In 2020, Europe and India moved forward with the implementation of the world's most stringent emission norms for motorcycles—Euro 5 and BS VI, respectively. Complying with these stringent norms has led to the introduction of a series of changes in the motorcycle hardware, especially in the single cylinder air called commuter bikes. In this video, we examine in more detail.
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In 2020, Europe and India moved forward with the implementation of the world's most stringent emission norms for motorcycles, Euro 5 in Europe and BS VI in India.
Complying with these stringent norms has led to the introduction of a series of changes in the motorcycle hardware, especially in the single cylinder air called commuter bikes, which covers a larger percentage of the motorcycle segment across the world.
The fuel injection has been moved from carburettor to port fuel injection technology to improve combustion efficiency. This can potentially lead to higher operating temperatures with air fuel ratio constantly being adjusted for optimum efficiency. This, coupled with higher specific output from the engine, can put higher stress on lubricant.
Clearly it is important for the motorcycle oil to have higher levels of piston cleanliness performance, along with improved oxidative and thermal stability. All this while ensuring motorcycle oil protects the transmission from pitting wear and support efficient wet clutch operation for smoother power transfer from engine to the wheels. In addition, with focus on improving efficiency driving the lubricant market towards lighter viscosity motorcycle oils such as 5W-30, it is essential that modern motorcycle oil is built with additive chemistry that provides enhanced wear protection.
The other significant change in the hardware is the upgrade of aftertreatment device to three-way catalyst. The three-way catalyst helps in meeting the stringent emission limits by converting the exhaust gases into less harmful components through a chemical reaction. The desired reactions are driven by activated precious metals which are situated along the wash coat of the catalyst. Phosphorus coming from motorcycle engine oil can act as a poison to the precious metal active sites in the exhaust catalyst, thereby rendering it less effective overtime.
Additionally, phosphorus volatility is found to be higher in motorcycles due to operating conditions. This means oils with lower phosphorus content along with minimized volatility of phosphorus are needed for optimal catalyst durability.
These complex new performance demands in combination with the industry specification requirements for motorcycle oils, requires a new approach to oil formulating and result in the need for new enhanced oil performance technology to deliver the right oils for future motorcycle applications.