Stop Excessive Motorcycle Noise in Mount Vernon!

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Loud Motorcycles are Illegal

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Quotes and Supporting Information about Motorcycle Noise

  1. The American Motorcyclist Association – Excessive Motorcycle Noise

    Based on its opposition to excessive motorcycle noise, the American Motorcyclist Association recommends the following:

    • All motorcyclists should be sensitive to community standards and respect the rights of fellow citizens to enjoy a peaceful environment.
    • Motorcyclists should not modify exhaust systems in a way that will increase sound to an offensive level.
    • Organizers of motorcycle events should take steps through advertising, peer pressure and enforcement to make excessively loud motorcycles unwelcome.
    • Motorcycle retailers should discourage the installation and use of excessively loud replacement exhaust systems.
    • The motorcycle industry, including aftermarket suppliers of replacement exhaust systems, should adopt responsible product design and marketing policies aimed at limiting the cumulative impact of excessive motorcycle noise.
    • Manufacturers producing motorcycles to appropriate federal standards should continue to educate their dealers and customers that louder exhaust systems do not necessarily improve the performance of a motorcycle.
    • Law enforcement agencies should fairly and consistently enforce appropriate laws and ordinances against excessive vehicle noise.
    • The motorcycle industry and the safety community should educate customers that excessive noise may be fatiguing to riders, making them less able to enjoy riding and less able to exercise good riding skills.
    With many rights come responsibilities. We enjoy the right to free speech in America, but that right does not entitle us to yell Fire! in a crowded theater. So too, the right to ride a motorcycle does not permit us to infringe on the peaceful enjoyment of life by others.
    Indeed, many others, including the courts, view motorcycling not as a right but a privilege. This is an important distinction because under our legal system, the government can regulate or eliminate a privilege much easier than it can restrict or cancel a right.
  2. Harley-Davidson - Excerpt from Loud Exhaust Article

    Individuality has been an important part of the Harley-Davidson experience for more than 100 years. Harley riders express their individuality in many ways. Look at the way they make their own motorcycles unique. We love it. But theres a growing issue thats creating a real threat to our rights as individuals – the issue of excessive motorcycle noise.

    …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.

    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.

  3. The University of Florida

    The University of Florida recently conducted an informal survey involving thirty-three (33) motorcycles. Said study is commenced by the Universitys audiologists. The latter found out that nearly half of the motorcycle exhausts produced sounds above 100 decibels when throttled up. The equivalent of this sound is a rock concert or a jarring chainsaw.

  4. Dangerous Motorcycle noise legislation proposed (Denver, Colorado)

    One of the things I heard when I first ran for office four years ago was "What can you do about motorcycle noise?" When spring and summer come and we open our windows to the great Denver outdoors, suddenly the thunder of a motorcycle roars in. With so many busy streets in District 10, the problem is pretty universal here. What I have learned is that while motorcycles are required by federal law to meet certain minimal noise requirements, owners do remove mufflers, including the EPA symbol that says the motorcycle is in compliance with approved noise levels. Up until now, all we could do to enforce violations of noise levels was place a traffic officer with a noise monitor on a busy street. Noise monitors are expensive and take special training to operate – to say nothing of taking a police officers time in sitting and monitoring the noise.

    So after several years of study, Denver Department of Environmental Health is proposing to amend the vehicle noise section of the municipal code to:

    • Require a mandatory EPA certification stamp on its muffler or muffler system.
    • Make motorcycle muffler modification illegal.
    • Maximum allowable sound pressure levels for motor vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds (most frequently affecting motorcycles) is 81 dB(A) with a 25 foot measuring distance from the vehicle (bringing in to compliance with federal standards).
    • Maximum allowable sound pressure levels for motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 is 90 dB(A) and measured with a 50 foot distance.

    What this means is that when a motorcycle sounds too loud -- reasonable suspicion -- an officer can stop the driver and look for the EPA symbol and whether the muffler has been modified.

    This enforcement method will save time and money and stop many more overly loud motorcycles. Council has been invited to a demonstration of sound differences before our meeting next Monday and I plan to be there.

  5. Motorcycle Cruiser

    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."

  6. Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly

    Ignoring the fact that many aftermarket pipes are illegal, motorcyclists who defer to the wisdom, loud pipes save lives are sadly misinformed. Riders who believe that an ear-shattering exhaust note actually increases safety are either kidding themselves or rationalizing selfindulgent behavior. Fact is, loud pipes do more to hurt motorcyclists than help them, the attention they draw to a rider is not worth the negative public image they create.

  7. Come on, Feel the Noise

    Is it legal to put exhaust systems on bikes -- or any vehicle, for that matter -- that don't conform to EPA standards? You might be surprised at the range of responses you get to that question. Jeff Hennie, vice president of government relations for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, which bills itself as the largest on-road motorcycle advocacy group in the country, said initially that there are no federal regulations limiting modifications that change the noise level. "We don't call it tampering," he said. "We call it modifying."

