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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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The Neighbors Hate My Bike

So, my next door neighbor came to me this morning and complained about how load my bike is. Evidently, this has been a topic of conversation among several of my neighbors, but this is the first time anyone has addressed it with me.

I do have an after-market exhaust that is pretty loud... Vance&Hines Short Shots. Not sure that I would be willing to change that, might consider the baffles.

Does anyone have any experience coming to a happy compromise with the neighbors when it comes to noise? We have an HOA in my neighborhood, and besides just wanting to be a good neighbor, I would hate to see them try to create a by-law that would prevent me from riding in the neighborhood. Don't even know if they can do that, but I have heard of more messed up stuff that HOA's have done.

I did tell her that I would be willing to putter up the street rather than letting the motor warm up at idle before leaving and she seemed satisfied, at least encouraged that I would make an effort. Kind of hoping is ends with that, but...
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 10:39 PM
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The Times They Are A-changin'

Most after-market loud pipes are sold with some kind of "cover my ass" manufacturer's warning to the effect that these things are "for track use only" or similar. Most urban jurisdictions have traffic noise bylaws. Vehicle road-worthiness test required for owner or inter-jurisdiction transfer more and more include decibel measurements. More and more neighbors are not only complaining to the noisemakers, but are demanding action from either municipal by-law or traffic law enforcement agencies.

It's time to start shorting Vance&Hines stock.

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:20 AM
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I'm surprised they got time to complain about a loud motorcycle in the coastal carolina.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 08:20 AM
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When my new wife and I were in the throws of moving me out of the house I sold, and deciding where we would live, (either in the house she already owned, or a new and separate Condo) we had made a bid on a Condo in town.

I remember that the garage was very LONG (it could literally house two cars and a bike, front to back) and that was appealing to us. But the Condo Association had multiple Speed Bumps on all roads that I wouldn't be able to ride aroud, and of particular annoyance, were the ones on the uphill grades, leading from the area where our Condo was (and I'm sure there were other Speed Bumps in various places in the complex).

I also remember considering the quietness of the Condo complex, and wondering how receptive my fellow residents would be to my Harley, which has after-market pipes. They are not short pipes, and on a loudness scale, I am quite confident they are tame compared to the pipes you have described that you have on YOUR bike, but still..........

In my opinion, you did the right thing, by entering into a conversation with your neighbors about it. That breeds good blood between you and them, providing you kept your cool, and tried to show cooperation, which it appears that you did. That's a good start.

Obviously, when buying pipes for effect, whether to make a statement or just to enjoy the heck outa the sound, there is a downside. Some States have Laws that (and I'm sure you probably already know this, but anyway......) can get you ticketed for overly loud pipes.

Of course you don't want to have to change out your pipes; not only because you like the sound, but because of the hassle and cost of doing so, BUT..............perhaps you could call it a "lesson learned" and do that anyway at your earliest convenience. Unless of course you are planning on moving soon, but even then.........your NEW neighbors might give you the same responses.

Being conscious of our impact, (like the old thing about not leaving your mess behind in the woods) and being conscientious about it, is always the better choice. In the long run, how we respect our neighbors will come around to either bite us, or help us on one day.

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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 11:48 AM
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The best thing is to not rap the throttle when you're starting and warming up, or when you're easing out of the neighborhood. You absolutely don't need to, unless your bike needs a tune, so save that for when you're out and away. Just start it, let 'er warm up just enough, and go easy out of the neighborhood. Common courtesy.

By the by, those pipes, without baffles, are good for making slightly more hp at wide open throttle only, if your bike was properly tuned for them. In any other situation they won't add any power to your bike at all, and may actually rob you of some. If you do a lot of stop-light drag racing they'll give you a little benefit, but otherwise they're not doing much for you.

Now, they do sound good, and I'm all on board with that! And they'll sure help to get you noticed, but sound without fury is kind of a waste, in my opinion.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 12:20 PM
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My SV is quiet, my XS is louder.
When I ride the SV past folks on the edge of the road ( no side walks ) they rarely turn their heads.
When I ride the XS they notice. When Roy rides his Harley they generally look. Especially when he fires it up in the village.

My conclusion is, I can ride the SV faster and nobody notices. I would fire and go at impulse speed. I do that, and have zero concerns from my neighbours.

In Hawaii we had a guy who would fire up a Kawasaki 175 two stoke, at 0700 and let it warm up, for way too long. The neighbours had words for him, none of the nice.

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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 12:42 PM
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Silence is golden!

