Fast Bikes - - FEATURE -

We all talk blithely about Euro emis­sions regs – but what ac­tu­ally are they? Well, Euro emis­sions rules on ex­haust pol­lu­tants started with Euro 1 on bikes back in 1999, and this placed lim­its on the amount of CO (car­bon monox­ide; a poi­son), HC (un­burnt hy­dro­car­bons; soot and oily fumes) and NOx (Ni­tro­gen ox­ides; lung-ir­ri­tat­ing gasses) a bike can pro­duce per kilo­me­tre. Euro 1 wasn’t too strict, and most bikes eas­ily com­plied. Euro 2 ap­peared in 2003, and was a bit stricter, so we started to see cat­a­lysts ap­pear­ing in some bikes (though the spread of fuel in­jec­tion did much of the clean­ing up job).

In 2006, Euro 3 rules ap­peared which es­sen­tially halved the amounts of pol­lu­tion per­mit­ted. And the lat­est Euro 4 rules broadly halved the amounts al­lowed again. Next up is Euro 5, in 2020 – and it looks like a doozy, with more mas­sive cuts in the pol­lu­tants al­lowed. Ex­pect even more power-sap­ping ex­haust tech then…

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