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daveinwoodland
05-06-2011, 5:41 AM
Good morning,

I've been riding bikes for over 35 years now and while in my youth had what I would call a loud motorcycle have since then kept my bikes stock in terms of their exhaust systems because personally I enjoy quiet in my later years.

To my question,

Is it difficult to enforce noise laws for motorcycles? I see so many overly loud obnoxious bikes on the road that it makes me wonder. They not only are a obnoxious thing to deal with but they hurt the sport IMO.

I,m not talking either about questionable noise, these are overtly loud.

JS89
05-06-2011, 11:27 AM
No, if it sounds too loud then it probably is. 95 dcb is state law and nothing can exceed that for a motor vehicle under 6k lbs. It's pretty easy to get your exhaust to exceed that level with "simple" modifications. Although having a modified exhaust system on your vehicle doesn't mean that it's against the law. The most common motorcycle offenders of (27151) are harleys with straight pipes. You can have an exhaust system that is legal, but if you have an illegal aftermarket header (27156), the combination of the two can put you in violation of 27151.

Quite often you will see this in cars, where someone has a "legal" catback exhaust, but with the combination of a non-carb legal header(s) or a downpipe (depending on the car) is will cause their vehicle to be too loud for state law. People will also have exhaust cutouts on their car, but simply having one installed on your vehicle (cutout doesn't have to be open) is against the law.

Spanky8601
05-06-2011, 1:27 PM
Post 2 has some excellent advise. Basically, yes it can be difficult to enforce "loud exhaust" violations. Most officers do not have a decibel reader to use as evidence.

In the past I heard one deputy testify that the pipes were so loud it woke up his partner. Judge found the motorcyclist guilty, after a he stopped laughing. :sleeping:

cowboykenny
05-22-2011, 8:15 PM
Some of the LA and OC beach cities have been using decibel meters to jam up riders on the weekends.

ChrisTKHarris
05-22-2011, 8:22 PM
I've heard that some people install loud exhaust systems on bikes to make them more "visible" to drivers that may not see/hear them normally.

Any truth to that?

G-forceJunkie
05-22-2011, 10:31 PM
I've heard that some people install loud exhaust systems on bikes to make them more "visible" to drivers that may not see/hear them normally.

Any truth to that?

It true they do it, its BS that that it works.

tyrist
05-22-2011, 10:53 PM
I've heard that some people install loud exhaust systems on bikes to make them more "visible" to drivers that may not see/hear them normally.

Any truth to that?

Some of them use that argument to rationalize. The truth of the matter is everyone behind them can see and hear them really well but they are still nearly invisible to the drivers ahead.

IrishJoe3
05-23-2011, 12:18 AM
I've heard that some people install loud exhaust systems on bikes to make them more "visible" to drivers that may not see/hear them normally.

Any truth to that?

If I can be 3 feet off someone's rear bumper, siren screaming and every freakin' light on my car flashing, and the driver is totally clueless, then no, loud pipes don't do anything except wake up the neighborhood and piss everyone off.

masameet
05-23-2011, 2:01 PM
A couple of years ago my town's PD ran a roving motorcycle enforcement on a Sunday. More than 50 riders were cited for having loud and/or modified mufflers. Every one of them, according to the motor cop who helped plan and run the enforcement, lost in court.

ironcross
05-23-2011, 3:45 PM
If I can be 3 feet off someone's rear bumper, siren screaming and every freakin' light on my car flashing, and the driver is totally clueless, then no, loud pipes don't do anything except wake up the neighborhood and piss everyone off.

True that!

No, if it sounds too loud then it probably is. 95 dcb is state law and nothing can exceed that for a motor vehicle under 6k lbs. It's pretty easy to get your exhaust to exceed that level with "simple" modifications. Although having a modified exhaust system on your vehicle doesn't mean that it's against the law. The most common motorcycle offenders of (27151) are harleys with straight pipes. You can have an exhaust system that is legal, but if you have an illegal aftermarket header (27156), the combination of the two can put you in violation of 27151.

