Pollution issues

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by firstlog, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. firstlog

    firstlog Adventurer

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    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?
    #1
  2. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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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.
    #2
  3. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    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. :puke1
    #3
  4. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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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.
    #4
  5. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Been here awhile

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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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  6. Shocktower

    Shocktower Long timer

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    That's just it American garbage Gas is the problem Ethenol make you burn more gas
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  7. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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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.
    #7
  8. firstlog

    firstlog Adventurer

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    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.
    #8
  9. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Been here awhile

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    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
    #9
  10. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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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.
    #10
  11. dhallilama

    dhallilama Been here awhile

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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.
    #11
  12. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
    #12
  13. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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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.
    #13
  14. heliyardsale

    heliyardsale Always looking for Dirt!

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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!
    #14
  15. firstlog

    firstlog Adventurer

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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?...000017\"+index="2000+Thru+2005"/>&QueryTerms=

    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_emissions
    #15
  16. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    "Two-stroke engines produce more pollution from:
    -- The combustion of the oil in the gas. The oil makes all two-stroke engines smoky to some extent, and a badly worn two-stroke engine can emit more oily smoke.
    -- Each time a new mix of air/fuel is loaded into the combustion chamber, part of it leaks out through the exhaust port."


    http://www.deepscience.com/articles/engines.html





    #16
  17. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    ^^^^^^
    Quoted from the the same article. Quite misleading. Don't pick through an article to suit your point. Use your own words. And that blue shit is difficult to read.

    Most of what is written on advantages and disadvantages of 2 strokes Vs 4 strokes is not actually correct.
    #17
  18. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    Sure, that smoke looks nasty, but it ain't the really nasty stuff like particulate matter, etc.. And keep in mind that two strokes aren't obsolete, they can meet all the current emissions standards. For example, the 2 stroke diesel EMD locomotive engines are still being built and it looks like they may have an easier time meeting the upcoming tighter standards than the 4 strokes.
    #18
  19. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

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    Sorry, late to this conversation but I have to jump in. I did not read every single post so take this as a stand alone to the original comment and a few responses I perused quickly. Two stoke biases are cocooned in myopic and willful ignorance and/or not looking at the total picture. These aren't your grand daddy's piston port oil splattering 2 stokes. We're talking about insanely efficient, often orbital or direct injected machines with engineered oils that are burned at about a tenth the percentages of even 15 years ago.

    A KTM 200 is an amazingly clean and efficient 2 stroke power creating device in relation to a similarly performing 4-stroke machine (an in fact similar power per pound is essentially NOT possible for a 4 stroke without some pricy exotica) . That "similar" performing 4 stroke will use FAR more exotic and expensive metals with very short service intervals necessitating their rather frequent replacement. Ever been to a titanium mining facility? I have. Trust me, environmentally speaking, It's like earth raping.

    Now, I realize that little puffs of smoke are psychologically more disturbing to people but it's simply not "just" what you can see that represents pollution. Last time I checked, "For off road use only" 4 stroke motorcycles usually have whatever catalyst device they "might" have been delivered with removed. AND the Increased weight of that "somewhat" comparably performing (yeah, right) machine also means a lot more fuel used. And don't forget, the fuel going through that engine is in reality only a portion of the total pollution "footprint of the machine over it's life cycle (see titanium mining comment above).

    Look at the total "footprint" (carbon and otherwise) of similar machines over the course of their entire "normal" operating lifecycle and you will get a VERY different picture of how dirty or clean they are. And by that standard a modern, lightweight, efficient recreational 2 stroke is at a minimum on par and usually far FAR ahead of the comparable 4 stroke bike. By that view a Prius is actually a fairly filthy vehicle (go look at a nickle mine and what those impacts do to the environment and explain to me how "clean" they are). And don't even get me started on the orbital injected hyper efficient marine outboards that the marine marketing departments just can't seem to get rid of despite decades of trying. In that world the 2-strokes are cleaner, more efficient, and far better performing by any measure and for some reason people just keep buying them. Go figure.

    If it makes you "feel" better, get one of the newer off road electrics. They are actually getting quite impressive for closed course joy riding. Just don't go researching where they get all those rare earths and elements to build the batteries and components. It might upset you.
    #19
  20. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Don't read it then; anyhow, it seems that you are not willing to learn anything that may change your pre-concepts (right or wrong).

    I don't tell anyone how to post, so please don't tell me how, unless you are a moderator of this site.
    #20