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How Environmentally Friendly Motorcycles Have Impacted The Motorcycle Industry


As concerns about climate change, and how to control and minimize it, grow, the motorcycle industry is turning its attention toward designing environmentally friendly motorcycles. Contrary to popular belief, motorcycles are not as environmentally friendly as they are portrayed to be. While motorcycles may get much better gas mileage than even the most fuel efficient vehicle, they also produce up to 15 times more pollution, mostly in the form of hydrocarbons, than most standard cars and light duty trucks do. Since motorcycles emission standards in most states have fallen behind those imposed on cars and trucks, some states, as well as many motorcycles manufacturers, are changing standards to control harmful emissions.

Environmentally friendly motorcycles have impacted the motorcycle industry by encouraging initiative to design a motorcycle that is cost effective, fuel efficient, and greatly reduced in its pollution output. One way some motorcycle manufacturers have sought to clean up their pollution output is to design motorcycles that work on a four stroke rather than a two stroke engine. Four-stroke engines do not burn oil with fuel, so less pollution is released with emissions. Environmentally friendly motorcycles that get as much as 90 miles per gallon are now offered, and some manufacturers in the motorcycle industry now offer models that run on detachable hydro fuel cells, or models that are a hybrid of gas and electric, and even solar powered motorcycles are in development. Designers in the motorcycle industry have also created a system that stops the motorcycle at lights or in traffic jams, rather than idling.

While motorcycles emissions regulations have fallen behind in the past, some states are starting to implement emission regulations on the motorcycle industry to cut pollution. As of 2004, California passed legislation that encouraged more environmentally friendly motorcycle use. The state had a goal to reduce hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions for individual motorcycles to 0.8g/km for the 2008 model year. This was a significant improvement over the prior motorcycle emissions regulations for 1984 and 1978. Again, manufacturers in the motorcycle industry have rose to the occasion with ingenuity to meet these environmental demands. Some manufacturers are now producing environmentally friendly motorcycles with catalytic converters, which also helps reduce emissions and up fuel efficiency. Those who love to ride will not be able to hit the road unless their motorcycle meets these new, emerging environmental standards.

As clean air and climate change become more pressing concerns for a growing global population, the motorcycle industry is meeting eco-friendly demands with enthusiasm and ingenuity. Prototype models don't sacrifice great looks for fuel efficiency, and as green technology expands, eco-friendly motorcycles will become affordable for all.

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