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  1. #1
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Harleys, Why so LOUD?


    I don't mean to flame anyone here, but I think motor cycles, specifically, Harley Davidsons, especially those riding in the city, have got to be the biggest menace to the peace out there. Why do they have to be so loud? Motor cycle riders have a certain amount in common with bicyclist, such as a love of the freedom of the open road, or trail, and a love of the outdoors (?). I know plenty of decent people that ride these things, and don't have any static toward the riders specifically. HDs are so popular these days that it seems to be a faux pas to even bring up the issue. I can't wait till winter time when I can ride my bike without the noisyness of other two wheelers. I am wondering what how you, the cycling community, feel about the noise issue.

  2. #2
    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    I love the sound! It doesn’t really bother me when one or two or the whole pack passes by. I don't see bikes being without any sound. If they were to go death, they would be just a different version of DH bikes but with motors.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mindbogger's Avatar
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    The noise is sometimes unbearable espically when a whole group of them decide to ride by your house
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  4. #4
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    I'm sure they could make them run quieter. It's just an attention grabber. "Hey look at me. I'm riding a big motorbike."

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    It's THAT SOUND which makes it a Harley!
    Yep, it bugs the heck out of me!
    But I heard from this person who just acquired a brand new Harley after a year's wait that the bikes come shipped from HD with 'legal' quiet muflers and it is the bike owners who install these loud popping aftermarket exhaust pipes.
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  6. #6
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Yes, I've heard that too. I like the sound of a nice sounding engine, but only to a point. The stock sound isn't too bad, but the popping needs to go! :O

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MediaCreations
    I'm sure they could make them run quieter. It's just an attention grabber. "Hey look at me. I'm riding a big motorbike."
    Yep, that's all it is. We get quite a few cars that are hyped up in the same way around here. I think I may have mentioned this previously: the Internet isn't the only thing people use for trolling purposes. What I want to know is, who's going to pay for their hearing aids when they all go deaf in later life?
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  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    This is similar to the phenomenon going on right now (especially in California) with attaching whistles to the exhaust pipes of cars... highly annoying. As if the farting coffee-can exhaust tips weren't bad enough...

    It's funny (not ha-ha funny) the amount of stuff people get away with when it comes to their automobile or motorcycle. Aircraft operations are governed by noise abatement rules such that many airports close down at specific times of night yet anyone can go blasting through that same area on a Harley equipped with noise-enhancing tailpipes or a whistler attached to their exhaust.
    Last edited by khuon; 08-17-03 at 03:28 AM.
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    Having grown up around and riding motorcycles, I can tell you there is something mystical about the sound of a big Harley. It is not something you can put your finger on. Moreover it is the feel of that huge engine and all that power under your butt that makes the sound sweeter.

    Now that don't ride anymore, the sound sure became irritating, especially when 10 or more go whipping by.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    as someone who has owned motorcycles.....I find Harleys as mystical as an old, busted fridge. Back when I was riding, half the bikes you saw busted on the side of the road were Harleys. But this was the Seventies when everyone was buying Honda, and only about 10% of the bikes on the road were Harley.
    They eventually improved the reliability while jumping the cost from overpriced to obscene.
    If there is one consolation, modifying the exhaust will reduce back pressure. This usally means exhaust will leave the combustion chamber earlier and hotter than the designer intended, which in an efficient engine would ruin it. Still should
    damage it, eventually, even on an antique design (it was borrowed originally from a tractor).
    Last edited by late; 08-17-03 at 06:22 AM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Swimjim's Avatar
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    I would guess over the years I have piled on about half a million miles on motorcycles. The exhaust note of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is unique. I owned one for about four years.
    I'll say this. At least, when your out on a country road, you can hear them coming. Machines such as the Honda Goldwing are very quiet and the oppiste is true.
    The big problem with Harley's today is that they have become a status symbol for the YUMAK crowd.(Young upwardly mobile ass kissers). They buy a 1340 cc motorcycle and drive it with NO PREVIOUS RIDING EXPERIENCE!!! This is very, very dangerous to the rider themselves and for whomever they kill when they go down.
    Keep the loud pipes so that everyone else can steer clear of these people.

    Jim

  12. #12
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    I like the harley sound. At least other motorists can hear them coming.

  13. #13
    Chi
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    I think we got future customers ... my gf's an audiologist.

