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Obnoxious Motorcycles

Old 07-11-07, 02:01 AM
  #1  
kmcrawford111
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Obnoxious Motorcycles

I can't be the only one getting extremely irritated by loud motorcycles. These monstrosities are loud enough to destroy hearing in no time flat. Can someone please explain to me just why some of the "hogs" are so obnoxiously loud? Haven't we had enough of this ****? In an age of of technological "advances", it's unfortunate that we still have a sect of people who think it's cool (and tough!) to make loud noises with a gasoline engine. This is the kind of experience that makes it seem to me perfectly reasonable to conclude there's no hope for the future.

A few weeks ago I was in the transition phase of my partial commute - getting out of my truck and onto the bike - and I could hear one. I thought it was close. I wish I were so lucky. It still had a ways to go on the highway and was coming into the plant with me. That thing was loud enough to wake the dead. As it passed through the gate I found myself wondering if the security guard had suffered permanent hearing loss. I was fortunate to still be off the road a little in the parking lot. It was completely ridiculous. It's bad enough that I work in a steel mill - now it looks like I'll have to invest in hearing protection off the job as well.

I think there should be noise laws for motorcycles (and cars as well): your vehicle can't be loud enough to cause hearing damage. It makes perfect sense, seeing how our (US) culture is now by and large completely dependent on motor vehicles. All day every day is about vehicles whizzing by, so it's only appropriate that the things aren't so loud as to destroy one of the five senses. I like to be able to hear what's going on, especially on a bicycle. Apparently loud gasoline engines are a "freedom" that takes precedence over social decency.

I confess a hope that the oil crunch will bring an end to this. It will be interesting to see how "free" the bikers will be then.

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Old 07-11-07, 02:11 AM
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"Loud pipes save lives," is the mantra behind the loud motorcycle group. Personally, I don't like having to hear loud bikes either, but I understand their point of view. Motorcyclists and bicyclists share many of the same hazards from drivers on four wheels. Loud pipes give car drivers one more sensory perception that there is a motorcycle in the immediate area. And of course there is the cool factor, whether real or imagined, behind having a loud bike.
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Old 07-11-07, 02:31 AM
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I do understand that, but is it really necessary to be loud? Or at least so loud? Responsible drivers should be able to see motorcycles without any problem. Is it really necessary to know that one is a few lanes over? What about miles away? This is the kind of noise I'm talking about. Hearing them from across the city. I wouldn't be surprised if this mantra is more often used as an excuse to be loud. I know at least some of them enjoy being loud as evidenced by them continually revving their engines for no other apparent reason. They want attention. As far as I'm concerned it's annoying, and yet another waste of energy.
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Old 07-11-07, 02:32 AM
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I dont like the sounds emitting from a Harley Davidson as those bikes are always loud even at idle. The superbikes from Japan are loud only when rev'd. Also from their point of view, loud bikes are more fun... I'd hate to have a 'quiet' bike but I'd also be considerate when going thru town (no need to go fast therefore no need to rev therefore less noise - doesn't apply to HDs, they're always noisy). Going on towards cars, I'd hate to see the day when Ferraris et al are forced to merely 'hum'.

However I also understand many motorcyclists (especially of the high-rev Japanese superbikes) rev their engines just to make noise (it's fun for them), which i dont agree with. Extending this topic even further, the same applies to lorries/buses etc, but they just make a stupid diesel noise and right now there's no alternative.
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Old 07-11-07, 03:31 AM
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That is a load of crap. Loud pipes do not save lives. The sound is after they pass--- you really cannot hear them coming. Loud pipes are obnoxious.

