[ExI] [Bulk] Business Ethics - Oxymoron?

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Sep 26 15:46:16 UTC 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of BillK

>...Now, business is very competitive...Does competitive business practice mean that ethical businesses must lose and go bust?


Interesting point BillK.

In mid and late 1970s, a leading theory was that smog was caused by hydrocarbon emissions from engines (I think that was right but didn't follow it.)  There are unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust of gasoline engines if it is tuned for optimal performance (remember how cars smelled back our misspent childhood (assuming yours was in the 1960s or before.))  

California state government passed a number of regulations restricting the amount of hydrocarbons in the exhaust pipe.  California is such a huge market for cars, their regulations were the tail that wagged the dog: cars were designed to meet California standards.  The car manufacturers responded by adding catalytic converters to burn the hydrocarbons, but this is a big design compromise for motorcycles, where weight is critical, so in those years the manufacturers responded by making the engines burn lean.  This meant the bikes didn't run as well and took a long time to warm up.  We bike hipsters learned how to defeat the restrictions by adjusting the choke to make the engines run richer and closer to optimal, but not everyone did that.

Kawasaki came up with an interesting solution.  Since the emissions were measured not as hydrocarbons per mile but rather as the concentration of hydrocarbons in the exhaust stream, they managed to create a venture effect one-way valve that let air into the exhaust stream as the pressure pulse went below atmospheric pressure.  The total amount of hydrocarbon was not reduced, but rather the exhaust stream had fresh air mixed with it, reducing the concentration of hydrocarbon in the exhaust.

The other bike manufacturers cried foul, but upon looking at the regulations, they realized there was nothing in there which disallowed Kawasaki's strategy.  It defeated the spirit of the law but not the letter.  The other manufacturers all announced plans to clean up their exhaust by adding fresh air.  The California air resources board quickly disallowed the practice, but some 1979 Kawasaki motorcycles have that one-way valve arrangement on the exhaust pipes.

There you go, I have written a non-fiction passage which educated you on some fun motorcycle trivia.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list