A loud exhaust message from Harley Davidson

Moderators: Reflections, admin, hwybear, Radar Identified, Decatur, bend

User avatar
FyreStorm
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:39 am
Location: The Valley

Posting Awards

A loud exhaust message from Harley Davidson

by: FyreStorm on
Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:37 am

Loud Pipes' Cost: Harley-Davidson Tries to Quiet Motorcycle Noise
In a message posted on the Harley-Davidson website, CEO Jim McCaslin asks riders to recognize and consider the consequences of loud exhaust pipes. With this step, Harley returns to the forefront in addressing the issue of motorcycle noise. By February, 2009

Harley-Davidson is not simply... read full captionHarley-Davidson is not simply speaking out about the problems that illegal loud pipes cause for the entire motorcycling community. The Motor Company also offers street-legal accessory exhausts systems and exhaust components for its various motorcycle model families. An alternative to universally loud aftermarket exhausts, the Harley accessory pipes, such as the these 50-state-legal slip-ons for Dyna models, provide a legal option for riders who want to customize.In a message entitled "Something We Never Want to Lose" on his company's website, Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and CEO Jim McCaslin tackles the issue of motorcycle noise and the increasing backlash motorcycling is experiencing as the result of loud pipes. Citing a four-fold increase in negative media coverage during the last decade, bans on motorcycles in some communities, attempts to curtail major motorcycle events, anti-tamper legislation, and other limitations of freedom for motorcyclists as the result of complaints about loud pipes, McCaslin says, "We all, every Hog lovin' one of us, must do everything we can to protect our sport and keep it as strong as it is today."

This is the second stage of Harley-Davidson's campaign against loud exhaust pipes. Its initial effort last year was directed at and through dealers, with posters and literature that attempted to educate dealers and riders about the negative consequences of loud pipes. Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James also told Motorcycle Cruiser that during the next few months Harley will cease shipments to dealers of racing exhaust systems that can be fitted to street models. We could no longer find any racing exhaust systems listed on the company's accessory website. However, Harley-Davidson still offers dozens of accessory exhaust systems that are street-legal (and therefore acceptably quiet), including for use in California.
Industry concern over the problem of loud exhaust pipes is nothing new. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has long warned riders that attitudes shaped by complaints about loud pipes frequently compromise the AMA's efforts to battle anti-motorcycling legislation and regulation. That same concern was echoed by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation a few years ago when it adopted the AMA's stance against loud pipes. The Motorcycle Industry Council has conducted anti-noise campaigns for over 30 years.
These days, the loud motorcycle you hear roaring past is likely to be a modified Harley-Davidson. This is somewhat ironic because Harley was among the first motorcycle makers to tackle exhaust noise a century ago. In the early days of internal-combustion vehicles, many vehicles were annoyingly loud as delivered, but the threat of anti-motor-vehicle legislation soon had automakers fitting mufflers to their vehicles. As McCaslin's message points out, quieting motorcycle exhaust pipes posed greater difficulties because there is no room for a bulky muffler on a bike. However, Harley engineered an effective silencer, and the resulting bike became known as The Silent Gray fellow. Its relative quiet contributed to its reputation as an elegant, advanced machine and helped distinguish Harley-Davidson Motor Company from dozens of rival American motorcycle makers.


