By on August 19, 2016

Harley-Davidson (Richard Ricciardi/Flickr)

The most American of motorcycle manufacturers has agreed to pay a $15 million settlement after the Environmental Protection Agency accused it of selling illegal aftermarket tuning kits.

The company’s “Screamin’ Eagle” super tuners, sold since 2008, cause motorcycles to emit excessive amounts of air pollution, the EPA claims.

Harley-Davidson has sold about 340,000 of the kits. As part of the settlement, the company will take the kits off the market, and destroy all those it has in stock. While the federal government says the company violated the Clean Air Act, Harley-Davidson disagrees.

According to the New York Times, the company claims the kits are meant for track use only. In its view, the settlement is “a good-faith compromise with the E.P.A. on areas of law we interpret differently, particularly E.P.A.’s assertion that it is illegal for anyone to modify a certified vehicle even if it will be used solely for off-road/closed-course competition.”

Most of the tuners went into road-going bikes, the EPA says. The tuning kits boost horsepower, but also increase nitrogen oxide emissions beyond allowable limits. Besides the civil fines, the company must pay $3 million towards environmental initiatives — similar to the agreement hammered out with Volkswagen.

The company was also dinged for selling 12,600 motorcycles not covered by an EPA certification. Because Harley-Davidson is a big player, the EPA chose to make an example of it.

“Given Harley-Davidson’s prominence in the industry, this is a very significant step toward our goal of stopping the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices that cause harmful pollution on our roads and in our communities,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden, head of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, in an EPA release.

“Anyone else who manufactures, sells, or installs these types of illegal products should take heed of Harley-Davidson’s corrective actions and immediately stop violating the law.”

[Image: Richard Ricciardi/Flickr]

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108 Comments on “Harley-Davidson Super-Tuned Itself out of $15 Million...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “According to the New York Times, the company claims the kits are meant for track use only. In its view, the settlement is ‘a good-faith compromise with the E.P.A. on areas of law we interpret differently, particularly E.P.A.’s assertion that it is illegal for anyone to modify a certified vehicle even if it will be used solely for off-road/closed-course competition.\'”

    This sounds like the EPA is bringing back the street car vs. race car thing again. I guess they figure that just kicking Harley-Davidson and motorcycle enthusiasts is easier than taking on SEMA and auto racing enthusiasts.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    They should have just stuck with stopping the annoying , crappy , don’t make it run any better open pipes…..
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    This means their motorcycles will only transport people around at about 40 mpg, instead of 50.

    We must stop this rampant pollution!

    • 0 avatar
      Lithe

      Not sure if you’re kidding, but – bikes have much higher emissions than cars for the same fuel consumption. All those complicated parts in a car’s exhaust system simply don’t fit on a bike. Litre-for-litre, the Harley’s going to pollute much more.

  • avatar

    Given the average Harley owner, this does not bother me one bit.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So what does this mean for everyone else who sells parts “for OFF-ROAD use ONLY”? There are some aftermarket catalogs that devote entire sections to that part of the business.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m going to guess that if you are selling so many that it’s implausible that the majority of them are going to actual off-roaders, the EPA might take an interest in you. It’s pretty obvious that there aren’t 340,000 people racing Harleys.

      I’m not sure about other states, but my state emissions-tests cars (unless they qualify for historic tags or some other exceptions) but not motorcycles, so a car with off-road mods isn’t going to pass emissions unless they swap part off for the test, but a motorcycle doesn’t have to worry about it.

      • 0 avatar
        ChesterChi

        Are there ANY people racing Harleys ? I find it unlikely that there are more than 10.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          There are those top fuel Can Hardly Davidsons.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          they’re in a lot of classes like drag racing and flat track, but those aren’t stock bikes.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            JimZ,
            I hope not! Geez what are they 12′ long and they look like they handle like sh!t.

            Actually, a lot of dedicated bikers (as opposed to the 1%’ers, bikers) don’t like Harleys.

