Despite the fact Harley-Davidson has sold its Super Tuners to be used for off-road or competition use and not on public roads, The Motor Company has reached an agreement with the EPA to stop selling its Super Tuners, which essentially reflash the ECU for optimum EFI performance. A byproduct of the Tuner’s installation is the motorcycle emitting higher emission levels than what was originally certified with the EPA.

Even though Harley-Davidson has said in a statement that it disagrees with the EPA and that the company has done no wrong-doing since the Super Tuners were sold for competition use only, it has agreed to stop selling Super Tuners as an act of good faith.

After the scandal revolving around Volkswagen and dieselgate, it’s understandable that the EPA is paranoid, but this agreement with Harley-Davidson could have started aftermarket tuners down a slippery path. Which leads to the question:

  • Motorcycles make up such a small portion of the emissions total, I’m not sure why they even bother…

    • major tom

      Power, it’s ll about their power over us, after all the elites know what’s best for us. They don’t have to live with it either they are above the law. Appointed bureaucrats, no one elected them but today laws don’t count, they do.And The US Supreme Court, but that’s a whole different story.

  • Born to Ride

    Harley doesn’t manufacture competition oriented vehicles. It doesn’t make a whole lotta sense that a brand that produces purely road oriented machines would also sell a product that makes them illegal by state law. Very stupid attempt to grab some more customization cash.

    • Thomas Schafer

      That’s not quite accurate. There’s an entire road series based on the XR1200. There is a drag series for VRod. There’s the Draggin’ Bagger circuit. And there’s just a huge crowd of amateur race aficionados who like to take their bikes on the track, whether Harley or Honda or Indian or other. Just because Harley doesn’t get involved in supersport doesn’t mean the bikes don’t go on the track or appeal to racers both pro and amateur. When you look at the numbers of race tuner units sold versus the number of bikes sold per year, you can see that it represents a minority of owners…something like 10%.

      • Born to Ride

        Do they still run the XR1200s? I saw them race in Laguna years ago and it was awesome! To this day I still would love to own one. But, the bike had been long discontinued even then. I actually stopped by the paddock and talked to one of the teams lead mechanics (Try doing that with one of the motoGP teams) and he confirmed that the bikes were getting hard to come by where they were from.

        • Thomas Schafer

          It seems they didn’t run the pro series for 2016…I never saw any official announcement that the series is dead, and I’ve seen amateur XR spec races still running. I’m hoping that the series comes back. It was some good racing! And, yeah those bikes are getting harder to come by. Wish I had picked one up a few years ago. I’ve seem a few listed on eBay at prices higher than what they were new!

      • Max Wellian

        And then there’s drag racing.

      • dratomic888

        There is no racing class where Harley can go head to head against the rest of the world. They are only competitive in Harley vs Harley classes. Or in NHRA where the rules have been bent to allow modifications not allowed by any other manufacturers. What will they do when the VRod is dropped from the line up?

  • john phyyt

    The question answers itself. And it is the question state legislature will be testing. I guess I have always know that the pipe and reflash which so sharpens my bike were illegal. This will drive everything underground. It may also increase the demand for earlier bikes . But , like killing 2 strokes, it may force the manufacturers to try even harder to give us everything. Or maybe the advantage ,non-gas ,bikes need to become main stream.

  • DickRuble

    It’s a good precedent. Tuners should ensure that the “tuned” bike still meets legal requirements. Performance does not have to be the antonym of legal.

    • Vern Terwilliger

      Oh boy. Go to panera bread and vote for hillary already

  • Jeff Keene

    5th option: I am not a legal expert and I don’t know. I do of course fear the worst because fearing the worst is what humans do when shit changes.

    Just don’t take away my slip on exhausts. I can’t go back to the stock missile launcher that Kawasaki put onto my Versys 1k.

  • JMDonald

    F¥€£ the EPA.

  • Buzz

    It’s called graft. The EPA is part of the leftist graft machine.

    The First Clinton machine set the precedent with the tobacco settlement.

    The government is no different than the mafia showing up at your door and telling you to make a monthly payment for “security” or “trash pickup.”

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • kenneth_moore

      This is satire, right?

      • Buzz

        Not at all Kenneth. The EPA has gone way beyond it’s original mission and is filled with corruption and incompetence.

        When you turn a river in Colorado orange and walk away from it as if nothing happened, you don’t really care about the environment all that much.

