It’s hard to know what’s really going on when it’s not being reported.
Much less explained.
One example of this is the not-reported news – which is big news – that Honda will stop making the Goldwing motorcycle after the end of this year. Not because it isn’t selling. The Goldwing, Honda’s big touring bike, has been doing that since 1976 – almost 50 years ago. It was a hugely innovative bike that quickly became one of the most enduringly popular bikes Honda has ever offered.
The problem is complying.
Honda says the current bike’s iconic flat six engine can no longer be tweaked sufficiently to pass the latest slew of “emissions” standards that go into effect in Japan this fall.
A new-design engine, probably direct-injected and with a slew of new (expensive) “technology” would be needed – and the cost of developing such cannot be justified, because the new engine, even if “compliant” for now, would probably be unable to comply with the next ratcheting-up of these “emissions” standards, certain to be imposed within the next couple of years (if not sooner). Which would not be enough time for Honda to recover its forced “investment” in an all-new engine.
And so it is pulling the plug on its flagship bike, a model that is credited with inspiring this class of bike as well as many emulators such as the Yamaha FJR – which its manufacturer has also announced it will stop making after the end of this year, for the same reason. Other Japanese brands – including Kawasaki and Suzuki – are cancelling various models as well.
All of the affected bikes are made in Japan, where the government has decreed that motorcycle “emissions” must be reduced by 33 percent, which sounds significant – until you dig into the numbers and discover that it is “33 percent” less than the existing “percent,” which is 0.06 grams per kilometer (g/km).
In other words, significantly less than 1 percent total reduction. A meaningless reduction, insofar as air pollution. A reduction for reduction’s sake. And for another sake – that being the Final Solutioning of the Combustion Engine Problem.
That problem having nothing to do with air pollution – or “climate change” – but everything to do with cording (and so herding and controlling) mobility. Honda says it plans to “electrify” its entire lineup, meaning it is being forced to as there is no market for electric motorcycles.
Because there is no such thing.
An electric bike is a scooter – by definition. It can be made to look like a motorcycle – just as a man can be made to look like a woman – but no matter how much either may look like that which they are trying to be, neither of them is or ever can be. Without an engine, without a transmission and gears to shift, levers to pull in and release, there isn’t much to do other than sit there – and while that may be riding it isn’t motorcycling.
Electric cars may have a kind of better-appliance appeal to people who view cars as appliances, which of course they are. But people who buy motorcycles view bikes very differently. The machine matters – and a battery-powered appliance will never take the place of the machine in the hearts of bikers.
That’s why bikes are being taken away from them via this unreported – this unexplained – “emissions” rigmarole. The average person has no idea that bikes are in the crosshairs – much less why, as it is never explained. If they hear anything at all, they hear “33 percent” – and think it’s significant and so, necessary.
Honda (and Yamaha and Kawasaki, et al) could move their production lines out of Japan and relocate them here, to the United States, where “emissions” standards for motorcycles aren’t yet as impossible-to-comply with as they are in Japan. This is why Harley and Indian – which are made here – haven’t cancelled their big touring and cruiser bikes . . . yet.
But everyone knows what tomorrow will bring.
That it is only a matter of time before the U.S. regulatory regime “catches up” – as it will be styled – with the Japanese (and Euro) “emissions” standards that have caused the cancellation of the Goldwing, FJR and other “noncompliant” models made in Japan. At which point it will no longer be feasible to make them here, either. At which point, Harley and Indian will also likely be forced to “electrify” their lineup. (The Deadwire gives us a preview of this motorcycle-less future).
Honda, Kawasaki, et al aren’t run by stupid people. They can see where things are headed. They know that relocating production of outlawed bikes to America would only buy them a little more time – at great expense – before they are outlawed, again.
Ergo, why bother?
The big bikes first. Just as big engines in cars have been outlawed via regulations. Then all engines – the same as is happening to cars, so as to force electric motors into their place – in the name of insignificant reductions in “emissions” that stopped being significant decades ago, for the purpose of cording everything – and thereby tethering us.
That’s the news, in case you haven’t heard about it yet.
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