Hundreds of bikers took part in a protest today against a raft of new EU regulations on motorbike safety, which they claim will push up costs for motorcyclists.

Over 1,000 motorbikes blocked Kildare Street in Dublin.

As part of the proposals, the Road Safety Authority is to make hi-visibilty clothing compulsory for all motorcyclists from 2014.

Any motorbike over seven years old would not be allowed on the road in an urban area.

New regulations on safety and vehicle maintenance are also included.

The regulations for 'L-Category' vehicles, including two- or three-wheeled motorcycles, mopeds and quads were proposed last October.

The European Commission estimates that there are over 30m L-vehicles in the EU.

Rallies were held in various parts of the country including Dublin, Cork and Galway, where some bikers joined in 'slow rides' along motorways and dual carriageways.

There were also rallies in Waterford, Wexford, Westmeath, Monaghan and Donegal.

Protest rallies are also taking place across Europe, amid claims that the new regulations will have a detrimental effect on motorcyclists.