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new ulez test centre could save owners of older bikes money

Riders of older motorcycles in London have been handed a potential lifeline thanks to a new TfL-approved emissions testing centre being set up that should see many older bikes be exempted from the upcoming ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) charge which comes into force on 8 April.

To enter this zone, all motorcycles which are not Euro 3 compliant (ie, manufactured prior to 2007) will have to pay £12.50 per day.

However, there is a grey area, and some pre-2007 motorcycles can meet the emissions criteria –  that is, produce less than the 0.15 g/km limit TfL have set – so older bikes could be exempt as long as owners can prove their low NOx emissions.

Some bikes were tested for this when manufactured but many were not, so until now there was no way of proving a bike’s emissions were under the limit. Now, however, Riverbank Motorcycles, which is the only TfL-approved facility for testing bikes, has removed that problem.

Situated close to the London Olympic Park, the test centre is run by John Rusby and Neil Freeman who have adapted their dyno by sourcing new exhaust gas measuring equipment.

Bikes are placed on the dyno, run through the test three times, which involves idling, acceleration and deceleration, and an average is then taken. Much like an MOT, the result is a straight pass or fail.

Freeman says well-maintained, properly set-up and cared-for bikes stand a much better chance of meeting the standard and passing the test. If a bike passes the test, the results are uploaded straight to the TfL database resulting in an exemption.

For more information, or to book a test for your bike, go to www.nationalemissionstestingcentre.comThe tests costs £175.

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