Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

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AussieJester   100 GW

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Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by AussieJester » Sep 30 2011 2:05am

Watched the latest installment of Mytbusters yesterday, Jamie and Adman tackled
the myth that motorcycles pollute more than cars, they basically
took cars and motorcycles from 1980s-1990's and 2010 ran them the same distance on same
course with some fancy testing gear to measure the pollutants they released, might
surprise some that although the motorcycle is alot more efficient in terms of
gasoline consumption, with exception to C02 output, which the motorcycles do produce less of than cars
the hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (~3200% more than cars :-| ) Carbon Monoxide (~8000% More than cars)
Mythbisters concluded not only are motorcycles worse for the environment in terms of pollutants but they
are FAR worse... Personally, i couldn't give a rats ass but thought some here might be interested in
it....Thoughts?...anyone........anyone? :P

KiM

EDIT:-....forgot to mention, the Mythbusters of course tried improving the motorcycles and made a pretty killer
faired motorcycle the velomobile crowd would likely love...ii'll grab a screenie...

EDiT2:-
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ScreenHunter_02 Sep. 30 15.09.jpg (88.57 KiB) Viewed 499 times
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Appologies about the expired software message i haven't got around to :: cough :: "buying" the software yet
don't usually use Windows XP but having issues with my Win7 instal atm which has inbuilt screen capture program...anyhoot...
Last edited by AussieJester on Sep 30 2011 2:12am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by jonescg » Sep 30 2011 2:10am

I guess it's the compression ratios being so high that results in the NOs being produced. CO shouldn't be an issue if you have complete combustion though :? NOs might be high, but imagine what it would be like with a dry shot :twisted:

My Blackbird gets 17-19 km/litre of premium on the highway, and about 15 around town.

Voltron gets about 70 Wh/km, and costs $1.32 to fill up :mrgreen:

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by neptronix » Sep 30 2011 2:12am

Well, given that emissions equipment is practically nonexistant on most 2 wheeled gas vehicles, i am not surprised at all.
So none of the pollutants get converted to their less-harmful forms..

Motorcycles don't typically have much in the way of engine controls either and could be drastically more efficient, but then the engine would have to be more expensive..

Call me an ecofascist but i think that's wrong; there may not be a hell of a lot of motorcycles out there but on the bike i can certainly smell one passing. I think they should have, at the very least, some kind of high flowing catalytic convertor.. standard!

Here's what i like about electric; you will never in your lifetime worry about that shit. The worst thing is having gasoline fumes blown in your face..
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by AussieJester » Sep 30 2011 2:19am

neptronix wrote: The worst thing is having gasoline fumes blown in your face..
oooh i dunno...some female Pr0NStaRs might disagree :P :mrgreen:

KiM

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by Philistine » Sep 30 2011 3:02am

neptronix wrote: The worst thing is having gasoline fumes blown in your face..


oooh i dunno...some female Pr0NStaRs might disagree

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by liveforphysics » Sep 30 2011 3:13am

neptronix wrote: I think they should have, at the very least, some kind of high flowing catalytic convertor.. standard!

Modern bikes all do AFAIK. You can tell, because motorcycle shops have giant piles of them laying around in back. Cheapest instant hp gain. Pitty you have to waste the money that the mfg had to spend to have it on the bike when sold.

As a side note, I don't mind having fuel sprayed in my face (I've taken a high pressure spray to face that blasted under my eyelids and was NOT fun, extremely cripplingly painful as I was blinded trying to find the end of a hose to spray my eyes with). Pump-gas is definitely the least enjoyable, but many race fuels are quite aromatically delightful. If you were to take a sniff from my racecars tail pipe, you would smile and comment that it's pleasant, a bit like grape soda. Sadly, it's also drastically more toxic.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by AussieJester » Sep 30 2011 3:47am

liveforphysics wrote: If you were to take a sniff from my racecars tail pipe, you would smile and comment that it's pleasant, a bit like grape soda. Sadly, it's also drastically more toxic.
Druuuels....up near my most fav things at the Drags and Speedway, the smell of
methanol sweet sweeet methanol ...wonder if you could drink the stuff? Luke?

One of the most painful things outside of burning alive in it, is getting fuel anywhere near
your "family jewls" (i.e nut sack, ball bag, testicles etc etc) Hurts like a mother fucker...