            My friend is a dedicated Ducati fan for touring. He had a Moto Guzzi as well. He even went to Lake Como to look at the Ducati factory. Now that’s a dedicated fan.

        • 0 avatar
          bricoler1946

          Chesterchi, could be. Where I live all these clowns seem to do is drive up and down the main street with their unmuffled exhausts disturbing residents.
          As for racing Harleys leave it to the Japanese, their bikes are far superior in my opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “all these clowns seem to do is drive up and down the main street with their unmuffled exhausts disturbing residents”

            As soon as we evolve beyond our PC fetters we can begin establishing official sub-species and legislate accordingly.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            I had a 1937 EL KunckleHead when I lived in Guatemala City in 1976 , it was bone stock and easily outran all the brandy new Harley’s the rich guys and senior Army Officers had , much to their dismay and embarrassment .

            Of course , I only weighed 1603 back then .

            John , the promoter of the San Bernardino Speedway Motocycle Races , allowed anyone to run their bike on the dirt track once a year ~ I remember one fool rode his extended PanHead Chopper and had a helluvva bad time , we all laughed .

            I was asked why I didn’t take my restored ’65 FL PanHead out , why ? racing is one thing , cruising on a Fat Bob is another .

            -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      Edge was fined for selling tuners for diesel trucks in 2013. They were also labeled “for off road use only” but obviously most were used on road. The lawsuit against Harley Davidson sounds identical to Edge’s lawsuit, nearly word for word. I’m surprised it has taken 3 years for the EPA to find another victim.
      https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/edge-products-llc-settlement

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Sweet, about time they shut down the “wink wink offroad use only” Screamin’ Eagle business model.

    Now when can we start enforcing exhaust noise limits on the same machines?

    Also, bumper height requirements on pickup trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      When I was a teenager and studying “vehicle law” (1991) in order to pass my drivers test I came upon the bumper height regulation in Ohio. Being an analytical lad I whipped out a yardstick and attempted to measure it on my own body. From the ground the bumper basically needed to be no higher than my kneecap.

      How many bro-dozers would even come close?

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        I’m surprised that some rural municipality hasn’t figured out that they could institute a $1k bumper height fine and a $1k non-compliant lighting fine and then make 20 grand a day off of passing brodozers.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Probably never on,the noise regs. My brother was pulled for loud exhuast when he had his bug and as a rider drove by on his Harley making a metric crap tonne amount of noise the cop just shrugged and said; ” loud pipes save lives “.

      I’ll tell you what bothers me more are the twits that roll down the road with the high beams on. Bad enough in the rear view mirror but head on they are blinding. Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to test that in court? Win/win either way. I either walk away with little to no negative consequences or I have the satisfaction of having run over some jerk who thought it was a good idea to blind oncoming traffic as a safety measure.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m not getting why these devices are so popular. If you were interested in performance, would you buy a Harley? I know I wouldn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Its not so much the added performance but part of the personalization game. The tuner is also more about bragging rights than whatever actual performance it delivers.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      It would be hilarious if Harley was selling the rubes “Race tune ECUs” that were just standard OEM controllers with a different label and exactly the same programming.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      They are so popular because they turn your motorcycle into a true douchemobile that will annoy everyone within 300 yards, make people look at you in disgust and act as a mating call for women in nearby trailer parks.

      I wish the EPA would tackle the noise pollution. I am thinking every municipality in the country has some sort of noise ordinance, at the state level as well, why does everyone ignore these idiots.

    • 0 avatar
      Carzzi

      Ref: R&T recent column on why people buy Harleys.
      http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a30324/the-case-for-the-four-wheeled-motorcycle/

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Jack wrote that the Beetle hasn’t been available from a VW dealer in the US since 1975, but they were sold here through 1978. You could still get a new Beetle sedan in 1977 and the convertible stuck around for a model year after that.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      They’re popular because pretty much all bikes come from the factory with horrible fuEl mapping, designed to pass emissions. This makes their throttle response crap, and in the case of air cooled Harelys, makes them run hotter. One of the first mods most people make to any bike, after an exhaust, is pretty much a power commander (the real 800lb gorilla in this segment) or similar tuner. I’m not a Harley guy, but I do get why you would run one.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    So still WAY less pollution than the average weedwacker or lawnmower?

