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The Toad
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I find blaring cruisers and sportbikes as irritating as hell. Sometimes I can hear them late at night across a 1/4 mile of open field, loud enough to make dogs bark.

If you are going to put loud pipes on your cruiser, at least show enough class to rejet the dammed thing so that it doesn't backfire on compression braking. Otherwise you only reveal yourself to be an idiot. And don't forget that open drag pipes give a small HP increase at peak while worsening power and torque everywhere else. Similar for unrejetted 4-into-ones.

However, never forget the old "less sound more ground" movement of the 70's. We quieted our dirtbikes.... and they closed the riding areas anyhow.

The safety nazis and the environmental groups will work to ban us, no matter how much we "compromise". "Compromise" , to these people, means only us giving up our rights incrementally. The enviro-wacks never give an inch and immediately work to undermine any supposed agreed compromise.
 

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Cruiser boys this is your wake up call

Us sportbike guys are not blame for this so don't put us in your crowd. How many times have I come up on some cruiser boy with his loud pipes save lives helmet sticker, blasting his potato potato from his straight pipes. Talk about giving motorcyclist a bad name. There are gated communities now which don't allow motorcycles because of you clowns. Hey cruiser boys put a sock in it.
 

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Sound and the perception of sound are technically thorny issues and that makes noise ordinances that make sense notoriously difficult to write and enforce (at least outside of confined spaces). Is the noise broadband or harmonic? Does it have a lot of energy in a portion of the spectrum that poses an actual health threat? If so at what distance? A lot of sounds that are irritating to some are innocuous to others. Some sounds that are quite audible are also completely harmless. Even the huge overpressure in a nuclear weapons blast (which creates a SPL large enough to exceed the maximum pressure amplitude of the atmosphere) is mitigated by the inverse square law at a remarkably short distance.





We usually don't enact ordinances that regulate other environmental quality issues unless some potential for harm can be demonstrated. When we do the ordinances are usually narrowly crafted to address the specific issue at hand. In a legal sense then, why is noise different? I've worked on noise mitigation projects for farmers who had a ventilator going on a spud cellar that bothered someone over a mile away. When I made all of the measurements I found that the noise from the ventilator was over 6 dBA below the noise floor in the affected home. The issue then? It was something unusual in the background that the new residents just hadn't gotten used to yet. This is often the case with sounds that carry a lot of energy in the right portions of the audible spectrum: the fact that the sound is a little unusual stimulates perception even though it's at a very low level. This is just one example but it illustrates the complexity of the issue. Whether or not noise is a problem is an interplay between energy, frequency and perception. I've yet to see a noise ordinance that addresses all of these factors in any way that made a whole bunch of sense.



Are lound noises annoying? Almost certainly. Are they harmful? It depends. Should they be regulated? Sure, but you have to be smart about it and fair. The mix of the AMA and other entities involved in researching this issue doesn't inspire any great confidence that this is going to happen here. Too bad.



 

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On the other hand.

When I was going to school in Boulder, Colorado I received a ticket because my car was too loud. Boulder like other environmentally sensitive cities have noise ordinances which are strictly enforced. Even though these ordinances may not make sense or are fair or even accurate, noise ordinances do exist and are enforced.
 

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Sport bikes loud whine

I like my bike fairly quiet and wish that all pipes came with decible data as a matter of law. I bought screaming eagle mufflers and ended up putting back on the stock because of what I thought was excessive noise against my ear drums. The throbbing was too much. It was bouncing off my fairing is the only thing I could think of. Anyway, I hear all kinds of sports bikes from a 1/2 mile away racing through the gears so it isn't just v-twin noise.
 

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Noise ordinances

I'm an elected city councilman and we just got through passing a noise ordinance. No blaring radios that can be heard over 50 ft, lawn mowing only from 7 am to 8pm, and so on. Nothing specific on motorcycles. These ordinances would not be necessary if people would just care about more than their lousy selfs. Heck, go out to Sturgis during bike week and try and sleep in one of those camp grounds. There are always a few a-holes that want to rev their super louds bikes in the middle of the night after you've finally nodded off. That is why I camp in the national forest outside of Sturgis. Only coyotes and other sounds of nature.
 

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I ride a sport-touring bike with an off raod can, live in a middle class sub-divison, and try to be considerate of my neighbors especially early on Sunday mornings when leaving for a ride. As such, my neighbors and myself get along very well. Yesterday, a squid from the next street decided to test out his new drag pipes on his H-D by blasting up and down my street at 50 to 60 mph (limit is 20) as well as not wearing a helmet (Ms is a helmet law state). There were a few people out and about and all were visabley upset over this assinine display. Now I've tried very hard to project a positive image of motorcyclists and this butt-head comes along and undoes a lot of what I've accomplished over the past few years. Self-centered jerks like him continue to give motorcycle enthusiasts a bad name, and there seems to be nothing to do about it (maybe a broom handle through the spokes? hmmmm). It seems like courtesy and consideration are long forgotten ideals in our modern society. 'Tis a shame.
 

