News 8 Dec 2016

Motorcycling Australia addresses 2017 tear-off ban

Governing body on the need to implement controversial ruling.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Image: MXN.

Motorcycling Australia has released a statement addressing the 2017 tear-off ban that will see riders forced to use roll-off systems in all disciplines of off-road and motocross racing.

After mounting speculation of the ban being implemented, the statement indicated that it will in fact be introduced for next year. Environmental issues caused from the plastic tear-offs are at the base of the decision, which has been made to ensure greater longevity of the sport.

The statement read ‘with every possible environmental issue in motorsport, worldwide, constantly under the microscope of the general public, our sport faces some of the most significant environmental lobby group opposition of any’.

Williams Event Management director Kevin Williams – promoter of the Motul MX Nationals – shared his opinion of the ban and revealed his support of the decision.

“We need to be proactive about the environment and tear-offs are becoming an issue globally,” Williams stated in the recent MA statement. “We’ve all known for a couple of years now that [the] days were numbered for tear-offs. Aside from tear offs being banned in enduro and cross-country competition for the past few years, there are some venues in Australia where you simply cannot run tear-offs, which has been the case for years.

“All the major [goggle] companies have a roll-off system and generally offer systems that can be easily retro fitted to existing goggles in addition to providing ripcord and electric versions. So, no one can say that they can’t get a roll-off system easily in Australia. Coupled with that, the price comparison between tear-offs and roll-offs means that usually, roll-off films are far cheaper than tear-offs.

“The average competition rider runs a stack of 20 tear-offs per race. Now multiply that by one hundred and 20 riders over several races a day – that can be up to 5000 plastic tear-offs [on a very muddy day] at one MX Nationals meet.”

The controversial decision to ban tear-offs in 2017 has sparked mixed opinions within motorcycling communities, where many are opposing the new changes.