The question of how much pollution a motorbike emits is not a simple one. Most people assume that bikes must emit less pollution per kilometre than cars simply because they are much lighter and therefore must consume less fuel. This is true in relation to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – in general, urban/commuter-class bikes cause half the CO2 emissions of the average car. This is positive in terms of climate-change impact, as CO2 is a significant greenhouse gas. Where bikes score less favourably is in terms of ground-level pollution – and, therefore, direct impact on health – with their disproportionately higher emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO).
The reason for this discrepancy is that motorbike engines are still far less advanced in terms of fuel efficiency than petrol-powered cars. Anyway technical innovation in the motorcycle industry has played a key role in progressively lowering vehicle emissions, especially in Europe. Since the introduction of the first standard for motorcycles and mopeds in 1999 (we have now reached the so called Euro 5 level), pollutant emissions have been drastically reduced. Combined emissions of HC and NOx have gone down by 96.6%, whilst carbon monoxide (CO) emissions have been reduced by 92.3%.
Is that a good news? Yes, but I am well aware that much remains to be done to improve environmental performance of motorcycles. The next step will probably be crucial: the electric revolution! I truly hope it won’t take long for the promise of electric vehicles to takes over the automotive industry, and for motorcycle manufacturers, the revelation of innovative technologies, instantaneous power delivery and lightweight cells seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Anyway I’d like to remember one thing: even if all motorbikes will be zero-emission vehicles one day, this won’t save us from the catastrphic climate change danger. The whole economic and industrial system is facing a critical challenge and has to shift towards clean energy transitions, but even that is not enough: we must preserve our environment and biodiversity, especially woods and forests, which are put at risk by agricultural expansion, cattle breeding, timber extraction, mining, oil extraction, dam construction and infrastructure development. Bikergirls surely do know that: just look at the Romanian tremendous motorgirl and Ozzy Zulum, aka the Ghost Rider, who never misses an opportunity to reconnect with wilderness, even after riding her Honda CBR600RR. As mother of twin girls, she thinks that nature is crucial for both children and adults: we need to spend more time unplugged and find ways to let nature balance our lives. So, if you’re a biker, relax: it won’t be that ride into the woods that will destroy our environment, it’s the reckless disregard towards forest degradation emergency that is doing that. So, whether you are or are not a biker, are you ready to fight?
Honda CBR 600RR
Cheating on her Honda
The new rumor circulating is that a Honda CBR600RR-R could be coming in 2021. The Japanese publication Young Machine was the first major publication to report on the rumor and then Asphalt & Rubber and some other publications picked up the story. Botn newspapers reported that this might be a possibility as Honda plans to launch a new middleweight sports bike model that complies with the Euro5 emission regulations. The CBR600RR hit a wall back in 2017 when Europe stopped selling them due to the bike’s not ranking up with the Euro4 regulations.
This was then replaced with a more subdued and ‘road-friendly’ Honda CBR650R and its naked brethren, the CB650R. Designed more as a sport-tourer rather than a full-on track-eating 600cc machine, the CBR600RR seems to be put into storage as even the Moto2 folks moved on to the bigger 765cc Triumph-powered inline-three engine. It’s somewhat true that the 600cc sports bike category is slowly have been losing popularity over the years but Honda might just have something that may reignite this particular category with the 2021 Honda CBR600RR-R. Based on its bigger and very powerful 1000cc sibling, the CBR1000RR-R, it’s a good prospect to have.
Price and specs are the key points that may affect the overall outcome of this new and possibly upcoming Honda middleweight crotch rocket (as with any other bike). While a lot of riders may not be able to afford the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP (RM198,800 here in Malaysia), the CBR600RR-R might just be a worthy choice. What do you guys think?
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Romania’s forests are the Amazon of Europe – with large wilderness areas under constant pressure from loggers. For years, corrupt authorities turned a blind eye to illegal felling. But now a series of killings in the woods has intensified demands across the continent to end the destruction. Six rangers – who defend forests from illegal cutting – have been killed in as many years. Two died in the space of just a few weeks late last year. The latest victim, Liviu Pop, father of three young girls, was shot as he confronted men he thought were stealing timber. But the men weren’t arrested. They say the ranger shot himself. And in the remote region of Maramures, where many people are involved in logging, that version is widely believed. Locals are afraid to talk about what happened. Is the lucrative logging business protected by powerful interests who turn a blind eye to murder? And are rangers sometimes complicit in the rape of the forest?
Last February, the European Commission put Romania on notice over illegal logging in the country, calling Bucharest to put an end to the traficking, or face sanctions. However, this may not be enough to tackle the issue at the heart of the wood trafficking scam.
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