    EPA calls it tampering. Section 205.162-2 of the Code of Federal Regulations is titled "Tampering." The section requires that the owner's manual for all bikes include the statement, "Tampering with noise control system prohibited." It goes on to explain that changes will not be considered tampering if there is "no increase in the noise level of the vehicle or that the vehicle still meets the noise emission standard of (80 decibels)."

    John Millett, a spokesman for EPA, confirmed that modifying a bike's exhaust system so that it exceeds the EPA noise limit is illegal, and has been since 1976. It's not clear how many motorcycles on the road today violate this law.

    "You're not really supposed to sell them, like, a straight pipe, or a loud pipe," said Lindfors. "But a lot of your aftermarket shops will just put on the straight pipes and away they go."

  8. Posted Discussion Message to Article

    Loud pipes are awful, and the people who insist on using them are rude and thoughtless. Just the other day, some jerk on a loud loud bike roared by the parking lot I was in with my 6 year old daughter. It hurt my felt like someone had jabbed a nail into my ear drum...and he also triggered a migraine. My six year old was holding her ears and crying because it hurt HER ears, too. That is selfish and careless, and loud noise has been proven time and time again to be damaging to your ears. If you want to ruin your own ears, that is your perogative...but you have no right to damage mine with your loud pipes. I'm more likely to see a bike that is not assaulting me with loud pipes. The reason for this is that I involuntarily close my eyes and turn away from the sound trying to protect myself. The noise laws, muffler laws, whatever...they need to be enforced. That's a public nuisance.

  9. Motorcycle Noise Comments from Denver Motorcyclist

    Does anyone else share my anger about loud motorcycles with improper or no exhaust mufflers? Don't we realize this is an unnecessary and inconsiderate action? There is absolutely no good reason for a lack of mufflers beyond speed and noise. Both of which are against the law and annoy other drivers and citizens. This is a small but ever growing portion of the motorcycle population.

    They will justify the illegal exhaust by saying they want to be heard to be safe. Isn't the noise behind them? And aren't these the same guys who don't wear helmets?

    There is one of these inconsiderate guys who drive past our normally quiet development on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 6am. He wakes most of us up, and I'm sure he couldn't care less. I've asked the sheriff to do something but nothing has been done yet.

    There is a clear Colorado law that makes it illegal to modify or remove a motorvehicle exhaust system that makes it louder than the factory system. There is a clear $500 fine, half of which goes to the issuing city or county. Why don't our police enforce this law? Why is it OK to break the law and make excessive noise.

    It used to be novel to hear the big motorcycles roar, in the movies, and occasionally on our streets. However, we now have more motorcycles than ever on our roads and this small percentage are growing larger and more annoying. I think it's time to stop it. Enforce the law. Put the mufflers back on. Loud is not cool anymore.

    By the way, I also drive a brute motorcycle with 2000cc's and 119hp. The stock pipes have a deep throaty tone and sound great. I'm sure I've never annoyed anyone with them, and I'm not going to change them.

  10. Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park information, comments, and observations of a long-time visitor to Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

    Licensed motorcycles are allowed in the park. But if your bike has loud 'pipes,' please consider muffling them before entering the park. Loud motorcycles and automobiles scare wildlife deep into the woods. Anything lurking near the drive will run when a loud bike or automobile roars by. Many times, a good photo opportunity or wildlife sighting has been marred by a loud vehicle approaching the scene. And nothing can be more irritating than the sound of loud 'pipes' or mufflers when you're trying to enjoy a quiet moment on a trail or picnic area.

  11. So. Many. Loud. Pipes. They really suck!

    My friend and co-worker Paulie and I rode down to Ocean City, MD for the DelMarVa bike week this past weekend. The hours spent at the event and listening to all the loud pipes sucked. The rest of the weekend; that was fun.

    Your loud pipes don't save any lives - especially when you're just another biker in the mix (they all sound the same, stupid!), and when you're riding through the middle of a family vacation city at the beach. You're not saving lives, you're pissing people off while being starved for attention and validation. You suck. And frankly, you're causing more risk than not, because everyone driving a car is suddenly assaulted from all sides with so much noise it'll harm their driving far more than you sucking as a rider and staying in their blindspots anyway.

    As a loud pipe addendum, do you REALLY need to be running up and down the town's main drag at 4:30am keeping people awake? Really? No. You don't. So don't do it. You probably got your fill of attention during the day time hours when you were doing the same thing for hours on end. You just couldn't hear all the admiration and adoration because of... yep, your loud pipes.


    Four-Corners Rally has been cancelled completely 100% shut-down due to loud motorcycle pipe noise and the government permitting process would not approve the rally. This is true at least for the year 2016. Things could change in the future, but expect a hostile environment from the local people and police if the rally resumes. The people are fed up and they don't want the noise or their community invaded with motorcycles with loud pipes. Police will ticket the bikers aggressively!

