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Yup, this is great: relax air quality requirements on old coal burning powerplants and clamp down on them dirty motorbikes. Makes me want to find a nice early 70s two stroke streetbike...



This is such a farce. It really gets me going. Yes I did write to both my Senator and Representative regarding this. Yes the EPA does have their collective heads up their a$$es. Figure it this way--how large is the contribution of motorcycle emissions to total emissions in the US? I'd be willing to bet leaf blowers are a bigger source. Also figure in the other environmental aspects of bikes other than just emissions: gas milage, road wear and tear, traffic, parking, and even the amount of raw material to make a bike--all less damaging than any car. There are so many plusses with bikes, in terms of priotities, bikes should be one of the last emissions producing classes that the EPA goes after. And if these go into effect, bike prices will go up, less people will get into biking. Is that what the real agenda is?



Want a treat? Go to the EPA website. All kinds of data online for all kinds of different vehicles, but no milage or emissions information about motorcycles. In fact, motorcycles aren't even listed with on-highway vehicles, but are instead relegated to recreational use classification with outboard motors and snowmobiles. Sure tells you what the EPA and government in general think about bikes...
 

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I have no problem with the government requring motorcycles to meet reasonable emission standards. Motorcycles, cars, tucks, snow blowers, lawn mowers, 2-cycle leaf blowers, power plants and all manner of small businesses and manufacturers create unhealthy exhausts and should all be responsible for controlling them. I personally have no problem paying more for a bike that pollutes less. In fact one reason I bought a BMW three years ago is because, at the time, it was one of the cleanest-running bikes on the road and one of the few with a catalytic converter. No, it wasn't the only reason I chose this particular bike, an R1100R, but it was one reason.



What I do have a problem with, as you point out, is the exemption of favored devices and industries. SUVs and pickup trucks are exempted from stricter car standards and "old" coal-fired powerplants given a pass on bringing their emissions up to current requirements when they are refurbished. Politics is clearly at play in these decisions and they need to be reversed for the good of everyone in this country who breathes.



My suggestion is keep writing your state and federal representatives, but maybe the focus should be on requiring everyone to comply with reasonable emission standards rather than trying to justify a special exemption for motorcycles. Whlie it is certainly unfair to require one category of vehicle to comply while giving another a pass, I think the overall goal of cleaning up the air is sound.
 

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It's because we're too busy having cruiser vs. sportbike wars rather than standing together under a common cause.



And no one really "needs" a motorcycle right? We can all take public transportation.
 

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The Toad
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In a way this is poetic justice since so many motorcyclists are ready to oppress SUV owners for the exact same reasons... pollution. Thought it could never happen to them huh? What goes around, comes around.



It's always about money. Decision-making bureaucrats of the EPA retire at 55 and if they've been helpful to the big industries then they can get nice cushy retirement jobs, exactly like the revolving door between the DoD and the defense contractors or the FDA and the medical industry. The MC industry can't afford to pay into this protection racket.





The only way to protect our sport is through poltical cout. This will require large numbers of riders willing to fight back against unreasonable requirements.



Fat chance since so many people are unwilling to join the AMA because of its helmet stance or some other minor reason. $49 bucks a years is too much, huh? Most people spend 20 times that amount on pizza.
 

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Well you know longride I'll never own a cruiser. I'll own a Harley or two but never a cruiser.



The '03 should arrive around Valentine's Day. It's kind of poetic since I'm not married anymore. I probably wouldn't be getting it if I had the wife still!



I went on a ncie 180 mile ride through the California Desert on Saturday. If you haven't ridden the desert in the winter it's really a site to behold. It was about 68 and crystal clear out. My overrated Ducati performed just fine and the young lady on the back had a rather ample "backrest" shall we say. It was a perfect day.



I forgot to read a magazine telling me how much better of a time I would have had on another bike.
 

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How much? Zero dollars and zero cents.

The state of MN got rid of its auto pollution program and inspection stations because it was confirmed that air quality was improving on its own. Aggregate levels of auto emissions were improving despite exemptions for almost anyone with a vehicle that couldn't pass. Auto pollution here does not measureably contribute to health problems. As always, far more people suffer from the ill effects of swimming pools, ladders, and bathtubs.

Motorcycle emissions contribute such a tiny fraction of emissions to the average city environment as to make them irrelevant to air quality. To spend money, resources, and smart people's time on making them cleaner is a moronic waste.
 

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Sorry. I figured you would be busy tapping the AMA phone lines looking for that next secret phone call from Harley. I will be certain not to joke with Seruzawa or any others here, and conform to the lofty posting standard you yourself have set.
 

