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Cat or DeCat - what's the answer

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by BitSar, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I did search but couldn't find anything up to date on this....sorry if my search-fu is off on this one....

    However the question still begs and answer.

    It it illegal to DeCat a current bike for road use?
    I am thinking of running a straight through configuration on the Ape to let her breath a bit better......can anyone point me to some official documentation which will tell me one way or the other?

    I've looked up the ADR and EPA to no avail......again, my search-fu might be lacking at the moment.....

    Thanks in advance (y)
  2. I suspect that the EPA would try and have your balls regardless of legality. Kittens & puppies will die every time you ride without a cat converter, didn't you know?
  3. You're probably not finding anything because the law refers to them as "pollution control devices". Always difficult to find the Vic EPA legislation, but I would imagine it's not that dissimilar to NSW which makes it clear that it is definitely illegal to remove (or even look at it funny)
    Note that a "penalty unit" is somewhere around the $100 mark - so you're looking at a possible maximum fine of $20,000 :shock:.
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  4. so penalty would be less than not paying attention and punting off a rider whilst running back for donut and cupcakes?............shows that these scum environmentalists care more for dead kittens than they do riders.
  5. Seems legal to me as it "facilitates the
    Motor vehicle being used for racing" :)
  6. It gets worse to. Out of curiosity I checked to see what came under the definition of a "anti pollution device" and it includes:
    -Fuel supply system (so any re-jetting of carbs is illegal)
    -Engine ignition system (aftermarket plugs - ie iridiums )
    -Engine management system (Powercommanders etc)
    -Catalytic converter (as discussed)
    -Complying exhaust pipe (most aftermarket pipes)

    So basically if you've made any performance mods whatsoever to the engine already you may as well go and ditch the cat converter as well.
  7. Isn't it as long as you stay within factory emissions tolerances, noise levels etc, then mods are OK? I doubt any tunes or exhausts are going to keep you complying though
  8. Yeah as long as you stay within factory spec it's fine - it's the removal or adjustment of these items that is illegal. Rejetting is clearly an adjustment, and replacing parts with non OEM is obviously removal.

    Probably be okay with the iridium plugs, since NGK at least do state that they're a replacement for their copper plugs. With an aftermarket EFI or muffler I'm guessing the onus would be on you to prove the modification has actually reduced emissions.
  9. Hmmmm thanks for the info guys - and the discussion....

    It is interesting that there is no bottom line on a catalytic converter though?
    I find it strange to have it under the umbrella term "pollution control device"

    FWIW I have always been under the impression that a deCat is illegal on a road bike, however recent discussions with fellow riders led me to believe this is not the case...

    Looks like a black and white one liner in an official doco might be out of the question?
  10. The law is never black & white :p
  11. :-s
    Seems pretty clear to me. The only reason they don't have a law specifically saying "removing a cat. converter is illegal" is for the simple reason there's a lot of other stuff you're not allowed to do either (like venting the crankcase to atmosphere when you install pod air filters).
  12. Well technically a catalytic converter does reduce carbon monoxide which is a poison for every air breathing animal including kittens and puppies.


    Anyone with asthma is affected by carbon monoxide levels.

    Catalytic converters also reduce the incidence of acid rain which was getting to be an issue in the northern hemisphere in the 80's (before catalytic converters become widespread).
  13. For the sake of making the EPA look like a devil worshiping buch of bastards, i ignored the facts :p

    I've never looked into it, but i am interested in the emissions that i bike puts out in comparison to a car...cars i'm aware of, but bikes i'm completely ignorant to the levels.

    For their size and amount on the roads its obviously going to be a much lower overall total. Though quite a lot of bikes didn't come with cats until recently did they? (How many years i've got no idea, but a lot later than cars)
  14. I thought this was a cat converter
  15. They're still worse than a modern car based on emissions produced per km travelled - even if the amount of fuel they use is less.

    Most modern cars are now meeting Euro 5 standards, whereas even the best bikes are still down I think around Euro 3, which is equivalent to a late 90s car.
  16. Even if it is worse it is still better than having no converter. If you remove your converter you are adding to the pollution.
  17. ADRs do not, repeat, do not, specify any pollution control measures whatsoever for bikes beyond noise and visible smoke. You can run open bellmouths, vent crankcase to atmosphere, have open breathers on your fuel tank, run ridiculously rich and anything else you might want to do and your friendly local RTA won't give a stuff from a roadworthiness POV.

    As I've stated before, I have no idea how this gels with the inflexible and punitive approach of the various state EPAs and, I suspect, nor will anybody else until a test case happens.

    OTOH, as usual, I think the laws were written without any thought being given to motorcycles. They would have been written to nail Joe Riceburner and Fred Falcadore putting straight-throughs on. Roadside inspections will look for the absence of a cat on a car. I'd doubt if they would notice, or even look, with a bike, because bikes aren't widely expected to have them. So I reckon, whatever the law might actually decide when tested, it's a transgression you'd have a fighting chance of getting away with. Or you might not, so don't come litigating at me if you try it and get picked up :D.

    Completely different situation with a car. There you wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Bin it knowing you run the risk. Chances are you'll never get pinged for emssions but probably noise.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Yep, removing the Cat will move it down more to Euro 1 levels, or 4-5 times the mass of CO per km.

    Of course US made bikes are still allowed 6 times the level of CO than even Euro 1 standard (or 19 times current Euro 3 standard) - since the Government there hasn't bothered to change the regs on bikes since the '70s :roll:.