As the threat of the pandemic looms over all of our heads it, Manufacturers ask for delays in the Euro 5 deadline, People become creative and AMERiders has updates on the Motorcycle Racing Calendar.
Manufacturers Requesting Delay In the Euro 5 Deadline
Increasingly stringent emissions standards are making motorcycle manufacturers develop new variants, update ageing lineups, or cut models altogether. In India, we’ve seen the implementation of BS-6 regulations force Suzuki to discontinue the Hayabusa in the country and Yamaha to go back to the drawing board on the R3. With Euro 5 rules set to commence on January 1, 2021, the possibility of more model cuts looms over one of the world’s most successful motorcycle markets.
On top of that, production and development slowdowns due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic only add to the hurdles that manufacturers face with the Euro 5 deadline. Up against unprecedented challenges, motorcycle associations, industry advocates, and the manufacturers themselves are calling on EU authorities to delay Euro 5 adoption until January 1, 2022.
For those that aren’t familiar with Euro 4 and Euro 5 emissions standards, Euro 5 will demand reductions in carbon monoxide (1140mg/km to 1000mg/km), hydrocarbon (170mg/km to 100mg/km), and nitrogen oxide (90mg/km to 60mg/km). In addition to lowering previously regulated pollutants, the new rules also restrict non-methane hydrocarbons to 68 mg/km.
When it comes to new models, Euro 5 regulations were already instituted at the beginning of 2020. Models like the Honda Africa Twin 1100, Yamaha R1M, Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT, and BMW F 900 XR have been approved under the new guidelines, but the majority of manufacturer lineups need to update to the ever-increasing emission standards. Motorcycle brands won’t find a respite in the UK either, as the country is aligning its regulations with Euro 5 rules despite the current Brexit transition.
With the novel coronavirus ravaging parts of Europe, production halts at MV Agusta, KTM, and BMW factories further shrink the timeline for Euro 5 preparations. In Italy, one of the countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, influential figures in the motorcycling industry are citing supply chain slowdowns and retail shutdowns as justifications for delaying the new emissions standards by six months to a year.
“The closure of the shops, however, will prevent the sale of all Euro 4 approved vehicles,” said Brembo business director Paolo Magri in an interview with Bennetts. “With a consequent increase in the stock held in the warehouse, the risk is real that at the end of the year, manufacturers and dealers will find themselves at home with a mass of vehicles that, by law, can no longer be marketed.”
The situation is becoming so dire that ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, issued a written statement to governments and EU officials to help ease the Euro 5 deadline.
“The COVID-19 crisis is placing dealerships, most of which are small family-run operations, under extreme financial hardship,” claimed ACEM. “Against this background, the motorcycle industry urgently calls on the European Commission and national administrations to swiftly adopt all necessary measures to help the sector come through this unprecedented crisis.”
With manufacturers projecting a considerable backlog of unsold models in warehouses, remaining Euro 4-compliant machines may not be easy to sell once Euro 5 is instituted. Under current rules, manufactures can only sell Euro 4-approved motorcycles up to ten percent of the same type registered in the two previous years or up to 100 vehicles per type per Member State. If the January 2021 deadline still applies, manufacturers will be able to sell Euro 4 bikes until 2022, but if the European Union pushes Euro 5 regulations back, Euro 4 motorcycles will remain on the market longer.
While the industry could use some relief during this time of economic uncertainty, many believe that emissions standards will go a long way to reduce pollution and climate change. We’ve already seen a major drop in worldwide pollution in the month of March and advocates on both sides will have arguments for maintaining or decelerating Euro 5 standards. We’ll have to wait for the European Union’s decision, but you can rest assured that we will relay the information as soon as it’s announced. Let’s hope that the pandemic clears up quick.
Virtual Bike Build-off lets creativity flow during Pandemic
While it’s true that not every motorcycle fan enjoys working on bike-related projects, an awful lot of us do. I don’t know about you, but keeping myself busy is probably the best possible thing I can do to keep my stress levels down during the pandemic. That same line of thinking is what led Roland Sands Design to create the #CoronaVirusBikeBuildOff, which is exactly what it sounds like.
It started as the same kind of nervous joke I’m sure we’ve all been making, about how we already practice responsible social distancing every time we lock ourselves in our garages and work on our bikes. I mean, we might laugh about it, but does that make it any less true? Spring maintenance is great and all, but thinking bigger and actually building a bike for this competition is a great way to spend a whole bunch of free time you may suddenly find yourself with.
