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Old 05-06-2009, 08:50 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Motorcycle smog check proposed for California





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Cars do it. Trucks do it. And now the state of California may require motorcycles to do it too. Biennial smog checks would be required for motorcycles manufactured in the 2000 model year and later under a bill making its way through the California Legislature.

Motorcycles account for 3.6% of registered vehicles in the state, and they make up just eight-tenths of a percent of vehicle-miles traveled, yet they account for 10% of passenger vehicles’ smog-forming emissions, according to the California Air Resources Board, which backs the measure.

Although fuel-efficient bikes emit significantly less carbon dioxide per mile than cars, the ARB says they are, on average, 14 times more polluting per mile when it comes to emissions of oxides of nitrogen and hydrocarbons – smog-forming pollutants that have been shown to trigger asthma attacks and worsen respiratory and cardiac illnesses.

Introduced in late February, Senate Bill 435 targets bikes with illegally modified exhaust systems and would go into effect in 2012 if passed and signed by the governor. The measure has won support from health and environmental groups that say the move is critical to reducing the state's smog pollution. It has angered motorcycle-rights groups, dealers and manufacturers, which say it’s bad for business and an infringement of riders’ freedoms.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger “owns and rides motorcycles" but has not taken a position on the bill, said spokesman Aaron McLear.

The ARB estimates that 5.2 tons of pollutants would be prevented from entering the atmosphere daily if motorcycle smog checks become law.

“Five tons of smog out of 5,691 tons emitted daily from all statewide sources is so minuscule," said John Paliwoda, executive director of the California Motorcycle Dealers Assn. in Lake Elsinore. "Our feeling is that fewer people will want to buy motorcycles if they’d have to go through a smog check where no smog check is required right now." Already, the industry is aching from the freezing of consumer credit and plummeting personal wealth, which have led to a 30.5% decline in new motorcycle sales for the first quarter of 2009 versus the same period last year, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.

But the ARB says every emissions source is fair game in its effort to corral pollutants linked to health problems and climate change.“It’s so difficult to find new sources of emissions reductions, particularly for L.A.,” said Tom Cackette, the ARB’s deputy director. “Some people think motorcycles look small, and percentage-wise they are tiny, but so is everything else that’s available for emissions reductions.”

California’s existing smog-check programs already stop 400 tons of smog-forming pollutants daily, primarily from light-duty cars, trucks and SUVs, but the state must, by 2023, come up with several hundred tons more of pollution savings per day to meet federal clean air requirements. The state also is committed to reducing greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

If motorcycle smog checks become law, the vehicles would join light-duty diesel trucks, which will be subject to smog checks beginning next year, and, potentially, older vehicles. AB 859, requiring annual, rather than biennial, smog checks for vehicles 15 years and older, is also working its way through the Legislature.

In pursuing bikes of 280 cc and above made in the 2000 model year and beyond, SB 435 attempts to home in on the size of motorcycle that is more likely to have a modified exhaust system, and an era of bikes equipped with catalytic converters. Motorcycles that employ catalytic converters are more reliant on them to reduce emissions and are at greater risk of becoming gross polluters when those systems are removed.

It’s these gross polluters that SB 435 is after.
Whether for improved performance, a different sound or a custom look, 38% of on-road motorcycle owners replace or modify their exhaust systems, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s 2008 owner survey. Cruisers are the most common type of bike with a modified exhaust, followed by sport bikes, touring models and competition dirt bikes.

A 2008 study of after-market activity by the ARB, however, found that 85% of motorcycles 280 cc and larger had modified exhausts. “Most” of those systems, said Cackette, were illegal.

Not all modified exhausts are illegal; some comply with the state emissions requirements that allow particular makes and models to be sold in the state. But many modified exhausts remove the bikes’ catalytic converters, causing them to emit twice the legal limit of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen.

“Motorcyclists perhaps don’t realize that those catalytic converters are absolutely critical to improving our air quality,” said state Sen. Fran Pavley, author of SB 435. Pavley also wrote AB 1493, a law that, pending EPA approval, would limit greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. “I would like to challenge the motorcycle dealerships to workwith us in educating motorcycle riders about the importance of keeping their catalytic converters on their bikes. ... Cars are part of the smog-check program, and because we really have air pollution problems in so many parts of California, [motorcycles] need to be part of the solution.”

California is home to nine of the country’s top 10 cities for ozone, or smog, pollution, according to a recent report by the American Lung Assn., a co-sponsor of SB 435.