Changing to an aftermarket exhaust system has become almost a knee-jerk reaction for many cruiser buyers. However, unless labeled as meeting federal and state standards, all of these exhaust systems are illegal and virtually all are illegally loud. There are exceptions, such as systems offered by Harley that meet requirements for all 50 states or all states except California. Exhaust pipes are changed for a variety of reasons. One is the search for performance improvements, although, as McCaslin and the AMA point out, not all deliver—and some increase power in a portion of the power band while reducing it in others. Some motorcycle owners change exhaust pipes to personalize the appearance. And many who modify their bikes' exhaust systems simply want the noise, often for vanity's sake. Some motorcyclists profess to believe that "loud pipes save lives," although research tends to contradict that popular axiom. (Few of those who say they want exhaust noise for safety's sake use other means—such as brightly colored apparel—which have been proven effective.)
Harley-Davidson's current stance actually puts it on the cutting edge of corporate responsibility regarding exhaust-noise. It is the only company that has both taken an anti-noise stance and offers street-legal accessory exhaust systems as an alternative to loud aftermarket pipes. Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki have never offered nor endorsed accessory systems for their cruisers. Both Victory and Yamaha offer exhaust systems that are not illegally loud as "racing" modifications, though no effort is made to qualify customers by asking for racing credentials. You have to find and click on footnote notices on their sites to learn that that the systems are not legal for the street, and the disclaimer page on Yamaha's site was not working when we visited. Neither company offers legal accessory exhausts. We also asked Yamaha if it had any plans to follow Harley-Davidson's lead on this issue, but we had received no reply to our email a few days later.
As the leader in the cruiser market, Harley's public stance on loud exhaust pipes may finally signal a turning point for an issue that continues to put motorcyclists in a very bad light and prompts increasing calls for restrictions on motorcycles and motorcyclists. Though some riders will try to contend that their noise doesn't really bother anybody, that they have some sort of right to annoy everyone they ride past, or that their noise protects them, such arguments have to sound increasingly hollow when the biggest cruiser-motorcycle maker points out that they are actually risking all motorcyclists' freedoms and asks them to "think about the consequences our actions have on others, before others take action against us."


User avatar
Radar Identified
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2881
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Toronto

Moderator

by: Radar Identified on
Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:26 am

FyreStorm wrote:Some motorcyclists profess to believe that "loud pipes save lives," although research tends to contradict that popular axiom. (Few of those who say they want exhaust noise for safety's sake use other means—such as brightly colored apparel—which have been proven effective.)
This has long been used as a "justification" by people who use illegally loud pipes. Many fatalities occur when motorists ("cagers") pull out or turn in front of bikers. The argument is, if I have loud pipes, the cager will "hear" me coming and won't turn. I say, BS... You can't even hear the pipes until the motorcycle is within 10 feet of the car if the bike is coming at you, and by that time it's too late.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


User avatar
FyreStorm
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:39 am
Location: The Valley

Posting Awards

by: FyreStorm on
Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:39 am

The truth is, as stated in other research, if you were really concerned with safety you'd drive a brightly coloured bike and equally visible clothing...but that ain't cool... :o


User avatar
FiReSTaRT
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: GTA

by: FiReSTaRT on
Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:46 am

No arguments from me on this count. Loud pipes make all of us targets of undue attention. Smart riders actually prefer stealth setups (along having all of the documents and equipment, including plate-mounting up to snuff) to minimize exposure to legal risk. We even put our feet down at stops not because we can't stop the vehicle without putting the feet down, but because some officers perceive that if you do not put your feet down, you did not make a full stop.
Flush mount signals, fender eliminator kits and loud exhausts are just good way to garner negative attention. If you want to make yourself heard in the interest of safety, you're better off going with an aftermarket horn (such as Stebel Nautilus). That (along with paying attention to your surroundings) prevents people from turning in front of bikes 9 times out of 10.
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


User avatar
Radar Identified
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2881
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Toronto

Moderator

by: Radar Identified on
Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:51 am

FiReSTaRT wrote:That (along with paying attention to your surroundings) prevents people from turning in front of bikes 9 times out of 10.
+1

Of all the times I've been waiting to turn/pull onto a road and had a motorcycle with obnoxiously loud pipes go by me, the thing that stopped me from turning was the fact that I SAW the bike, not heard it. I only heard the pipes after it went by...

FYI - friend of my father-in-law died on his motorcycle outside Windsor last year in a hit-and-run. :( The person who caused the collision pulled out in front of him, then freaked out and fled instead of trying to render assistance. I later found out... he had loud pipes.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


Marquisse
Member
Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:14 am

by: Marquisse on
Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:20 am

Hopefully there is an awareness campaign because I have two hog-owners in my neighbourhood. One a bit down the street who is a full-fledged 1%er, and another who is behind our house and to our right, almost directly behind our bedroom window. The 1%er blares his music and comes home in the middle of the night or early morning (1-4am), waking us up and we are at the BACK of the house. The other behind us uses his hog to get to work some mornings in the summer, and is an early riser in general because we've been awoken at 7-8am on Saturdays and Sundays to his REVVING. Talk about inconsiderate. While I'm just startled, my hubby is flaming angry and I've had to talk him down from going over there in his sandals and boxers. And what are we going to do, call the cops and complain about it? Please, they've got better things to do.


