Why Are They So Loud?
Because motorcycle riders WANT them to be loud. No other reason. Not safety. Not motorcycle engine performance. Just noise. And make no mistake and do not listen to the excuses, this is being loud for the sake of being loud; to be louder than the next rider, the other motorcycle. It's a contest of egos for bragging rights. And that you, a resident of Hawai'i are the victim, doesn't matter to them.
See the following YouTube Video for a motorcycle gathering "Loudest Pipes" contest. Incidentally, by current Hawai'i law, all of these are illegal on our streets. But despite them being common on our highways, HPD does nothing to curb this bad behavior and violation of ordinances and statutes.
Illegally Modified Motorcycle Exhausts
The growing trend today is that riders of the large motorcycles aren't satisfied with the loud, throaty growl the
motorcycle produces when driven off the sales floor. Instead, to make the noise even louder, they completely remove the "stock" exhaust system and muffler, and replace it with an aftermarket system consisting only of an exhaust pipe without a muffler of any kind.
The roaring sound of these motorcycle’s illegal aftermarket exhaust systems can be heard over a long distance.
You’re not even protected from this noise inside your own home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guideline for an "approved" motorcycle muffler is 80dB(A). So how loud are these aftermarket systems?
-- 80 dB(A) equals average city traffic noise. Motorcycles leave the showroom floor at this level.
-- Each muffler and frame is marked to indicate the muffler authorized for any particular motorcycle. This marking is
required on EVERY motorcycle manufactured after 31 December 1982.
-- With illegal aftermarket exhaust (Straight Pipe) = As high as 125 dB(A)
-- Louder than a near thunderclap
-- Equals rock concert noise
-- Broaches threshold of pain
-- Prolonged exposure WILL result in damage to hearing
-- Equals 24 times louder (45 dB greater = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 x 1.5 (for additional 5dB) = 24) than EPA approved limit of 80dB.
Source for above: NoiseOff.com
http://www.noiseoff.org/motorcycles.php (Click on link to read the full article in separate page)
How To Recognize an Illegally Modified Motorcycle Muffler
The muffler of a motorcycle must be installed between the output of the manifold - the engine - and the end where the
fumes and noise are emitted into the atmosphere. There will ALWAYS be a larger "Flare" in the exhaust system where
the muffler and its noise reduction components are located. The images below shows a standard motorcycle muffler
illustrating its larger "Flare" in the center and three motorcycles that have been modified to remove the muffler. Note that on the modified exhausts the exhaust is the same size end-to-end. An exhaust with a muffler would have the tell-tale flare.
Here is an example of a "Custom" motorcycle - these same type "Custom" bikes are sold here on O'ahu - where the dealer makes no pretense of even installing a muffler to meet EPA guidelines. They roll off the dealer floor exactly as shown here - No Muffler - in violation of NUMEROUS Hawaii ordnances and statutes.
What the Motorcycle Community Has To Say About its Noise
Motorcycle riders KNOW they have crossed the line on acceptable noise and that it is:
-- Unacceptable to the community
-- That it seriously impacts the quality of life of others and the community generally
-- That it poses a health hazard to all in the vicinity of this noise
Many motorcycle riders will tell you "LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES." Well, MOST motorcycle organizations do not agree. Most point out, correctly, that motorcycle exhausts point to the REAR of the motorcycle. The overwhelming majority of motorcycle accidents come from the FRONT. So what do "reputable" motorcycle groups have to say about this "Loud Pipes Save Lives" Claim?
From Numerous Motorcycle Organization Web Sites.
Source: From RevZilla.com
Click Here For Website
(Click on link to read the full article in separate page)
Stop Saying "Loud Pipes Save Lives"
"Loud pipes save lives."
"Gotta make sure they hear you coming!"
"I can't tell you how many times a driver has noticed me because of my loud exhaust."
"They aren't just cool. It tells people you're there."
The "loud pipes save lives" argument is one I see or hear on almost a weekly basis. It's usually coming from some guy on a Harley or retro Triumph, though the sportbike guys are jumping on as of late. I honestly can’t tell if people really believe it, or it's just a nice justification when someone says their bike is too loud, but I think it's the second dumbest thing commonly heard from riders. (If you're wondering, the first is that 600cc supersports are beginner bikes.)
