Monday, October 15, 2007

What the Motorcycle Makers Don't Want You to Know

Today is Blog Action Day. A day that is organized in an effort by participating Bloggers to focus attention on the environment, climate change, and sustainability.

So in honor of Blog Action Day, my contribution is a bit of a follow-up on one of my previous posts "Who Else Wonders How Big of a Motorcycle is Big Enough?" I try to make a case for better fuel economy and engine pollution control on motorcycles. I'm now going to throw some surprises at you.

It turns out a lot of vehicles are more efficient and environmentally friendly than many motorcycles.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not in any way shape or form anti-motorcycle and pro-car. I'm not advocating for people to park their bikes and drive a car. It's just the opposite. I am a conservationist however and am naturally interested in fuel economy and engine pollution control. Most politicians are ignoring global warming or giving it lip service, but I can't and won't. See the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth for a good wake-up call everybody.

Only recently did I discover there's trouble in paradise. I've always assumed perhaps naively that anything on two wheels has to be "greener" than anything on 4 wheels. Wrong answer, I was told with a comment on one of my previous posts, "Motorcycles, Allergies, and Global Warming", A college professor and Blog commenter flunked me on my facts. He said "actually, though less exhaust comes out of your motorcycle, more pollutants come out of the tail pipe of the cleanest fossil fuel motorcycle than out of the dirtiest car". I apparently was wrong that motorcycles are more environmentally friendly than cars.

So after calming down, I got to checking around to find out just what the hell the professor's been smoking. I found a number of articles and studies (see links below)backing up what he was saying. I felt the fool for awhile, but wait just a minute; it's not all that clear-cut.

There are a bunch of variables that go into it all. Some things are left out of some of the equations such as; a bike often spends less time in congested traffic than a car and what about the far less raw material and energy it takes to manufacture a motorcycle?

Anyway, just the fact that there is a debate between motorcycles vs cars on the subject of air pollution and fuel efficiency tells me something. In my own simple way of looking at things, I think motorcycles should do better than cars, way better. What do you think?

Want to see more Blog Action Day participants from around the web?

Ask Umbro on pollution comparison.

Reuters UK, brief article on government test.

Article on Paris study.

Science Daily article.

1 comment:

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