On a couple of recent rides -- over the North Cascades Highway, through Mt. Rainier National Park -- I've noticed some *absurdly* loud exhausts on Harley Davidson motorcycles being ridden through some pretty awesome scenery. (Let's be precise here - not other marques; just Harleys).
On a scale of 1 to 10, if a Honda Goldwing is a 3, and a stock Harley is a 5, and a Harley with a standard "loud" aftermarket exhaust is a 10, I'd rate some of these bikes at 15 or 20. I'm talking bone-tingling, ear-splitting, tree-shaking loud.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a motorsports fan, and understand the thrill of loud exhaust at a racetrack (e.g., I've been to the Indy 500 twice, and the noise of the start is big part of the attraction). I rode motorcycles as a kid and -- when I was 16 -- certainly got a macho kick out of ratting around on a friend's two-stroke enduro bike with an all-out racing expansion chamber on it.
But even as a teenager I kept my street bike *street legal.* And then I grew up.
However, the riders I see out on the open road are often our age, or older. So I'm not sure I get the sport of doing long-distance rides through beautiful scenery (like the Cascade Mountains) with awesomely loud aftermarket exhaust systems. I guess I understand the market for highly modified custom street bikes, and an occasional street ride with a super-loud exhaust to impress the kiddies.
But in addition to being rude, probably illegal in any jurisdiction with a noise ordinance, and totally out of character of the scenery encountered, isn't it just plain tiring to ride a motorcycle with that much noise? Does anyone understand what's up with this?
(Normally I would ascribe any such ridiculous behavior to testosterone poisoning, but I see women on these bikes, too).