Motorcycle Emissions Research and Development, 03-9384

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Principal Investigators
Manfred Amann
Brian Birch
Charles E. Roberts

Inclusive Dates:  04/01/03 - 10/01/04

Background - Southwest Research Institute routinely performs engine calibration for performance and emissions for spark-ignited engines. However, the Institute's range of experience did not extend fully to motorcycle applications, especially the air-cooled variety. New small engine (including motorcycle) emissions regulations, along with a newly introduced, tougher motorcycle emissions test cycle, will be implemented in Europe in 2006 and in the United States in 2008.

Approach - The goal of this project was to demonstrate multiple strategies for meeting these upcoming emissions regulations. This goal was made even more difficult in that the research team sought to demonstrate technologies that could be successful for air-cooled motorcycles, which exhibit design and operating characteristics often thought to be unsuitable for application of historical automotive emissions reduction solutions. The approach for the project was to implement a custom engine control computer, thus allowing custom fuel and engine control for emissions strategy research. The custom-controlled motorcycle was then programmed for operation in three different modes:

  • Closed-loop, three-way catalyst engine control
  • Open-loop, three-way catalyst engine control
  • Open-loop, lean operation with lean-NOx aftertreatment

During each phase of programming (engine calibration), the motorcycle was tested on a custom full-motorcycle chassis dynamometer, to ensure acceptable performance. Please note that the engine calibration work includes full transient engine operation. Hence, the engine is calibrated to near-production operation and represents expected performance and emissions capable from future production systems.

Accomplishments - Results and analysis from this project have been prepared for publication through the Society of Automotive Engineers. Additionally, the work from this project aided SwRI in developing new clients. Recent funded project work in air-cooled motorcycle engine calibration was granted, and multiple proposals to major U.S. and European motorcycle and small engine manufacturers were prepared.

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