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Singapore’s Emission Standards | What to Do if You Own an Old Motorcycle


Do you own an old motorcycle? Does it meet Singapore's tightened emission standards? Here's what you can do about it.

Four years ago (2018), the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore introduced a scheme to encourage owners of older motorcycles to deregister their bikes before 5 April 2023. The scheme was established in efforts to further reduce emissions and improve air quality. Mainly by getting older, more polluting, motorcycles that were registered before 1 July 2003, off Singapore roads. These stricter emission standards and regulations also apply to foreign registered motorcycles entering Singapore.

However, if you own an older motorcycle in Singapore and choose not to deregister it before the deadline, you will face tighter emission standards from 6 April 2023. In addition, from 1 April 2023, NEA is set to exclusively adopt the latest United Nations (UN) noise standards for vehicles and aftermarket exhaust systems. 

Although older motorcycle owners and collectors can take advantage of the Classic Vehicle Scheme (for motorcycles over 35 years old) and the Vintage Vehicle Scheme (for those manufactured before 1 January), this new regulation effective in 2028 will be a game changer for older motorbikes that fall in between the years. 

So, what can you do if your motorcycle is about 20 years old? And how do you know if your older motorcycle meets the tighter emission standards and regulations in Singapore? In this article, we’ve outlined your options and ways to check if your old beauty meets Singapore’s new emission standards.

What to Do If You Own an Older Motorcycle in Singapore?

Motorist Motorcycle Incentive Scheme

Source: https://www.motorist.sg/article/166/nea-offers-s-3-500-incentive-for-de-registering-older-motorcycles

If you own an older motorcycle in Singapore, you are encouraged to tap on the early de-registration incentive of up to $3,500, which remains available until 5 April 2023, especially if you are unsure of your motorcycle’s ability to meet the tighter in-use emission standards. 

In the instance that you qualify for the scheme, you should have received a letter from NEA explaining that your motorcycle has qualified for it and you can check its first registration date.

These are a few conditions to meet if you wish to deregister your motorcycle and take advantage of the cash incentive (as highlighted in the image above):

  • It was registered before 1 July 2003
  • It has a 10-year COE as of 6 April 2018
  • It has been deregistered before 6 April 2023

There are two payout levels:

  1. Owners who renewed their COE after 6 April 2018, and deregister their bikes before 6 April 2023, are entitled to $2,000. 
  2. Owners who have not renewed their COE after 6 April 2018, and deregister their bikes before 6 April 2023, are entitled to $3,500.

Does Your Older Motorcycle Meet the Tightened Emission Standards?

Source: https://www.nea.gov.sg/media/news/news/index/in-use-emission-standards-for-older-motorcycles-and-noise-standards-for-all-vehicles-will-be-tightened-in-april-2023

As seen from the table above, as of 6 April 2023, local motorcycles registered before 1 July 2003 will be required to meet the limit of 4.5% carbon monoxide (CO) by volume; and 7,800 ppm hydrocarbons (for 2-stroke engines) or 2,000 ppm hydrocarbons (for 4-stroke engines). The current standards are 6% CO for bikes registered before 1 October 1986, and 4% Co for other older motorcycles. There are currently no hydrocarbon limits.

Whereas local motorcycles registered on or after 1 Jul 2003 are already subjected to the same or more stringent in-use standards.

The good news is that you can get the hydrocarbon emissions tested during your annual inspection for a nominal fee – currently it costs $1.07 plus GST. You can get it tested at VICOM, a partner of DirectAsia.

What You Should Look Out for if You Own an Older Motorcycle in Singapore

If you own an older motorcycle, you should do proper maintenance checks often. Depending on your motorcycle, there may be an easy fix, or it may mean an expensive repair.

One clear sign to look out for is smoke from your bike’s exhaust. If you see this, then you possibly should be concerned. Owners of 2-stroke motorbikes are more likely to see smoke from the exhaust, because by design, 2-strokes burn more oil. 

Smoke from the exhaust of an older 4-stroke motorcycle could be the result of wear and tear, and may indicate that the engine requires an overhaul. Check the condition of your older motorcycle with a trusted workshop in Singapore to be sure.

What if Your Tested Hydrocarbon Levels Are Too High?

Here’s what you can do if you discover that the hydrocarbon levels of your older motorcycle do not meet the new and stricter emission standards in Singapore: 

  • Renew the air filter of your motorcycle. Typically, you will need to change out your filter about once every year or every 10,000 miles, but this could vary from bike to bike. Typically, you should change the filter before it gets too dirty. 
  • Use good quality synthetic oil, and ensure the filter is renewed regularly. 
  • If your motorcycle requires premixed fuel, ensure the oil to petrol ratio is correct. Too much oil may produce smoke, too little can damage the engine.
  • If both hydrocarbon and CO levels are high, check that your motorcycle’s oil injection system is working properly.
  • Ensure the carburetors are adjusted properly and not running too much petrol in the air/fuel mix. Find an expert mechanic to check this.

The Bottom-line

Vehicle gas emission levels in Singapore are set to reach an all-time low by next year – so expect a weighty eye on your every move if you’re sporting an older motorcycle that’s got a few extra years under its fairings. 

We recommend that you first weigh your options: Is it worth paying up to $3,500 for you to keep your older motorcycle on the road? And if so, does it meet the stricter emission regulations set for April 2023?

On top of that, consider the cost of your motorcycle insurance. You can compare motorcycle insurance quotes online for the best options. If you’re undecided on which provider to go with, consider speaking to a qualified insurance professional.