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Discussion Starter #1
I suppose first and foremost bikes are for transportation, but I’d own a bike if I never had to go anywhere, and I invent places to go just so I can ride.
Motorcycles are fun.

I’ve seen three types of owners who are in it for the fun factor.
Some are in it primarily for the speed. Speed is a relative thing, and I get more yucks from some curves at 50 than I do 100 on the straight-aways. Where I ride I can top any hill at 90 (curves permitting), so my Bonnie really gives me all of the speed I can reasonably need. Looking forward to the R3 and probably an S3, for more power and speed, but that’s just for the fun factor. Call me a kid at heart if you must.

Some are in it for the looks. Whether it’s dressed for speed or dressed for touring, it has to ‘look good’, or they’re not interested. I have a crotch rocket buddy who sees no beauty in the R3. I just shake my head, no hope for him. Some of the Goldwing riders think symmetry is beauty, poor guys.

I put myself primarily in the third category. I like motorcycles. I ride for fun. Don’t have to be able to break 70MPH, don’t have to be able to ride 1000 miles in two days and say ‘that was fun’. Give me a bike I enjoy and I’ll have fun, and when you get down to it that just means it should be in good running condition. All the rest is just icing.

Which brings me to loud pipes. Jump to here for my point.
Loud pipes are fun, and they are an effective safety device.
A common claim I hear from friends is ‘I want the speed and loud pipes don’t make me go any faster’. I expect they don’t have any chrome on their bikes because chrome doesn’t give any speed either. Neither do windshield, back rests, saddlebags and custom seats.
Vroom, Vroom! Call me juvenile, it won’t bother me. I’m in it for the fun.

Here’s my argument for loud pipes as a safety feature:
We all know most accidents are caused, directly or indirectly by the cage drives. (Not all, but most.) A lot of them just ride away, escaping all responsibility, but no crash if it weren’t for them.
This is primarily because bikers ride in a sea of cages. If there were a thousand motorcycles for every cage on the road, percentage wise, the cage drivers would be killing a lot less of us two wheelers.
They need to be made aware that we are out there.

Education is the key, easy to say nearly impossible to do.

If you’ve got ten loud bikes in a community, it will seem like 20 or 30 to the cage drivers. They have been made aware, and I am safer.
My neighbors don’t need to hear my pipes. If I have a moped they know I’m a two wheeler.
I don’t have to rip through the streets at midnight, we don’t need to wake the sleeping.
Sure there is overkill, being juvenile can tramp on someone else’s toes too much. No need to be obnoxious (except to the totally intolerant). Give me loud pipes and I’ll use them moderately, enough to make the cage drivers take notice, enough to have some extra fun for me. No stealth for me. I ride like I’m invisible to every cage driver out there, but it is to my benefit if more of them are aware of motorcycles, in general.

Do I want loud pipes ‘JUST’ so I’ll be noticed? Well, I’m not very safe if I’m not noticed. But Dang, loud pipes are fun. As much fun for me as 135mph is for my crotch rocket buddy.
Loud pipes give me fun, and make motorcyclists safer because the cagers will be more aware they share the road with us. If they aren't going to see me, at least they'll hear me.

I also wear a two tone leather jacket for visibility, have a two tone Bonnie, and my hi-viz Kevlar jacket is on order for summer.

Of course, not everyone will agree with my logic.
 

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Loud pipes not only save your life, but can save others as well. I recently was pulling off from a green light with a car taking off beside me to my left. When all the sudden, I notice an idiot in the oncoming left turn lane not stopping and fixing to make a turn right into the car next to me.

I rapped the motor a couple of times, letting the TORs bark, and the woman in the offending car looked up all startled! Then she saw she was about to hit the car next to me and came to a screeching halt. She was all startled and stuck out in the intersection, but no harm done.. :)
 

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"Safety" is the oldest, tiredest, and most bogus excuse ever invented for loud pipes!

Getting noticed is hardly the same as being safe. I saw a big Harley pass a car yesterday. He had pulled into the other lane and was just starting along side the car when he decided to open the throttle wide. The racket was loud enough to startle me, several car lengths back! Apparently, the other driver was even more surprised, and had no idea what the noise was or where it was coming from as the bike was probably in the car's blind spot right then. He or she bolted upright and grabbed the wheel hard, which resulted in that car swerving a bit, under less than full control. Had the pavement not been dry, the result could have been several folks getting wiped out at 80 MPH.

When it comes to safety, there's only so much that "getting noticed" will do for you. If you just like to be loud and are willing to take your lumps from the law, that's your business; you don't need to pretend it's about something more. As for safety, the only thing you can really do is always assume you're NOT visible, and behave accordingly.
 

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a bit righteous/heavy handed here... respect your opinion, but others may actually believe that the increased prominence from the volume makes cagers more aware of our presence.
 

