I recently asked some motorcycle experts from one of my Linked In Groups what their thoughts were on motorcycle noise and the bylaws that are springing up everywhere.

I got a rather diverse set of opinions! I heard from the Loud Pipes Save Lives side and from those who are, shall we say a wee bit more enlightened with regards to sharing our world & communities.

One thing was crystal clear - there is no easy answer to the dilemma the motorcycle community and industry faces.

The Great Debate of the motorcycle community surrounding loud pipes is one the motorcyclist is loosing as city after county are implementing Motorcycle Only Noise Bylaws.

Too often it appears that riders confuse their "rights" as the issue when it comes to having motorcycle noise clamped down on. They become indignant and frustrated because they are thinking only of THEIR rights...but the law, well it has to look at the rights of the majority.

Because of the conduct of a few, the rights of the majority of our community are being affected.

If we do not start grasping the fact that not everyone loves the sound of our motorcycle quite the way we do - and if we as a community do not start cracking down on those who are putting the rest of us in a bad light, then a few things are going to happen - the writing is on the wall.

Firstly we will see UN-equitable noise laws everywhere and like helmet laws, you are going to have to do research on the province and/or state you are heading to, to see whether or not you are legal there - because not everyone will set the same standards or the same fines.

The next step will be the elimination of all modified exhaust systems - in other words the after market exhaust manufacturers are either going to have to develop pipes that meet noise levels or be out of business completely. If you think I exaggerate - look across the pond and see what is happening in the EU.

Big rallies and motorcycle gatherings will be clamped down on even harder than they are now.

Many who read this won't care - sadly, I know that.

Others will say, I run stock exhaust, it doesn't affect me and yet others will become indignant and wreak even more havoc with their "I'll show them" mentality.

Just as it is with the Hells Angels, Bandidos and other 1%er Outlaw clubs, so too will it be with noise.

The majority will have to pay for the actions and relationships of the minority - the police services will charge more for enhanced policing as events will take more and more officers to "manage" them and they will cite the time it takes to write noise violation tickets and defend their communities from the 'bad" guys.

The doors will be opened on a Pandora's box that will see motorcycle check points become the norm.
We WILL be tarred with a brush that only a few have earned - but all of us will pay the price.

I will always be against the motorcycle ONLY noise bylaws - they are discriminatory and hold only one set of road users accountable for all excessive noise AND because they allow the police forces too much discretion. The tests they use rely too heavily on the person/s conducting them to follow protocol and standards to a tee and they cause unwarranted hardship on those charged when faulty procedures or inaccurate tests occur.

I would love to see these noise laws really be about NOISE - if there has to be another law on the books, then let EVERY offender pay the price for what the majority deems as selfishness/inconsideration be they in a car, truck, van, SUV or on a bike.

The other thing I would love to see happen is for this community to start policing itself again, like it used to.
But it appears that long gone are the days where we would take some young pup under our wing and give them a forehead slap for being a heat score. We just don't appear to hold the same values as we once did.

So - what is the future for the aftermarket motorcycle pipe industry?

What are our motorcycles going to sound like in 3 years? 5 years?

How will the manufactures find ways to boost the performance of your machine?

What will the cost be?

Will there ever come a day when we - the people of this community - set an example for all other motorists and be the change we want to see?

For as long back as their have been historians and philosophers the shortsightedness of the human race has been a hot topic - can we, the motorcyclists of the world be the ones who have the foresight to realize we need to become really good at sharing our world or be legislated to death....

I would love your opinions on the questions I have raised here and hope that you will consider the ramifications to every other rider if Loud Pipes are being used at inappropriate times and places.

There is a ton of news in the feeds today over at  - check it all out and see what might affect your day, your life as a rider...

I leave you with a couple of giggles shared with me by friends on Facebook and by email...hope the lighten your day!

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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