User avatar
FyreStorm
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:39 am
Location: The Valley

Posting Awards

by: FyreStorm on
Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:29 pm

I disagree.

Call the police, call the chief of police, call the Traffic Branch supervisor.

Call the mayor. Write the paper. Call the local Harley dealership.

The biggest obstacle we face is people not voicing their displeasures.

Granted the average street cop might care, but all major depts have a traffic branch.

I'd want the call.


matt123
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:55 pm

by: matt123 on
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:13 pm

Old post but....
There is no study in existence with regards to whether loud pipes save lives or not and that is a fact the only two recognized studies on motorcycle fatalities are the Maids and Hurt report and neither address noise.
I have never modified the factory pipes or installed aftermarket pipes on any of my bikes in the last 30yrs.A month ago i purchased a modified v rod that was so loud I had to coast the last block home for fear of retribution
I will tell you that it made a HUGE difference in respect to being cut off by other motorists,bicyclists,kids running into the street and parking lots.I am now without doubt of the opinion that loud pipes do in fact save lives.
With that said I have now replaced the modified exhaust with quiet factory pipes out of simple respect for others and since have been put in harms way twice by out to lunch drivers in the last two weeks.I love the sport and will ride until the day I die,that's my choice and I'm doing it quietly so please use your mirrors and shoulder check before changing lanes.


MichaelScott
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 12:29 pm

by: MichaelScott on
Tue May 26, 2015 12:54 pm

FyreStorm wrote:Loud Pipes' Cost: Harley-Davidson Tries to Quiet Motorcycle Noise

In a message posted on the Harley-Davidson website, CEO Jim McCaslin asks riders to recognize and consider the consequences of loud exhaust pipes. With this step, Harley returns to the forefront in addressing the issue of motorcycle noise. By February, 2009



Harley-Davidson is not simply... read full captionHarley-Davidson is not simply speaking out about the problems that illegal loud pipes cause for the entire motorcycling community. The Motor Company also offers street-legal accessory exhausts systems and exhaust components for its various motorcycle model families. An alternative to universally loud aftermarket exhausts, the Harley accessory pipes, such as the these 50-state-legal slip-ons for Dyna models, provide a legal option for riders who want to customize.In a message entitled "Something We Never Want to Lose" on his company's website, Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and CEO Jim McCaslin tackles the issue of motorcycle noise and the increasing backlash motorcycling is experiencing as the result of loud pipes. Citing a four-fold increase in negative media coverage during the last decade, bans on motorcycles in some communities, attempts to curtail major motorcycle events, anti-tamper legislation, and other limitations of freedom for motorcyclists as the result of complaints about loud pipes, McCaslin says, "We all, every Hog lovin' one of us, must do everything we can to protect our sport and keep it as strong as it is today."



This is the second stage of Harley-Davidson's campaign against loud exhaust pipes. Its initial effort last year was directed at and through dealers, with posters and literature that attempted to educate dealers and riders about the negative consequences of loud pipes. Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James also told Motorcycle Cruiser that during the next few months Harley will cease shipments to dealers of racing exhaust systems that can be fitted to street models. We could no longer find any racing exhaust systems listed on the company's accessory website. However, Harley-Davidson still offers dozens of accessory exhaust systems that are street-legal (and therefore acceptably quiet), including for use in California.

Industry concern over the problem of loud exhaust pipes is nothing new. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has long warned riders that attitudes shaped by complaints about loud pipes frequently compromise the AMA's efforts to battle anti-motorcycling legislation and regulation. That same concern was echoed by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation a few years ago when it adopted the AMA's stance against loud pipes. The Motorcycle Industry Council has conducted anti-noise campaigns for over 30 years.