I had a loud bike ( Vstar 650 with V&H short shots), I have an almost silent bike ( Vision with stock exhaust), the mechanical noise on the Vision is louder than the exhaust, overall it's quieter than a lot of cars. I thought the loud bike was cool but to be honest I've grown to enjoy the peace and quiet, especially on a long ride. I sometimes ride my wife's Vstar, with HardKrome pipes it's even louder than mine was, and I get a headache after an hour or two, and I can't hear much over the comm set either.

I'm a convert to quiet.

My neighbors never complained, they are good people and we get along but I know I woke some of them at 0400 leaving for work even though I did my best to leave quietly, now I can glide away like a shadow, they never even notice.

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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 06:19 PM
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You might like the sound of those shot shots with baffles. Slightly quieter, and slightly deeper. And it would do wonders for the neighborhood situation. Remember in a situation like this, to your non-judging neighbors, you're representing all motorcyclists.

I remember when I first got out of military and was looking for an apartment, many had "no motorcycles" as a rule. And we all know why.
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 06:59 PM
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I'm surprised they got time to complain about a loud motorcycle in the coastal carolina.
One of the things that made me hesitant to start riding motorcycles was inconsiderate motorcyclists. As a kid Harley guys would ride along the strip in Va Beach and the pipes were so loud it could make your ears hurt. Grown men frightening children with their manly "brum brum!!!" Ear bleeding loud.

See Southpark.

You don't have a right to let your dog bark all night or blast music all day or do anything that is so loud it upsets peaceful lives other people.

There's a difference between a PIA neighbor - a kill joy - and a rightful complaint.
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:24 PM
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I don't blame your neighbors one bit. There is some ass-hat on my street that rolls by with straight pipes rumbling at 6am every morning. I don't mind so much because I'm already up for work, but I imagine it pisses a lot of residents off.

This is exactly the reason that HOAs and communities are trying (and often succeeding) is banning motorcycles and why government bodies are pushing for the ban on aftermarket exhaust.

The best thing you can do is baffle them or replace with quieter exhaust as soon as possible.

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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:49 PM
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I also live in a subdivision with an HOA. No one complained about my Thunderbird when I had it and it was loud. You might want to try what I did. I would always Idle down the block easily until I was off my street and on the main road into my area (it was only about a block and a half long). At the very least, it shows that your trying to be neighborly.


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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:51 PM
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Leaving a bike outside while it's warming up could be a pain in the ass/arse for anyone early in the morning.
My neighbour across the street used to leave his F250 with loud pipes to warm up & it pissed me off alot!
Luckily he's moved, but noise is a problem & being considerate to others in your case should be considered.

What sort of antiquated bike do you have that needs to warm up anyway, my VTX is ready to roll the second I hit the start button!!
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 09:10 PM
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I owned a Yamaha 1300cc that looked exactly like the one Critter has. It was totally stock and I later heard that when I rode off to work it bothered one of the neighbors. When she told me about it I was riding an Electra Glide Ultra that was also stock. In my mind it was a lot louder than the Yamaha but from behind it seems the Yamaha was more irritating to that neighbor. As long as you are riding a purely stock bike you are legal anywhere but that does not mean that nobody will object. I have yet to hear about my Vision but with the intake I have on it I am aware that it is louder than it was before I added that intake and the tuner to the bike. As long as I stay off the throttle it is no louder than when stock and I make a point of not getting on it in the hood.
If you have chosen to run uncorked you are begging to have them cite you for it. It is illegal in every state, under federal law, to modify an exhaust so that it makes more noise and your neighbors could insist that you get busted for it although it is one of those laws that is almost never enforced.


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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 10:13 PM
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--

I agree that there should be no need to "warm up" the bike before riding. As soon as it starts, you should be able to take off. If you do this at an RPM just above idle and/or shift into second real soon, it shouldn't be bothersome. I make it a point to not run mine much in the driveway except at idle, nor do I speed down the residential streets.

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
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I also live in a subdivision with an HOA. No one complained about my Thunderbird when I had it and it was loud. You might want to try what I did. I would always Idle down the block easily until I was off my street and on the main road into my area (it was only about a block and a half long). At the very least, it shows that your trying to be neighborly.
^^^Well, there it is.

Just try to be as polite and neighborly as is reasonable, and treat others with as much respect as you'd want to be treated yourself.
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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 02:47 AM
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--



I agree that there should be no need to "warm up" the bike before riding. As soon as it starts, you should be able to take off. If you do this at an RPM just above idle and/or shift into second real soon, it shouldn't be bothersome. I make it a point to not run mine much in the driveway except at idle, nor do I speed down the residential streets.