Originally Posted by CommuterRun
"Loud pipes save lives," is the mantra behind the loud motorcycle group. Personally, I don't like having to hear loud bikes either, but I understand their point of view. Motorcyclists and bicyclists share many of the same hazards from drivers on four wheels. Loud pipes give car drivers one more sensory perception that there is a motorcycle in the immediate area. And of course there is the cool factor, whether real or imagined, behind having a loud bike.
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Old 07-11-07, 03:43 AM
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HD riders tend not to wear gear that makes them stand out like lime yellow
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Old 07-11-07, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by filtersweep
That is a load of crap. Loud pipes do not save lives. The sound is after they pass--- you really cannot hear them coming. Loud pipes are obnoxious.
That's a fact. I still can't hear a thing on my headphones until a Harley is at least a 1/4 mile up the road. There is something about HD rumble at 55mph that drowns out all other sound. The one bright spot of winter is getting the hoards of obnoxiously loud Harleys off the road.
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Old 07-11-07, 04:34 AM
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I'm with y'all. They tend to pass fairly close around here and blow out your ear drums at the same time.
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Old 07-11-07, 04:34 AM
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Loud pipe supporters say they save lives, which is bollocks. Low-frequency sound is omni-directional, hard to place where it's coming from. The pipes are pointed backwards so they need to be right next to or right in front of you to really tell where they're coming from. They may keep someone from changing into your lane, or may startle them right into you. Defensive driving would be the better bet. They're sure not going to stop someone from pulling out in front of you.

I dislike harley pipes. They're loudness does not usually coincide with performance. Making up for lack of something else, I think.

I like pipes on sport bikes and dirt bikes, when in their place. My DRZ is keeping the stock pipe, sacraficing easy HP. It is so quiet the cops don't hear me coming. I can slip into a wooded lot and explore and no one will hear be back there. A yosh full ti will net me 3 hp, but at a deafening 105db.
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Old 07-11-07, 04:37 AM
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Loud pipes = look at me.

So desperate.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:33 AM
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"Loud Pipes Save Lives"

They also scare the hell out of my dog and irritate the sh*t out of me. I live in the city, and out of all the aural annoyances, loud motorcycles ARE THE WORST.

Admittedly, I don't know anything about motorcycles, but I often get the impression that motorcyclists intentionally blare their pipes to "impress" people.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:48 AM
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I agree with you. I've been into this argument with a few Harley owners at work. My opinion is "any f'ing moron can make something loud. It's a sign of true engineering and craftsmanship to make things quiet."

They say "loud pipes save lives" - I say "Cool, then everyone should make their cars as loud as possible too. When everyone's deaf, then your pipes won't bother anyone anymore, and they won't do you any good either."

There's one bike in my area that's so loud that several times I've been behind it as we both pulled around a corner, and as he's accelerating, his noise is fairly painful to me, and I'm 150 feet back, in a car, with the windows rolled up. That's just stupid loud.

My ideal vehicle of any type would be completely silent. I'm really looking forward to my first electric car.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:56 AM
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If they really cared about their own safety, they would maybe WEAR HELMETS?!?!?

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
That's a fact. I still can't hear a thing on my headphones until a Harley is at least a 1/4 mile up the road. There is something about HD rumble at 55mph that drowns out all other sound. The one bright spot of winter is getting the hoards of obnoxiously loud Harleys off the road.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun
"Loud pipes save lives," is the mantra behind the loud motorcycle group.
I thought it was "I might lack a little bit 'belowdecks', so I'll make up for it with a loud motorcycle." You'd think a Viagra prescription would be cheaper.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:16 AM
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I have owned nearly every brand of motorcycle. Well not really, but quite a few:
Jap bikes (Honda, Suzuki, Kow, etc)
Moto Guzzi
BMW
Triumph
Norton
Bultaco

Never owned a hog. I thought they were cool bikes until they became yuppie status symbols.

I hate loud pipes. What fun is it going for a ride when your head is rattling, and when on a group ride, you have to scream to say something to the people you're riding with?

As far as the loud pipes save lives thing, thats a load of bull. You can't hear them approaching from behind really well - if at all - in a car with the windows up.
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Bicycle riding on a quiet night is so frikkin amazing. Moving about in silent stealth.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:46 AM
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I have a few comments.

First, I am a new motorcyclist, and I am at a loss as to the attraction of the loud pipes. They would irritate the neighbors anytime I started the thing up, and in general be a neusance.

Second, Its not just the HD sect. I ride a suzuki cruiser style bike, and had a hard time finding a used bike (suzuiki, Honda, Kawasaki...anything) that didn't have either aftermarket pipes or the OEM pipes debaffled. In talking with other riders, they always get a smirk when they say loud pipes save lives, so they know its bunk, but say it anyway. The comments I get are to the effect of how nice the sound is when riding, and how it contributes a nice purr as you cruise along.

Okay, you may now continue with the rant
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Old 07-11-07, 06:55 AM
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From an outsider's viewpoint, motorcyclists in the US (or at least California when I worked there in 2001) are conspicuous for riding loud bikes with no safety gear at all.

