Unsightly long rear mudguards will soon be a thing of the past under new moves to remove unnecessary red tape requiring new motorcycles to meet Australia’s arcane design rules.
The new change involves removing the mudguard extension specification from the national vehicle standards or Australian Design Rules (ADR). It is a rare and sensible display of agreement between Australian and state/territory governments.
The design rule has no bearing on vehicle safety and will mean almost 70,000 new motorcycles no longer require retro-fitting with rear mudguard extensions every year.
The government claims the ADR change will save the industry $14.4 million in compliance and manufacturing savings every year, leading to lower prices for new motorcycles. I doubt it, but maybe if they dropped some of the other requirements such as blinker lens colours, number plate placement, etc, it might begin to have an effect on bike prices.
The new design rule move is in line with the Australian Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Australia’s Automotive Manufacturing Industry to “accelerate harmonising” of ADRs with United Nations Vehicle Regulations, so hopefully those other issues will soon be addressed.
However, don’t get too excited thinking this is carte blanche for chopping your rear fender. You will still need to comply all structural modifications.
Some sanity seems to be prevailing in design rule bureaucracy of late as this follows recent changes in NSW to the similarly arcane design rules about how far indicator lights have to be from each other and Queensland’s recent consideration of dropping ADRs for helmets in favour of recognised international standards.