United States            Air and Radiation        EPA420-F-03-046
                  Environmental Protection                        December 2003

                  Office of Transportation and Air Quality
&EPA       Frequently  Asked
                  Information for Motorcycle Owners on
                  EPA's New Emission Standards for
                  Highway Motorcycles
                 In December 2003, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
                 published a Final Rulemaking (FRM) establishing more stringent
                 emission standards for highway motorcycles. This information sheet
                 addresses questions raised by concerned motorcycle owners.
                 Why is EPA adopting new emission standards for
                 highway motorcycles?
                 Today's motorcycles produce more harmful emissions per mile than
                 driving a car or even a large sport utility vehicle (SUV). The new stan-
                 dards, the first in 25 years, will reduce these emissions significantly, and
                 will assist many states in meeting their air quality goals by reducing
                 ozone and its harmful effects. The new standards will also reduce the
                 exposure of motorcycle riders to air toxics and particulate matter.
                 What kind of emission controls may be used by
                 We are adopting standards that manufacturers can meet on an average
                 basis, which may encourage manufacturers to use a broader array of
                 technologies across their product line. EPA does not specify what emis-
                 sion controls manufacturers must use to comply with the regulations, but
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anticipate many manufacturers will choose to meet them by increasing
their use of secondary air injection, electronic fuel injection, and some
catalytic converters. These technologies are used to varying degrees on
current highway motorcycles.

Will catalytic converters be required on all highway
No, EPA does not require the use of any specific technology.  About 20
percent of current motorcycles use catalytic converters, and we project
this to increase to about 50 percent when the second phase of standards
takes effect in 2010. Ultimately the manufacturers will be responsible
for selecting how to distribute the use of various technologies among
their motorcycle models.
Will new highway motorcycle emission standards
affect motorcycles on the road today?
The new regulations will only affect new motorcycles produced for the
2006 and later model years. Anything manufactured prior to the 2006
model year will not be affected.
What does the term "useful life" mean?
EPA uses the term "useful life" to describe the period (usually years and/
or miles) over which the manufacturer must demonstrate the effective-
ness of the emission control system. The current useful life for motor-
cycles with engines over 279cc is 5 years or 30,000 kilometers (about
18,640 miles), whichever first occurs.
Are motorcycles a less-polluting alternative to cars?
No, in fact, motorcycles produce more harmful emissions per mile than a
car or even a large SUV. The current federal motorcycle standard for
hydrocarbon emissions is about 90 times the hydrocarbon standard for
today's passenger cars. And when new emission standards go into effect,
SUVs will be about 95 percent cleaner than today's motorcycle.
Would new emission standards make it illegal to
customize my motorcycle?
No, the standards will not make it illegal for owners to customize their
motorcycles.  However, as established under the Clean Air Act in 1977,

motorcycle owners cannot legally make modifications that would cause
the emissions to exceed the applicable standards, and they cannot re-
move or disable emission control devices installed by the manufacturer.

How much will new emission controls cost?
We estimate increased costs on average of about $30 per motorcycle for
the 2006-2009 model year standards, then an incremental $45 for the
2010 model year standards. Actual costs  are likely to vary depending
upon the specific motorcycle model and the actual technological im-
provements required to meet the standards.
How will the new emission controls affect
Advancements in engine technologies in recent years should allow the
use of new emission control technologies with little to no impact on
performance. Motorcycle manufacturers have been unanimous in telling
us that the performance of future motorcycles will be equal to or better
than current motorcycles.
How will these controls, especially catalytic
converters, affect safety?
These controls, including catalytic converters, are being used on many
motorcycles today, both in the United States and worldwide, and have
shown no adverse impact on vehicle safety. Motorcycle manufacturers
agree with this assessment and have said that the safety of motorcycles
will not be compromised by new emission controls.
How will the rule affect the motorcycle aftermarket
New emission standards are not expected to have any adverse affect on
the aftermarket industry.  The aftermarket parts industry is a substantial
part of the motorcycle industry and can readily and successfully adapt to
any changes that might result from this rule.  In addition, the vast major-
ity of aftermarket items have nothing to do with emissions, and will thus
be unaffected.

How closely do the new rules follow the California
The new rules mainly parallel the California model with some excep-
     California has more stringent evaporative emissions regulations.
     California does not regulate scooters and mopeds with small
      (under 50cc) engines.
     California standards will be effective two years before EPA's
Where can I  get more information?
More detailed responses regarding these and other questions, as well as
a detailed description of the regulatory requirements, can be found in the
final rule documents. Visit EPA's Web site at:

     www. epa. gov/otaq/roadbike .htm

or contact the Assessment and Standards Division at:

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
      Office of Transportation and Air Quality
      2000 Traverwood Drive
      Ann Arbor, MI 48105
      Voicemail: (734)214-4636
      E-mail: ASDInfo@epa.gov