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Posts Tagged ‘Motorcycle Noise’

Over the weekend a riding buddy had a dealer remove the stock exhaust system and along with some engine work he upgraded the bike to a Vance & Hines Pro Pipe 2-into-1 performance exhaust.  The Pro Pipe includes tuned length stepped headers with a highly efficient merge collector that feeds into the stepped megaphone design.  The new Pro Pipe is not a mellow sounding exhaust and although I didn’t measure the DBA’s, it likely pushes the limits on noise-emissions when you roll on the throttle.  The exhaust has no catalytic converter and missing from the new chrome are U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labels/stamps.

Speaking of the EPA…  On Monday the California Senate passed SB 435 by a vote of 21-16 and it’s now on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.

The bill makes it a crime to operate a motorcycle manufactured after Jan. 1, 2013, that fails to meet federal noise-emission control standards. Motorcyclists whose vehicles lack the proper U.S. Environmental Protection Agency label would be subject to a fine.

It’s not clear that this bill will do much to address excessive sound or reduce emissions, but it seems to unfairly target motorcycle owners.

For example, it’s not practical in a real world traffic stop situation to locate the federal label due to the inconsistent location of the lable and in turn may well result in unwarranted citations.  In addition, after-market exhaust systems (which are not always louder than stock systems) can be installed for a variety of legitimate reasons. A stock exhaust can wear out over time, be damaged, unavailable or prohibitively expensive.  Motorcyclists would be forced to purchase Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, while automobile drivers will continue to be allowed to install exhaust components from non-OEM sources.

And what happens if you don’t live in CA and are considering a ride to the State.  Or maybe you’ll be passing through a small part of the state on the way to Reno Street Vibrations 2013.  Will you be unable to ride your motorcycle there because of this law or worry about being unfairly ticketed?

It’s important to note that the state of California often sets the tone for the nation in passing legislation where the other 49 states end up drafting behind.  This bill looks to drive up the cost of ownership and might be punitive for every rider while doing little or nothing to actually address the issue of excessive motorcycle sound.  Governor Schwarzenegger owns multiple motorcycles, but most believe he will sign this bill into law.

Then it’s only a matter of time for other states to follow…

Photo courtesy of Vance & Hines.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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South_Park

South Park Episode 12 - Harley Hatin'

Life imitates art or is it the other way round?  It turns out the “inconsiderate douche bag’s on Harley’s” are creating noise as they ride up and down the street wrecking everyone’s quite time on South Park.

It’s a protest movement in Season 13, episode 1312, where Cartman calls out a pack of bikers whose loud Harleys prove most irritating for the height challenged, truth-blurting, foul-mouthed characters. As the motorcycle noise escalates, the so-called “kids” take the matter into their own hands with graffiti and lobbying to have the dictionary definition of the term “f*g” changed to “annoying, inconsiderate Harley riders.”

There’s been plenty of Harley hatin’ on this blog comments section about raucous exhausts and loud bikes.  And regardless of your stance on the noise debate as to whether or not loud pipes do anything for safety, you’ll likely find humor (or irritation) in this episode that’s become rather controversial.  So much controversy in fact, that the New York Times has reported a gay advocacy group is protesting the episode.

Watch the 22-minute show here.  The show adds a new dimension to the anti H-D stance and I’m sure someone in the motor company is reevaluating advertisement placements.

UPDATE: 12.18.09 — Viacom has pulled down the YouTube versions of the episode under copyright issues and now the South Park site states “Due to pre-existing contractual obligations, we cannot stream this episode until 12.05.09”… It’s all about $$.  If you can’t wait then do a Google search as there are versions of it out on the internet.

Photo courtesy of Comedy Central/South Park.

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