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Discussion Starter #1
First. what does this thread mean? It means that the pipes on your motorcycle should be Loud enough that a driver in a car can hear you when you are in their blind spot.

For newbs, be aware that the noise created by motorcycle pipes is one of those "controversial" issues that never gets resolved. there are various opnions ... some favoring 'loud pipes' and some opposed.

however ... Thats not what I am saying here. ALL i am saying is that your motorcycle pipes should get you noticed when you are riding in an average street and you are about 15 feet behind a car (next lane over). thats not much distance, and you dont need ear splitting noise to accomplish this feat.

so why? Because last Friday I was driving my Jeep to work. I was in the fast lane and getting ready to switch to the slow lane. To my amazement ... a young guy on a sports bike passed me on the right, maybe going 5mph faster than me. what was SO surprising is that I had absolutely no idea he was there ... because his bike was so darn quiet I literally couldnt hear it. THAT my friends .. is too quiet.

two things saved the MC rider last week - who by the way wasnt doing anything wrong. first, I never make a lane change without looking over my shoulder (that applies to car and motorcycle). And two, when I do make lane chAnges, I always do them very gradually and with the turn signal on.

my point is ... most cages dont do either of these things. the sound of your pipes is one more factor that could save your life. a driver should be able to hear your bike - when its in close proximity to their vehicle. otherwise you will be toast out there one day :)

have fun !!!
dT
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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My date and I sat in Jean Pierre's upscale restaurant on the corner of College and Main in Durango as a couple of unmuffled HD's roared around the corner. Every conversation in the entire restaurant had to be put on "pause."

The whole loud pipes thing is bull***t.

"Loud pipes" project the lion's share of their racket to the rear, NOT the front.

I rode my MOTORCYCLE all the time with a buddy who's GF's previous bike had straight pipes.

If I pulled even two feet ahead of her, riding side by side, it wasn't significantly louder than any other motorcycle. Even a few feet behind her the noise was deafening.

If she is PASSING another vehicle they can't possibly hear her "loud pipes" until it's FAR TOO late to prevent them from changing into her lane. They would need to hear them while she was in their blind spot, or before, and NOT once she was side-by side with the vehicle.

I figure my helmet, and the body and windows of a car offer about the same sound damping. They have even more if they have their stereo on. If I can't hear her until we're side by side, what chance does a motorist have?

You want your obnoxious "Loud pipes to save lives?" Then point them forwards instead of backwards. Subject YOURSELF to the same noise you do everyone behind you.

In the mean time consider that you're part of the reason so many drivers dislike bikers. And why so many other MOTORCYCLISTS support legislation that would SEVERELY limit your ability to modify your exhaust system.

Use your brain. Use your ears. Use logic. Rearward-facing loud pipes don't do ANYTHING to warn the drivers even slightly ahead of you of your presence. You may like the way they sound, but there's not one single study that concludes they improve safety. Go look!

thanks, I'll continue my meal now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
also an excellent suggestion by Dodsfall.
don't hang out while passing ... and don't pass SLOWLY. get past a car, and then if you wanna relax ... you can chill :)

dT
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yes I understand that some MC riders don't buy into the "Loud pipes save lives" logic. However, I believe in it hook, line and sinker. and I will continue to believe in it - as long as I see it work. which is pretty much every day I ride my bike.

Case in point ... yesterday I was coming south on the 405 Fwy. It was dark and a blue car put on their turn blinker and prepared to merge right across me in the adjacent lane. they did NOT look. but fortunately - they did indicate the lane change ahead of time. I simply blipped the throttle on my bike, and that got an instant reaction. they dodged back into their lane immediately. stuff happens. but the SOUND of motorcycle pipes is a very distinctive sound.

I agree that there are some MC riders who are going way overboard. They have taken the baffles off their pipes and the result is obnoxious. YES, those people are a nuisance, and they are giving everyone a bad name. But there are plenty of aftermarket exhaust pipes that do have "reasonable" noise levels ... and they are just loud enough that a cage driver CAN hear them when the bike is in close proximity to the car.

Personally, I think its good for the newbs here to listen to different opinions. The Motorcycle Forum brings together different rider communities "under one roof". You will see that the "cruiser guys" (incl. me) are often strong believers in the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" slogan. That's because the cruiser guys spend a LOT of time customizing their bikes, rather than just riding for performance. Hence they pay a lot of attention to how MC exhausts sound, and how other vehicles on the road react to the noise.

As I said earlier ... different strokes for different folks on this issue.

dT
 

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There is a chance that someone will hear the pipes and know you are there. I wouldn't depend on it, however.

Too many assume that their pipes will always get them out of trouble and keep them safe. (I don't need a helmet, I have loud pipes)

I've seen a few get left-turned while they were cranking their unbaffled drag-piped motorcycles full throttle. It's not pretty.
 

