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Old 11-21-2012, 08:06 PM   #1
firstlog OP
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Pollution issues

I recently bought a KTM 200 exc for a lightweight trail bike. It is excellent at that and I love riding it on singletrack alot more than my WR250R.

The thing that bothers me is the pollution these bikes create. I realized they smoke a little before I bought it but I didn't know that 1/4 to 1/3 of the gas goes straight out the exhaust. A government study I saw said that one hour of operation is equivalent to driving a modern car 9,000 miles as far as hydrocarbon emissions go. Some of those emissions are known carcinogens.

This can't be good for riders, other trail users or the environment. I really like the bike and honestly can't imagine riding a 4 stroke on singletrack anymore. Anyone else struggle with this or am I thinking too much?
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Take a look at how much pollution ONE large truck emits and you will feel that your emissions are insignificant. For a real shocker see how much ONE airline flight emits.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstlog View Post
I recently bought a KTM 200 exc for a lightweight trail bike. It is excellent at that and I love riding it on singletrack alot more than my WR250R.

The thing that bothers me is the pollution these bikes create. I realized they smoke a little before I bought it but I didn't know that 1/4 to 1/3 of the gas goes straight out the exhaust. A government study I saw said that one hour of operation is equivalent to driving a modern car 9,000 miles as far as hydrocarbon emissions go. Some of those emissions are known carcinogens.

This can't be good for riders, other trail users or the environment. I really like the bike and honestly can't imagine riding a 4 stroke on singletrack anymore. Anyone else struggle with this or am I thinking too much?
You're thinking way too much and in the wrong direction... regardless of what's coming out the pipe's outlet now, the bike is legal for its' intended purpose at the time it was made. "Struggling" with this realization has two possible outcomes: either ignore it, and keep riding, or destroy/recycle all vehicles every time the emission bar is raised.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:26 AM   #4
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Besides thinking too much those calculations fail to take into account the amount of time a dirt bike is ridden as well as the small displacement vs. other vehicles. Cars/trucks,ect. are all much larger displacement and are used far more than an occasional weekend.

Turn off the TV and go riding.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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It's good to think about the enviroment, but as the other members posted a dirt bike is not the big issue when you compare it to a vessel, an airplane, a truck or a car as the time of use has to be taken in consideration.

Anyway if you want to ride more enviroment friendly, I recommend enviroment friendly gasoline and two stroke oil,
like the Swedish Aspen gasoline: http://en.aspen.se/Consumer/Motor_sport

I don't know if you can get it in the US but as this gasoline was developed for the forest industry it might be available in the US too.

Just to note: The standard chain saw gasoline have not enough octane, you will need Aspen+ with 95 octane or Aspen racing with 100 octane for avoiding any engine damage. Btw. the Aspen gas is completly ethanol free and can be stored in years! I'am using it now for three years without any problems.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by PSchrauber View Post
It's good to think about the enviroment, but as the other members posted a dirt bike is not the big issue when you compare it to a vessel, an airplane, a truck or a car as the time of use has to be taken in consideration.

Anyway if you want to ride more enviroment friendly, I recommend enviroment friendly gasoline and two stroke oil,
like the Swedish Aspen gasoline: http://en.aspen.se/Consumer/Motor_sport

I don't know if you can get it in the US but as this gasoline was developed for the forest industry it might be available in the US too.

Just to note: The standard chain saw gasoline have not enough octane, you will need Aspen+ with 95 octane or Aspen racing with 100 octane for avoiding any engine damage. Btw. the Aspen gas is completly ethanol free and can be stored in years! I'am using it now for three years without any problems.

That's just it American garbage Gas is the problem Ethenol make you burn more gas
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:54 AM   #7
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If it bothers you that much do something. Plant some trees. After all they are the atmosphere's air filter an we keep cutting them down. Run Amsoil synthetic oil at 100:1 and keep your bike well tuned. Ride a bicycle to work to help offset the emissions from the dirt bike. There are things you can do. However you must do them.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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If it bothers you that much do something. Plant some trees. After all they are the atmosphere's air filter an we keep cutting them down. Run Amsoil synthetic oil at 100:1 and keep your bike well tuned. Ride a bicycle to work to help offset the emissions from the dirt bike. There are things you can do. However you must do them.
Those are great points and probably the best thing I can do. I suppose it is all relative and when it comes down to it any petroleum burning machine will create pollution. While a small two stroke doesn't burn much gas, the way it is burned is quite different but it is still a matter of degree. Even my wr250r with a catalytic converter emits the same kind of pollutants as a two stroke, just in a much smaller amount and different ratios.