Let's start with some basic physics and a little rationality. Your exhaust is pointed backwards and by the nature of you traveling forward, you're actually leaving the sound behind you as you move forward. If that concept is confusing, think of the sound of a fire truck passing you with its siren blaring. The siren is pointed forward because the purpose is to warn driver’s the truck is approaching from behind. The next time you hear one coming, notice that it’s louder when it’s coming toward you than when it’s going away.
Now apply that to motorcycle crashes. The one comprehensive, reliable study of motorcycle crashes in this country is the well known "Hurt Report," which is now nearly 40 years old. Harry Hurt and his team found that 64.9 percent of multiple-vehicle motorcycle crashes were the fault of the car driver and “the typical accident in this category is portrayed by the automobile in traffic turning left into the path of the oncoming motorcycle.” A lot has changed in 40 years, but one thing that I think we can all agree hasn’t changed is that the car drivers are still pulling out in front of us. That means the bigger danger is still ahead, not behind, but most of the racket from loud pipes is just pissing off the people behind you, while doing very little to warn those in front of you.
Your headlights and horn, however, are pointed ahead. If you really were so concerned with an upgrade that could save your life, you’d add aftermarket auxiliary lights and upgrade your horn. But then you’d run the risk of looking like a dork instead of sounding like a badass.
Secondly, look at the cars around you. If loud pipes ever helped make you safer, that's less true today. My first car was a 1986 Volkswagen Fox. Basically, a go-cart with doors and a roof. Every scrap of road noise bled into the cabin. Today, even my semi-budget Mazda 3 manages to make road noise basically non-existent and it also comes with eight speakers, a six-CD changer, and an auxiliary port for my iPhone, so all I'm likely to hear is my music. In a current luxury car, you'll hear far less, and in the future, maybe nothing at all.
Now, I'm not saying a loud motorcycle has never alerted anyone to your presence. We've all had an experience where a driver has noticed us because of the sound of the bike. Obviously, anything that calls attention to your motorcycle helps today’s distracted drivers notice you’re there between their kids’ screams and bites from their burritos. However, claiming that “loud pipes save lives” while riding around on your brakeless bobber in your T-shirt and novelty helmet just makes you, me, and the rest of the motorcycle community look like morons.
Source: From Long Ride Shields
Click Here For Website
(Click on link to
read the full article in separate page)
Myth 2: Loud Pipes Save Lives
Yeah, there are a few situations—like where you are right next to a driver with his window down who is about the to change lanes—where full-time noise-makers might help a driver notice you, but all that noise directed rearward doesn't do much in the most common and much more dangerous conflict where a car turns in front of you. Maybe it's the fatigue caused by the noise, maybe it's the attitudes of riders who insist on making annoying noise, or perhaps loud bikes annoy enough drivers to make them aggressive. Whatever the reason, the research shows that bikes with modified exhaust systems crash more frequently than those with stock pipes. If you really want to save lives, turn to a loud jacket or a bright helmet color, which have been proven to do the job. Or install a louder horn. Otherwise, just shut up.Source: Motorhoustonblog.com Truth be told, loud pipes only attract unwanted outside attention from your local police, and sour the already negative perception of the general public to our wonderful sport. Even most exhaust manufacturers will stamp on their can "not for road use" when their sound levels go above the DOT allowed levels. So take it from me, or the facts above, whichever it is, put a cork in it fellows.
Click Here For Website
(Click on link to read the full article in separate page)
Do loud pipes really save lives? I’m sure someone will give me an example of how they reckon a loud motorcycle exhaust saved their lives, but I just don’t understand how. Let’s look at this very clinically. Supporters of this contention say that loud pipes alert motorists that there is a bike somewhere about. In a situation of impending collision, the bike is approaching the vehicle it is about to collide with, right? It’s not going in the opposite direction, is it? They may be approaching from the side, from in front or from behind, but they are not riding away from the vehicle with which they are about to collide. So the noise of the bike really needs to precede the bike to alert the impending collider, right? But exhaust pipes don’t face forward. They face backward with the bulk of the noise trailing behind, not going out in front of them. I’ve heard some pretty loud pipes, but no matter how loud they are they fail to alert motorists inside cars with the windows wound up, the airconditioner on and the radio playing. I have been guilty of driving a car and having no idea that a motorcycle is coming up behind me and into my blind spot. Not until they are alongside or already past do I actually hear their exhaust pipe. Just how loud would exhaust pipes have to be for people in front to hear them clearly and be a truly effective safety alert? Rather than adding to the already cacophonous state of our urban traffic, wouldn’t it actually be better and safer for riders to alert traffic with a short blast on the horn? If you are riding along a street and see a car sitting at an intersection and you are not sure they have seen or heard you, wouldn’t it be more effective to give a couple of quick taps on the horn to gain their attention? A horn blast surely has more of an alert tone than the gradually increasing rumble of an exhaust pipe facing the wrong way. There are other things you can do to get yourself noticed such as changing speed and moving around on the road. All these proactive safety measures are much better than the ingrained and misguided trust in the safety values of a loud pipe. In fact, reliance on a loud pipe could be hindering your active safety avoidance measures and placing you in greater danger. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound of a baritone exhaust note. That rumbling sound is music to my ears and motivation to my soul. But I detest those barking, angry pipes that give me a headache and only serve to upset most of the population. In fact, noise (barking dogs, traffic, trains etc) is the most complained about issue in suburban life. Do we really need to attract more anger against bikes and bikers?