Quite often you will see this in cars, where someone has a "legal" catback exhaust, but with the combination of a non-carb legal header(s) or a downpipe (depending on the car) is will cause their vehicle to be too loud for state law. People will also have exhaust cutouts on their car, but simply having one installed on your vehicle (cutout doesn't have to be open) is against the law.

Wouldn't VC 27202 (http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc27202.htm) apply? If the bike was made after 1985-- 80dBA

guns4life
05-23-2011, 3:48 PM
People will also have exhaust cutouts on their car, but simply having one installed on your vehicle (cutout doesn't have to be open) is against the law.

:eek:

Can I see some VC on this? That's the first time I've heard that.

5thgen4runner
05-23-2011, 6:01 PM
It true they do it, its BS that that it works.

hows that bs my "exhaust" has saved my *** in traffic many of times. just rev it up a bit and people know your there. i guess thats b.s. but then since you know everything... i rather pay a stupid ticket then get crushed between two cars. i've been followed in dead stop traffic by chp moto's cutting through traffic and they have no problem with me doing that been doing that for years with out a single problem from them.

tyrist
05-23-2011, 6:03 PM
hows that bs my "exhaust" has saved my *** in traffic many of times. just rev it up a bit and people know your there. i guess thats b.s. but then since you know everything... i rather pay a stupid ticket then get crushed between two cars. i've been followed in dead stop traffic by chp moto's cutting through traffic and they have no problem with me doing that been doing that for years with out a single problem from them.

Have you ever heard of a device called a horn? It's a handy device that is installed and used specifically for what you require. It also doesn't run the entire time the bikes motor is running.

5thgen4runner
05-23-2011, 6:09 PM
Have you ever heard of a device called a horn? It's a handy device that is installed and used specifically for what you require. It also doesn't run the entire time the bikes motor is running.

yes i have, but a horn can come from any one of the cars in traffic but a loud exhaust is usually more of a attention grabber then a tiny horn on a bike. of course there are always louder horn you can buy but since i ride a crotch rocket not much room for a train horn...

JS89
05-23-2011, 6:38 PM
:eek:

Can I see some VC on this? That's the first time I've heard that.

Try doing some research of the California Vehicle Code. I'd start around 27150(a). :eek:

happy_gunner
05-23-2011, 7:03 PM
If I can be 3 feet off someone's rear bumper, siren screaming and every freakin' light on my car flashing, and the driver is totally clueless, then no, loud pipes don't do anything except wake up the neighborhood and piss everyone off.

I have to agree with both side to this. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don't. I've had times when my bike exhaust had caught the attention of drivers and they moved aside for me but then again I've been in a situation when a driver almost sideswipe me on the freeway because she did not see my 30 ton armored truck(MRAP) that stands 9+ft tall with forward and aft police escorts.
It all depends on who else is on the road with you, I know I have avoid a couple of bikes before because I heard their exhaust first which put me on a look out for them.

wilit
05-23-2011, 7:23 PM
No, if it sounds too loud then it probably is. 95 dcb is state law and nothing can exceed that for a motor vehicle under 6k lbs. It's pretty easy to get your exhaust to exceed that level with "simple" modifications. Although having a modified exhaust system on your vehicle doesn't mean that it's against the law. The most common motorcycle offenders of (27151) are harleys with straight pipes. You can have an exhaust system that is legal, but if you have an illegal aftermarket header (27156), the combination of the two can put you in violation of 27151.

Quite often you will see this in cars, where someone has a "legal" catback exhaust, but with the combination of a non-carb legal header(s) or a downpipe (depending on the car) is will cause their vehicle to be too loud for state law. People will also have exhaust cutouts on their car, but simply having one installed on your vehicle (cutout doesn't have to be open) is against the law.

What's the rule of thumb for ticketing someone for 27151? Is it a judgement call or does it need to be measured with a dB meter?