“I’m sure that many of these riders have families. They have children, who are especially susceptible to pollution,” said Bonnie Holmes-Gen, senior policy director for the American Lung Assn. of California. “I believe people that ride are concerned about these issues also, but maybe just don’t understand how serious the problem is.”

Although stalled in the state Senate Appropriations Committee, SB435 could come to the floor later this month and could be sent to the assembly in June. A full vote would be expected before August.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs would oversee development of the test if the bill passes, but it has not estimated the cost or come up with a specific methodology for the test. “It will probably be a simple test – maybe a visual inspection or a tailpipe test," Pavley said. "It wouldn’t be as complicated or sophisticated as it is for automobiles.”

Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Industry Council in Irvine, said the aims of the test could be circumvented more easily by motorcyclists than other motorists.

After-market exhaust systems, which cost $1,000-$4,000, can be removed in several hours and reinstalled after the test, he noted.

“We don’t feel it’s a time for government to deploy inefficient uses of scarce resources,” said Buche. “The whole impact to the consumer of not being able to customize and personalize your motorcycle and tune it as you would like is something we can’t support because we know how valued that is by our customers.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gree...alifornia.html
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:59 AM   #2
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OH this is going to go over well...

Whats next lawnmowers.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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Fair is fair. I HATE getting behind stuck behind some wanker with a poorly-tuned bike <-- they stink.

This should also quiet those rediculously loud HD pipes, too.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
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This should also quiet those rediculously loud HD pipes, too.
Why so we have a greater chance of being hit and dying?
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:47 AM   #5
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Why so we have a greater chance of being hit and dying?
Please.

Right or not, people driving cars overwhelming rely upon VISUAL stimulus, not aural.

Not to mention that the pipes are pointed 180-degrees relative to the direction of motion, making them particularly ineffective in preventing cars from pulling out into a biker's path.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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OH this is going to go over well...

Whats next lawnmowers.
Yearly lawn mower emissions testing.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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who cares? it's CA, they also have to use hard plastic wheels to avoid low pressure and won't be able to purchase black cars to save on AC

Sure, it MAY have an impact on the rest of the country at some point, but for now it's just CA being CA
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:23 AM   #8
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I think this bill makes sense (haven't read the actual bill though). One news report from ABC I saw reported landscaping equipment accounts for roughly 30% of emissions, so I have no problem with stricter laws on manufacturer landscaping equipment (but not consumers bringing them in for certification).
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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OH this is going to go over well...

Whats next lawnmowers.
It's closer than you might think. There are talks of banning all two stroke gasoline powered tools and replacing them with natural gas powered units or more favorably, electric units. I read an article once stating that mowing your lawn for 3 hours with the typical two stroke mower put out about as much green house gases as driving a new car across the country. Whether or not this is true, I don't l know, but it gives you an idea of how people are thinking. The gas mower is dead.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:34 AM   #10
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Did you see the part about light duty diesel trucks again as part of the same law

What happened to exempt.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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I think this bill makes sense (haven't read the actual bill though). One news report from ABC I saw reported landscaping equipment accounts for roughly 30% of emissions, so I have no problem with stricter laws on manufacturer landscaping equipment (but not consumers bringing them in for certification).
30% of emissions, seriously...

You don't actually believe that my weed wacker is harmful to the environment. A 25cc single cylinder engine that operates 15 minutes a week.

There are Lies, damn lies and ... well you get the point...
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #12
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It's closer than you might think. There are talks of banning all two stroke gasoline powered tools and replacing them with natural gas powered units or more favorably, electric units. I read an article once stating that mowing your lawn for 3 hours with the typical two stroke mower put out about as much green house gases as driving a new car across the country. Whether or not this is true, I don't l know, but it gives you an idea of how people are thinking. The gas mower is dead.
how many gas mowers are two stroke.

This is madness. When are people going to wake up and stop believing the hype. You can take my two stroke week wacker when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

guess you need to outlaw RC planes as well, cant have them. 30 minutes of operating them can output as much emissions as a 747 flying to Mongolia.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:49 AM   #13
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^^^^ You'd think so.

Except that your 15 minutes of weekly weed-wacking puts more pollution into the air (CO2 notwithstanding) than driving your CA-emissions-spec car 15 hours that same week.

Believe it or not, there is a movement afoot in CA to ban the use of outdoor wood and charcoal grills unless their emissions can be scubbed to a minimum level of clean.

CARB is really something else....
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #14
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You don't really believe that do you? 15 minutes equals 15 hours. Do you have proof of this convenient statistic, or is that just something that you say to try to make a point?