    Glad to see they’re on top of this.

    • 0 avatar
      rev0lver

      Yeah, but a weed whacker is a tool, a Harley is something driven by a tool to impress other tools.

      • 0 avatar
        LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

        This is a good place to reprise the old vacuum cleaner joke:

        What’s the difference between a noisy Hoover vacuum cleaner and a noisy Harley-Davidson?

        The Hoover has the dirt bag on the inside!

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        I ride a motorcycle, and also have a generally low opinion of Harley superfans, but I still don’t like to see this level of meddling when it comes to the aftermarket, even if it effects douchebags.

        After the douchebags, they’ll come for you.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          Does “come for you” mean “enforce emissions, noise, and lighting regulations”?

          If so, I am very supportive of this.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            No. Coming for you means shutting down fords 3rd party owned aftermarket tuning catalogue because they sell tunes. Then it means going after any company providing software modifications to ecu’s. Then the industry collapses as software tunes are a massively huge percentage of the revenue stream that distributors and installers rely on to generate profit as well as manage their credit lines. But, you know, screw people who like fat bikes or tall pickups because that’s not you.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sir, what’s the secret to giving your jackboots that mirror shine?

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Nobody is “coming for any company that sells tunes.” Harley sold 340,000 illegal kits under the false pretense that they were all going on racing bikes for off-road use only. Three hundred forty thousand. That’s a big kahuna.

          That said, I’m supportive of EPA going after any company that pulls the same scam. And frankly I’d rather they go after the end user even more: if there is a God, then there’s a special place in hell for the douchenozzles that remove the cats from their WRX or roll coal in their Ram.

          I don’t know about you, but I enjoy breathing…and I don’t like people who lie, cheat, or steal.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    If I may say, the comments on this post are glorious.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Having owned a few newer EPA-regulated air cooled bikes, they all ran like crap and WAY too lean from the factory. My ’01 Triumph Bonneville was the worst offender, I removed the air injection system from it immediately and you can literally feel the engine running much cooler, the exhaust header pipes no longer glow. My KLR650 was nowhere as bad of an offender, but it too benefited greatly from simply turning out the pilot screw a bit to richen up the low throttle response. From the factory, the screw is covered by an aluminum plug mandated by the EPA.

    My old 70s bikes conversely ran great and were easily tuneable without these silly impediments from the factory.

    It’s sad how quiet bikes are from the factory and how increased legislation aimed at the stock OEM setups only encourages the yahoos with straight-pipes. Again, my 70s bikes had a nice mellow bark: sounds like a motorcycle, without being obnoxious to bystanders. My Bonneville sounded like some sort of sewing machine and yes I ended up drilling out the baffles with a hole-saw. This had the desired effect of a bit more tone without getting anywhere close to aftermarket exhaust loud. In fact it was still quieter than my stock 1970s motorcycles.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      gtemnykh,
      I do know here in Australia there are quite a few very noisy Harleys. If my 4 wheeled form of transport made as much noise a defect sticker would be placed on my vehicle.

      Harleys seem to get away with it, actually bikes in general. There are some very noisy chook chasers around as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Modern liquid cooled EFI bikes from competent OEMs run just fine bone stock.

      If a new motorcycle doesn’t run properly you need to select a better motorcycle, not monkey with the fuel mapping.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        bikegoesbaa,

        How about getting off your high horse?

        All of the bikes in question are carbureted and air cooled, why even bring up liquid cooled EFI bikes? A bit of a “let them eat cake” statement on your behalf.

        The air cooled bikes really suffer with factory fueling, it is simply WAY too lean. No other way to meet emissions standards. I’ll keep tuning them as necessary to ensure reliable long term running and smooth power across the rev range, thank you very much.