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yes I understand that some MC riders don't buy into the "Loud pipes save lives" logic. However, I believe in it hook, line and sinker. and I will continue to believe in it - as long as I see it work. which is pretty much every day I ride my bike.

dT
I don't buy into it because it simply is not logic. If I want to be heard by a cage I use my horn. It projects sound ahead of me, not in my wake. The only thing I believe in for loud pipes is that some people like them and are looking for an excuse for having them.
 

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Nightfly
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All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others. But logic will never change the thinking of those whose emotional perception of something is not open for discussion. Usually they reject the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.
 

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And what oil is best? Loud pipes is the same argument. However, I have a buddy who put straight unmuffled pipes on his bike because loud pipes saves lives. Just for grins I asked him to follow another guy that had the same bike and pipes at a PGR mission. Afterward he said, "man those are loud". Shortly after he changed them to some muffled ones.

Okay, that's only one less out there but I suspect there would be a lot more if people had to hear them all the time. The lions share of the racket is behind you. That includes the guy in his cage with the windows rolled up listening to Rush Limbaugh. They just won't here them until it's too late. But you won't be able to convince them of that fact because "Loud Pipes Save Lives". They've bought it hook line and sinker. Same as their brand of oil. It's the best.

Now if they had deflectors on the end that directed that racket forward? That isn't and never will be the case. Logic but then who cares about that?
 

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Loud pipes don't save lives, but they sound great. I am one of the obnoxious ones with no baffles. It doesn't keep a single person from switching lanes right into me. Taking phones away from cagers would save more lives than about everything other than paying attention and remembering that every car is trying to kill you.

When I'm in town, I can't exercise the exhaust to it's full ability anyway, would be expensive and time consuming, and wouldn't do anything other than make a lot of noise that only I would enjoy, because I can't hear much anyway.
 

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Agree with wadenelson -- the "loud pipes saves lives" is complete horse manure!
Loud pipes serve only one purpose -- to make all motorcyclists hated.

:icon_mad:
 

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I think there's a compromise middle-ground to the discussion. Personally I think most factory exhaust systems are WAY too quiet, so I have a set of Vance & Hines aftermarket pipes on my Raider.

They have the V&H baffles still installed, and IMO they sound really nice without being obnoxious loud. I hear about other guys who rip out the baffles for even more "noise" and IMO it's those guys the noise complainers are talking about.

Most states/provinces have sound decibel limit laws, and I'm all for that. My bike still lives within those limits.

And some complainers you can never make happy. Many of them complain about even factory pipe noise..
 

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This is just another Chevy vs. Ford debate. My bike is quiet, probably too quiet. But I really don't want to rely on people hearing me, cause I know they won't anyways, not with their radios turned up and cell phones glued to their face. I'd much rather trust my own eyes to do the looking. It's not foolproof, but neither is loud pipes. Dad was in the driveway last week when I pulled in. I pulled up right behind him, he didn't hear me, he didn't have his hearing aids in. I beeped the horn and the poor guy jumped fifty feet. "My god girl, you are going to give me a heart attack, I hope you aren't after my will money, cause if you do that again, I'm cutting you out"....
 

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"Rearward-facing loud pipes don't do ANYTHING to warn the drivers even slightly ahead of you of your presence. "

My loud pipes face directly out to the right side of the bike. :)

I hear motorcycles all the time when I'm in my truck. Like every freaking day. I may not initially see them or know where they're at, but at least I know there's a bike around somewhere. To say that you can't hear a bike coming up behind you with loud pipes any more then you could if it were stopped and you sitting in your car in front of it is silly. (Unless your car moves faster then about 760 mph, Of course.) Often, when people argue against loud pipes their real issue is that they don't like them and are annoyed by them.


Loud pipes HAVE saved lives, but like Dods said, don't assume they will get you out of trouble and keep you safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
"but at least I know there's a bike around somewhere"

exactly. I hear the pipes ... and I start LOOKING for the motorcycle.

CheesyRider ... yes its an issue out there in the community.
But just remember .. the people fighting against "loud pipes" don't have any skin in the game. They DONT go down to the ER when a car knocks a motorcycle down onto the asphalt ... and they're nowhere to be found when the issue of texting-while-driving is getting debated. Your good health is of no concern to them whatsoever.

dT
 

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I don't have loud pipes to be safe. That has nothing to do with why I have them, but it is an added benefit. :biggrin:

I'm not sure what rights they could be a threat to though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Eye ... HAHAHA!!!

Cheesy ... I suppose it depends on where you ride.
the loud pipes are a definite benefit in the city where theres high-density traffic. But like Ive said many times ... theres Loud and then theres Obnoxious. There is a definite difference. Most of the makers of aftermarket exhausts for cruisers understand this perfectly ... they try to find the perfect middle ground.

dT
 

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I don't have loud pipes to be safe. That has nothing to do with why I have them, but it is an added benefit. :biggrin:

I'm not sure what rights they could be a threat to though.
There don't seem to be a lot of motorcycle bans on public roads yet, but there have been countless bans in gated communities. I'm not sure how anyone can deny that they irritate many and create a negative image in general for all who ride.
 
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