I wrote a post on this topic 3 weeks ago. Blog reader Nicker forwarded to me this text inspired from a LA Times article. Watch out all bikers, because as you know, where California goes, so goes America.
“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. SB 435 targets bikes with illegally modified exhaust systems and would go into effect in 2012 if passed and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an avid motorcyclist.
Motorcycles account for 3.6% of registered vehicles in the state and make up just 0.8% of vehicle-miles traveled, yet 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, 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. 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. 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 sales for the first quarter of 2009 over the same period last year, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. But the ARB says every emission source is fair game in its effort to corral pollutants linked to health problems and 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.
A tougher measure, AB 859, is also working its way through the Legislature. It would require smog checks every year, rather than every other year. 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 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.. 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. Not all modified exhausts are illegal; some comply with the emissions requirements that govern what makes and models can 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…
Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Industry Council in Irvine, said the aims of the test could be circumvented more easily by motorcyclists than by other motorists. Aftermarket exhaust systems, can be removed and reinstalled after the test…”