The excitement of new model year motorbikes will be accompanied by a tinge of sadness this year.
It is down to the introduction of the new Euro 5 emissions standards on 1 January 2020 which will apply to all 2021 models.
Existing Euro 4 motorbikes and scooters which were type-approved before 1 January 2020 have had a stay of execution until the last day of this year but then it is the end of the road for them with Euro 5 mandatory from the first day of 2021.
Euro 5, which brings bikes, trikes and quadricycles to the same level as Euro 6 cars, further tightened levels of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) but also added a limit on the amount of non-methane hydrocarbons in the exhaust.
How the manufacturers get there is all very complicated, and increasingly tough as bikes become cleaner, but Euro 4 models that can’t be revamped to clean up their act will fall by the wayside.
Euro 4 Suzuki 125s will be replaced by Euro 5 models later next year.
Many models, such as the V-Strom 1050, are already Euro 5 compatible and 2021 will herald Euro 5 versions of other big-selling models.
Dave Willis, one of our directors, said: “They will no doubt come back, and there will eventually be replacements, but there are no plans at the moment.
“Manufacturers have been running stocks of Euro 4 bikes down so we’ve applied to have some of these models which are being phased out. They’re getting hard to get hold of.”
So what’s coming for 2021? Well, at the moment, there’s not a lot to go on.
“Not many manufacturers have announced 2021 models yet so it’s a bit up in the air,” he explained.
Kawasaki has revealed changes for the 21 model year Z900, Vulcan S and Ninja 1000SX ranges, with fresh colours. And optional Edition models, to cater for both sports and touring rider demands, will continue.
But we’re still waiting to hear what Suzuki and KTM have in store.
“We’re now starting to feel the backlash of getting stock and parts in with longer lead times on everything but that might also be part of the disruption from factory shutdowns due to Covid-19.”
Visit orwell.co.uk/new-bikes to find out more about the current Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki ranges.