Do Bikes Have Catalytic Converters

Clean Riding: Do Motorcycles Have Catalytic Converters?

Catalytic converters help turn toxic substances produced during internal combustion in automobile vehicles into less harmful ones. 

They have become increasingly popular in recent years, and some regions of the world strictly require all automobile vehicles to have them.

This might make all avid automotive vehicle fans wonder whether all means of transportation, such as buses, motorbikes, and boats, have a catalytic converter.

For example, do motorbikes have catalytic converters? Can they be used without one?

Do Motorbikes Have Catalytic Converters?

The simple answer is that all motorcycles have catalytic converters. But in reality, not all models have them. Usually, the reason behind it is that they’re older models that have been produced before it was mandatory to install catalytic converters on motorbikes.

As a result, all modern bikes are equipped with a catalytic converter. Older models might not have them, though. 

So, be sure to check the requirements where you live, as some places demand that all vehicles comply with their emissions standards, no matter when they were produced. 

What do catalytic converters do in motorcycles?

What do catalytic converters do in motorcycles?

Catalytic converters in motorbikes perform the same task they do in all other automobile vehicles.

A catalytic converter is a form of filter that turns harmful chemicals produced during internal combustion in a vehicle, such as carbon monoxide, into less harmful ones, like water vapor and carbon dioxide.

This helps reduce the negative impact of fossil fuel gas emissions on the environment and makes bikes a less-damaging-for-the-environment form of transportation.

Most modern bikes these days have catalytic converters since they need to comply with modern exhaust emissions laws. 

Older bikes, such as those produced before these laws came into place, don’t have catalytic converters but can still be used.

Do all motorcycles have catalytic converters?

These days, catalytic converters are extremely important. Most regions of the world have a requirement concerning all cars and other vehicles and the emissions they produce. 

So, unless you have a fully-electric car, your car or motorbike definitely has a catalytic converter since it’s fuel-powered.

When it comes to motorcycles, though, not all models are equipped with such filters, but this mostly applies to older bikes.

Back in the day, there were no requirements when it came to gas emissions. So, older bikes weren’t designed to have catalytic converters, and there’s also no space to install them on these models.

Depending on the region of the world, catalytic converters became the norm at different times. So, all bikes produced before those specific dates are still allowed to be used, even if they don’t have catalytic converters.

Do all motorcycles have catalytic converters?

So, it’s safe to say that all modern motorbikes. It’s also better for the environment to ride a motorcycle that does have a catalytic converter. But it’s still possible to spot bikes without this type of filter present.

What types of motorcycles don’t have catalytic converters?

Every vehicle that has an engine produces toxic waste, and motorbikes are included.

Motorcycles rely on internal combustion, which produces harmful substances that are released into the air. So, to minimize the toxicity of these substances, bikes need catalytic converters.

With that said, catalytic converters weren’t the norm back in the day. So, there are still many motorcycles on the road that don’t have catalytic converters. 

The law about emissions doesn’t apply to these vehicles, so they can be used with a catalytic converter.

So, there are still some motorbikes in use that don’t have catalytic converters, but all modern bikes do.

Can a motorcycle run without a catalytic converter?

In general, a motorcycle will run without any problems when a catalytic converter is removed. But you shouldn’t do it since it’s illegal in most parts of the world.

Tampering with this type of filter and your motorbike’s exhaust system can get you fined since you’re breaking the emissions law. 

Catalytic converters minimize the toxicity of the substances produces during internal combustion. So, if you remove this filter, your bike becomes a serious pollutant.

On the other hand, older bikes that were produced before the law enforcing catalytic converters came into existence can run legally without any problems. 

These bikes don’t have the place to have a catalytic converter installed, so they’re still allowed to be used without one.

Do catalytic converters slow down motorcycles?

Do catalytic converters slow down motorcycles?

Many people believe that this additional weight on a motorcycle can slow down its performance. However, tests show that catalytic converters only cause a small reduction in power in vehicles.

This is because they do make the engine work harder, which puts extra strain on the bike. But this reduction has been shown to be insignificant as compared to bikes without a catalytic converter.

It’s also important to remember that even though you’re losing some speed, you’re producing fewer gas emissions when riding your bike with a catalytic converter. This makes your motorbike better for the environment, so it’s a win-win situation. 

On the other hand, catalytic converts may malfunction, become clogged, or simply need replacement, just like other types of mechanical equipment. And this can affect your bike’s speed and performance.

If your catalytic converter is clogged, this exhaust buildup can reduce performance and make your bike run much slower than it normally does. 

A clogged catalytic converter can make a motorbike feel like it has no speed. It may also be difficult to start up.

When that happens, make sure to get your bike serviced to check if it is, in fact, the catalytic converter’s fault. 

Sometimes, there are other things that can cause a sudden decrease in the bike’s speed. So, a mechanic will help you determine what’s wrong. 


As you can see, modern bikes are all equipped with catalytic converters. The reason behind it is stricter regulations when it comes to gas emissions by non-electric vehicles. So, even motorbikes had to comply with these.

On the other hand, motorbikes manufactured before the date when catalytic converters became a must for all automobile vehicles don’t have converters. These are still allowed to be used normally.

Sources: MDPI, European Parliament, and Taylor & Francis Online

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