The rules are: there are very few rules. It should ideally have two wheels, although a trike is totally acceptable. If your build started as a motorcycle, RSD will probably consider it. Also, I especially like that in this video, a kid building something based on a bicycle is specifically mentioned as totally fine. Kids are home right now, so let’s get them building along with us! A bike really is like a giant 3D puzzle with oil, and I’m just gonna keep saying that because it’s true.
The contest is open worldwide, because just like motorcycling, we are all in this together. There are cash prizes, but the main thing is to give you something cool to focus on during this trying time. The deadline will be announced in the coming weeks, since none of us knows what’s going to happen just yet. Also, it’s a virtual contest, and no part of it will take place in person.
In my opinion, it’s a fantastic idea, and I also kind of feel like this video is pretty much all of us right now. We’re grateful for what we have, for each other, for our bikes, and we’re all just trying to make sense of what’s going on and also keep our spirits up. If we have a few extra bucks we can use to order some motorcycle parts online to help with our builds, that’s a productive thing we can do for both ourselves and the motorcycle world.
It’s a good reminder that community-building is how we’ll all get through this and come out stronger on the other side. Both in the larger motorcycle community, and in our small, local communities, looking out for each other gives us meaning, purpose, and hope every single day.
MotoGP, WSBK Encourage #RidersAtHome; Calendar Updates
Updates as of APRIL 6, 2020: MotoGP, Endurance World Championship, and MotoAmerica have all announced additional schedule changes for 2020.
- MotoGP: The 2020 Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France, originally scheduled for the weekend of May 15 through 17, 2020, has been postponed. No new date has been announced yet since this situation is extremely fluid right now. However, the fact that they’ve said it’s postponed rather than canceled outright indicates a hope that it will be rescheduled at a later date.
- Speedweek and Northern Talent Cup: Speedweek was originally scheduled to take place at Oschersleben from June 4 through 6, 2020. The first round of the Northern Talent Cup was also scheduled to take place as a supporting event. Both Oschersleben events have now been canceled, and the first round of the NTC is now scheduled to take place at Sachsenring from June 19 through 21, 2020.
- #RidersAtHome campaign: The FIM governing body that oversees both MotoGP and WSBK announced its #RidersAtHome initiative on April 1. The campaign is meant to encourage all types of riders around the world, from professionals to everyday commuters, to share messages of support and behaving in a responsible manner to take care of each other. In the official release, the FIM said, “Even though riding is still permitted in some countries – the FIM is requesting that ALL riders keep their motorcycles parked in order to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries that could take up valuable healthcare resources during a period when they are already under great pressure.”
- Endurance World Championship: The 8 Hours of Oschersleben was originally scheduled at the culmination of Speedweek, on June 6, 2020. Due to a ban on public gatherings, this race has been canceled and will not be rescheduled for 2020. The next EWC gathering will now be the Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan on July 19, 2020. Additionally, the Bol D’Or in Le Castellet, France from September 19 through 20, 2020 will now be considered the fifth event in the 2020 EWC calendar. If this calendar remains unchanged, it will be bookended by Bol D’Ors.
- MotoAmerica: The series already rescheduled its initial COTA opening round in accordance with the MotoGP COTA weekend; both events will now take place in November 2020. That meant Road Atlanta was to host the new MotoAmerica season opener from April 17 through 19, 2020. However, that event has now been rescheduled to July 31 through August 2 instead. Shortly after that announcement, MotoAmerica announced the cancellation of the Virginia International Raceway round originally scheduled for May 1 through 3, 2020. This race will not be rescheduled. As things currently stand, the revised MotoAmerica season is scheduled to kick off at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin from May 29 through 31, 2020. MotoAmerica is working toward having 10 events on its 2020 schedule and plans to issue calendar updates in the future.
We here at AMERiders hope that you all are staying inside and are staying at home. Some of us are in lockdown in our perspective states (mine went into lockdown last week.) It is a crazy time during the pandemic and we hope that it gets over with soon. In the meantime, stay safe, follow the safety rules and we’ll see you on the other side of this.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information During the Pandemic Euro 5 Delay Requests, Moto Creativity & Updates.
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