        I’m not the guy sitting at the light blipping the throttle on his barely running straight-piped Harley, just an engineering-inclined motorcycle enthusiast who hates hamstrung/hobbled machinery.

        As an aside, find me a single stock new bike that sounds as sweet as an uncorked Honda CBX from 35 years ago:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTcA6DIeAyI

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          An honest question, why is anyone trying to make a carbureted air-cooled vehicle at all in the year 2016, especially if they know it’s going to run like garbage? There hasn’t been a carbureted air-cooled automobile for about 40 years, and for good reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “Modern liquid cooled EFI bikes from competent OEMs run just fine bone stock.”

        Not all of them. 2013-2015 Can Am models for example run so lean the plastics melted on the side of many of the bikes. I don’t have any solid numbers on how many but it was enough of a problem for Can Am to come up with reflective heat tape sections around the pipes for any customers that bring them in with deformed plastics.

        Harley has had their share of problems as well, but most of their issues are because they’re too stuck on their past to make the jump to liquid cooled.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          It’s a stretch both to hold up Can-Am as a competent OEM, and to refer to their product as a “bike”.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            A V twin is a V twin and emission requirements are the same so I’m not sure where you see the difference?

            Given the engines are built by Rotax I’d consider them more competent than Harley Davidson. Rotax engines are used in over 200 aircraft manufacturers so the technology is certainly available for them to draw on.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      honestly I think nearing the end of the air-cooled engine for a passenger motor vehicle. It’s very hard to keep them cool when you don’t have the airflow, and with emissions standards you can’t just run them rich all the time to try to keep temps down.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Jim I’m afraid you’re right. I guess I’ll be happy enough to keep tootling around on my old air-cooled bikes, they’ll last my lifetime and then some.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        This has nothing to do with the epa trying to shut down air cooled motorcycle production. This is about the epa and doj finding a party with too much to lose to take a public stance against their enforcement authority. I hadn’t heard about this until now, and it is exactly what the epa was grilled about by our congressional representatives in the heels of the recent dust up about their sneaky rule change attempt.

        They win. They got their fresh precedent.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      My air-cooled 2013 CB1100 had horrible stock fuelling. A power commander 5 basically turned it into a different bike. It’s incredibly hard to make an air cooled machine pass modern emissions requirements, and most of these bikes suffer for it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Harley Davidson are fully aware of how their tuning kit is used. There argument is so baseless.

    Only $15 million. Imagine if it was a German bike manufacturer like BMW the fine would of been lots more.

  • avatar
    John

    Everyone who owns a Harley with a Screamin Eagle kit just saw the value of their bike go up.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The rear cylinder of the Harley V-Twin runs a lot hotter than the front one (which partially blocks the air to the rear cylinder), so if you have a single carb/throttle body, you gotta run it rich.

    Even brand-new Harleys should be classified as “Antique or Classic Vehicles” which would make them exempt from EPA pollution regulations. We all know that they’re tacitly exempt from the EPA noise regulations already…

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “We all know that they’re tacitly exempt from the EPA noise regulations already…”

      they are not, no more “exempt” than any of those Mustangs out there running around with catless “off-road” X-pipes and 2 chamber flowmasters.

      http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/jz78817/IMG_0250_zpsfb3emglq.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      If you ever try to buy a Hog, the dealer will try to get you to buy noise pipes and put them on for you before delivery. Don’t forget your $20K either. So Harley has to meet sound regs as they leave the factory. They just don’t stay that way.

      As for emissions, I’m surprised that the V twin can even pass a simple test. What is the number of degrees between plug firings? Something like 400 degrees. Harleys are new antiques, but the faithful want them that way. Being my experience is limited to a Yamaha and a BMW, and have been bitten by the smoothness and power, especially from the Yamahahaha, I don’t see anybody buying a Hog for performance. Can they even pop a wheelie?