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You should always let any gas powered vehicle warm up for at lest 30 seconds to a min to let the oil circulate in to the motor carb bikes do need to warm up. Harley's will just cut off if it don't get a chance to warm up if they are carbohydrate


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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 11:23 AM
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I have a two in to one exhaust on my Sabre that can be a bit loud. The bike takes a minute or two to warm up so I leave the garage doors closed when I am warming it up. I don't rev it either and ride slow till I am out of my neighborhood. I haven't got any complaints about the noise but I have always been considerate. I don't ride the bike much anymore and thinking about getting rid of it. Now that I have the GW, I find riding the Sabre uncomfortable for long rides and miss a radio.
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 04:18 PM
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I don't know why riders seem to think that everyone else wants to hear their loud exhaust.
Why do they put on a loud exhaust and then wear ear plugs when they ride?
("Look at me! Look at me!)
I have always liked quiet bikes myself.
Recently I got a 1500 Goldwing and BOY! This is the quietest one yet!
And I love it!
And the neighbors never even know when I go out or in.

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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 04:47 PM
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I don't know why riders seem to think that everyone else wants to hear their loud exhaust.

Why do they put on a loud exhaust and then wear ear plugs when they ride?

("Look at me! Look at me!)

I have always liked quiet bikes myself.

Recently I got a 1500 Goldwing and BOY! This is the quietest one yet!

And I love it!

And the neighbors never even know when I go out or in.


It has to to with being heard trust me one then once being heard on my bike saved me from getting hit. You can hear me coming but it's not as insanely loud as some bikes can be. Just enough to be heard if your bike it to quite your at a risk from getting hit from cagers on there phone or other distraction


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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 10:26 PM
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deckerhand, I have heard that excuse from HD guys for years and still want a quiet bike. I do not need to make a lot of noise to feel good about myself.


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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 11:04 PM
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.... I do not need to make a lot of noise to feel good about myself.
I don't either. Nor do I need to spend money to make my bike more powerful, or faster, or prettier. In fact, I don't need a bike at all to feel good about myself. Owning and riding a motorcycle has nothing to do with the un-godly amount of self confidence I have. Take away my Harley's and put me on a pink tricycle and I'll still fell as good about myself as I ever have.

Yet, there are still times when I flat out enjoy making an obscene and annoying amount of noise with my pipes.
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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 11:20 PM
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I am with Eye on this. I am as happy as can be, riding my 83 400 twin. As I get older, it could fulfill all my riding needs.
But then, I do like the howl of the 4 into 1 pipes on the XS11. It is a sweet sound, almost to die for.
The SV1000 handles so well, and is stupid fast, I am just so grateful I lived long enough to ride something like this.

Fast forward 10 years and my bikes may be a newer 400, and a Vespa 200 type scooter.

When I rode cross country races, I found I went faster on the slower quieter bike. The more noisy bikes would give anyone a pounding head by the end of the day. Mild and quiet, was much more manageable up and down the hills, thru the trees, and jumping logs.

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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 02:56 AM
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deckerhand, I have heard that excuse from HD guys for years and still want a quiet bike. I do not need to make a lot of noise to feel good about myself.


Right that's why YouTube is filled with guys riding every thing from Honda to Suzuki putting on or getting custom pipes that makes them heard. I even know goldwing guys who said the pipes are to quite. Just me you want to be heard sometimes. Has nothing to do with needing to feel good about my self or proving anything to anybody it's just about waking up distracted cagers.


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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 07:10 AM
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Has nothing to do with needing to feel good about my self or proving anything to anybody it's just about waking up distracted cagers.
Just curious, do you wear a reflective vest or any type of high-visibility jacket while riding?

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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 09:31 AM
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Just curious, do you wear a reflective vest or any type of high-visibility jacket while riding?


When i first started riding I did but soon realized when people are on there phones distracted by kids, putting on make up, looking at there gps. It didn't matter what I had on. Msf said it best when your on two wheel no matter what you wear what color your bike is your invisible to all other vehicles around you


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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 11:42 AM
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Lets putter down a straight road at 50 mph. There is a car up ahead doing 45. You pull in behind. You can be making a lot of noise and they will not here you. You pull out to pas, just enough throttle to get by, the cage driver will here you as you pull alongside, and pull ahead. Has to do with your distance from the cage driver, and the fact that you are much quieter when approaching, as when leaving. It is the Doplar effect and the reason your GPS works.
And it is the approaching of a possible collision that is important.

I have noticed the two bright lights on my Suzuki get noticed much more than the single not so bright lights on the other bikes. At intersections where cage approach at 90 degrees, in failing light, reflective gear has to be a benefit.

