully received.”

One of the bikes on the trip will have a tracker fitted so it will be possible to see exactly where the DWU riders are at any point.  There will be a ‘Daft Way Up Diary’ posted on Facebook with daily updates and donations can be pledged via the donation page on Facebook; just Google ‘daft way up’ and follow the links.

Donations will be split 50/50 between MAG and Macmillan Cancer Support.  Donate en-route to any of “The Dafties” or online at


Yorkshire Day!

Get your flat caps, Nora Batty tights and whippets out (not a euphemism!). Our next social event will be a celebration of Yorkshire Day on the 29th of July at the Royal Hotel in Pudsey. We’ve got a busy day ahead with lots going on. All proceeds will be split between MAG and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Be there or be Lancastrian!

Leeds and Bradford Motorcycle Theft Figures

We’ve carried out a new Freedom of Information Act request covering motorcycle thefts in postcode areas beginning with BD and LS for 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016, and 1st April 2016 – 31st March 2017. As before the recovery and prosecution  rates are extremely low. The figures are as follows:

First the recovery rates:

2015-16 2016-17
Recovered 449 509
Not recovered 554 603
Total 1003 1112
Recovery rate 44.77% 45.77%

And in a graph:

If your bike is stolen you’ve got a less than 46% chance of seeing it again.

Next, the actions taken after theft:

2015-16 2016-17
Investigations ongoing 103 50
Charged or summonsed 26 36
Cautioned 5 5
Community resolution 1 1
Investigation complete/evidential difficulties/no suspect ID 868 1020
Total 1003 1112

The chances of something actually happening to bike thieves is less than 10%. And in a graph:

We’re not happy with these very low rates and we’re working with the police to do what we can to improve things. We’ll keep you posted about what happens.

Leeds MAG 3rd Bargain Hunt

Thanks to everyone who came to the third Leeds MAG bargain hunt challenge today. It was a fun day and everything is now listed as auctions with 99p start prices. Everything will be live and for sale from 21.35 tonight and will end next Sunday night. The winner will be whoever makes the most money above the start price. All money raised will go straight to MAG to promote and protect riders rights. To look at the ‘bargains’ just go to… and all the delights will be revealed. Happy bidding.