In Europe and Asia a motorbike is just a motorbike. You ride it to get to work (Europe) or to transport the whole family (Vietnam) (personal record - seeing 5 people on one scooter). In Australia racing-style bikes are popular. New Zealanders can't afford motorbikes

What's with the whole bikie gang look and sound thing? I don't get it.

So, yeah, too-loud motorbikes annoy me too.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:31 AM
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Now this is a subject that burns me. Personally my Harley has full stage two screaming eagles. Why? Performance and better fuel economy. Do I think that they make me any more or less safe? I would say somewhat yes. They do raise awareness to you and trust me, motorcyclist are even less visible to a driver than a cyclist. The only people that see us bike riders are the cops. The only time they raise peoples awareness is on the freeway when you are passing and enter their blind spot. I've noticed this both while riding my bike and in my car.

Being said, there are three types of HD (and Metric Cruiser) riders. The "Hard Core" biker, the poser, and the folks just out to putter around (me). The Hard Core (think Hells Angles) are little different than any other group of thugs. Expect no better from them than the inner city gangs.

The posers who want to be like the hard core are generally the ones you find with the drilled baffles or some otherwise obnoxiously loud pipe who are basically out to be attention *****s. They are usually found bliping their throttles for no reason or unnecessarily running in a low gear to be “loud and proud”. Either way, the posers are making up a huge percentage of Harley sales and you can bet the company is going to cater to them.

Then their are the folks like me who ride politely and take all the crap from folks like you. At an idle my bike with the stage II's is not much louder than stock pipes. Under acceleration I take care not to crack it open all the way just for that noise I find so delightful.

Now, for the HD bashers in here, I would like to inform you of two companies Kyrukian (spell) and Vane & Himes which both make louder pipes for metric (import) cruisers. Put a set of V&H big shots on a Kawasaki V2K and you'll have a bike louder than any street legal Harley. Also, many towns have noise ordinances, turn them in and let the authorities handle it. If a three minute phone call is too much to be bothered with, then deal with noise.

In all I would like to say it's not the motorcycle, it’s the rider.

On a side note, would you agree with me that the "fart pipes" on the little tuner cars are far more annoying? Not sure where I was going with this, need more coffee.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:33 AM
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It's too bad that the boomers decided to fixate on copying Easy Rider as a way to express their "individuality" in choosing transportation.

How much better if they had fixated on Mary Poppins.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bautieri
Then their are the folks like me who ride politely and take all the crap from folks like you. At an idle my bike with the stage II's is not much louder than stock pipes.
Eh?
How are you taking crap from us if you are not part of the problem?
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Old 07-11-07, 07:35 AM
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I guess what I was trying to say is that loud pipes are not the magical safety net that some riders think they are. They are a tool that adds to your safety along with leathers (chaps and jacket), full face helmet, gloves, and thick boots. Yes that is the image most people hate, black leather, but if your going to go skidding across the pavement at 80mph, you can bet your hind end that leather that looks dorky is going to save your skin.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:43 AM
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Ah.

Personally I have no issues with the black leather look. I had a friend who could have used it when he wrecked on our main highway doing 60 mph. Full body road rash is quite painful.

Someday I may join your ranks. Not sure if it will be a harley, honda, or a crotch rocket of some kind but it does hold some appeal to me.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:50 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It may be late but I wish him a speedy recovery.

I would be glad to see you on a motorcycle. I would recommend a cruiser if your looking for a comfortable ride. I personally can't get comfortable on a sport bike but that’s just me, the ergonomics are just a tad too extreme. If you would ever like to go into detail on it let me know.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:52 AM
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It was 5 years ago and it took a long time to recover but he did.

The motorcycle is a wee bit down the road. I am planning on finally replacing my car this year. Someday....

Much thanks
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Old 07-11-07, 07:54 AM
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I had an open pipe Harley rider buzz me one time while he was hammering the throttle. He knew it was loud, that's why he did it. The thing he didn't know was that is was so loud that my ears were ringing for 2 days afterwards.

What a freakin' idiot. I'm pretty sure that I have some permanent hearing loss from that one incident. If there was only a way to track him down, but he scampered away like the big sissy boy he was.

I'm now firmly in the bikers suck camp.
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