I'm not sure there's *any* motorcycle that meets auto emissions. Are you arguing they should?
I'm not sure there's *any* motorcycle that meets auto emissions. Are you arguing they should?
The European Commission and the Association des Constructeurs Europeens de Motocycles (ACEM) issued a proposal to the motorcycle industry that would slowly migrate motorcycles through the EURO 4 requirements in 2012 and up to EURO 5 in 2015, to match those of automobiles. In June 2007, the ACEM officially introduced EURO 5 emissions regulations for automobiles. Two-wheeled vehicles, such as mopeds, scooters and motorcycles, were not included in these requirements. As of today, all motorcycles sold in Europe must meet the less-stringent EURO 3 standards.
But is this realistic standard for all European made motorcycles? Automobiles use a variety of technologies to offset emissions, but these technologies tend to be too big, too heavy, or too hot to fit on a motorcycle and work as effectively as similar systems on automobiles. Even if a motorcycle manufacturer is able to convert automobile emissions technologies for motorcycles applications, the added cost per unit could exceed what the consumer is willing to pay.
This explains why the EPA and the California Air Board are more lenient on motorcycles than they are on other passenger vehicles. John Swanton from the California Air Resource Board was recently quoted by the Los Angeles Times stating, "The emissions picture [for motorcycles] is fairly grim, but we think its fair for where motorcycles are today." According to the EPA, the maximum emission standard for motorcycle hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide in the US under 2010 Tier 2 standards is currently 2.25 grams per mile, compared with .098 for automobiles, meaning a motorcycle can emit 23 times more ozone-forming pollutants as a car does and still meet EPA standards. BMW motorcycles easily exceed the EPA Tier 2 and EURO 3 motorcycle standards. Most 2009 BMW motorcycle are emitting between .3 and .9 grams per mile. However, falls short of meeting the automobile standards.
In the January 2009 BMWRA OTL Bonfires section, it was reported that BMW AG’s Board of Directors narrowly voted against shutting down the motorcycle division. The quote used was “BMW makes more money on replacement fenders for BMW cars than it makes on motorcycle.” Meeting the automobile standard would require new technologies and added expense that would reduce or eliminate the manufacturer’s profit margins. Without profit in the motorcycle division, the line could be converted to a more profitable hybrid automobile line. Companies are not in business to loose money.
As for farmers and subsidies, government subsidies were not designed for the farmer. They were designed to provide stable, low commodity prices for the consumer and a cheap source of farm products for big industry. Grain prices are not significantly more than they were 35 years ago, because they are held artificially low due to government subsidies. In 1974, corn sold for $3 a bushel. If the corn prices increased at the rate of inflation, corn wouldn't be now $3.80 a bushel. The price of corn would be reflected in the cost of production and inflation. Do you want to pay $20 bushel for corn? I will trade you the farm subsidies for corn price based on free markets. You simply can't pay for a $200,000 Combine with corn prices kept artificially low due to government intervention. Its how the government controls agriculture.
You also can't farm without insurance. One hail storm would put you out of business. The government controls farm insurance by keeping the price artificially low.
Last edited by kenk; 12-07-2009 at 04:09 AM.
The ACEM ÔÇô the European Auto and Motorcycle Manufactures Association of which BMW is a member ÔÇô is
ÔÇ£Over the last decade PTWs have achieved remarkable progress in reducing their environmental impact. At the 5th Annual Conference on December 1, 2008 ACEM members proposed to achieve parity of motorcycles with passenger cars Euro 5 reductions in 2015, for pollutant emissions.ÔÇØ
Since this stance was taken there have been many debates about what the standards should be and how they would be measured for cars and motorcycles in Euro 5. However; the reality is parity is coming.
Kenk and I differ on EPA and USDA. I donÔÇÖt blame them or the bureaucrats at the federal or local level. Frankly they are doing what they have been told to and are paid to do.
Ag policy needs to be reformed.
There is no energy policy in the US.
The owners of the problem are our elected representatives at all levels of government for not tackling the restructuring of the farm budget and related programs that is needed. Poor Ag policy and programs have reinforced bad energy and environmental decisions such as ethanol.
I do not see the bureaucrats or politicians as the threat to our liberties either. We own that ourselves for accepting this and allowing this to continue by re-electing our representatives.
While I would agree that motorcycle manufacturers have made considerable progress on emissions, the reality is they are nowhere close to meeting the considerably stricter standards of autos. The EPA will either lead or follow suit with EURO5 on motorcycles, which places small cars at .05 HC. That's 16 times better than the emission from the current BMW R1200 series motorcycle. Forcing the industry to meet an unattainable standard, could bankrupt the industry. It certainly will eliminate small manufacturers with low profit margins and reduce the availability of some motor designs not capable to meeting the new standard. I would be surprised if it eliminated all single and dual cylinder motorcycles.
I would also disagree with your assessment that it is our elected representative that make the difference. A single representative has little power over the smothering bureaucracy of our current government. Most of the time, they are simply ignored when they request information. I've known several and they are usually frustrated by their inability to get anything changed. Our constitution provides them with the power of the purse. However, they're simply 1 of 435. Special interest and bureaucrats unfortunately rule. They are financially supported by parties that receive their funding from special interests. We know all to well that they are forced to vote on policies that they haven't read and truly don't understand.
The reality is not a single representative confiscated the wealth of private corporations like GM and Chrysler and nationalized them. Not a single representative had anything to do with the confiscation of private capital in five of the nations largest banks and the nations largest insurance company AIG. All were following government dictated policies that got them in financial difficulties. Not a single representative had the ability to stop this unconstitutional abuse of power that clearly violated the limited innumerated powers from our constitution. However, executive branch bureaucrats appointed by the President did. Our founders would not recognize the overburdening executive branch that is simple out of control. The EPA is an example of bureaucrats out of control.