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Just a case here of the feds frying the little fish, while the big fish get away. No real suprise on this one, as "government intelligence" is being shown again. I wonder if their time and money wouldn't be better spent finding and prosecuting industrial polluters that are dumping tons of toxic wastes yearly into the air and water. Nah.
 

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About priorities

I buy into the original mission of the EPA and the stated purpose of the Clean Air Act that it implements, but this foolishness is contraproductive in terms of that mission.

Most modern bikes meet the same emission standards as cars. Total emissions per passenger of a motorcycle are about 1/3 that of the average car sold in the US. So EPA should:

1) Concentrate on reducing overall emissions in cages first, concentrating on SUVs.

2) Encourage the use of motorcycles by relaxing emissions reduction requirements by perhaps half those for automobiles.

I don't much buy the conclusions of this article regarding small motorcycle manufacturers. Most of them buy almost all the relevant parts from either the big manufacturers or large contracting engine manufacturers like Rotax. Further, most manufacturers either meet 2006 standards now or are well on their way. Non-catalyst technology that meets these standards will be on the road in 2003.
 

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Re: How much? Zero dollars and zero cents.

Well you're thinking too clearly here! Stating facts rather than making an emotional appeal about "the environment" (sniff) is not the American way.

Requiring us to think is wrong. I just want to say I'm "for the environment" and feel good about myself.

Gee, I'm feeling so morally superior now. I think I'll go pet a dolphin.
 

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Re: Any lazy butt can do this type of reporting

The news posted here is to give you a reason to look at MO every day. Just because it isn't re-written to look slightly different from another article, doesn't make it any less relevant, or newsworthy. The articles will be from a variety of sources on the internet. I would imagine most people at MO would like to see some different news headlines posted here to look at and discuss. The ability to give feedback on a subject is nice to be able to do, and some people may actually learn something(not all of us though). Of course new tests of motorcycles will be done and there will be original articles from MO staff, also. I offered to post new news articles for MO and they took me up on it. I am doing this on my own time to try to make the site more interesting and have some new stuff to read and discuss. It also frees up the MO staff for what they do best; testing motorcycles and getting us even better news. If these news headlines annoy or insult you, I'm sure your time would be better spent elsewhere. In the lull between major tests or shootouts, I think posting some new stuff couldn't hurt for people that may want to discuss certain issues that relate to motorcycles.
 

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It doesn't help to have idiots who

Idiots who fight helmet laws doesn't help the cause. Just makes motorcyclists an easier target. You wonder way the government gets support from the public to go after motorcylist? Get a clue salesboy? longfellow?
 

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The Toad
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Re: Any lazy butt can do this type of reporting

Why don't you just let yer subscription run out and go elsewhere? Obviously you are so vastly superior to anyone else here that you should start your own website extolling your own unique brand of logic.

I sugget something along these lines:

http://www.vhemt.org/
 

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First of all I'd like to make it clear that I think that current emissions restrictions on motorcycles are just fine in terms of protecting the environment. Especially when considering that bikes use much less gas than cars, require much fewer resources to make due to their smaller size, can operate effectively on smaller roads, require fewer parking garages to be built, blah, blah, blah I'm preaching to the choir here.



And I'm glad that there are organizations like the AMA and people like Dr. Vaughn who are promoting that point of view.



But I have a beef with the science (the accounting, maybe?) of Vaughn's study.



Vaughn quotes numbers that show that motorcycle registration in California declined 7.7% between 1996 and 2001. In the rest of the country, registrations were up 32%.



Vaughn then ascribes the drop in motorcycle registrations solely to governmental regulations in California. I quote:



"Even a cursory look at the data suggests that government regulations explain much of the fall in California's motorcycle registrations."





It does? They do? I read his study, and didn't come to that conclusion.



I lived and rode in California for six years before moving to Washington state. Environmental restrictions for street bikes were a non-issue when considering purchase. Although built to satisfy different emissions standards, bikes were not more expensive in California than in other states. In fact, in many cases they were cheaper compared to prices in cold weather states where total sales volume was lower.



In the text of the study (see pages 25-26), Vaughn further states that of motorcycle registrations have increased at a faster rate in non-helmet law states, and implies that helmet laws prevent bike sales.



Maybe so, but I can't believe that anyone decides whether they are going to buy a bike based on whether the law requires that they wear a helmet. Sure, you might not like helmet laws, but if THAT is the thing that keeps you from buying a bike, I don't understand that. Either you want to ride or you don't, and the helmet just comes along for the ride.



My point is that good science and legitimate reasoning are important for us bikers when maintaining credibility with the rest of the non-biking world. Like it or not, how non-bikers view us affects the rules under which we ride.













 
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