Motorcycle Exhaust Sound. Will The Government Hear?

motorcycleexhaustWhat is the reliable way to measure motorcycle exhaust sound to make the test agreeable both by the motorcycle industry and law enforcement? Ed Moreland, AMA vice president states that the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council) and the SAE (Society Of Automotive Engineers) were able to establish for the first time a very simple decibels test.  States and municipalities need now to be convinced, adopt and use it.

The standard test is touted as simple, consistent, and economical. But sound meters are required to perform the test and that’s the sticking point. Most cities refuse to hand sound meters to police officers because considered too expensive. Cities like Denver, Boston, Fairfax County VA already took a short cut by considering that exhaust not stamped with the EPA letters are illegal, hence too loud. New-York is contemplating using the same strategy.

Nevertheless, enforcement of the ordinance has been restrained because EPA stamps are generally found in out-of-the-way places such as on the underside of the exhaust system. Police officers are reluctant to get down on hands and knees with a flashlight at night to try to find the stamp…To make the noise issue more complex, the EPA exhaust standard certification is only valid for one year or 3,750 miles! How EPA did decide this?

The J2825 “Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles,” issued by the SAE in May, establishes instrumentation, test site, test conditions, procedures, measurements and sound level limits. The J2825 standard is based on a comprehensive study of a wide variety of on-highway motorcycles. The question is will government use it? And if yes will the municipalities check the excessive noise from some cars, trucks, generators, leaf blowers, music boom boxes, etc…


16 Responses to “Motorcycle Exhaust Sound. Will The Government Hear?”

  1. 1 Alain Tourigny Jul 4th, 2009 at 8:21 am

    The laws are stricter in many cities and provinces in Canada. These laws were introduced because some do not properly with the straits pipe. In the cities, to please respect the people who have the right to make a small bed at the time suitable for him. Respect others and we respect them too.

    Les lois sont strictes dans beaucoup de villes et provinces au Canada. Ces lois ont été instaurées car certains ne conduisent pas correctement avec des straits pipe. Dans les villes, S.V.P. bien vouloir respecter les gens qui ont le droit de faire un petit dodo à l’heure qui lui conviennent. Respectez les autres et il nous respecterons eux aussi.

  2. 2 Woody Jul 4th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I’ve written my state reps and hopefully others will also. As far as I know it’s not illegal to put aftermarket exhausts on on other vehicles so long as they continue to pass all noise and pollution requirements. The main problem stems from the fact that a HUGE % of bikes get their pipes modded compared to a relatively small amount of cars (“angry beehive” Mazdas & Civics and Dukes of Hazzard PU trucks 🙂 ) and many of the modded bikes go right past throaty to “lookit me lookit me lookit me. Congratulations-they’re looking at us big time, and they ain’t happy. I have 3 bikes, one with stock exhaust and the other two aren’t really very loud (nobody minds being behind me on group stuff) but I’ll be taken down with the TT pipe crowd. Thanks for nothing!

  3. 3 Fairfax County | All Days Long Jul 4th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    […] Motorcycle Exhaust Sound. Will The Government Hear? at Cyril Huze Blog By Cyril Huze Cities like Denver, Boston, Fairfax County VA already took a short cut by considering that exhaust not stamped with the EPA letters are illegal, hence too loud. New-York is contemplating using the same strategy. … Cyril Huze Blog – […]
    Oops, should have said great post! Waiting for your next post!

  4. 4 Rogue Jul 5th, 2009 at 7:27 am

    ED Moreland and the AMA have been working on this type of thing for quite some time and it continues to come up in different places. Hopefully those reading these posts will support them in their efforts to protect our rights by joining the AMA.
    With that said this issue has intensified by those motorcyclist who abuse the law for what ever reason they are using. There are those who say they do it for safety reasons and to defeat the excuse of drivers of other vehicles from using the excuse I Did Not See Them! Others just want to be seen, some make changes for added performance and better fuel milage. So the reasons vary from person to person.
    No matter why motorcyclist change their exhaust there should Not Be A Law that treats them any different to any other type of vehicle. It is my understand that most of the laws that have been around for many years adresses these issues.
    Using a sound meter a specific distance away from the vehicle and testing the noise at what is termed highway speeds. That means not acceleration and or decellerating such as engine braking.
    The fact that sound meters may cost more than some cities want to spend is unimportant, It is the cost of doing business. Just like Radar Guns for speeding. We need documation and not some officers ear to prove decibles.
    Also having a engine reved to hear the sound is unfounded asit is not good for th e engine to do that with out a load on it and does emit a different sound than it does traveling on the roadway.
    This law is prejudicial against motorcycles and therefore illegal.
    The way to defeat it is for motorcyclist to contact their elected officials and let them know that if they vote for such a orrdiance that when election time comes you will do everything in your power to see that they will not be re-elected. Yes that will work and it has for me more than once. I have attended meetings and brought other motorcyclist with me to speak out against candidates and They Were Not Re-elected. Now when I say that to a legislator I also suggest that they check with legislator so & so to see what happened to them.
    If they do not head the warning then it is Important to follow up and see they do not get re-elected.
    The motorcycle riders are the only ones that can stop this and other bad laws buy getting involved.
    Another thing is that many in the legislatue and law enforcement do not look at motorcycles as daily transportation But recrecational vehicles and feel if you can afford one of those expensive toys we want some of your money. OH YES IT IS MORE ABOUT MONEY than THE NOISE.