        • sgray44444

          absolutely! I live in a county where emissions testing is a requirement for my cars. At one time not long ago, the munitions plant 2 miles to the north planned to open burn dozens of buildings which had PCB based paint on them, until my family and others screamed our heads off at the lack of protection from a REAL environmental threat and how the EPA refused to protect us. They quickly decided to use a wet deconstruction method (to avoid explosion), so it all went into the ground water instead. The EPA are just like the police: always there with an attitude when you don’t want them, and seldom around when you really need them.

          • Buzz

            I just read an article today about the stupid ethanol mandate and the EPA. The EPA was required by the law to deliver a comprehensive study 3 years after the mandate went into effect and they just totally ignored it. No study. Too expensive and too time consuming they say.

            Meanwhile, we’re stuck with ethanol in our fuel which is a Yuuuge Disaster.

          • sgray44444

            Ethanol is at best a joke, and at worst completely immoral. It doesn’t deliver net returns on energy. So much is used to grow and process it that it is almost a total wash. It’s bad for automotive fuel systems. It produces less energy by volume than gasoline. Worst of all, it uses viable farm land that could be used to grow food for hungry people but instead goes to a science experiment prompted by radical idealism and reinforced by a corrupt and scientifically ignorant government. In a world where people actually still do go hungry, it’s a crying shame! I understand that they are working on producing it using alternative methods and materials. Great. When it’s producing even half the net energy of fossil fuel we will begin to think about using it. Until then, they need to repeal the mandate, which is set up and enforced by an non-elected and unchecked bureaucracy.

  • Tod Rafferty

    H-D agreed to disagree, so they settled. Unlikely the long-terms effects will amount to much. Would be interesting to know how the issue originated, and why.

  • JohnnyS

    Does anyone here actually remember the 1960s? The faint reek of raw gasoline from every car, and the bad air in the big cities? The thin film of grease and filth that was on every window of the house and had to be cleaned off several times a year?

    Like it or not, the EPA did a GOOD thing. They got rid of lead in fuels, which is a huge health benefit today. They cleaned up the air a LOT and helped to deal with environmental issues like Love Canal and other disasters.

    So instead of motor vehicles spewing pollution, we have cleaner ones that don’t spew nearly as much toxic crap into the air. AND we still have fast cars: Nobody is going to say a new Challenger or Mustang is not objectively faster and better handling than an old one. You can get 707 hp in the Challenger: Not even the Ford Cobra had that much! And if you factor in inflation, the cars aren’t much more expensive than they used to be.

    So over the years, the motorcycle companies had to clean up their engines so their bikes didn’t pollute: They had to add EFI, catalytic converters, hardened valve seats and so forth, and they all did it. These days a BMW S1000RR is a heck of a sportbike, MUCH better than the old R90S. The Kawasaki ZX-10 is a way better bike than a Mach IV. A Hayabusa is way better than a Water Buffalo. Modern motorcycles run WAY cleaner and faster than the old ones.

    Except for one manufacturer. In this thread, everyone is OK blaming the EPA for their lack of performance. Somehow HD have tapped into a latent hatred of Americans for government and they’ve managed to BS that their lack of engineering talent is really caused by nasty “big gummint”.

    Come on, sheeple! Wake up! EVERY other motorcycle manufacturer can seem to build fast, powerful motorcycles under EPA rules for all 50 states! Even the Chinese and the Koreans and the South Asians can do it. USA makers like Polaris, Indian and Motus can do it and build REAL motorcycles that are fast and clean, with no whining about EPA rules! Stand up for yourselves and tell your favorite motorcycle manufacturer to get off their *ss and start designing motorcycles that make REAL power WITHOUT pretending that it’s all the “gummint’s” fault.

    Disclaimer: I don’t give a tinker’s d*mn for either Hillary or Donald: I just want to ride and breathe clean air too!

    • Jon Jones

      Great post, great points all.

    • Donald Silvernail

      I think you are oversimplifying how well these new bikes actually run – especially the Euro 4 compliant bikes. The fact that the fuel gets shut off completely below a certain throttle opening and then suddenly switches on again as the rider rolls the throttle back on has been a huge problem for the manufacturers to get right. Some still haven’t accomplished it. It seems to be a given that as soon as the manufacturers have figured out a way past Euro 4 we well get Euro 5,6 & 7. How much is our breathing improved by going from Euro 3 to Euro 4 as far as motorcycles are concerned? Does anybody really know? Haven’t we already reached the point of diminishing returns? The aesthetics are already gone as far as exhaust systems on bikes are concerned. I do think that the bike makers have become very cleaver at masking the compromises forced upon us and if you are OK with that, fine. Everybody has a different limit I guess.

