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Author Topic: Mythbusters Bike vs Car Episode...Bikes pollute more than cars!!!  (Read 2227 times)
1stscoot
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« on: October 01, 2011, 08:24:16 PM »

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/mythbusters/
http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-bike-vs-car-aftershow-1.html#mkcpgn=twdsc1
http://news.discovery.com/earth/mythbusters-motorcycles-vs-cars-which-is-better-for-the-environment-110928.html

Anyone see this episode this last Wednesday?  The episode isn't up for viewing yet, just the two part Aftershow discussing it.  3 bikes and 3 cars from the 80, 90 and 2000 decades driving on a set course three times with smog emission equipment measuring tailpipe emissions.  Bikes produced less carbon dioxide than cars, but all other substances were in the thousands of percent higher than cars.  Lots of discussion on bike forums going on about this.  Ammo for government to institute smog tests for bikes in the future IMO.  
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 08:53:34 PM »

Well I believe it. Nice post.

The only reason I give people, and believe myself, for riding is that it is fun. Like guns (my opinion only people which means very little so don't get all hot and bothered) they should be illegal because they are dangerous and the government likes protecting us from ourselves. But since they're legal I figured what the heck. I might as well get one before it becomes illegal. And they're both kinda fun. So your information will be just another reason for someone to try to outlaw them. IMO. There, that should get your thread going.

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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2011, 09:15:20 PM »

Were all the bikes equipped with Fuel Injection and liquid cooled?
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msgtphil
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 09:20:59 PM »

I don't know why would be surprise or why there would be a fuss. Since more stringent emissions requirements for motorbikes didn't go into effect until a few years ago and are different than those for automobiles why would anyone be surprised or expect any other result? Did anyone think motorbikes started coming with fuel injection because they loved you and knew you wanted it, instead of preparation for meeting, already mandated, more stringent emission standards?
  Since the government sets the standards, I'm pretty sure they are already aware of motorcycle emissions compared to cars. Lawn mowers, motorcycles, automobile and commercial trucks all have different standards for emissions per certain year models. There are many reasons they have various standards.

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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 10:04:42 PM »

Well said Phil. The thing that gets me is why were Semi tractors allowed to continue to belck black smoke into the air until just recently.
For years emission folks cried about factory emmissioms (And rightfully so) & for decades did nothing about the millions of Semi Tractors which today are still polluting our air.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 05:43:29 PM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/09/mythbusters-motorcycle-emissions.html

More on the episode...

Quote
A trend is afoot, according to "MythBusters" television host Adam Savage: "People are trading in their cars and driving motorcycles instead because they believe that's the more environmentally friendly choice," Savage said in Wednesday's season opener of the popular Discovery Channel show. "The logic is because motorcycles are generally more fuel-efficient than cars, they burn less gas and thus they must be better for the environment."

The question is: Are they really? As the MythBusters have done with each of the show's previous seven seasons, Savage and his co-host Jamie Hyneman set out to test the theory.

Selecting three motorcycles and three cars that represented popular models from the '80s, '90s and '00s, they put the six vehicles through a 30-minute, 20-mile course. Seventy-five percent was freeway driving; the other 25 percent was in the city. Savage drove the three cars. Hyneman trailed him at speed on each of the three bikes. None of the vehicles' makes and models were disclosed.

All of the vehicles were equipped with portable emissions-measuring systems that took exhaust gases from a probe in the tailpipe and engine information from the engine control unit.  The devices  determined the vehicles'  fuel economy and emissions profiles while the vehicles were running on the real-world course in California's Alameda County earlier this year.

The upshot? Motorcycles were indeed more fuel-efficient than cars and emitted less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but they emitted far more smog-forming hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, as well as the toxic air pollutant carbon monoxide. For the most recent model year vehicles tested -- from the '00s -- the motorcycle used 28% less fuel than the comparable decade car and emitted 30% fewer carbon dioxide emissions, but it emitted 416% more hydrocarbons, 3,220% more oxides of nitrogen and 8,065% more carbon monoxide.

The MythBusters' conclusion: "At best, it's a wash. Motorcycles are just as bad for the environment as cars," Savage said on the show. "At worst, they're far worse."

"We've been working to clean up passenger vehicles since the '70s," said Kent Johnson, who's on the research faculty at UC Riverside and is director of its emissions lab, where the MythBusters' numbers were analyzed. "We've been putting on catalytic converters and sensors to improve their ability to control emissions. We didn't start doing that on motorcycles until the 2000s. It just shows you how far we've taken passenger vehicles and how difficult it is to do the same thing with motorcycles. First of all, there's no room. And the incremental cost might double the price of a bike."

The California Air Resources Board, which had been approached to perform the emissions tests for "MythBusters" but couldn't because the tests it performs are stationary, concurs with Johnson's assessment about the added cost and technology burdens of placing greater emissions controls on motorcycles.

While many modern motorcycles are now fuel-injected and equipped with catalytic converters and charcoal canisters to control emissions, they still pale in comparison to the emissions controls of cars. That point was made in a followup emissions test performed on the "MythBusters" season opener when Hyneman constructed an aerodynamic shell for a "late-model," 250-cc, single-cylinder motorcycle equipped with fuel injection and a catalytic converter.

Without the aerodynamic shell that transformed it into the so-called "bubble bike," the motorcycle achieved 56.1 miles per gallon, but it ranked second-highest for carbon monoxide emissions and third-highest for hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen of all the vehicles tested during the show. The aerodynamic shell increased the bike's fuel economy to 70.9 miles per gallon, but its carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions remained stubbornly high.

"Our strategy with motorcycles has always been to control them to what's cost-effective and technically feasible, and that's always lagged behind cars," said John Swanton, air pollution specialist with the Air Resources Board. Emissions standards for motorcycles are, accordingly, more forgiving than they are for cars and will most likely stay that way since motorcycles account for such a small portion of vehicles on the road.

The Air Resources Board estimates there are 600,000 motorcycles in active use in California, which account for less than 1% of vehicle miles traveled in the state. Those 600,000 motorcycles, however, account for 13% of the state's hydrocarbon emissions from passenger vehicles, Swanton said.

"Our goal in regulating all vehicles is to retain the gains we've made in reducing smog-forming emissions because those have an immediate impact on the health of Californians. You are immediately impacted by ozone, whereas climate emissions are longer term," he said.

While 90% of internal combustion engine emissions are carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, "To trade one emission for another is not the best strategy," Swanton said. "We've got to balance the two."

In the 2011 American Lung Assn. State of the Air report, eight of the top 10 cities for ozone pollution were in California. Los Angeles ranked first.

Despite the MythBusters' findings, emissions are only part of the story of a vehicle's true greenness. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, motorcycle manufacturing requires thousands fewer pounds of raw materials than automobiles. They require less fossil fuel, so they require less energy to pull that fossil fuel out of the ground. They use fewer chemicals and oils than cars. And motorcycles produced today are 90% cleaner in California than they were 30 years ago.

Note to MythBusters: How about a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment for cars and motorcycles for the Season 9 opener?
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