The Euro4 exhaust emissions limits came into force at the start of 2017. They brought along a host of other legal changes including mandatory ABS brakes on new bikes over 125cc and dozens of other tweaks to the law. And at a stroke they made a huge swathe of bikes obsolete.
Fortunately for manufacturers still trying to recoup the development costs of these newly non-compliant machines, our EU overlords built in a period of grace. The so-called ‘derogation’ rules allowed bike firms to keep selling old, Euro3-spec machines provided they don’t make up more than a small slice of their overall output, and on the condition that those non-compliant bikes were just serving out their notice until they were discontinued.
But the rules only allowed a maximum of two years of derogation. So come January 1, 2019, all those Euro3-spec bikes need to have been sold.
What comes in their place will depend on their makers. Some will be superseded by newer, better bikes. But if sales don’t warrant the massive R&D input needed to create such successors, they’ll be gone for good.
Here are our top 10 Euro3 survivors, all destined for replacement or discontinuation by the end of this year. Grab them while you can.
10: Kawasaki Z300
This year the Ninja 300 has gone, replaced by the new Ninja 400. But for the moment the naked Z300 soldiers on, still powered by the old non-Euro4 engine. For 2018, Kawasaki has three options. One: ditch the Z300 altogether. Two: slot in the revised, Euro4-spec motor from the Versyx-X 300. Three: Pull the bodywork off the new Ninja 400 to create a naked ‘Z’ version. The last of those is by far the most likely – and clearly the best – option. But until we know for certain that a replacement is coming, there remains the possibility that there will be no successor to the Z300 at all.