  5. 5 Mike Greenwald Jul 5th, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Display of Government symbols, letters, or words upon any product part or compilation of parts denotes taxation or ownership of partial liability.

    The requirement for the motorcycle owner to automatically succumb to a tax that is specific to the type of vehicle is enslavement of that group that is commanded to abide.

  6. 6 Cade Jul 5th, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Canada ! ! !
    Don’t y’all have SOCILISM up there ?

  7. 7 nicker Jul 5th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    And exactly who gets to fool with the throttle while your scooter is being “tested”….. ???


  8. 8 Mike Greenwald Jul 6th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Local governments are getting in on this act.

    Benicia backs bill to inspect motorcycle pipes in California

  9. 9 Kenny Price Jul 6th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    the sound test consists of a sound meter which are actually cheap compared to a radar gun. i have two and paid about $75 bucks for each of them. so putting these sound testers in police cars are cheap. the test consists of placing the sound meter at a 45degree angle from the exhaust and 20″ away. at an idle you will be allowed 92 db. the police officer also has to take into consideration ambient sound like cars or trucks going by. even tire noise from passing vehicles will give a false reading. this is great news since a simple baffle will get that 92 db level for most bikes. modified engines or big inch engines may be a problem. Samson makes exhaust that passes that 92 db level. there is a lot more to it but this should be adopted very soon and we will all have some of the freedoms we used to have. by the way, there will not be smog checks in califirnia either.
    Kenny Price
    Samson Exhaust

  10. 10 MIke Kalt Jul 7th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Bikes have enough trouble being seen on the road so what is a little extra sound in the name of safety? Maybe the “law makers” need to have all of the little 4 bangers with their giant “mufflers” hanging out the back go back the their stock exhaust!
    Next thing we know they will outlaw the triple headlights, aftermarket lights and restrict us to only one headlight and tail light/turn signal combo!!! I know how about limiting bikes to 50cc and make us wear kevlar suits and full face helmets!!!!! Car drivers for the most part never even look for bikes when they swap lanes or pull out on the road.
    We need to get these long term “career” politicians out of office and get people more in-touch with today in. Maybe some “career bikers” should have a few seats in the senate and house.
    Now that Obama is in the car buisness who knows what will happen. NO MODIFICATIONS ALLOWED!!!

  11. 11 T.W. Day Jul 11th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I don’t think the MIC and SAE’s manufacturer-driven standards will satisfy the public at this late date. Coming up with such a weak, difficult test for municipal police to manage after decades of iritating the general public with no restrictions is going to be like asking the public to tolerate segregated second hand smoke in public buildings after decades of getting smoke blown directly in their faces. Too little, too weak, too late. The standard is, simply, irrational and bends too far over for the pipe manufacturers; a group that no ordinary citizen has any interest in protecting.

    Motorcycle manufacturers, especially Harley and other US companies, have a long history of abusing their privledges on public streets. This is a lame attempt to apologize for that history, but it reads more like a slap in the face to anyone able to read the test procedure and the expected numbers.

  12. 12 T.W. Day Jul 11th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Those $45 dollar meters won’t cut it for police/legal work. A Class 1 certified SPL meter runs more like $3k/unit ( The continued abuse of A-weighting is going to cause kick-back, too. A-weighting is for quiet (<55dBSPL) measurements, not for loud, high LF content signals like motorcycles.

    You’re right. A roadside test will be contaminated by other highway noises. Even wind will cause these unprotected omni mics to produce incorrect measurements. The only working “test” is the EPA/DOT stamp on an unmodified pipe. Anything else is impractical and won’t stand up in court.

  13. 13 Hoz Jul 28th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Why can’t they just have the inspection places buy the metters and have them inspect the motorcycles with them. If they give you, your inspection sticker you passed the sound test and every other test they have, cops don’t have to do anything but check to make sure the motorcycle has the inspection sticker just like they do on a car.
    The cost of the metters are passed to the shops and the consumers, since I am sure motorcycle inspections cost will go up due to this but it seems worth it. No fuss no hassle.

  14. 14 sprung Aug 4th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I think you are right the sound should be tested at inspection stations. That is an idea our group can get behind.

  15. 15 John K Jul 19th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    F the AMA

  1. 1 Fairfax County | All Days Long Pingback on Jul 4th, 2009 at 1:24 pm
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