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Can they even pop a wheelie?”

        https://youtu.be/E-0PW85ok8A

        I’d be great if Harley would put some emphasis on their performance past.

        I’d love a modern, street legal XR750.

        It also be great to see an updated version of Lucifer’s Hammer but I think those days are long gone.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        who gives a s**t if they can “pop a wheelie?” Why would I even want to do so? I’m not interested in wasting time and effort to impress 17-year-olds. the only thing dumber is “stoppies.”

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Wait…I thought the point of modifying a Harley was to make it smell like a refinery, load up, foul the plugs, generally not idle worth a damn, make less power than stock…right?

    I mean, can approximately a million Harley riders be wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yet nobody bats an eye when some kid outfits his Mustang with catless X-pipes, muffler deletes, cam phaser locks, and some dodgy PCM tune.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        In my state the Mustang would fail emmisions testing. Never seen a bike there though…

      • 0 avatar
        hotdog453

        Or all the imports with tunes and cat-deletes. Both my 2002 and 2015 WRXes are running without a cat and are tuned; I guarantee they’re not passing emissions, based on smell alone. Companies still sell the parts as ‘off road only’. I guess I’m honestly surprised Harley themselves were selling something that put them out of compliance; that just seems, well, stupid.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        You’ve mentioned this a couple times already and I’m not sure how you’ve reached this conclusion. My neighborhood has a d!ck on a loud bike and a prick in a loud STi, both love to run down the residential streets at full throttle bursts. My ears care not for four wheels or two; I despise them equally and if the universe saw fit to end them both simultaneously in some improbable mutual head-on impact my primary reaction would be “good, a few hundred people can now sit on their front porches in peace and no innocents were harmed in the process”

        • 0 avatar
          zipster

          Cops appear to believe that it is beneath their pay grades to enforce vehicle noise laws. I have discussed this issue with several cops and they always, very patient and lawyer-like, state that it takes specialized testing equipment to prove an infraction. For this application, they appear to have forgotten the use and effect of testimonial evidence. If a cop lived on your street, this behavior would probably soon end.

  • avatar

    For commenters at a motor vehicle enthusiast blog, most here sure seem to hate motor vehicle enthusiasts/hobbyists.

    • 0 avatar
      motorrad

      Seriously. The EPA isn’t going after stock cycles, they are going after items installed or meant to be installed by Joe Shmoe. Enthusiasts should worry as bureaucracies never stop. They are always expanding their reach in order to grow. People on this site should worry what they will come after next.

      • 0 avatar
        Lithe

        I’m not worried. They’re keeping bikes honest. Riders shouldn’t have these polluting mods in the first place, and companies shouldn’t be able to sell them.

        * own a bike and a car myself

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          Even if you personally have contempt for the practice it is a cornerstone of a multi billion dollar industry. This settlement was sought in the face of clear congressional direction that off road labeled goods not be considered subject to the clean air act. The epa and doj just spit in the eye of Congress and overwhelming public response and no one noticed until or was a done deal. Shame on them for that and I would absolutely support an initiative to limit their funding for similar future endeavors or a wholesale re write of the caa.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I agree with tedward. The underlying acts that the EPA abuses need to be addressed. We’ve surrendered all of the protections our forefathers established for us in the name of mass hysteria.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Even if you personally have contempt for the practice it is a cornerstone of a multi billion dollar industry.”

            yeah, well, tobacco is a multi-billion dollar industry.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            IT IS NOT AN OFF-ROAD DEVICE. Everyone involved was crystal-clear that this wasn’t its intended use at all. Repeating a lie, even 340,000 times, does not make it true.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Hotpotato

            What are you talking about? It is a device that modifies a vehicles function, and there are off road occasions where that has historically been permissable. Motorsports are one example. Now, when they go after devices whose sole or primary function is disabling emissions diagnostics tools it’s another matter. The only purpose for that is to scam an emissions inspection. A device whose primary purpose is in line with “off road” uses however (such as increasing power or responsiveness), is entirely different.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Frank, you are assuming that being an “enthusiast” means having the right to modify your vehicle of choice in any way you want with no regard for those around you. That is not my definition, and probably not that of many others. There are plenty of examples – coal rollers, trucks jacked up to the moon, catless exhausts. All of those endanger others around them. Like it or not we don’t all live in silos; our actions may affect others. Does one car with no cats running super rich really make a difference? No, unless you are stuck in traffic behind him. Rear end a lifted truck an you are going to have a differential in your face. The irony of some of these mods is that they make little improvement in performance. Removing a high flow cat in and of itself has no effect.