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BeHereNow,

Welcome to the forum. Loud pipes or /stock pipes, helments or no helments and bike tires or car tires are likely the top three motorcycle forum topics.

I prefer stock pipes and, ride with full face helment on bike tires.

Maybe the first two or three times a pack of 10-20 loud bikes past my house I jumped up to take a look at my fellow brothers, heck I even waved and gave them thumb up. Frankly, noise pollution is just noise. We ride in communities and need to be respectful. And, we need the respect of non riders. If I can't drive my 56 chevy with open pipes on the street then open pipes on a bike is just as illegal. Law enforcement normally looks the other way until the community has had enough and then implements a zero tolerance position.


Ride safe and Heppy Thanksgiving!
 

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Loud pipes will get all motorcycles banned from public roads by next Thursday.

If you don't use synthetic oil specifically manufactured for motorcycle engines, you are obviously a squirrel-molesting national socialist.

Anyone who isn't using Michelin dual compound tires is going to contract a fatal case of tinnitus of the metatarsals.

If you have ever ridden without a helmet, you should star in a reality show about hunting humans. As the huntee.

If you don't break in your motorcycle exactly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, your turn signal mirrors will always droop on hot Wednesday mornings, and your rear brake will fail to activate the brake light.

Did I leave anything out? :D

But seriously, this is an interesting addition to the loud pipes debate you've made, BeHereNow. All the arguments I've ever heard have been from a right here, right now standpoint; in other words, how the pipes affect the safety of one particular rider in one particular location. The idea that a smattering of loud pipes in a community increases the overall awareness is interesting. And as long as that smattering isn't so loud that it induces bleeding of the auditory canal, I think you may have a point. The problem is that different people have different ideas about what is obnoxiously loud.
 

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Some sound is OK, straight pipes are excessive.
I don't like too quiet of a bike myself.
 

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a bit righteous/heavy handed here... respect your opinion, but others may actually believe that the increased prominence from the volume makes cagers more aware of our presence.
Diego is correct. I have not seen one reputable study that pushes for louder pipes, furthermore the growing ordinances in the US are using 80 decibals as the cut off. Some of the fines are as much as $400. per incident.

I think a more correct approach would be to increase visibilty (better head lights or bulbs, tail lights), better horn like the Stebel (139 decibals) and safety courses. Education for bikers and cagers which is what the NHTSA has been recommending for years.

Louder pipes are just not the answer. If you chose to go that route good luck with the fines. Oh and if your area is not giving fines for being too loud...just wait as people start to complain you will see the ordinances change.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Diego
My apologies.
Thanks for moving the thread, I was going to post in another thread in that section, and decided it was off topic, so started a new one at the last minute. My bad.

My argument is two pronged, fun/enjoyment, and increases awareness, therefore safety factor. The only other possible argument concerning anything to do with motorcycles would be cost. I couldn’t work that in.

As HiDesert points out, my argument is deeper that the stereotypical ‘It makes me safer’.
Thanks for the reply.

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tbsrider 2000
Someone is going to tell you your technique is not PC, you should have used the horn.
Now they don’t have to . I like your method better, more intuitive.

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J3ff
Thanks.

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Tallrocket
I asked my Maryland dealer about the noise level if I removed the baffles, and he said he knew several state troopers who were HD riders, with some of the loudest pipes he’d heard. The rest of his answer was similar to yours, community standards will tell you if they are too loud. If you get stopped and warned or ticketed, change them.
I live right next to an interstate (two lane, mostly NOT limited access) and there are more loud trucks that go past my house than (excessively) loud motorcycles. Add the use of the jake-brake and now all of the semis are louder. BTW, jake-brakes are banned in most communities, I’m in the country. Few of the communities have DB standards.

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hogwylde
You do not have to believe it, for it to be true.
Fun is enough reason, no disagreement from me.

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HiDesert
There was a movement (I believe it faded away) to ban the 5-7 gallon plastic buckets used for so many things. Seems some parents let their toddlers play in them full of water, and the babes drowned. The more reasonable (?) folks said don’t ban them, just put round bottoms on them so they won’t stand upright.
BTW, in the days of bucket brigades for fires, they used to keep stacks of buckets around, and they were often stolen, so they started making them with round bottoms so they would be useless to thieves.
I think I know some folks who believe moped are obnoxiously loud.

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Greaser
Pain in the arse, aren’t they!

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Lee
Any studies on how much fun they produce in the rider, or does ‘fun’ lack any value?

Any studies showing they DONOT increase safety? I have noticed that if the data is not PC, it is ignored, or worse. Seems to me this is one of those things that is virtually impossible to show compelling evidence one way or the other. A lack of evidence when there is a lack of studies is a weak argument. Certainly weaker than common sense.
Lots of studies have shown increased visual awareness increases safety. It doesn’t take a huge leap to extend visual to auditory. Plain old common sense.
I heard that black motorcycles are ‘less visible’ than other colors. I wonder if you would outlaw black motorcycles on that basis (rhetorical, you suggested no such thing).