On a multi lane road at higher speeds, where you are not in the same lane as a cage being passed, loud pipes may be noticed sooner. Because you have a wider throttle opening and therefore more noise. But again, brighter lights work better IMO. We have a headlights on at all times law in BC. I have noticed a big difference, with cages seeing me. They still pull out from side roads, they still wander over the center line as I pass. Loud pipes will not fix that problem. Around here, they also do that to other cages.

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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 04:32 PM
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Msf said it best when your on two wheel no matter what you wear what color your bike is your invisible to all other vehicles around you
The MSF says that wearing high-visibility gear is an important part of being seen while riding. This is mentioned on page 13 and again on page 16 of the BRC handbook. Like anything else, it is not fool proof.

Studies have shown that high-visibility gear is more effective than loud pipes.

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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 07:59 AM
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I don't think loud pipes help much at all, todays cage drivers are hermetically sealed in, air conditioned, and with the stereo blasting at 110db, they aren't even going to notice the noise from a bike anyway.
If you want to be noticed on your bike, instead of making loud noises wear high Vis gear, add lots of lights, and position yourself in the correct area of the lane and avoid blind spots.
Then ride as if your invisible anyway.



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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 10:49 PM
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Right that's why YouTube is filled with guys riding every thing from Honda to Suzuki putting on or getting custom pipes that makes them heard. I even know goldwing guys who said the pipes are to quite. Just me you want to be heard sometimes. Has nothing to do with needing to feel good about my self or proving anything to anybody it's just about waking up distracted cagers.


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I can't help the stupid things people spend money doing before they do a testosterone post on you tube. The fact remains that nothing about making a bike louder proves a damned thing except that you are willing to PO your neighbors just to make yourself feel better. If you are sitting next to me at a light and rev that noisy beiach just expect me to ignore your dumb a$$. I will most likely walk away from you if I feel like it but that doesn't come up very often.


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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! A lot of good replies, here. A few points of clarification...

1. I bought the bike used and it came with the short shots already on it.
2. My street consists of 90% retirees. They are pretty cool for the most part. The neighbor next door has always been 'one of those', but I still try to be respectful.
3. The appeal of the loud exhaust has nothing to do with wanting to draw attention to myself. I grew up around muscle cars, and I really do enjoy the lumpy rumble.

So that said, the story continues...

I went next door to the neighbor's house later that afternoon. We talked about what was bothering her. We talked about different ways that I might be able to reduce the amount/duration of the noise. She seemed pleased that I followed up on the earlier conversation and was willing to try to adjust my routine for starting up my bike.

When I was pulling out of my garage, I was turning my bike 90 degrees, rear pointing toward her house, then starting. I've adjusted so that I am now making a reverse K-turn so that that the rear ends up facing the garage door before starting.

I had been setting up my phone on my handlebars and connecting it to fuel pack bluetooth and putting on my gloves before taking off, giving it a minute to lube up before taking off. I've adjusted to leave within a couple of seconds from startup, giving just enough throttle to get over the incline that I need to get over to get out of my neighborhood.

I'm back in Australia for a few weeks, so I have not had a chance to see if those measures have made things more reasonable for her, but I will be proactive in getting her feedback when I return.

My parents also go to church with several of my neighbors, so I have asked them to put out the feelers to determine if they have similar feelings to the lady next door.

Lastly, I am giving serious consideration to putting in a set of the quiet baffles. From what I have seen on YouTube, they can go on and off fairly easily, and those pipes still have a nice sound to them. By nice sound, I mean still the same music, but at a more reasonable volume.

I'll report back on the outcome around Thanksgiving.
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post #31 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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You might like the sound of those shot shots with baffles. Slightly quieter, and slightly deeper. And it would do wonders for the neighborhood situation. Remember in a situation like this, to your non-judging neighbors, you're representing all motorcyclists.
I'm really kind of leaning that way, Lurch. Good thought. Amazon is selling them for about $100 per set. Looking like $$$ well spent.
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post #32 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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^^^Well, there it is.

Just try to be as polite and neighborly as is reasonable, and treat others with as much respect as you'd want to be treated yourself.
Word!
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post #33 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think loud pipes help much at all, todays cage drivers are hermetically sealed in, air conditioned, and with the stereo blasting at 110db, they aren't even going to notice the noise from a bike anyway.
If you want to be noticed on your bike, instead of making loud noises wear high Vis gear, add lots of lights, and position yourself in the correct area of the lane and avoid blind spots.
Then ride as if your invisible anyway.