These days, the loud motorcycle you hear roaring past is likely to be a modified Harley-Davidson. This is somewhat ironic because Harley was among the first motorcycle makers to tackle exhaust noise a century ago. In the early days of internal-combustion vehicles, many vehicles were annoyingly loud as delivered, but the threat of anti-motor-vehicle legislation soon had automakers fitting mufflers to their vehicles. As McCaslin's message points out, quieting motorcycle exhaust pipes posed greater difficulties because there is no room for a bulky muffler on a bike. However, Harley engineered an effective silencer, and the resulting bike became known as The Silent Gray fellow. Its relative quiet contributed to its reputation as an elegant, advanced machine and helped distinguish Harley-Davidson Motor Company from dozens of rival American motorcycle makers.





Changing to an aftermarket exhaust system has become almost a knee-jerk reaction for many cruiser buyers. However, unless labeled as meeting federal and state standards, all of these exhaust systems are illegal and virtually all are illegally loud. There are exceptions, such as systems offered by Harley that meet requirements for all 50 states or all states except California. Exhaust pipes are changed for a variety of reasons. One is the search for performance improvements, although, as McCaslin and the AMA point out, not all deliver—and some increase power in a portion of the power band while reducing it in others. Some motorcycle owners change exhaust pipes to personalize the appearance. And many who modify their bikes' exhaust systems simply want the noise, often for vanity's sake. Some motorcyclists profess to believe that "loud pipes save lives," although research tends to contradict that popular axiom. (Few of those who say they want exhaust noise for safety's sake use other means—such as brightly colored apparel—which have been proven effective.)

Harley-Davidson's current stance actually puts it on the cutting edge of corporate responsibility regarding exhaust-noise. It is the only company that has both taken an anti-noise stance and offers street-legal accessory exhaust systems as an alternative to loud aftermarket pipes. Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki have never offered nor endorsed accessory systems for their cruisers. Both Victory and Yamaha offer exhaust systems that are not illegally loud as "racing" modifications, though no effort is made to qualify customers by asking for racing credentials. You have to find and click on footnote notices on their sites to learn that that the systems are not legal for the street, and the disclaimer page on Yamaha's site was not working when we visited. Neither company offers legal accessory exhausts. We also asked Yamaha if it had any plans to follow Harley-Davidson's lead on this issue, but we had received no reply to our email a few days later.

As the leader in the cruiser market, Harley's public stance on loud exhaust pipes may finally signal a turning point for an issue that continues to put motorcyclists in a very bad light and prompts increasing calls for restrictions on motorcycles and motorcyclists. Though some riders will try to contend that their noise doesn't really bother anybody, that they have some sort of right to annoy everyone they ride past, or that their noise protects them, such arguments have to sound increasingly hollow when the biggest cruiser-motorcycle maker points out that they are actually risking all motorcyclists' freedoms and asks them to "think about the consequences our actions have on others, before others take action against us."
This entire post is excellent information.......but I'm afraid the "LOUD PIPES equals PENIS COMPENSATION" crowd out there just/still won't "get it".

I believe Harley's official slogan now is "Loud Pipes Risk Rights"......and it's never been more true.

Municipalities, when put under enough pressure, will start to hire bylaw officers with (relatively) inexpensive sound meters and simply ban vehicles from the neighbourhood. Good quality equipment can be purchased for about the equivalent of one week's salary for a sworn officer; not a big price to pay for peace and quiet in the hood!


bend
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:44 am

Posting Awards

Moderator

by: bend on
Tue May 26, 2015 2:36 pm

MichaelScott wrote:This entire post is excellent information.......but I'm afraid the "LOUD PIPES equals PENIS COMPENSATION" crowd out there just/still won't "get it".

I believe Harley's official slogan now is "Loud Pipes Risk Rights"......and it's never been more true.

Municipalities, when put under enough pressure, will start to hire bylaw officers with (relatively) inexpensive sound meters and simply ban vehicles from the neighbourhood. Good quality equipment can be purchased for about the equivalent of one week's salary for a sworn officer; not a big price to pay for peace and quiet in the hood!
A lot has changed since this thread was last active. While there's nothing in the Highway Traffic Act that determines noise by dB levels (it's currently up to the officers discretion), there are plenty of places around Ontario (Oakville, Guelph, Caledon, etc) that have come out with their very own Motorcycle Noise Bylaws within the last couple years. They'll have no problems pulling out the sound meter, testing idle noise, and then noise at 2000rpm. The acceptance level changes based on number of cylinders.


Post Reply
  • Similar Topics

Return to “General Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests