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Loud Pipes Lose Rights?

By George Obradovich, Mar. 09, 2005
We read alot about the loud pipes issue. I believe that it is something that must be addressed as there are more and more communities that are seeking to ban or limit motorcycles and loud pipes happens to be one of the easiest things for non-riders to seize upon as their reason.

I myself have aftermarket pipes (Hooker 2 into1) on my Harley Low Rider and my main reason is for performance. If I could get the same performance with a quieter exhaust system I would get it. Anyway, I don't find that it is difficult to reduce the potentially offensive noise by being careful HOW I ride in residential areas. Just slow down, keep the bike in as high a gear as possible and putt, putt, putt along. I can't understand these people who run straight pipes or ride in a way so as to make as much noise as possible and it is these morons who will lose us our rights.

There is another group, however, who also threaten our rights by HOW they ride. I am referring to sportbike riders who ride at excessive speeds in car traffic. Who weave and pass cars unsafely at high rates of speed. Who wheelie down public highways for extended distances alongside cars. While a loud motorcycle may annoy some people, I think that a nonrider is just as likely to complain to his/her elected representative if they have been put at risk by the antics of a string of sportbikes passing them at 100mph speeds.

It is clear to me that it is HOW WE RIDE that represents the risk to our sport, whether the bike is (potentially) loud or (potentially) unsafe to others. So, if everyone just cleans up their act by exercising just a bit of restaint when we are around nonriders, perhaps the issue will become somewhat less of a threat to our rights
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Motorcycle.com Staff
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