Motorcycle Emissions Research and Development, 03-9384

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Principal Investigators
Brian J. Birch
Charles E. Roberts
Corwin Snyder

Inclusive Dates: 04/01/03 - Current

Background - The need for this development exercise has been prompted by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent proposed rule to adopt the more stringent, future California Air Resource Board (CARB) emissions standards for highway motorcycles, and to impose them nationwide.

These new standards introduce further urgency for the motorcycle industry to develop advanced emissions reduction technology for all of their engine ranges in the near future. This development exercise is relatively straightforward for the water-cooled engines; however, it is more challenging in the air-cooled engines. Very little information is known about the application of automotive technologies to motorcycles, especially the largely U.S. produced large displacement air-cooled engines. Further, many of these air-cooled engines are utilized in motorcycles produced by small manufacturers whose development and engineering expertise is limited.

Approach - The proposed approach is to apply modern automotive emissions reduction techniques to a large displacement, air-cooled motorcycle. The objectives of the proposed project are to determine the effects of various emissions reduction technologies on a modern air-cooled motorcycle. One reason to attempt these various technology applications is to determine their effects on the motorcycle emissions, as there is currently very little published data or experience at the Institute.

Unknown areas include exhaust temperature profiles, optimum catalyst design including loading and surface area and backpressure effects. Yet another is to gain expertise and experience on a variety of technologies, as it is currently unclear as to which direction certain motorcycle manufacturers will take regarding emissions reduction. These technologies include:

  1. 3-way catalyst technology
    1. Fuel injected with closed-loop switching O2 control
    2. Fuel injected with open loop non-switched control
  2. Lean NOx Catalyst technology
    1. Lean NOx catalyst for lean NOx control in combination with Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)

Accomplishments - To date, all initial setup, instrumentation, and baseline testing has been completed. In addition, a custom Rapid Prototyping Electronic Control System has been developed with custom control algorithms to accomplish the desired goals of the project. The next steps will involve fuel injection and closed loop control implementation.

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