      • sgray44444

        I’d have to agree. We’re at a point now where it’s clean enough. At what point does it go from logic to a religion and politically-driven idealism? At what point does it go from the public’s best interest to police state? I’ll freely admit that I don’t trust our government at all, so my bias is out in the open. And I don’t believe that our cars and bikes are the gross polluters they once were. If they were so concerned about the environment, they would put a huge tariff on Chinese goods until they meet the same environmental standards. Where we are is at the threshold of diminishing returns, in my opinion.

        • Donald Silvernail

          How right you are. Continuing to slice the allowable pollution limits thinner and thinner risks turning the public off to the whole idea. It begins to look like these bureaucrats are only interested in justifying their jobs. One look at China’s air quality is enough to convince me that we need pollution controls. I would even entertain the idea that gas powered motorcycles will eventually have to go, but these guys seem bent on getting it done in the next few years.

    • Max Wellian

      I think the EPA regulating this stuff on cars is fine. They can regulate boats and lawnmowers too AFAIC. But those vehicles do not require sitting atop the engine. Also, lurchy on/off throttle response, stalling etc are not things that are likely to cause many drivers consternation, but could well lead to a wreck on a bike.
      I’m all for moderate regulations on bikes too, but they are making most of them ride like crap without aftermarket fueling devices.

  • dratomic888

    This is not a bad thing. After all it has been illegal to modify the intake or exhaust of any street going VEHICLE to levels that exceed EPA standards, since 1978. BMW started years ago saying what are the most restrictive standards in the world and build to that spec: One bike, meets all specs. Harley continues to whine they must build 8 versions of every bike, to sell to the world. BMW sport bike making 190 plus hp, touring bike 160 hp, Harley, 80-90 hp. Hummm, technology what a concept.

  • Drake Wilson

    There should be a 5th option, “I have an electric, so I know the EPA can’t touch me.”

    • Buzz

      For now. Wait until people start needing to dispose of thousands of highly toxic batteries.

      The EPA will also be able to graft onto the mining industry as well. Batteries aren’t made of unicorn tears you know.

      • Drake Wilson

        True, batteries are not made of unicorn tears, but lithium isn’t mined either. It’s pumped out of the ground along with other salts, usually way out in the desert. And most of the material in the batteries are recyclable. That doesn’t really matter though because my battery is rated for 158,000 miles, so it should outlive the rest of the bike. How long does your motor last?

        • Buzz

          Sounds like fracking. Don’t tell Ken.

          You can rate your battery for however long you long. With a 60 mile range you’ll never get close to 158,000 miles.

          • Drake Wilson

            It’s the same process that gets you well water.
            And I put on 4500 miles in the first year doing commuting alone. That’s twice the average rider’s mileage.

          • Buzz

            34 years to go and we’ll find out if that mileage claim is true!

  • Jon Jones

    Now go after the loud pipes assholes.

  • MadDog Jaxson

    This is really all about Exhaust and air
    Harley wouldn’t sell a single motorcycle if they sounded like a rice burner with a western accent, After market tuners live on!

  • Kyle

    I think everyone here raises some interesting points on the issue.
    My opinion: In the grand scheme of things, making competition-only vehicles not emissions-complient won’t impact the environment much in and of itself. But the problem is that people looking for extra performance out of their ride tend to put competition-only stuff on street-going vehicles and think it’s okay. It is here where the real issue lies, I think. The offender might say, yea but it’s just one thing or one vehicle or whatever, but if people don’t care about this stuff, it could be a big problem. I may sound a bit hippy-dippy, but as someone who rides his bike on both the street and the track, I’m not going to be blatantly putting a full system on my bike, removing my catalytic converters and other emissions equipment, or the like. Because if everyone did it, we’d have serious air quality issues and I dont want that. At all. What the EPA should be doing instead of saying that all of these products are bad is investigating how to regulate their dissemination so they only get onto competition/off-road vehicles. But then people don’t like to be regulated, do they? Something about encroaching upon freedoms… But we all need rules, don’t we? I think so. I won’t comment much on the rule makers, but rules should be followed for the benefit. If the rule doesn’t work when followed, it can be re-done through due-process, but we shouldn’t ignore them because we think they’re stupid.
    Kinda went on a rant there at the end… I’m done.