Calif. bill targets motorcycle exhausts

SB. 435 would mandate EPA labels

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 30, 2010
A California State Assembly committee is supporting a proposal that would require EPA-compliant exhausts on 2011 and newer motorcycles.

 The Committee on Transportation voted 8-4 in approval of Senate Bill 435 which would require motorcycles built after Jan. 1, 2011 to use exhaust systems that meet sound emission standards. Riders found using 2011 and newer motorcycles without a federal Environmental Protection Agency label certifying sound emission compliance will be issued “fix it” tickets by law enforcement officers.

The bill will now be passed over to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris says SB. 435 is approaching the issue of excessive motorcycle noise the wrong way.

“Many EPA labels are very difficult to locate on motorcycles,” says Nick Haris, AMA Western States representative. “This proposed law could lead to a flurry of tickets for motorcyclists who have legal exhaust systems on their machines with EPA labels that can't be easily seen. It's unreasonable to expect a law enforcement officer to easily locate an EPA label, and it’s simply unfair to expect a motorcycle owner to partially dismantle an exhaust system alongside the road to prove the label exists.

The AMA has adopted a position against excessive motorcycle sound, and supports using a standardized sound testing method, the Society of Automotive Engineers’ J2825 standard, to measure noise.

“Requiring that a motorcycle display a readily visible EPA label isn’t the correct way to address concerns about excessive motorcycle sound,” says Haris. “The only objective way to determine whether a motorcycle complies with sound laws is for properly trained personnel to conduct sound level tests using calibrated meters and an agreed-upon testing procedure.”

Haris is asking concerned California motorcyclists to contact their state lawmakers and urge them to reject SB 435.