EPA To Adopt California Streetbike Emission Standards
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- New road motorcycles sold nationwide will be required to
meet strict emissions standards set by the state of California beginning in 2006
under rules being proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the
American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
While the EPA hasn't released its final proposal for public comment, a draft
proposal obtained by the AMA shows the EPA wants to adopt a two-tier standard
already approved in California on a delayed basis.
The first tier of California standards will go into effect in 2004, with the
second tier scheduled for 2008. The federal EPA is proposing to adopt the same
standards but on a two-year delay, meaning tier one would take effect in 2006
and tier two in 2010.
Road motorcycles built before the 2006 model year would be unaffected by the new
regulations and would remain legal to ride.
If adopted, the new federal emissions regulations are expected to result in an
increased use of fuel injection and catalytic converters on new motorcycles.
Some current motorcycles sold nationwide already meet California's strict 2008
standard. Honda's 2002 Gold Wing, for example, meets the California standard
with the use of an emissions control system that includes fuel injection and a
three-way exhaust catalyzer to reduce emissions of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides
and carbon monoxide.
Besides tightening existing standards for street motorcycles, the EPA had
suggested that the new rules might include requirements for specific components
on motorcycles to meet the regulations, as well as stricter "anti-tampering"
regulations, which could prohibit certain modifications to motorcycles.
The AMA asked federal officials to refrain from establishing such a list of
technologies that manufacturers must use in making cleaner motorcycles. Instead,
the Association recommended setting performance-based standards that would allow
manufacturers the maximum amount of innovation in reducing emissions.
The advance copy of the proposed emissions regulations indicates that the EPA
has taken that approach, leaving it up to the manufacturers to figure out how to
meet the standards. The agency also provided an exemption for small
manufacturers who may not have the resources to do the research and development
needed to meet the proposed new national emissions standards.
Under that exemption, motorcycle manufacturers with sales of fewer than 3,000
bikes a year, and having fewer than 500 employees, would have until the 2008
model year to meet the tier one national emissions standard. Those manufacturers
wouldn't be required to meet the tougher tier two standards.
New motorcycles sold in California beginning with the 2004 model year must emit
no more than 1.4 grams per kilometer of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, and 12
grams per kilometer of carbon monoxide. The proposed federal standard would be
the same, but would go into effect in 2006.
The California standard gets tougher in 2008, with a limit of 0.8 grams per
kilometer of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides and 12 grams per kilometer of
carbon monoxide. The proposed federal standard would be the same, but would go
into effect in 2010.
Currently, the federal emissions standards for on-road motorcycles are 5.0 grams
per kilometer of hydrocarbons and 12 grams per kilometer of carbon monoxide.
Meanwhile, the EPA is also in the process of finalizing emissions standards for
off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
For more information, go to the AMA's website at www.AMADirectlink.com and click
on the "Protecting Your Right to Ride" button.