Last edited by kenk; 12-19-2009 at 04:09 PM.
Single and twin manufacturers will be challenged by new standards. Some engines such as the S&S monster V-twins currently built will have trouble. For manufactures such as them they challenge will be designing something that complies and is accepted by their target market. H-D has had trouble gaining the acceptance from their US market with the VRod yet in Europe and elsewhere it is the seller and should be able to comply with the next round of standards.
In the BMW world the CamHead is coming out in no small part because the more efficient heads will allow BMW to bring the R bikes into compliance.
Ethanol at 10% and if it goes to 15% is a Challenge with a capital C and an Opportunity with a capital O.
- A challenge for owners and restorers to tune and maintain their bikes.
- A opportunity for the aftermarket parts and equipment manufacturers of all sorts to design and make the parts, fluids, paints and parts we need to deal with the proposed change in fuel.
The EPA is required to approve or deny applications for new fuel formulations in the US. This is to ensure a new formulation doesn't cause additional pollution. The Agribiz folks applied, with obvious reasons, for approval to sell 15% ethanol gas in the US. The EPA approves or denies the new fuel on the basis of how clean it burns versus existing formulations. The 15% stuff is therefore not a new pollution fighting initiative by the EPA. You can be sure they do not care about the impact on older vehicles.
Then there is the separate issue of Euro5 emissions standards in the future for motorcycles. Who knows what additional restrictions CARB will throw in the mix? Plug in bikes would seem to be looming large in our future. Or a direct injection turbodiesel might be simpler technologically than a gasohol bike?
Here's an interesting quote:
Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, says, just because the agency can approve higher ethanol content doesn't mean anybody is forced to sell it. Refiners are saying they won't put more ethanol into their gasoline unless Congress gives them protection from potential lawsuits from motorists or consumers who claim the ethanol hurt their engines.
The key legal issue for EPA is whether the higher ethanol content, which causes engines to run hotter, could damage emission controls and increase air pollution. EPA has options including approving E15 for all automobiles, boats and equipment or allowing E15 only for automobiles made since 2004, which have more advanced engines and emission systems.
From today's Wall Street Journal. A perfect example how politically motivated bureaucrats in the EPA make policies within the broad range of US laws without any direct involvement by our elected representatives.
Officials gather in Copenhagen this week for an international climate summit, but business leaders are focusing even more on Washington, where the Obama administration is expected as early as Monday to formally declare carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant.
An "endangerment" finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions -- even if Congress doesn't pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.
This dangerous pollutant (carbon dioxide) is a necessary component for all human life. Plant require carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis Carbon dioxide levels increase and decrease with natural warming and cooling periods in our earth five thousand million year old history.
Last edited by kenk; 12-07-2009 at 04:40 PM.
If " According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles.", imagine how much pollution the farm equipment used to produce the corn produces. The farm equipment is many times larger, used for many more hours and much of it is older and more polluting.
'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.
Yes, it could be argued that a motorcycle engine (and to the EPA that's all cycle engines) may run dirtier than a car or SUV engine, per mile. But, a cycle engine uses far less fuel per mile. It takes FAR less energy to produce and dispose of a cycle for its useable life. Over its life of production and use, I'd bet any cycle requires less overall energy than does a car or SUV or truck. Perhaps a better statement is total environmental impact rather than fuel or emissions impact.
Now, if every cycle owner and rider in the country REALLY used their motorcycles as much as they could, then I say yes the cycles that do run dirtier are contributing to greater emissions. But really, most riders use their bikes more for recreation than anything else, and as such rack up minimal miles.
But to push 15% Ethanol on the market is bull. That is being done more by those lobbying for Ethanol (those being the Ethanol producers) than by any green thinking politicians. Everyone knows Ethanol produces less performance and mileage per gallon than gasoline. So we end up paying up front for a lesser fuel, and then paying more again because we have to buy more of it for the same miles we'd have covered on gasoline.
Ethanol is also known to create fuel and engine problems that gasoline does not cause. So we'd end up paying more again.
The car was a late-model Buick that averaged 28 mpg. We usually ride as a group on four motorcycles that average about 40 mpg. If you combine four bikes, we average 10 mpg to get us to our location when we ride. When you consider the fact this newer Buick is well within the EPA emissions standards carrying hundreds of pounds of emission control devices, it average less than .05 HC per mile. Our individual bikes average 16-32 times that emission standard. With four bikes, we're emitting 64-128 times the emissions per mile compared to the car. If you buy into the anthropogenic global warming science debate, these facts should bother you. Frankly, I don't.
Its only a matter of time before the EPA gets around to further restricting emissions on motorcycles. They fully understand what I explained above, and plan on using these facts for further regulating motorcycle emissions. Since they no longer do a cost benefits analysis on the cost of regulations to the industry, we have to rely on AMA and motorcycle industry groups to lobby on our behalf in order to put enough political pressure on politicians to save our way of life. If you're on the sidelines on this issue, don't be surprised if the only version of motorcycle available in the future, plugs into a socket in your garage.
Last edited by kenk; 12-19-2009 at 04:44 PM.
That electric motor is charged by some form of energy. It's usually coal energy (50% of America's Power). The Nickel batteries are highly toxic and require the creation of a superfund cleanup site to mine. One accident and your family is covered with toxic Nickel along with a hazardous spill. Do you ever wonder why there is no government information of the dangers of toxic nickel batteries? Doesn't sound like good technology, and it's certainly not based on good science. Follow the money.
You can't out-Chinese the Chinese. Protecting the same old technology will only result the lowest cost producer dominating the markets.
So, what are you protecting? The opportunity for all Americans to work at Chinese, Vietnamese or Bangladesh pay scales.