I think it would be really nice if they made some direct injected two strokes. That would cut the pollution and keep the light weight feel I love. I'm holding out for DI on my next bike.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstlog View Post
Those are great points and probably the best thing I can do. I suppose it is all relative and when it comes down to it any petroleum burning machine will create pollution. While a small two stroke doesn't burn much gas, the way it is burned is quite different but it is still a matter of degree. Even my wr250r with a catalytic converter emits the same kind of pollutants as a two stroke, just in a much smaller amount and different ratios.

I think it would be really nice if they made some direct injected two strokes. That would cut the pollution and keep the light weight feel I love. I'm holding out for DI on my next bike.
Look up to OSSA, they make two stroke bikes with direct injection:

- a trials bike, an enduro and a trail bike.

but these bikes cost some $$$

OSSA Trial: http://www.ossamotor.es/EN/models.php?idMoto=338

OSSA Trail: http://www.ossamotor.es/EN/models.php?idMoto=339

OSSA Enduro: http://www.ossamotor.es/EN/models.php?idMoto=337

Anyway you can switch to any other trials bike too, these normally use 1,5% to 1% of oil in the gasoline
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:03 AM   #10
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Or the Husky 300 DI 2 stroke that we will likely see in 2014. I believe if you are smoking THAT MUCH you must have either a tuning or mixture problem. Usually you only notice a little smoke when they start up cold and virtually none once you start riding. So I would say start there with your own bike.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:40 AM   #11
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OK... suppose I'm kinda a newb on this forum, but I've been building, racing & riding motorcycles and cars for a few decades now.

That government study? It's full of holes and gross assumptions. It's also partially backed by the same funds that funnel to Green Peace, so just might be a bit biased. :)

I have put my old KDX 200, RD 350 and CR 500 on a 4 gas emissions analyzer while on a dyno... tuned well (and that's the key here) they are not nearly as bad as that study would have you believe. Trees aren't going to die as you ride past and the pickup you hauled the bike to the trail really probably did dump more hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.

Really want to be green? Keep an old bike in good running condition and enjoy it... that's using far less resources than buying a new bike.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:43 AM   #12
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You can use a lean mixture in your bike to avoid too much smoke. Just don't go too lean or it will result in engine damage. Using a lean mixture will wear out the rings a bit early, which means the machines at the manufacturer's plant will have to churn out another set for you (more pollution).

You can also use an eco-friendly 2-stroke oil.



Mythbusters did an episode that found modern motorcycles (including 4-stroke) pollute more than modern cars. Cars carry lots of technology that minotors their engines, and bikes just aren't that efficient yet.

Don't feel bad. If Al Gore feels it's OK to fly around in his jet, I think your 200cc bike is insignificant.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:05 PM   #13
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If you were to take into consideration the minimal tooling and pollution due to manufacturing, you'd be much closer to breaking even than you think....

A HUGE portion of the "pollution" involved with vehicles is the pollution due to manufacturing, not actually running them.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #14
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Please tell me this OP was a joke??? Lean that bike out! Synth 2T oil 50:1 plus.... It will smoke very little.

If you are that concerned, sell both and buy a Zero!
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #15
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I think this is a real concern. Any rational individual should be concerned about our planet and able to back up their beliefs with facts. I did some more research.

These figures are grams/km. hc = hydrocarbons (unburned gas etc), nox = nitrogen oxide.

2001 ktm 200 exc [1]
hc 53
nox .025

1997 cr250r [1]
hc 18
nox .004

average car in 2000 [2]
hc 1.75
nox .87

These figures make it look not so bad. I;m not really concered about greenhouse gasses, just the nasty ones that cause cancer etc. I don't understand why the ktm 200 is 3 times more polluting than the honda 250. They both have 38mm carbs, the honda is an mx bike. I tend to think something else is going on here so I'm going to go with the lower cr250r estimates for my personal beliefs.

Compared to the car
ktm = hc 30x nox .028x
cr = hc 10x nox .005x

Notice they both produce far less nox pollution than a car per km.

Normalized for the ktm, 1 km of use produces this much pollution:

HC
car 30x
ktm 1x
cr 3x

nox
car 34x
ktm 1x
cr .16x

This really makes it seem like it's not so bad. It doesn't look like the dirtbikes are exponentially more polluting that the cars. Plus when you factor in the miles driven per year, the bikes would look downright clean (total pollution). This has convinced me to keep the ktm 200, run it as clean as possible and eventually replace it with a 4 stroke (or electic!) when it wears out. Thanks for the thoughts everyone. I'm going to keep the wr250r for long distance dual sport rides since it has such good mpg.

[1] http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe?C...3E&QueryTerms=

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_emissions
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