  13. Orange County Register: Motorcycle Madness

    The Orange Grove: Throttling back on motorcycle noise

    A 'born-again biker' still supports ticketing illegally loud machines.

    Hats off to Anaheim for its boldness in shushing excessively noisy motorcycles with traffic citations. I say that even as a "born-again biker" myself. Case in point. Last summer I attempted to have a conversation with my friend Andrew at a favorite hangout. Sitting on a bench outside the restaurant, I grumbled as my voice was repeatedly drowned out by the roar of jets taking off and landing - oh, wait, those were Harley-Davidsons, made deafeningly loud with the addition of after-market exhaust pipes.

  14. Fairfax County Noise Ordinance

    Section 82-6-26. Exhaust system in good working order required.125

    125. For similar state law, see Va. Code Ann., § 46.2-1049.

    (a) No person shall drive and no owner of a motor vehicle shall permit or allow the operation of
    any owned vehicle upon a highway unless such motor vehicle is equipped with an exhaust
    system of a type installed as standard factory equipment, or comparable to that designed for use
    upon the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment, in good working order and in constant
    operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, annoying smoke and escape of excessive gas,
    steam or oil. An exhaust system shall not be deemed to prevent excessive or unusual noise if
    it permits or allows the escape of noise in excess of that permitted by the standard factory
    equipment exhaust system of private passenger vehicles or trucks of standard make.
    (b) The term "exhaust system," as used in this Section, means all the parts of a motor vehicle
    through which the exhaust passes after leaving the engine block.

    (c) Chambered pipes shall not be deemed to be an effective muffling device to prevent
    excessive or unusual noise as required in Subsection (a). ((3-13-63; 1961 Code, § 16-163.)
    Section 82-6-27. Muffler cutout illegal.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale: (1) a muffler without interior
    baffle plates or other effective muffling device; or (2) any "gutted muffler," "muffler cutout" or
    "straight exhaust."

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate on the highways a motor vehicle equipped
    with a gutter muffler, muffler cutout or straight exhaust. ((3-13-63; 1961 Code, § 16-164.)

    Section 82-6-9. Illegal sirens, whistles; unlawful use of warning devices; exceptions.106

    106. For similar state law, see Va. Code Ann., § 46.2-1060.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to be equipped with or for any person to use upon any
    vehicle any siren or exhaust, compression or spark plug whistle or horn except as may be
    authorized in this Chapter. It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to be equipped with or for any
    person to use any warning device while upon a highway or any way open to public travel that is
    not of a type that has been approved by the Superintendent or for any person at any time to use a
    horn otherwise than as a reasonable warning or to make any unnecessary or unreasonably loud or
    harsh sound by means of a horn or other warning device, except that the vehicles of common
    carriers or extraordinarily large and heavy vehicles may be equipped with such type of warning
    device as the Superintendent may require or permit.

  15. Explanation and Examples with Photos of Illegal and Legal Motorcycle Mufflers

    NoiseOff is one of the best sources of legal and other information concerning noise pollution.

    Examples of common types of Illegal exhaust systems on motorcycles:

    Examples of Legal Label Match-Up on Exhaust Systems:

    Examples of Illegal Aftermarket Exhaust Systems Lacking EPA Label:

    Examples of Illegal Exhaust System Tampering:

    City of West Hollywood to Crack Down on Excessive Motorcycle Noise within City Limits

  16. City of West Hollywood to Crack Down on Excessive Motorcycle Noise within City Limits

    The City of West Hollywood will hold a news conference to announce the implementation of its new zero tolerance policy on excessive motorcycle noise within the city limits Today, June 20, 2017 at 5 p.m. in front of West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The zero tolerance policy will be put in place to improve the quality of life for West residents and visitors, many of whom have complained over the years about the bothersome motorcycle noise generated from motorcycle mufflers.

    Although new motorcycles are equipped with legal mufflers whose noise limits are in compliance with the California Vehicle Code, some motorcycle owners replace the stock mufflers with illegal mufflers that are lighter, create more horse power and generate excessive noise. Demonstrations of legal versus illegal motorcycle noise will take place immediately following the press conference with motorcycles that are equipped with stock and non-stock mufflers.

    West Hollywood Sheriff's deputies will aggressively cite any motorcycle riders who are not in compliance with the California Vehicle Code. The first infraction will be a fix it ticket and any subsequent violations will be infractions. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department, West Hollywood Station will maintain an updated data base of all motorcycle noise violators. Replacement of a legal stock muffler can cost as much as $1000.

    WHO: Members of the West Hollywood City Council; West Hollywood Sheriff's Station Captain David Long; motorcycle enthusiasts; West Hollywood community members
    WHEN: Today, June 20, 2017 5 p.m.
    WHERE: West Hollywood Park (in front of auditorium) 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard West Hollywood