  14. #14
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    I do not mind the sound of Harley's, what I do mind though is peole who buy fottball helmet cars then put 1500 watt amps in it with 4 15" woofers and drive by with the bass turned all the way up.

  15. #15
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    the sound it makes doesn't bother me, infact, when they ride alongside me, I tend to get really agitated, and I increase my speed to keep up with them I just love it......
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  16. #16
    Career Cyclist threadend's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the noise of loud bikes, cars and stereos is here to stay I wish the yahoos that demonstrate the capabilities of such devices between the hours of 10:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. would get tickets and fines that directly correlate to the decibel level of their toys.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Beats Walking's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned one of the real reasons those bikes are so loud: So people in cars know they're there! As we all know, bikes, (bicycles and motorcycles), tend to be "invisible" to auto drivers. Lights help, but "cagers" sometimes miss those, too. Some drivers "target fixate" on lights, but will steer clear of loud noises. So motorcyclists use what they have, (their exhaust note), to alert cars around them to their presence, since they don't have the luxury of special lanes for them. That way when a car does hit them they have to say, "oh I didn't see OR hear him, your honor". Yeah right.

    Motorcycists have a saying: Loud pipes save lives. Although I really don't like all that noise spoiling my serenity, I tend to agree with them.
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  18. #18
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    I've never heard the "loup pipes save lives" theory. That sounds like another bad argument from another special interest group to justify themselves. From personal experience in my own automobile, that makes absolutely no sense. I'm not sure if I even hear motercycles when I'm in my car, especially when I'm in a situation where I might hit one, such as at an intersection. That would be like me in my pu truck saying, "keeping my horn on constantly saves lives".

  19. #19
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Beats Walking
    No one has mentioned one of the real reasons those bikes are so loud: So people in cars know they're there!
    Motorcycists have a saying: Loud pipes save lives.
    Ummmm........then why is it that owners of Yamahas, Kawasakis, BMWs, Hondas, etc., don't run open exhausts like Harley owners do....
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  20. #20
    Hucker Extraordinare BigHit-Maniac's Avatar
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    It's THAT SOUND which makes it a Harley!

    Ahh yes...

    and then there's the sound of a well-tuned Ducati 996, or 999 with a carbon fiber ferracci exhaust... which sounds like a chevy 350 w/ a lumpy cam & glasspacks. Then you wonder "why am I riding this harley?" as the guy on the Ducati blows past you... leaving his heaven-sent big-twin sound right into your eardrums.

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  21. #21
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BigHit-Maniac
    Ahh yes...

    and then there's the sound of a well-tuned Ducati 996, or 999 with a carbon fiber ferracci exhaust... which sounds like a chevy 350 w/ a lumpy cam & glasspacks. Then you wonder "why am I riding this harley?" as the guy on the Ducati blows past you... leaving his heaven-sent big-twin sound right into your eardrums.

    You ride a harley because its a harley. It really isn't a question that needs to be asked. I want to ride a hog. Nothing else holds the mystique and legend. The noise a harley makes is it's noise and belongs there. If someone muffles the sound and feel they may as well have bought a honda. Harley is not about the performance, its the love

  22. #22
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    I'm not really a motorcycle guy myself but I seem to be more impressed by Triumphs and Indians more than Harleys. One of my friends (and avid cyclist) serves on the BoD for Panzer Motorcycles. They also seem to make nice bikes.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    you should hear my Corvette
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  24. #24
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by miamijim
    you should hear my Corvette
    4 barrel?...I used to own a transam way back with a 4barrel carb and man when that thing opened up it sounded like someone had gasoline just pouring in the engine. I hate cars in general (I don't drive anymore) but loud fast cars are all I liked ...

  25. #25
    Kev
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    I agree that sound makes the Harley a Harley. As for loud stereo's with all that base I don't understand, all they care about it is the decibals they can get out of those speakers, I can understand listeing to music loudly I enjoy blasting my stereo and listeing to Metallica sometimes, but it is not distorted and I have very good speakers to play it through in my home stereo.

    There is a law against level of noise coming from a car, if they have those big 15" subs with 1500 watts etc.. the police can give them a ticket. I can't remember how the law is exactly stated but if the police officer can here the stereo a certain distance from the car it is against the law.

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