KiM

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by liveforphysics » Sep 30 2011 4:16am

Q16, my current fuel of choice smells like it would be delicious to chug my friend. If they made a soda with the same scent, it would be an instant hit. Sadly, it has an MSDS list of wicked poisons and mutagens and cancer-causing things contained in it's delicious smelling and massive HP making nectar.


I also have a strong fondness for that mild stinging eyes and light headed feeling you get when you're standing way too close to the top fuel cars when they are staging to burn-out. Ear-plugs in, hands tightly clamped over ears, engine roars and you can barely even stand-up as your entire body is grabbed by an invisible hand and shaken like a leaf. It's really someone everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives, nothing else is like it on earth.
Each carcinogen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for cancer.

Each mutagen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for reproductive genetic defects in your children.

Each engine start sprays them into a shared atmosphere which includes beings not offered an opportunity to consent accepting these cancer experiences and defective genetics life experiences.

Every post is a free gift to the collective of minds composing the living bleeding edge of LEV development on our spaceship.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by grindz145 » Sep 30 2011 4:32am

Exactly right Luke. Most modern bikes, especially sport tourers and BMWs and stuff, come with catalytic converters equal to that of cars.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by AussieJester » Sep 30 2011 5:06am

grindz145 wrote:Exactly right Luke. Most modern bikes, especially sport tourers and BMWs and stuff, come with catalytic converters equal to that of cars.
They tested 2011 model bikes they were alot better than bikes from 80's and even the 90's but by no means close to that of cars... download the ep and watch it, they had qualified proffesionals there to test all the cars and bikes...

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by dogman dan » Sep 30 2011 5:36am

I found that one interesting too. I knew the old bikes had nada on them for pollution controll, but thought the newest ones had been made better than the test would indicate. I'd like to see them revisit it with more different models from 2011. But likely, they are all about the same, since they wouldn't put anything on there they didn't have to.

I found the other half of that show more interesting. Love it when they go to thier favorite place, Scocorro NM. They get to make things go boom there. Any kind of show from that explosives range is great.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by drewjet » Sep 30 2011 5:47am

liveforphysics wrote: I also have a strong fondness for that mild stinging eyes and light headed feeling you get when you're standing way too close to the top fuel cars when they are staging to burn-out. Ear-plugs in, hands tightly clamped over ears, engine roars and you can barely even stand-up as your entire body is grabbed by an invisible hand and shaken like a leaf. It's really someone everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives, nothing else is like it on earth.
Yes there is, standing on a ladder trimming out a jet engine while it's putting out 20,000 lbs of thrust (MD-80). Has to be an old school engine as the new ones are all electronic.

The smell of jet exhaust has a great aroma as well! Funny it's nearly the same chemestry as Diesel, which stinks out the tailpipe.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by veloman » Sep 30 2011 2:47pm

I read about this last year. It's turned me off from owning any ICR two wheeler. Hence my purists on ebikes.


99% of the population does not know this. They think motorcycle = better than car for environment, and great mpg. The old ones are horrid. In my area of town, it's hip to ride a 70s or 80s standard motorcycle. Luckily it's more hip to ride fixed gear bicycles so it's not too bad. So many hipsters in my neighborhood. I watch them out my window walking to the coffee shop called Thunderbird. At least they like bikes.

An old motorcycle, or even a newer large one riding fast will destroy the air down a street for about a minute, depending on wind. I'd rather be passed by a 2011 Expedition, their exhuast is relatively clean even though it's a lot more volume. Don't get me started on any pre ~2000 gas truck or any diesel..... I'm considering getting my air pollution mask back out to wear when I'm on the busy roads. It pisses me off that the largest truck route through TX (I-35) goes straight through the city, dumping tons of air pollution. There is an athletic field a few hundred feet from the highway at UT Austin here.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by neptronix » Sep 30 2011 2:56pm

I go back and forth about wearing a pollution mask when ebiking as well. i travel the same roads that the cars do and in Oregon, emissions testing was a joke. Here in Colorado Springs they don't even do emissions testing.