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I have no science to back this up, just personal experience. When i am in my car, which has excellent sound suppression, and someone is approaching or nearby with a loud exhaust, I'm checking my mirrors and looking around to see where it is coming from. Mostly because that sound is usually attached to something awesome. But if it is a bike, i want to know that, too.
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post #34 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:01 AM
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We just had Biketoberfest here last weekend, so thousands of motorcycles in the area. And this is a very bike-friendly town anyway, so I'm used to driving around motorcycles. Even in my truck, with the windows up, the a/c blowing, and the stereo cranking, I usually know when a bike with loud pipes is near me. I may not know exactly where he's at but it let's me know he's there and to pay closer attention until I realize where he is. Some of the bikes with quieter exhausts will pass by me and I have no idea they're near until I see them. I've been surprised a few times by quiet bikes.
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post #35 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:12 AM
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Those observations are interesting, I think the difference for both of you and for most of the folks here is that we are attuned to the sound of a bike so we pick it out of the background noise. Our brain hears a V-Twin rumbling and even though it's not the loudest sound we are instantly alerted to the fact there is a motorcycle around, which we see as a good thing and it's quite possibly one that interests us so we want to look for it and our brain helps us by effectivley making it louder. The same way your name spoken softly across the room will get your attention even over the sound of 20 other conversations at a busy cocktail party.

The average cage driver isn't listening for the sound of a bike so their brain turns it off as background noise along with all the other sounds they are ignoring.

But that's just my opinion, I really can't prove it.

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post #36 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:38 AM
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Nacholibre, I live in a HOA development that used to require motorcyclists leave their bikes at the entrances of the development, you were not allowed to ride to and from your house on the then private roads. Around ten years ago those roads were turned over to the county, no more legal restriction to riding within the development, even by people that don't live there. My Harley has aftermarket "racing" exhaust, yes, louder than stock. I just do what others suggest, take it slow and don't make more noise than is necessary. I do wear earplugs when I ride because the constant higher decibel levels will damage my hearing, but I wait until I get out of the development before popping the cork, hey it is fun. I also don't like hearing riders that just make noise to make noise. Get the baffles, try to appease the neighbors and be respectful like you have been, you will be helping ALL of us. I thank you for that.
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post #37 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 04:03 PM
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Those observations are interesting, I think the difference for both of you and for most of the folks here is that we are attuned to the sound of a bike so we pick it out of the background noise. Our brain hears a V-Twin rumbling and even though it's not the loudest sound we are instantly alerted to the fact there is a motorcycle around, which we see as a good thing and it's quite possibly one that interests us so we want to look for it and our brain helps us by effectivley making it louder. The same way your name spoken softly across the room will get your attention even over the sound of 20 other conversations at a busy cocktail party.

The average cage driver isn't listening for the sound of a bike so their brain turns it off as background noise along with all the other sounds they are ignoring.

But that's just my opinion, I really can't prove it.
Nah, I pretty much don't care about any other bikes on the road and am not interested in looking at them. Most days I'm looking at bikes all day long and the only interest I have in others is not colliding with them. I don't think I hear some of them because I'm tuned to them, I hear them because they're loud.
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post #38 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:38 PM
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I spent most of my youth growing up in the country. The noise of farm equipment, cattle, the rattle of old pickup trucks traveling through the dusty back roads. Just living life with the family and thinking all was normal.

At night, lying in bed listening to a baseball game on the radio, the silence would be broken by the far-off thumping of a Harley or some other noise maker. Sometimes by the local boys tearing up the roads with their hot rods. And the trains that would thunder through the night waking and shaking the ground so that it was impossible to not hear it. Then quickly the sound would dissipate and return to the humming of crickets and cicadas, the sounds that were familiar to the night.

Personally I have no problem with loud noise, it's the sustained loud noise that I find offensive. Like the jerk who lives above me who refuses to turn down the thumping bass on his stereo. But a loud motorcycle in the still of the night, a train passing, loud mufflers are never a problem for me, I know that in a few seconds or maybe minutes, the sound will be gone and all will be back to what is considered normal. Sometimes ya just need to get a grip.
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post #39 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 11:02 PM
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^^^
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post #40 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 03:39 AM
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HOA's are the worst thing I can think of pertaining to housing....I mean if I'm going to spend MY money on a place to live, why do I have to listen to a bunch of whiny *******s try to control what I can and can't do? I mean I've heard of HOA's that will not allow people to put up a flag pole (even one of the small ones that fly the flag off the side of the house) tall you what you can and can't drive, where you can and can't park, what color you can paint a door or your house.....

I mean come on, if I'm spending MY money, I will spend it the way I want to spend it, and drive what I want to drive, put up a flag pole if I want too, paint my house or front door what ever color I want....

I will never live in an area that is controlled by an HOA, I will live in my truck first

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