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I ride one week a year in Colorado. There is usually a H-D gathering in Durango at about the same time I'm out there. Many of us dirt bikers and H-D riders end up staying in the little town of Ouray at the same time. Some of the H-D bikes are muffled ok and some are loud as hell. Kinda ruins the peaceful nature of the place. Some of the off road bikes are ok and some are loud as hell. I'm sure John Q. Public doesn't think well of either group. In town, the H-Ds tend to drown out the off-road bikes. Howsomever, up on the high trails there are no H-Ds. Up there, the loud dirt bikes (Yamaha 4 strokes most notably) are a problem. There we share the land with hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders, not to mention all the critters that live there. Without our presence, all is quiet among them (except for the occasional horse phart, the odd Jeep or 4-wheeler). When those with whom we share the neighborhood are upset by our presence we have a problem. You know if your bike is too loud for where you ride. Make the adjustment and don't wait for one of these organizations to make amends for you. Yes, I'm perfect and feel justified in pointing out all of your imperfections.
 

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Everyone with non Stock Pipes is out of line

I don't care what you ride, if it doesn't pass EPA specs you're braking the law. When was the last time you saw an aftermarket pipe for ANY brand or style of bike that passed EPA muster. Well stop looking because they don't exist. They are just too damn expensive to manufacture and don't sound any different than stock.

The fines for loud pipes should be on a sliding scale. 4 db over stock is a nusance fine, 10db even more so, more than that, well If it were me, I would impound your bike. Oh, is that too harsh? Guess you should have tought of that when you paid $500 for that new pipe. Maybe you should have spent that money on some suspension work for a sport bike, or maybe some more chrome for a cruiser.

On the other hand if you have a loud pipe and you're in Califorina, you're easy money for the man too. We have a budget crunch out here and we want your choice of pipes to help us make up some of that lost dot bomb income we're missing.
 

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Amen to that!

I live in an area of town that you might refer to as being "in a state of chronic socio-economic depression" if you were being pee-cee.

I call it the freakin' ghetto. I am the only Europaen-American living within six blocks in any direction and I'm here to tell y'all:

It's the $200 Caprice with the $10,000 system that makes more trouble in this Metropolis than ANY bike I have EVER heard.

That said: Here it's not the Harley guys who are the problem, even though they are disproportionately represented in the riding demographic (this is the Deep South).

No, Sir, here it's the Stuntaz and the Blingaz who run WTFO "on the pipe."

And I might remind y'all of one of the very few things that I agreed with Mitch Boehm on, and it is this: No modern sprotbike made needs a pipe. Back in the '80s? Sure. Now? The frontline bikes are being built with titanium cans, so putting an aftermarket on there is only going to save, what? 3-4 pounds? Maybe. And as the Big Four have made great strides in powah by finally paying attention to exaust tuning, an aftermarket exaust might net you what? 3-5 hp? Maybe.

And for the Harley guys (I know whereof I speak, I've owned two) the pipes are mostly vanity. The fast Harley riders I know also own a second, faster bike.

There, that should start a flame or two. I'll check back later.
 

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Did I miss something? Since when did we as motorcyclists get the "right" to fit pipes that violate Fedral noise standards? Is compliance with current laws and regulations an incremental errosion of "rights"?



There isn't any grey area here. There are more people on the roads. There are more bikes on the road. Everything is getting crowded, so crap like this is getting more attention. We can either clean up our own act, or face annual inspecitons and stricter enforcement.



It's up to you. Ride a quiet bike that doesn't draw attention, or become the center of the wrong type of attention.
 

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LOUD PIPES MAY HAVE SAVED MY LIFE THIS WEEKEND.

Hell must have frozen over, but I swear to God that my pipes may have actually saved my life this weekend.

The bike is a '00 Ducati with an aftermarket exhaust and no air box cover (I think the intake noise is actually louder than the exhaust, but it doesn't really matter). I'm cruising along at a pretty good pace through a nice twisty road in Northern Wisconsin when a deer absolutely flies out of the woods in front of me and is headed for the road. Just as the deer exits the heavy foiliage, and mid way through it's leap onto the roadway, something obviously scares the sh!t out of it. So it lands on the up-slope of the ditch, almost falls over, and leaps back into the woods. I know the damn thing didn't see me, so all I can think of is that it heard my bike, nearly shat itself, and got back into the woods as quick as it could. Not the typical excuse for loud pipes, but it *almost* seems a legitimate argument in this case. Rest assured, this event hasn't changed my opinion regarding the "loud pipes save lives" argument. It's still stupid. I just thought it was an interesting story.

For what it's worth, I could live with sound regulations, as I've heard plenty of ducs that are relatively quite but still achieve that distinct Ducati sound. And although my bike may be a bit loud, it's nothing compared to the rediculous amount of sound that comes from all the straight-pipe Harley's we have running around here in Milwaukee. I've managed to educate most of my non-cycling friends that the jag-offs with ultra-loud pipes on their Harleys only sound like they're going fast.
 
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