I can't wait for the gas engine to be LONG GONE. Inhaling carcinogenic fumes is something that nobody should have to do, ever. If the outdoors were a work environment, you'd be able to sue your employer for exposing you to hazardous chemicals for long periods of time.

We don't need multi-hundred horsepower, multi ton vehicles to get us around in the first place.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by liveforphysics » Sep 30 2011 4:59pm

drewjet wrote:
liveforphysics wrote: I also have a strong fondness for that mild stinging eyes and light headed feeling you get when you're standing way too close to the top fuel cars when they are staging to burn-out. Ear-plugs in, hands tightly clamped over ears, engine roars and you can barely even stand-up as your entire body is grabbed by an invisible hand and shaken like a leaf. It's really someone everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives, nothing else is like it on earth.
Yes there is, standing on a ladder trimming out a jet engine while it's putting out 20,000 lbs of thrust (MD-80). Has to be an old school engine as the new ones are all electronic.

The smell of jet exhaust has a great aroma as well! Funny it's nearly the same chemestry as Diesel, which stinks out the tailpipe.

It's really interesting how different engines make different smells on the same fuel isn't it? Pump gas in an old chevy/ford/dodge with leaky rings and exhaust valve stem seals can smell like and out-house and make you want to puke when you get a breath. The same fuel in a high compression race engine (with no cat or emissions control equipment) can smell delightful and fresh.

One of my favorite exhaust smells came from tossing big handfuls of fresh grass clippings into my racecars open velocity stacks while it was wide-open sitting on rev-limiter, and I was feeding it as much as I could (I was showing a friend who thought grass could hurt my engine.) It was a nice fresh scent like mowing the lawn, but with a hint of roasted/bbq type scent. Quite nice really, and of course it caused no damage, as this engine had nothing in it that grass could effect.
Each carcinogen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for cancer.

Each mutagen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for reproductive genetic defects in your children.

Each engine start sprays them into a shared atmosphere which includes beings not offered an opportunity to consent accepting these cancer experiences and defective genetics life experiences.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by zombiess » Sep 30 2011 5:02pm

I'm into making big HP with cars and I always tell people to leave the catalytic converters on since they don't make much of a difference on most naturally aspirated cars until you get over 450 hp, and even then aftermarket cats can flow quite well. The only time I tell people removing a catalytic converter is worth while is when the vehicle is turbo charged. I ticks me off a bit when people pull them off of cars that won't see any worth while benefit and in fact hurt their drivability in the low RPM range.

None of this stupidity should really be surprising as I have learned over the years that most people involved with making cars go fast are really really dumb and have almost no clue what they are doing. The internet has only made this worse.

When I bought my 2002 Z06 used I found out the previous owner removed the catalytic converters and butchered the exhaust in the name of "performance". I purchased two high flow cats and had them installed and the exhaust fixed and the car gained a noticeable amount low end torque (my butt dyno sucks so it had to be a pretty big gain for me to notice) and most importantly, stopped stinking so bad. I hate the smell of pump gas. Race gas or 100LL is so much nicer. I now run E85 in both my cars so they now smell like drunks :)

My rambling aside, I'm surprised motorcycles are as bad as they tested. Gotta go download the episode now.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by liveforphysics » Sep 30 2011 5:19pm

Cat's hurting performance depends entirely on the engine. If you're talking about something that all ready had terrible exhaust manifolding and was not effectively scavenging anything to begin with (IE, every american car, every German car, and 95% of Japanese cars), then it hardly makes a difference if you have a cat or not. In a 600cc superbike which all ready comes with otherwise perfect exhaust design, it makes a big difference, easily a few percent HP when you drop the cat.
Each carcinogen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for cancer.

Each mutagen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for reproductive genetic defects in your children.

Each engine start sprays them into a shared atmosphere which includes beings not offered an opportunity to consent accepting these cancer experiences and defective genetics life experiences.

Every post is a free gift to the collective of minds composing the living bleeding edge of LEV development on our spaceship.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by neptronix » Sep 30 2011 5:42pm

I've had bad experience with higher flowing exhaust in the 3 cars that i did bother to soup up back in the day..
On every car it shifted the powerband higher. Great peak power... but then the car bogged down awfully at lower RPMs. All 3 cars were manual transmissions so it sucked to get going from a stop.. specially on a hill..

