Now we riders all know that in certain urban riding situations loud pipes can save your life. The motorist who starts drifting into your lane can be made aware of you beside them and this can and has saved many a life and prevented many an injury. You and I who ride get that. And truly - that is the MAJOR time when loud pipes save lives.

What we who ride NEED to get - is this:

Rapping your pipes to show off and attract attention takes away from the life saving value of loud pipes. YOU HURT the cause when you use them for the wrong purposes.

Well tuned pipes that have the appropriate back pressure for the engine you are running are often - not always - but often loud - especially if you have had performance work done to your bike.

Now I love the rumble of the Harley engine. I love loud pipes - I am a rider and I really understand the love of that sound BUT - there is a time and a place. The open highway...

The need to feed the ego is the wrong reason to rap your pipes. Period, end of story, you being a show off on the street, you being thoughtless of the needs of others is HURTING our community more than it helps us!

There are people working night shift who sleep during the day, there are people in hospitals, old folks homes that need quiet. Mothers with new babies who are sick and finally sleeping… There people who just plain do not appreciate or get the love of the sound and while you have rights - SO DO THEY! Remember every "Right "has a cost and that cost is responsibility.

If you want to keep the privileged of having loud pipes - if you want that self defense tool when you are riding, then THINK BEFORE YOU TWIST THAT THROTTLE HARD IN TOWN!

I don't care what car drivers and their boom boxes are doing, or 4 x 4's that have mufflers on them worse that truckers using their Jacob's brakes in town do.

I care about US, motorcyclists - OUR Community and it's right to have that self defense mechanism at our disposal and the thoughtless jerks that put that tool in jeopardy every day and all because they need to feel the thunder, they need to have people notice them...make me angry.

If you want to stunt, race or otherwise grab attention. If you want people to notice you and cheer you on there is a place for you - it's called the race track - that goes to everyone who drives a motorized vehicle - not just motorcyclists, but as I said this article isn't just about rude, selfish arrogant behaviour on the part of motorists in general - its about that behaviour when you are on your motorcycle and how your actions jeopardize my safety by contributing to the fight against loud pipes.

Loud pipes do save lives but if we don't police the situation ourselves it will be done for us- if we feed the egos of others by condoning the actions of show offs, then we will loose a valuable tool in the prevention of accident and injury for motorcyclists- think about it...
Noise pollution - are you a part of the solution or part of the problem?
Accident and injury prevention - one day you might find yourself needing those loud pipes and oh yah, you are riding a bike with factory pipes that are whisper quiet because loud pipes were outlawed. Now, I wonder how that happened.

Just my two bits worth....

Ride like everyone around you is blind...stay safe.

Belt Drive Betty

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Bottom line is, people are NOT going to police themselves on this issue, so people like me are going to do it for you - I belong to a few internet groups, and change is coming your way

    With red/blue flashing lights and a $300+ ticket

    Momentum is building big time. Ive ridden for decades on quiet bikes. You don't need loud pipes. In the last 8 years, it's gone too far, and we're pushing back

    Can hear one out the window right now - sick of these JERKS

  2. There are some jerks out there...

  3. Anonymous4:16 PM

    SOME jerks?? Almost every freakin Harley has illegal pipes installed, almost every bike is louder than anything on the road. And, these same modifications negate the air emission controls of well over 30 motorcycles - and its all illegal, called "tampering" by federal EPA laws (Title 40, section 205, subparts D and E).

    Here is an advertisement by one of the Harley dealership in Fairfax, VA, to perform these illegal modification, "“Maybe you just want that awesome earth-quaking, window-rattling exhaust that sets off car alarms as you ride on by. Want to make men dive out of the way and women grab their children and head inside and lock the doors? We can help with that too!”; 2 out of 18 advertised “performance packages" are described as “street legal”.

    Every motorcycle should have a muffler installed that has the required EPA label, period, or pay a very large fine. Or, there should be options to ban motorcycles your community.

  4. Hold on now - sweeping generalizations are not good coming from anyone.

    I ride a Harley and I have factory pipes on my bike as do most women.
    The issue is predominantly a testosterone one.

    Also I live in Canada and our laws are different.

    Harley-Davidson is the one who should be being slapped along with the aftermarket pipes industry as many import bikes can now have those same earth rattling pipes....At the coffee shop hang out in our little city there are now more loud import bikes than there are Harley's.

    If the product wasn't available - this would be a much smaller issue than what it is. If the products go against your EPA laws then why isn't the government going after the people who profit off those products?

    Boys will be boys and if manufacturers give them the toys they will use them.

    There are some women who go for that loud noise crap, but by and large it does tend to be men that go for that and at the end of the day - the manufacturers and their advertising is to blame - penalize them first.

    I find it very disturbing that the people who offer products that are contrary to the laws can get away with it, make millions of dollars and the end run user is the one getting slapped for buying something that is readily available.

    Radar detectors would be another of those products...

  5. Anonymous4:10 PM

    I stand by my comment although it is a sweeping generalization, it is clear as day near my home and in many other places.

    Your comment is well taken however, and I agree that women tend to ride legal Harley's. I recently saw about 20 of them in a parking lot close by, expected endless noise, and was shocked to hear nothing. They were women riding Harley's.

    It is not just Harley's as you say, but they are by far the worst of the worst where I live.

    Bravo for taking this issue on, many of us greatly appreciate such an attempt.

    I suspect that the Harley dealerships are much worse than the Harley corporation - they are different entities.

    Here is a video about enforcement in Canada:

  6. Laurie6:20 PM

    I ride with various women's groups and about 1/2 of the bikes (not all Harleys) have loud pipes. Mine are stock.

    I see more bikes causing their own problems by riding like they are driving cars. Perhaps they think the loud pipes make them invulnerable, so they ride in blind spots, zip through intersections without checking the cross traffic, look all around them at the sights, and generally don't bother to keep themselves out of trouble.

    Perhaps it's because I've taken two safety classes that I'm so conscious of everything around me.

    When riding in groups, the loud pipes make it difficult for me to hear other sounds, like sirens, and cars around us. I keep my eyes checking my mirrors and do head-checks to know my escape paths, but I find loud pipes to be a distraction.

    One of my neighbors has two very loud bikes which has made him very unpopular with the other neighbors.

    Because we live in the desert, we ride at 5AM to keep cool. I'm sure my neighbors appreciate my quiet bike a lot more than our neighbors loud bikes.