Yes, we can agree there are ‘better’ approaches (safety-wise), and I believe they all lack the fun factor.

Observing community standards or paying the freight is just fine with me. I never suggested any less.
Same with the speed limit. I’ll observe the community standards or pay the freight. Very reasonable approach. No need for an AK47 in either case.

“Believe half of what you see none of what you hear.” Interesting. No evidence loud pipes do not add safety, so it must be false. Now there’s some compelling evidence to make one a believer.
 

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Lee
Any studies on how much fun they produce in the rider, or does ‘fun’ lack any value?

Any studies showing they DONOT increase safety? I have noticed that if the data is not PC, it is ignored, or worse. Seems to me this is one of those things that is virtually impossible to show compelling evidence one way or the other. A lack of evidence when there is a lack of studies is a weak argument. Certainly weaker than common sense.
Lots of studies have shown increased visual awareness increases safety. It doesn’t take a huge leap to extend visual to auditory. Plain old common sense.
I heard that black motorcycles are ‘less visible’ than other colors. I wonder if you would outlaw black motorcycles on that basis (rhetorical, you suggested no such thing).

Yes, we can agree there are ‘better’ approaches (safety-wise), and I believe they all lack the fun factor.

Observing community standards or paying the freight is just fine with me. I never suggested any less.
Same with the speed limit. I’ll observe the community standards or pay the freight. Very reasonable approach. No need for an AK47 in either case.

“Believe half of what you see none of what you hear.” Interesting. No evidence loud pipes do not add safety, so it must be false. Now there’s some compelling evidence to make one a believer.
I thought we were discussing the safety benefit or not of loud pipes. That said my R3 is not loud, but yet I can run circles around most HD with out even trying. (HD may not hear me coming but they will see me going:D)

Riders who believe that an ear-shattering exhaust note actually increases safety are either kidding themselves or rationalizing self-indulgent 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.
It's rooted in physics. Unlike an earthquake, which emits waves in a sphere away from its epicenter, sound waves can be directed. (A good example of this a megaphone: if sound waves were not directionally sensitive, megaphone users would all be deaf.) The pressure wave emitted from an exhaust pipe is pointed away from and behind the motorcycle.

To hear it from anywhere other than directly behind the bike, you rely on the resonance of the pipes and reflection of the sound waves off of other objects, like cars, signs, buildings, etc.

NHTSA statistics report that 76% of motorcycles involved in two-vehicle crashes were impacted from the front, with only 5% coming from the rear. Rear facing exhaust outlets face the wrong way to be especially effective at alerting drivers ahead of you to your presence. Motorcycles are harder to see because of their relatively narrow shape, not because they are quiet.

I repeat I have yet to see a reliable or reputable study stating that loud pipes increase awareness of their presence, but I have seen NHTSA studies saying that they do not increase cager awareness of there presence.
 

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Both my bikes have what are called Stage 1 slip-ons, from the manufacturer.
A little more volume than stock without being obnoxious & a modest 5-10 HP increase (estimated).
I like how they sound and give me a little more presence especially in heavy traffic. Throttle cracking is used sanely & judiciously only when my space is being invaded by some mindless cager.
To increase visibility I'm wearing a bright helmet, Hi-Viz vest and using very bright PIAA running lights day & night.
The flourescent helmet Mohawk is next. :)
Ride safe guys.
 

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You made mention of the bike color. I believe when you throw out too many things you dilute or make the main point ambiguous. The color of the bike most definetely can affect how well you can be seen. The difference with loud pipes ( to be clear above 80 decibals) and color is that a black bike while more subdued is not waking up my neighbor or infringing on his right for minimal noise pollution.

Here is a diagram which is from the NHTSA.

 

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There may be certain instances where louder pipes let others aware of you but defensive riding, being aware of your surroundings and potential hazards, and the ability to react go a lot farther toward keeping you safe.

If loud pipes save lives why don't insurance companies require them?! A little plagiarism of Peter Egan......
 

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Lee
I thought we were discussing the safety benefit or not of loud pipes. That said my R3 is not loud, but yet I can run circles around most HD with out even trying. (HD may not hear me coming but they will see me going )
No, check out my OP.
I was making a two pronged argument in favor of loud pipes, safety being only one.
You ignored the fun factor, I did not.

Riders who believe that an ear-shattering exhaust note actually increases safety are either kidding themselves or rationalizing self-indulgent behavior.
Ear shattering exhaust? Don’t believe I used that phrase.