      Unlike the Mustang example above, it is easy to pick on Harley riders because the bikes universally loud and obnoxious. For every screaming Mustang there are thousands that don’t wake the dead.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        This isn’t in any way specifically targeted at catless downpipes (which I wouldn’t buy either but thats not the point). This is about shutting down any and all modification to drivetrains that are certified as road legal. People don’t seem to realize that the rule is so broadly written that every single component is effected.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          And this is the end of maintaining older vehicles too. Every part will have to be OEM and DOT stamped, and good luck with that when basic maintenance parts of some of the best selling vehicles on the road are NLA a decade after they leave production.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “..most here sure seem to hate motor vehicle enthusiasts/hobbyists.”

      No, just dirtball pigs who enjoy scaring nice people.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        “Dirtball pigs”? Around here most Harley owners are cops, lawyers, accountants, etc. They’re hardly the 60s biker demographic, more like Walter Mitty types.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          If they’re deliberately ear-splitting, it fits.

          • 0 avatar
            skor

            Immature? probably. Fantasists? That too. Criminal types or societal dropouts? Not likely.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Quite right; they’re American Heroes.

            Someone call CNN.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            How about memorial, charity and tribute “rides”? The only thing louder once they’re underway is an NHRA drag race. The few non-Harley bikes are Gold Wings (very quiet), or are usually explained by “My Hog is in the shop.”

            Their eardrum-bending philanthropy could be circumvented by simply writing a check, but that’s not what it’s about, is it?

            I’m not at all against adults having some fun, but not when it infringes on the rights of others.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “but that’s not what it’s about, is it?”

            I think it’s about:

            “Yeah, well, the flight deck of the Enterprise was a noisy damn place when all the Hellcats and Avengers were waiting to take off, too. We’re just like those guys!”

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          You’re right – they are off-duty cops and firemen and volunteer firemen, who all get the “professional courtesy” treatment regarding their loud pipes from the on-duty cops.

          And I have no sympathy for mods that make vehicles twice as loud and pollute more – I have a 2011 GTI, modified by APR, that makes 232 whp and 272 wtq. on a Dynojet, up from 202/215 stock, and it’s no louder and effortlessly passes the NY State sniffer inspection, uses no oil and fouls no plugs, and runs perfectly for 56,000 miles so far.

          If you insist upon having a vehicle with an evolutionary dead-end of a powerplant that is louder and pollutes more, and runs poorly when modified, and, if quite a few commenters here are to be believed, doesn’t even run well STOCK, I’m not going to bat for you. You’re not going to be happy until you ruin the modding hobby for all of us – mods that meet pollution and noise regs are NOT the reason the EPA is doing what it’s doing here.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Fordson
            APR stage 1
            That’s the enthusiast that should absolutely be the most worried. Again, this has nothing to do with Harleys specifically. Your car is in violation of the caa as originally written, and as the epa and doj are seemingly warming up to begin enforcing it. Appeals to tailpipe emissions in the real world is literally besides the point, although it shouldn’t be, the law prohibits the modification.

            I’m not partial to Harleys either, and straight piped bikes of all types aggravate me too, but this is not at all about a regulation or law that is aimed at those vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “No, just dirtball pigs who enjoy scaring nice people.”

        FFTW (Fridge For The Win).

