First Look: Knievel Custom Cycles 2011 Models

Green choppers

For 2011, the high-end boutique chopper scene isn't as dead as you might think; it's just evolved. Last June, for instance, Knievel Custom Cycles LLC announced that its custom motorcycles have received the European Communities Whole Vehicle Type Approval as well as the Asian Approval from Korea. It's a big deal for this crowd: to secure certification, Knievel Cycles had to meet or exceed the rigorous European Union 03 emission standards, which are aimed at greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The company's first bikes to earn the European certification are the Evel One Springer Bobber and Evel Commemorative Bobber. All the certified Knievel bikes run an 80 c.i. Evo engine, which is claimed to deliver over 70 horsepower.

Greg Zappala, president of Knievel Custom Cycles, touts the achievement, saying, "We have been successful in inverting the horsepower-to-engine-size ratio with minor production modifications to deliver an ultimate custom high-performance output."

EU-03 regulations, the most stringent in the world, limit three harmful by-products of internal combustion motors: hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and carbon monoxide (CO). The guidelines are:
• CO 2.0 g/km (6 x lower than the 2009 U.S. standard)
• HC 0.3 g/km (3 x lower than the 2009 U.S. standard)
• NOX 0.15 g/km (3 x lower than the 2009 U.S. standard)

"Many U.S. states, all European countries and many Asian countries are enforcing tougher emission standards," added Zappala. "You can register and ride these bikes without problem just about anywhere in the world." For more info on EU-03 regulations, see Amended Directive 202/24/EC of the European Parliament and Council: