It seems that the new Euro 5 emission regulations continue to take their toll on motorcycle lineups in Europe. According to MCN, many bikes from different manufacturers have and will (at least temporarily) see the ax in 2021. While the bikes may no longer be produced in Europe, they still may have lives in other nations. So the discussion here will only pertain to bikes subject to Euro 5 emission requirements.
The termination of these models doesn’t mean the end of motorcycling in Europe. But it does affect the choice of models to choose from. While new models will continue to roll out in 2021, it means that many older models may go the way of the dodo.
Yamaha’s FJR1300 is one of these machines. Since 2001, it’s been a bellwether of the sport-touring market. Its success drove every Big 4 manufacturer to produce a large-capacity sport-tourer. But the FJR is not the only Yamaha bike that will be discontinued. The XTZ Super Teneré 1200, XV950R, and the SCR950 will not be updated to meet Euro 5 regulations.
And finally, the YZF-R6 will not return to the streets in 2021. However, you will still be able to purchase a track-only version. The R6’s discontinuation leaves a rather large 700cc hole in Yamaha’s supersport lineup. That hole is creating a lot of buzz about what might replace the high revving inline 4 cylinder machine. Rumors circulating on the web say that Yamaha may produce a fully-faired version of its MT-07 naked bike. We’ll see.
Also leaving the marketplace are Honda’s VFR series of machines. Euro 5’s impact means that the VFR800, VFR800X, Crossrunner, and VFR1200X Crosstourer have seen their last days. While none of these models were huge sellers, it will be the first time in about 40 years that Honda will not have a VFR in its product lineup. In addition to the VFR machines ending, Honda will also discontinue its CB1100EX and RS models.
Euro 5 emission regulations are definitely affecting Team Green. Several different models will not be renewed in 2021. On the way out of production are the J125 and J300 scooters. As for their motorcycle lineup, many Ninja series bikes are affected. The Ninja 400, ZX-6R, Ninja H2, and Ninja H2 SX will not be continued.
However, the fate of the ZX-6R and potentially some of the other Kawasaki models listed above are still in question. According to MCN, Kawasaki’s official position is that its engineers are working hard to bring key models back into production. Unfortunately, they have not identified which models are key.
The GSX-R1000 will no longer be produced. Its higher-revving stablemate, the GSX-R100R, will continue. Other models are being dropped, but not due to Euro 5. Poor sales mean that the V-Strom 250 and the GSX250R will see the ax. In their scooter lineup, the Burgman 125 and 200 scooters are also being discontinued.
Several other manufacturers will discontinue models as a side effect of Euro 5. Perhaps the most notable is Ducati’s Monster lineup. The era of the Italian manufacturer’s air-cooled Monster lineup is, for all intents and purposes, now over. Although Ducati’s liquid-cooled replacement model, now just called the Monster, will continue, all of its air-cooled versions are no more.
Interestingly, you can still get the air-cooled 803cc twin in the Ducati Scrambler. For some reason, Ducati chose not to certify the engine for the Monster line. On its face, it appears that a decision has been made to eliminate all trellis frame Monsters and only use liquid-cooled powerplants. With only one Monster remaining, we’ll have to wait and see whether the Italian manufacturer decides to produce it in differing displacements.
Other bikes like Triumph’s Tiger Sport 1050 did not make the grade and will be discontinued. BMW’s R Nine T Racer and Harley-Davidson’s Sportster also look to have seen their end of days.
If there’s any good news for these bikes, it’s that the remaining inventory of non-compliant machines is still available. Under Europe’s derogation rules, dealers have two years to clear unsold stock of non-compliant bikes. That likely means that they will be offering significant discounts on affected models. So if you are in the market for one of these discontinued bikes in Europe, now is the time to start looking at these machines.
And, we shouldn’t forget that a slew of new models was released in 2021. They should ensure the continuation of internal combustion engine bikes for the not-so-distant future. That said, with emission regulations becoming tighter and tighter, it becomes more and more difficult to meet the new regs. It appears that the writing is on the wall. The way forward will be with electrically powered two-wheelers.
Strange and interesting times, these.