From patent applications to emissions documents, digging into government documents from around the world can tell you a lot about current—and sometimes upcoming—motorcycles. Take the California Air Resources Board (CARB), for example. Documents filed there were how the motorcycle world-at-large first got wind that the Yamaha R7 was really happening. They’re also how we first learned that the Honda ADV150 was, to some surprise, officially headed to U.S. shores.
Of course, CARB issues executive orders for a multitude of both on-road and off-road vehicles—including ATVs. Since the regulatory body requires certain pieces of information in order to successfully process applications, those bits of info then become public record—and that includes horsepower figures. As the fine folks at ATV Rider noted, that’s particularly helpful for OEMs that don’t like to stick their HP figures in their public spec sheets.
Now, if you’ve never done it before, browsing CARB’s filings does take a bit of patience and time. It’s not something you want to try to do in a hurry. However, next time you’re curious about your favorite on- or off-road vehicles that have certified for sale in the U.S., you may want to try poking around to see what you can find. We’ll put a link to the main database in our Sources, and you can click into individual years of specific vehicle types from there.
As an example, I’ll look at the Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles (Off-Road Motorcycles, Utility and Sport Vehicles, All-Terrain Vehicles, Sand Cars, and Electric Golf Carts) column. Underneath that main heading, you’ll find both Emissions Compliant (or green sticker) vehicles, as well as Emissions Non-Compliant (or red sticker) vehicles. From there, you can simply select various years, or the link to “New” for the newest filings that CARB has published.
Once you’re in a specific year, you’ll start to see the names of OEMs listed, with Executive Order numbers, years, test groups, certification categories, fuels, and emissions controls columns. Any Executive Order number that’s a blue link is clickable, so you can view the actual Executive Order document. If you’re looking for ATVs, you’d look for items with the category “ATVA.” If you’re looking for off-road motorcycles, it’s “OFMC.”
There’s one exception when you’re data-trawling this way, and that is items listed as New. Quite often, they’re listed in a temporary link format. Even though it’s a little messier, you should still be able to pick out OEM names and vehicle categories from the jumble of file names—and hopefully find something interesting along the way.