CARB Emissions Rules For California Motorcycles and Aftermarket Parts

BY Road Rider MCA - August 31st, 2015

This is not meant to be construed as legal advice or an interpretation of California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations. We encourage you to visit CARB’s website, specifically the page on Motorcycle Aftermarket Parts, to familiarize yourself with general CARB emissions rules and restrictions on emissions system modifications. 

In the past decade, our great state and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have rolled out new, severely restricting rules controlling motorcycle emissions. These new CARB rules are aimed at improving air quality, but they’ve also made life for California gearheads a little bit drearier.

In most cases, non-CARB compliant parts are no longer for sale in California, so it’s pretty easy to stay within the law. However, please take care to note that CARB VC 27156 restrictions do not only apply to exhausts, they apply to any emission-related parts that are not “functionally identical to an original part on the motorcycle.” Examples given on the CARB website include fuel injection systems, carburetor re-jetting, aftermarket catalytic converters, performance camshafts, and gear sprockets. Please take your own responsibility to be aware of CARB regulations before altering any emissions-related part on your motorcycle. 


In the past, adding an aftermarket exhaust system was an effective and popular way to boost a bike’s performance, looks, and sound. Paired with an air cleaner and a fuel controller (like a Dynojet Power Commander), this mod can give you some significant horsepower gains. These days when it comes to aftermarket exhausts, CARB rules limit most bike owners to replacing only the muffler section of their exhaust pipes (slip-on pipes are usually okay). However, there are still some full systems approved by CARB and available for sale in California. For a list of approved exhausts from the Air Resources Board, click here.

For insight on popular performance mods available for your bike, talk to a Road Rider parts specialist.

To view CARB’s information page on Motorcycle Aftermarket Parts, click here.

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