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.
Of course you don’t mean physical hurt, you mean lowers the public esteem, like black leather jackets, patches, and yes, like motorcycles themselves.
Negative public image are a reason against loud pipes, and black leather jackets, patches, and motorcycles.


It's rooted in physics. Unlike an earthquake, which emits waves in a sphere away from its epicenter, sound waves can be directed. (A good example of this a megaphone: if sound waves were not directionally sensitive, megaphone users would all be deaf.) The pressure wave emitted from an exhaust pipe is pointed away from and behind the motorcycle.

To hear it from anywhere other than directly behind the bike, you rely on the resonance of the pipes and reflection of the sound waves off of other objects, like cars, signs, buildings, etc.

NHTSA statistics report that 76% of motorcycles involved in two-vehicle crashes were impacted from the front, with only 5% coming from the rear. Rear facing exhaust outlets face the wrong way to be especially effective at alerting drivers ahead of you to your presence. Motorcycles are harder to see because of their relatively narrow shape, not because they are quiet.
My argument did not follow those lines at all.
My argument is that the community becomes aware of motorcycle riders, and that is good for motorcycle safety. I said nothing about alerting the drivers in front of me. I would use the Doppler effect against that argument, but yours works as well.
You make a good case against an argument I never made.
I repeat I have yet to see a reliable or reputable study stating that loud pipes increase awareness of their presence, but I have seen NHTSA studies saying that they do not increase cager awareness of there presence.
Well, if they do not increase cager awareness, then I have to assume it is only the noncagers who are offended by ear shattering pipes, since the cagers aren’t even aware of them. This is a curious phenomena you describe.
I am wondering if ‘cagers’ must be in a cage to be considered, or are cagers who are in houses also included in the ones who have no increased awareness of loud pipes. It seems to me that cagers who are not caging, would be aware of loud pipes, which is my point.
Now if these statistics you mention only includes cages who are involved in the action of caging, then it does not address my argument.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MarkBartelsbeing aware of your surroundings and potential hazards, and the ability to react go a lot farther toward keeping you safe.
That leads to a good argument against helmets, especially full face helments.
Surely we can all agree that helmets restrict awareness of surroundings. The only disaggreement is whether the positive effects ourweight the negatives.
If loud pipes save lives why don't insurance companies require them?! A little plagiarism of Peter Egan......
Let's get real. I do not care how much convincing evidence I might be able to produce, insurance companies will never give discounts to loud pipes. Just not PC.
Take this into consideration: There can be no doubt that helmets on cage drivers would reduce head injuries of cage drivers in many acccidents. Surely that is undeniable.
I never heard of an insurance company giving cage drivers a discount if they routinly wear a helment (or can prove they were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident). Why not?
 

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Lee you beat me to it but your diagram is consistant with the direction noise travels when moving.

If you have to make the pipes so loud to hear forward, arent' you doing damage to your own ears, which is a hinderance to you in traffic. I think there is a limit to the amount of decibles needed to attract someones attention as your passing.

I like the sound of a well tuned engine opened up for performance but..........there is a limit. I live very close to the 528 which is a main route from where I live to Albuquerque. I can honestly hear an uncorked Harley at a mile with the bike traveling away. That's too much! The Harley's are way louder. Most Harley riders equate noise with performance. Otherwise, if they can't get it to run they may as well make it sound like it can. The problem is, with the windows rolled up in most newer auto it cuts the noise in half. That's half of what's actually being emitted forward and that's not much. Put 110 DB out the exhaust and stand in front and it's more like 80 DB get the picture.

Surprisingly, the only other motorcycle that makes that kind of noise is a Ducati with a race exhaust. I partially agree, exhaust note will make a difference but not that much. The emitting sound waves are moving in the wrong direction to effect a caggers attention. Will it make a difference from the front, nada; from the side while passing, yes; from the back it really doesn't matter.

I find a swift kick in the door or a quick rap on the windshield with a replica baseball bat is quite effective.:D Proven effective, everytime!:eek:

Cheers

Jeff:motorbike2:
 

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Jeff I find that some times a diagram is a little more informative. The NHTSA lists the main problem in regards to visibility is the narrow field of the bike. The noise from loud pipes not only are going in the wrong direction but the bike unless stopped is in a forward motion. So loud pipes as a safety option are truly mythical. Safety classes, being aware and increasing your visibility are more plausible and effective. :)
 

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I agree. The sound isn't moving forward, it's moving backward, which makes it almost a mute :D point! The diagram is typical of most accidents. It reflects about all that needs to be said. I shock motorists out of their stuperious state when I pass or am directly parallel with them.;)

Cheers

Jeff:motorbike2:
 

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Now owning a R3 I have contemplated getting louder pipes (reasonably louder) to increase the stomping affect when I pass an unsuspecting HD.:D

Purely for fun though.
 
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