It's a federal crime to remove your catalytic converters. I wish it were enforced. A good working catalytic converter will turn about 90% of the harmful gasses into a more benign form... most particularly carbon monoxide into co2..

Without them you are polluting massively more.
Of course you can't smell the stink your car makes. That's someone else's problem..
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by vanilla ice » Sep 30 2011 5:57pm

If you took all the pollutants of all the cars in world combined, now take all the pollutants of all the motorcycles combined... which is more?

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by zombiess » Sep 30 2011 5:58pm

liveforphysics wrote: In a 600cc superbike which all ready comes with otherwise perfect exhaust design, it makes a big difference, easily a few percent HP when you drop the cat.
Cats have no place on a super bike :mrgreen: You'll get no argument from me there. I was referring to the 95%+ of masses you mentioned ;) which is what most people try to make go fast, i.e Crapmaro's, Mudstains, small penis sporting balding Corvette owners (some of the dumbest around), etc.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by Red_Liner740 » Oct 01 2011 12:05am

Open loop vs Closed loop system...simple.

Cars have the ability to monitor the a/f mixture and compensate the fuel intake to trim to proper ratio. Motorcycles do not. Some motorcycles do have 02 sensors but its for part load cruise only and it doesnt really help that much.

Also super sport and sporty motorcycles are tuned for performance first, everything else second...

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by LI-ghtcycle » Oct 01 2011 3:56am

I'm with Dogman! The bullet hitting the RPG while both are in the air traveling towards each other was the best test yet! :mrgreen:

As for cats, I agree, there is a time and a place, when I had my 85 Subaru Brat, (note the year, the WORST year for emissions) I removed 90% of it, added a higher performance weber carb, and gained almost 4 MPG!

Sure all that stuff can work well when it's brand new and perfectly maintained, once it starts to wear out, it makes things worse.

I also added my own home brew "condensator" (imagine a filter of sorts that goes between your PCV valve to separate all the heavy stuff out before it goes back into the intake) and that cleaned things up a ton, kept more fuel available to re-burn and caught what little oil and water in that line that would have done nothing but make things worse at the intake.

When my exhaust needed replacement, I did not replace the cat, but I did retain the exhaust design to properly scavenge, and again, gained more MPG, low end power (I built it primarily for off-road) and the thing that cracked me up was my mechanic giving me crap about it when he rides a snowmobile which is a 2-stroke, and he's out in the most pristine high altitude snow fields spewing smoke! :lol:

Don't get me wrong, I agree it makes sense especially in areas with inversion layers that trap in smog, such as LA, an yeah, Missoula Montana has some of that trouble too, but it's really funny when you have laws that restrict pollution, and then during fire season some of the same people who want these laws also want to let forest fires to burn because it's "nature" and you can't see more than 2 blocks because of the smoke, but it's the CAR emissions that matter?! :lol:

How many of the "evil bad gasses" will be found to be less harmful yet again? We have already had laws needed to be changed because the "less evil gasses" that we replaced the "bad ones" with turned out to be far worse than ones thought to be harmful, how many more times is that going to happen before we calm down and use some common sense?

I think these days we have hearts in the right place, but too many are looking at things with a microscope instead of seeing the bigger picture.

For example, how many of you realize that the electricity you are using is mostly produced in the USA with COAL!? :shock:

Unless you're lucky enough to live close to a Nuclear power plant or Hydro electric plant, you are fooling yourself thinking an electric vehicle is producing less pollution, the truth is, you're just not seeing it come out an exhaust pipe. More pollution by far is going into the atmosphere while producing electricity with coal than all the SUV's combined.

I too want to see something replace ICE's, but at the moment, nothing is more efficient (does more work pound for pound than any other fuel) or cost effective, even to include pollution.