While loud pipes may not necessarily save any lives, they most assuredly are bad PR for a minority group that gets enough bad press as it is. Let’s be honest, the people who advocate loud pipes love the sound of the pipes and/or love people hearing them and being intimidated. And maybe they have small penises and need to compensate … watch this short video. Like I said, I love the sound of a nice macho pipe, but nothing so loud it gives me a headache and nothing that will cause my neighbours grief every time I come home at night or head off early in the morning. While I’ve never witnessed a loud pipe saving my life or anyone else’s I have witnessed loud pipes causing dogs to start barking and horses to run into barbed wire fences. My favourite bike noise is actually the roar of the bike inhaling, rather than exhaling. The MV Agusta Brutale 1000 has an absolutely divine induction roar. And best of all, it sounds like a Singer sewing machine when it goes past pedestrians, motorists, dogs and horses. That’s because the induction sound is cleverly pointed at the rider and not the passerby.Motorcycle and car manufacturers have been spending millions of dollars on research into how to best channel these “good” sounds toward the rider/driver rather than at the passing scenery. This has mainly been forced on them by increasingly stringent noise limitation laws, but the byproduct is that we get more entertaining motorcycles to ride and we cheese off fewer motorists, pedestrians, dogs and horses. However, I am willing to be corrected if someone can give me categorical proof that a loud pipe saved their life. Just leave your comments in the box below.
From the above sources it's clear that the greater majority of motorcycle organizations do not subscribe to this notion. Nor are any of the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" claims substantiated by any scientific or technical data.
The Position Of Harley Davidson. Following is a quote from Jim McCaslin, (now former) President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Harley Davidson Motorcycles about the trend of loud exhausts:
Negative news stories regarding motorcycle noise have increased 400 percent over the past 10 years. In the last year, communities across the United States have upped their efforts to curb motorcycle noise. Some communities have instituted outright bans on motorcycles. Even traditional motorcycle rally locations like Laconia, Daytona, and Myrtle Beach have had controversies regarding noise at their events this past year.
Worldwide, motorcycle noise is becoming more heavily restricted. Europe and Japan now require lower than U.S. dB(A) levels for new motorcycles right out of the box. In Australia, for example, a permanent label must be affixed and remain on to signify legal pipes. Annual inspections are also required.
Looking into the science of sound, the perception of sound varies according to multiple factors; volume is the single factor that most often sends hearing from barely noticeable to unbearable. Understandable. That's why many riders are fitting themselves with earplugs for longer rides. But what's really interesting is that the sound impulses we generate ourselves seem less of a nuisance than those generated by others. We're also more indulgent when it comes to a “friendly” sound or noise - music, for example, if you happen to be a musician yourself. So, the "friendly" sounds of our Harleys are not so friendly sounding to those who don't share our passion for riding. We can't change that. But what can we do? …
Today, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have more power and performance than our predecessors could have ever imagined, but with all due respect, we love to hear them coming. That doesn't mean louder noise equals even more power, however. It's an interesting misconception. Testing has proven that straight pipes do not necessarily outperform pipes with lower noise levels. Pick the wrong pipes and you can severely reduce your horsepower and/or your torque. And while you're doing it, you'll awaken the sleeping giant of social concern that lives next door to all of us.
And how has the motorcycle community responded? Sales of these outrageously loud aftermarket systems have increased more than 5-fold. Simply, the riders don't care about how their choices impact your quality of life.