Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

[US] cops want louder pipes

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by smee, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Heres one for the masses to ponder.

    Oakland Police Department Wants Louder Pipes On Its Harleys
    Published by Cyril Huze June 12th, 2008 in Editorial.
    Another very interesting article forwarded by Rogue.
    Over in Oakland they like it loud - so loud that all 45 of the Police Department’s Harley-Davidson motorcycles have been equipped with shiny new tailpipes, at a cost of $500 apiece, to rev up their roar. It seems the cops just didn’t feel safe on toned-down bikes. “There’s an old motorcycle adage that you are heard before you are seen,†said Deputy Chief Dave Kozicki, explaining the department’s decision to toss the bikes’ muted factory-issued mufflers in favor of the more high-volume pipes. Kozicki cited an accident three months ago in which an Oakland officer riding a toned-down cycle was struck by a motorist who said he hadn’t heard the officer approaching.But some City Hall insiders, as well as motorcycle cops elsewhere, said the safety argument is a stretch. Even the folks at the national Motorcycle Industry Council, which represents all the big bike manufacturers, were unaware of any safety benefits from louder mufflers.
    “We encourage all motorcycle riders to keep the original low sound levels that meet the … federal sound limit of 80 decibels,†said industry spokesman Mike Mount. “It would seem counterintuitive that a law enforcement agency would go against federal standards.â€
    Ironically, it was just a short time back that Oakland police were called upon to crack down on noisy motorists who had modified their auto mufflers to make a whistling screech. The “whistle tip†pipes were eventually outlawed under state law. Oakland’s cops had a long tradition of riding their Harley-Davidsons with the modified, louder tail pipes, earning them the nickname “Rolling Thunder.†But after an officer complained about a loss of hearing and others around town questioned whether the police force was violating the very noise standards it was supposed to enforce, the department brass ordered a switch to the quieter stock mufflers.
    According to Kozicki, the decibel drop sparked a chorus of complaints from other officers, who said they felt less safe. So last year the department launched a $1,200 study in conjunction with the city’s risk management division to determine whether A) the louder motorcycles contributed to officers’ safety, B) were detrimental to their hearing, and C) complied with noise standards. Kozicki acknowledged that whatever safety-related findings the study produced were largely anecdotal. Still, after everything was taken into consideration, the department concluded “it was in the best interest of the officers to put more-audible pipes back on,†Kozicki said.
    Hence, all 30 of the department’s Harleys were sent down to the central maintenance yard for a muffler makeover, at a cost of about $15,000, according to City Hall insiders. Another 15 newly purchased motorcycles were ordered with the louder pipes, though at no extra charge. Oakland officials acknowledge that the noisy pipes, when tested, averaged 93 decibels - well above the federal legal noise limit, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.
  2. I dont need a study to know that I dont have idiot pedestrians stepping out in front me anymore when I changed from my GS500 with standard pipes to the VTR1000 with loud pipes.
  3. Since having the SV I get merged into ALOT less, almost never now. Yes my roadcraft has increased since I had my 250, but I put a significant amount of it into my 'loud' leo vince, which actually is fairly quiet in comparison to 'truly loud' (read; firestorm loud). At lower than normal cruising rpm (ie no traffic, eg. at night) its very quiet so not waking people up early/late is nice :D
  4. It's not so much the noise but more the presence imho
    My bike is not overly loud but the toonz emit a nice deep rumble which you can feel. (our garage vibrates when I start the bike).
    I've noticed especially when I'm in the car that I can "feel " the presence of a deep rumbling exhaust from a twin rather than the louder 4 pot screamer type exhaust note.
  5. I have a very loud pipe on my bike and so many cars hear me. You can see them look in their mirrors when I get close. Not because they can see me but because they can hear me.

    Definitely a valid safety argument to be made for louder pipes. When I'm driving/riding I always hear bikes behind/next to me before I see them.
  6. I have an after market pipe and it's a few Db louder than stock. I think it makes me more noticed in traffic. I sometimes declutch and give the engine a rev if someone is about to change lanes on me and have the signs of being a dozy idiot or a talking on a mobile. I also use a gear lower in dense traffic, lane splitting and filtering. This raises my noise level so I am less like to get crunched in my opinion. It has worked a few times so I think loader exhausts are useful. Too load and they give people the shits and myself a headach.