Overview Euro 4 for motorcycles

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Overview Euro 4 for motorcycles


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Overview Euro 4 for motorcycles

Overview Euro 4 for motorcycles
Something is coming up

Since the beginning of the year, completely new motorcycle models have had to meet the stricter emission limits according to Euro 4, and from 2017 this will apply to ALL newly registered machines. This is putting pressure on manufacturers and will stir up the market this year.

Brigitte Haschek


The good news first: Motorbike owners don’t care much about the tightening of exhaust emission limits – there is protection of existing ones and there is no need to fear retrofitting. And now the bad: The already demanding new price level is likely to rise further because the manufacturers will pass on the costs for the considerably higher technical effort to the customers. Because the new emissions standard only marks the tip of the iceberg: The brands’ new models now have to show a multitude of further refinements relevant to the environment and safety in order to receive the type approval, which is essential for marketing.

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The EU Commission has laid down completely new rules for this procedure, which have been in effect across Europe since January 1 of this year. But what they encompass – part of it can be seen in the iceberg photo under water – can only be found in the long appendices of EU regulation 168/2013 “on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles”, which on January 15, 2013 replaced the previous regulation 2002/24. The new, almost 60-page set of rules was followed by four implementing ordinances that regulate further details.

No information on future model policy

It also stipulates that from January 1, 2017, new vehicles that have been homologated according to the old regulations and thus only correspond to Euro 3 may no longer be registered. In plain language: The motorcycle manufacturers have to have established models that they want to continue selling in Europe in 2017 have new type-tested this year – in accordance with the reformed rules with higher hurdles.

For the industry, this is an opportunity and a curse at the same time: It can be a welcome opportunity for manufacturers to clear out the product range, in other words: to phase out old models. Or they have to spend a lot of money to bring well-running models up to date. They do not allow themselves to be looked into the cards: There were no specific answers to the MOTORRAD questions to the big brands, for which Euro 3 vehicles from their current range a new type approval is being sought and which models will expire at the turn of the year 2016/17.

BMW announces: “For competitive reasons we are not giving any information about our future model policy.” But it is already certain that the single-cylinder Enduro G 650 GS and the K 1300 S will be out of the range. Ducati Germany prefers – despite demand – not to react at all. Harley-Davidson and Honda also avoid clear statements in their answers. And from Kawasaki it is officially: “Please understand that we are not yet allowed to say anything about the planned model policy for 2017.” The floor radio is already reporting that Kawasaki wants to bow many, if not all, cruisers from the range and to position itself more tightly in terms of the model . KTM has just said goodbye to the 1190 RC8 R. But the Austrians won’t tell us how things will continue.

Selling the Euro 3 rest ramp?

At the moment, all that is officially known at Suzuki is that the new SV 650 will replace the Gladius. But there are more than just rumors that some current models such as the GSX-S 1000 and the Scooter UK 110 have already been tested according to the new directive, but formally do not yet comply with the new regulation. Triumph, however, already has a considerable number of Euro 4 models. The decision of what to do with the rest of the range has not yet been made, says the press spokesman. You hear something similar from Yamaha. Industry experts already know, however, that the days of the Yamaha SR 400 and XJR 1300 models are numbered. Will the Euro 3 rest ramp start to be sold off towards the end of the 2016 season? Some say so, others say so – a clear market assessment cannot currently be derived from this.

In any case, the manufacturers have a lot of time to prepare for the 2017 model year. “Everything is technically feasible, the only question is how quickly it can be implemented,” says Christoph Gatzweiler from the Motorcycle Industry Association (IVM). The manufacturers are under enormous time pressure because details of the technical requirements only became known in the course of 2014. “It’s pretty sporty,” says Gatzweiler. He also criticizes the “inflated administrative effort” such as the much more extensive information sheet for the vehicle with all technical specifications.

On-board diagnosis is the greatest challenge

This is also confirmed by KTM homologation expert Alwin Otto: “The documents required are three times as long as in the previous regulation.” This means around 50 percent more time spent on preparation. “The biggest challenge, however, is the sophisticated on-board diagnosis (OBD),” explains Otto. All control units would have to be changed because the required error memory could not be integrated into the existing hardware. For KTM, on the other hand, the now required closed tank ventilation with activated carbon filter is the easier exercise. “We have had ten years of experience with this on the US market.”

Not only that the activated carbon filter in the Coke can format has to be accommodated in the machine. The closed tank ventilation is a real challenge for the development of the engine management. Henning Heikes, who is responsible for motorcycle engine control systems at Bosch, explains why: “The requirement and the resulting influence are so great that additional variabilities in the engine control have to be taken into account.” The whole thing is that mechanical throttle valves are still in use even trickier.

In the wake of Euro 4 there are many thick boards to be drilled. This also includes achieving an exception for ABS from the ban on environmentally and safety-relevant shut-off devices, namely for off-road use on enduros. This could be anchored in another EU regulation, which is due to correct some inconsistencies in the set of rules. Friends of off-road machines should thank you in the future.

Interview with the IVM

The Euro 4 emissions standard that is now in force raises many questions. Christoph Gatzweiler, who heads the technology department at the Motorcycle Industry Association (IVM), answers them.

? Do older vehicles have to be retrofitted?

! Absolutely not, the stock of registered vehicles is not affected.

? Existing Euro 3 type approvals can be extended to Euro 4?

! No, it is not a simple transition from one emission level to the next stricter limit, but the EU Commission has redesigned the entire type approval process. For this reason, a complete conversion of the permit will be required for all new vehicles by 2017 at the latest.

? Why does a simple update not work?

! So much was changed that the new regulations also required a new directive. At the same time, the old framework regulation was repealed by the new directive. A simple update is therefore no longer formally possible.

? Instead, what must be done to bring the existing model series up to date??

! The technology of the vehicles has to be redesigned or supplemented in many places. There are also many innovations in the administrative area.

? Are there any design or concept-related features that make this difficult or easier??

! The biggest challenge is the tight time frame between the publication of all technical requirements in 2014 and the implementation specifications for new models in 2016 and for all motorcycles in 2017.

? In your opinion, what is the toughest nut to crack when making the switch?

! That is certainly the introduction of on-board diagnostics (OBD). While the vehicle is in operation, systems that influence emissions should not only be simply monitored, but should also be checked for the rational logic of the data and measured values ​​sent. This goes much further than the first OBD stage for cars. Many models today do not even have the electronic peripherals to be able to perform this task at all. For the rationality check, software must also be developed that evaluates the data. The effort for the manufacturer should not be underestimated.

? Are there still loopholes for series that cannot overcome these hurdles?

! There is the option of selling a limited number of vehicles in stock beyond January 1, 2017. For this, however, the vehicle manufacturer must apply for a special exemption, the so-called “expiring series”, from the Federal Motor Transport Authority. The maximum number for this corresponds to ten percent of the vehicles of a model registered in Germany in 2015 and 2016. If the number remains below 100, the manufacturer may round up to these 100 vehicles. But these are not large numbers of items per series.

? Are these exceptions for warehouse vehicles limited in time??

! The registration of these vehicles is actually limited to the years 2017 and 2018.

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