Backstory: A long time ago when I was young and dumb, I was given a ticket for 27151 and was told when I got the exhaust fixed, I could come down to the station and have it written off. Well, I knew I wasn't over the limit because I measured it. I waited a month and took it down there, no changes whatsoever. The issuing officer starting giving me a hard time about it again saying it was still too loud. He then called for "the expert in these matters" to come take a look at it. Another officer came down and he had me start it up and rev it to 5k. No meter in hand, just looked at it, talked it over with the issuing officer and said I was "just barely under the limit." I got it written off by the issuing officer (with a very disgruntled look).

guns4life
05-23-2011, 10:02 PM
Try doing some research of the California Vehicle Code. I'd start around 27150(a). :eek:



I'd rather :banghead: The end result is the same. I'll take your word for it, and hope no random LEO's peek under my car.... :)

Leadthrower
05-26-2011, 1:03 PM
Some of them use that argument to rationalize. The truth of the matter is everyone behind them can see and hear them really well but they are still nearly invisible to the drivers ahead.

First let me say that I am a longtime motorcyclist and must admit that reading some of these posts/opinions have ruffled my feathers. Please excuse if it sounds like a rant. With that said I wish that the above quote was true, but it isn't in my experience. I will hopefully be the 3rd Generation of California Highway Patrol Officer (grandfather, my father, then myself), to ride Motors and have been quizzed on C.V.C. since birth it feels like. My grandfather retired from the patrol with just great stories and memories, my father wasn't so lucky as he was hit twice while riding motors for the CHP and his civilian motorcycle by oblivious car operators. I've lost friends civilian and officer alike to people using the timeless vehicle operator's excuse of "I didn't see them". Well if motorcycle operators don't try to engage more of the car operators "5 Senses" other than the typical "sight" use "sound/louder pipes" as a tools to combat the many obstacles car drives face like; talking on cell phones, playing with radios, yelling at the kids in the back seat, paying with the A/C or Heater, doing their make-up, or conversations with passengers, etc. Some have said to use the horn of the motorcycle, really?!? Have you actually heard how weak a stock motorcycle horn is? I've also noticed that many people who may not have even been issued a California M1 license ever in their lives feel quite passionately about motorcycle operators practices. My bottom line is that yes some motorcyclist have too load of exhaust but wouldn't you agree that car drivers have more distractions to combat? I could be wrong ,but just something to think about next time you get annoyed by loud pipes.

Now to answer the post... most of the officers I asked agreed that they wouldn't actually issue a citation unless the person was a jerk, but it gives the officer probable cause to look for other C.V.C. infractions.

Leadthrower

Big O
05-26-2011, 1:21 PM
Riding motorcycles is inherently dangerous. However, straight pipes are not the answer. If you think it's too dangerous, don't ride. I say that as a daily motorcycle commuter in Los Angeles.

GM4spd
05-26-2011, 2:37 PM
A couple of years ago my town's PD ran a roving motorcycle enforcement on a Sunday. More than 50 riders were cited for having loud and/or modified mufflers. Every one of them, according to the motor cop who helped plan and run the enforcement, lost in court.

Good! Pete

daveinwoodland
05-26-2011, 2:56 PM
Totally agree. While there is no documented evidence either way on the ongoing IMO BS "loud pipes save lives" arguement I invest my money in an air horn (that fits pretty much anywhere) and in being an overly defensive driver.

Been riding for over 40 years now without one car/bike altercation so I think my method works pretty well.

Andy Taylor
05-26-2011, 6:26 PM
I ride ~2k miles a month, a good percentage in heavy traffic. Both my bikes have quiet, stock exhaust. Both bikes have louder than stock horns. My Yamaha has a PIAA Sport Horn, whch was a huge improvment over the stock horn. My BMW (former CHP bike) still has the police airhorn. (Yes, the siren is disabled). I don't even know what the stock horn was on the BMW, as it was gone when I got the bike.
I get very frustrated over those loud pipes that give all of us motorcyclists a bad name.
Yes, they may have some safety benefits, in some situations. But unless the rider is in full leathers, and I don't mean those stupid chaps that don't cover your *****, a good full face helmet, proper boots and gloves, then safety is not what the rider is concerned with.

Roddd
05-26-2011, 6:29 PM
I like loud bikes and I'm LE...maybe I'm the exception to the rule. However, I do believe there is a time and a place for everything. 3 am on a residential street is a no go.