There is some interesting fuel cell development using Natural Gas that might replace ICE, but it's still to be determined if it's able to take the place of ICE's.

http://www.katu.com/news/business/130871068.html
The fuel cells, which convert natural gas into electricity and heat, were made by Hillsboro-based ClearEdge Power. According to ClearEdge, their fuel cells are 10 times more productive than solar power.They will be used to power Sylvania's Health Technology Building and to heat the swimming pool that's inside.
http://sustainablebusinessoregon.com/ar ... cells.html
a 5-kilowatt fuel cell roughly the size of a refrigerator that combines heat and power using an electrochemical process and natural gas, reducing overall emissions. The ClearEdge5 carries a list price of $56,000.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by neptronix » Oct 01 2011 11:58am

LI-ghtcycle wrote:Don't get me wrong, I agree it makes sense especially in areas with inversion layers that trap in smog, such as LA, an yeah, Missoula Montana has some of that trouble too, but it's really funny when you have laws that restrict pollution, and then during fire season some of the same people who want these laws also want to let forest fires to burn because it's "nature" and you can't see more than 2 blocks because of the smoke, but it's the CAR emissions that matter?! :lol:
That would be a fine point... except that gas fired vehicles are on the road spewing pollutants for every hour of every day of the year, and a wildfire may go on for a fraction of that. Wood's main pollutant is going to be co2 and various particle matter, thus it may look nasty in the sky.. it may make it difficult to breathe.. but considering the sheer volume of it, it's nowhere near as bad as car exhaust.
Unless you're lucky enough to live close to a Nuclear power plant or Hydro electric plant, you are fooling yourself thinking an electric vehicle is producing less pollution, the truth is, you're just not seeing it come out an exhaust pipe. More pollution by far is going into the atmosphere while producing electricity with coal than all the SUV's combined.
Please quote your source, because that is a particularly bold claim. And remember that an electric drive system is roughly 80 percent efficient while a gasoline engine is roughly 20 percent efficient.

And that we get the majority of our oil from Canada, whose oil comes from very pollution intensive oil sands... which literally waste 1 part of energy per 6 produced just to turn that stuff into oil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_sands

As for hydrogen, it is still a pipe dream for use as a mainstream power source. Hydrogen cars are where electric cars were 20 years ago, but with many more hurdles to jump over.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500 MTB.
Monster MTB: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: Heavy duty Cannondale semi recumbent - under construction.
Blue Dream: Maxaraya FS semi recumbent and high efficiency mid-drive - under construction.

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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by LI-ghtcycle » Oct 01 2011 5:00pm

As for the numbers of pollution produced by the various power plants that use coal around the US, I haven't checked, but I seriously doubt cars are half as polluting as Coal fired plants, which we have plenty of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_generation

Image

GIven the fact that our power grid is failing to supply residential areas with rolling black-outs & brown-outs in various places where it's already over stressed, and the reality that we would need more and more electricity to convert any major amounts of vehicles to electric, unless someone has a new many times more efficient solar, sterling engine, etc. way to produce clean energy that is going to keep up with the demand, that would mean much more of the same, meaning more coal.

I would LOVE to see us be more like France in that they get the majority of their power from Nuclear, it's well known that it can be done much safer and cleaner than in the past, how many times have you heard of a Nuclear Air Craft Carrier or Submarine melting down? And that is ANCIENT Nuclear tech compared with what we can do today.

I would also love to see more hydro electric, that is a well proven clean energy source, and there are limited areas it can be used, but I am sure there are more places that we could.

I have nothing against alternative energy, I long for the day that I can reasonably expect to produce my own energy needs from some contraption that I have in the back yard, but I haven't seen it happen yet, and until then, we are stuck with what we have.

That being said, I can't understand why we aren't working more to do things like clean up coal fired plant's emissions and more Nuclear plants than spend tons of $$$ on unproven not yet even sustainable or profitable "green energy" that only survives with huge government subsidies.

And yes, that goes for oil and gas, if we are spending money there (and I think we are) that we shouldn't, lets get it going somewhere else to make something we already know works well, not on R & D for things we hope will pencil out in the future.
Thank you Justin_Le for your selfless act of kindness! We all are in your debt.
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Re: Motor Cycles worse for Environment Say Mythbusters

Post by liveforphysics » Oct 01 2011 5:54pm

Lightcycle, you somehow managed to miss every point that matters.
Each carcinogen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for cancer.

Each mutagen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for reproductive genetic defects in your children.

Each engine start sprays them into a shared atmosphere which includes beings not offered an opportunity to consent accepting these cancer experiences and defective genetics life experiences.

Every post is a free gift to the collective of minds composing the living bleeding edge of LEV development on our spaceship.

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