  • avatar
    bunkie

    i have over 40 years of motorcycling under my belt and have owned 11 motorcycles. Despite that, I had never ridden a Harley until recently. Aside from the obnoxiously loud ones, I have nothing against Harleys or Harley riders, they are fellow motorcyclists.

    I can certainly understand the desire for more performance as the Springer Softail I rented was gutless up top and, surprisingly, didn’t seem to have the torque that I expected. I have never been so disappointed in a motorcycle as that one.

    The bike did have its charms, but they were limited to a noarrow range of the operating envelope. Outside that envelope it was truly awful. By the end of the day, I was desperate to return it. I guess I’m just one of those people who “wouldn’t understand it”, as they say.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I wonder if the epa has its eye on taking a cut of the aftermarket industry through a truly national carb sticker type parts certification process. It’s a recurring funding stream and this is the modern united states government after all.

  • avatar
    skor

    I don’t know why the EPA is so worried. The average age of a new Harley buyer is so high, Harley doesn’t even report that stat anymore. I can’t imagine these geezers riding more than a few miles a year. The average lawn mower engine probably has more hours on it than does the average Harley engine.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      You’d be surprised – quite a few HD riders put 10-15k/year on their bikes; they take the “ride-to-live/live-to-ride” mantra very seriously.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        Maybe, not what I’m seeing where I live.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          unless you’re personally tracking all of the Harley riders where you live, you’re not seeing *anything.*

          • 0 avatar
            skor

            You’re correct, I’m not seeing much. What little I see are pristine bikes, absolutely spotless, with zero signs of wear and tear, that are taken out on sunny 75 degree days, for a couple of hours at a time, before they are returned to the garage for 2 weeks of cleaning and polishing. Not anything like the bikers I knew from when I was a kid. They are really just hobbyists, who play biker a few times a year.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Besides the civil fines, the company must pay $3 million towards environmental initiatives — similar to the agreement hammered out with Volkswagen.”

    Seriously, I hope someone is following the money on these “environmental initiatives”.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is exactly my problem with carbon taxes, congestion taxes and other non gas-fix the roads-related taxes.

      I agree that we are consuming planet like any other bacteria and will soon out-eat our petri dish. Climate change is real, but this time we are the cause, not a volcano or asteroid.

      If the money went for guaranteed environmental remediation, I would support it.

      It goes into General Revenues….that makes it a regular tax, no matter how important. No Sale.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    “Harley-Davidson Super-Tuned Itself out of $15 Million…”

    Or to put it another way,

    “Harley Davidson Pays Out Almost A Full Day of Profits in Penalties”

    Harleys are fine bikes for what they are built for. You can even coax a good deal of performance out of them if you want. They are slowly adopting liquid cooling, and have a few relatively modern designs like the V-Rod (Porsche engine) and the new Street 750 and 500 models. 4 valve heads coming up soon. Having Victory/Indian on their tail seems to be sparking some improvements in the line. The old canard about oil leaks and engines blowing up have been debunked for a few decades now. Evo engines have been racking up multiple hundreds of thousands of miles without incident for 30 years.

    Having said that, the “For Offroad Use Only” has been a nod and a wink for an entire aftermarket industry for decades now. I guess it was just a matter of time before the hammer fell. I’ll keep my deeply unsexy and immensely tuneable oil cooled Suzuki for the foreseeable future and mod it as I see fit, secure in the knowledge that nothing so much as a book mite has suffered because of it.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The real goal here is to hold up a $3 million cheque to the cheering masses, using noisy motorcycles as the most convenient scapegoat.

    Let’s see how many are cheering when the EPA decides to ban gas lawnmowers, fishing boats, or morning commutes exceeding 10 miles… all of which are bigger polluters than a mildly-modified motorcycle.

    Big Government is a great idea as long as it only affects other people.

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    All those supertuning kits to give the hogs sufficient oomph to haul their lardass riders around. Stock bike doesn’t have enough power to do so.

    Come to think of it, this could be a federal conspiracy to keep annoying tattooed fat people off the road, making room for more skinny Prius drivers who support the present regime.


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