Its at times like this I am so proud to have a 240Z with 2.5" straight pipes with carbs and NO catalytic converter on it. I think I will make it my daily driver now.

I will concede to this insanity if :

1) you prove that CO2 is actually a pollutant with real data
2) we are contributing to climate change with cars and lawnmowers
3) They make a battery powered weedwacker that does not suck ballz
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #15
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Hey guys - its no big deal all bikes built in the 2000-2001 time frame were all required to meet emissions specs for as far out as 2006. Unless the bikes have been poorly modified or are not running correctly they should all meet the testing specs.

Not a big deal
Yes I ride and the bike I have meets all the reqs regardless of the proposed testing.

By the way the loud bike thing has been argued for years and years - but there are restrictions as to just how loud they can be. There is a reason for the set restriction on how loud bikes and autos can be. Trust me its for everyone's benefit regarding sound levels.

Last I checked emissions has little to do with exhaust pipes and everything to do with engine efficiency etc. So not a big deal
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #16
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You don't really believe that do you? 15 minutes equals 15 hours. Do you have proof of this convenient statistic, or is that just something that you say to try to make a point?
Proof's in the pudding, my friend.

EPA studies have shown that two-stroke engines discharge as much as 30% of their fuel and oil unburned directly into the air.

More food for thought, if you hunger for the truth: http://www.bajajusa.com/emissions.htm

Even after doing the math (x/6) to reduce the 150cc two-stroke engine's numbers (I used the lowest number in the range, just to keep it interesting) down to your 25cc engine, it STILL EMITS almost twice as much hydrocarbons as a passenger car...and those numbers are based upon a 10-year-old study! (EPA 2000)

Once you factor-in the amount of work performed (by way of converting to HP), it's not difficult to see that your tiny, 25cc 2-stroke is exponentially dirtier than a modern passenger car.

Last edited by Spenk; 05-06-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:07 PM   #17
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It has angered motorcycle-rights groups, dealers and manufacturers, which say it’s bad for business and an infringement of riders’ freedoms
Cry me a frickin' river.

Cars have to smog, you should too...whiners.



Since when did bikes have more "freedoms" than cars?
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:11 PM   #18
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^^^^+1

...ever since "Easy Rider."
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:14 PM   #19
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Proof's in the pudding, my friend.

EPA studies have shown that two-stroke engines discharge as much as 30% of their fuel and oil unburned directly into the air.

More food for thought, if you hunger for the truth: http://www.bajajusa.com/emissions.htm

Even after doing the math (x/6) to reduce the 150cc two-stroke engine's numbers (I used the lowest number in the range, just to keep it interesting) down to your 25cc engine, it STILL EMITS almost twice as much hydrocarbons as a passenger car...and those numbers are based upon a 10-year-old study! (EPA 2000)

Once you factor-in the amount of work performed (by way of converting to HP), it's not difficult to see that your tiny, 25cc 2-stroke is exponentially dirtier than a modern passenger car.
Thanks Spenk!!!!

I will look into this later today, thanks for the good reading material. Seriously, thanks.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:28 PM   #20
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OK. So SMOG certified gas stations will have to purchase new equipment to test motorcycles.

California used to only put sniffers on the mufflers of cars. Then the state mandated that they be put on rollers, to put the engine under load, then test for emissions.

Not to mention that this state has "Smog Test Only" stations, and "Smog Test Stations"

The first costing the most. They randomly flag cars suspected of being high polluters, and your car has to be tested at the "Test Only" station.

(ranting) Anyways. I bought a new bike last year. It's got aftermarket mufflers. Much lighter than the stock ones.

BMW bikes have long heavy mufflers, which contain some sort of catalytic converter?

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Old 05-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #21
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(ranting) Anyways. I bought a new bike last year. It's got aftermarket mufflers. Much lighter than the stock ones.

BMW bikes have long heavy mufflers, which contain some sort of catalytic converter?

How long does it take to change the muffler on your bike? 30mins? Just swap it once every two years and then change it back.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:19 PM   #22
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I don't modify my bike, but I sure as hell don't want to help simulate the economy paying an extra $70 every 2 years for a smog test.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:04 PM   #23
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Lightbulb and 1 California wild fire makes more CO2 and polutants than all the cars combined

So whats CA doing to prevent these toxic fires? Looks like a great opportunity to up the firehouse budgets
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:39 PM   #24
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NO no, they should tax the homeowners whose house just burned for breaking the cap and trade index.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:45 PM   #25
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So whats CA doing to prevent these toxic fires? Looks like a great opportunity to up the firehouse budgets
Get to ze chopper
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