|Email Notice Received 08/10/2006
Subject: [Cycle_News] AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE
E-NEWS SERVICE: MOTORCYCLE
AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE: MOTORCYCLE NOISE STUDY
OUR AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE RECENTLY RECEIVED THE
INFORMATION FROM KEITH "BANDIT" BALL, FORMER EDITOR OF EASYRIDERS
MAGAZINE AND FOUNDER OF BIKERNET.COM, AND IN THE INTEREST OF BIKERS
RIGHTS AND IN RECOGNITION OF THE GROWING TREND OF LEGISLATING AND
REGULATING MOTORCYCLE EXHAUST SOUND LEVELS, WE ARE PLEASED TO PASS
THIS ON TO ALL FREEDOM FIGHTERS, MOTORCYCLE RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS,
I recently was hit by Noise Freak efforts, and it scared me that in
noisy world bikers would take the brunt of their silencing efforts.
Even the AMA suggested that we cower and hide to prevent future
intrusions into our rights. A respected Motorcycle mag editor said
this to me, in defense of his notion to be quiet and maybe they'll
away: "I think if our pipes exceed an acceptable level (whatever
means), and we continue to make people (non-riders) hate us, we
reap whatever 'rewards' they want to heap upon us." I disagree. We
must stand and fight for our rights or deserve to get our asses
I've run this concept and notions by NCOM, the MRF, ABATE, SEMA
representatives, a senator and now I'm releasing it. They all
applauded the notion. Freedom fighters across the country believe
strongly, that we must stay right in the face of legislators, that
we acquiesce or try to hide, we'll be toast, quick. One guy said,
"We're the Indians now. We need to keep up the fight."
If we can create the first platform for this and create a
of activity, we can hopefully accomplish the following:
Additional testing and implementation by higher ups
Continued motorcycle freedom
Heightened motorcycle awareness and respect
Maybe save some lives
Keep the bastards off our backs
Feel free to drop me a line and let me know your thoughts,
BIKERNET.COM INDEPENDENT MOTORCYCLE NOISE
In a world of increased levels of constant noise and heightened
efforts to curb excessive decibel levels motorcycles take a hit.
Bikernet.com, the world's largest website in the custom motorcycle
industry, sought to study motorcycle noise against constant
environmental disturbances and put the motorcycle exhaust sound
Motorcycles are unique in that they are the least pervasive of all
vehicles jammed onto our roads today. They have the least
and the best mpg ratings of all vehicles. We noted the obvious,
motorcycles lack bumpers, airbags, double-wall doors or steel
ceilings, yet take up 1/3 of the space of common sedans, and are
agile than trucks or compacts in avoiding dangerous situations.
Motorcycles have but two defensive measures to enhance their
visual and auditory awareness. For decades motorists have used the
excuse that they are unable to see a narrow motorcycle, so it's
to hit one. State legislators are currently dealing with that
Yet, still between 70 and 85 percent of all motorcycle/motor
accidents are caused by motorists. Plus, the use of cell phones,
screens, DVDs, CD players and other major distractions are
the need for motorcycle awareness.
Recent statistics indicate that over 80 percent of motor vehicle
accidents happened while the driver is distracted by cell phones,
eating or other interruptions.
Much like emergency vehicles, the sound a motorcycle makes is
to its ability to alert motorists of its whereabouts. That became
study criteria and we tested four motorcycles to determine an
acceptable decibel level to allow a motorcyclist to be heard. We
discovered a recent court case that demonstrated this contention. Å
woman testified she was unaware of the presence of a motorcycle.
testing proved her a liar. We measured the decibel levels from 2
away from the open end of the muffler at 45 degrees. We also
discovered that some states measure decibel levels from as far as
feet away. In that case every motorcycle tested emitted less noise
than most 18-wheelers.
2003 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic, 1,400cc with mild
modifications and a full Screamin' Eagle 2-into-1 Exhaust System:
100 decibels at idle
108 decibels at cruising throttle
116 decibels fully revved.
2004 1200 cc Sportster with full aftermarket Samson 2-into-1 Exhaust
100 decibles at idle
108 decibels at moderate rpms
120 decibels fully revved.
Custom 1956 Harley-Davidson, 1488 cc, with custom 2-into-2 exhaust
system with modified shorty mufflers:
102 decibels at idle
111 decibels at cruising speeds
124 decibels revved
2006 Softail Standard 1,400 cc, original from the factory:
97 decibels at idle
102 decibels at cruising speed
111 decibels revved
For reference, we measured the noise levels of cars and trucks
our meter at between 35-45 mph at 10-50 feet distance. Passenger
vehicles ranged in the 78-83 decibel range whereas trucks ranged
90-100 at that distance.
We took each one of these motorcycles and tested them in three
Passing: Wherein a motorcycle approached a passenger vehicle with
windows rolled up and radio playing (and without). We tested the
approach from both sides of the car.
Oncoming Intersection Scenario: Again we used a late model
vehicle with the windows rolled up a radio playing (and without).
time both vehicles approached an intersection and we determined if
motorcycle could be heard across an intersection in this test
Cross Traffic: Again we tested whether a motorcycle can be heard
closing on an intersection from a right angle from the oncoming
vehicle approaching an intersection, when a building exists on the
right hand corner.
We discovered that the stock motorcycle could not be heard in the
passing test unless the motorcycle was along side a moving vehicle.
a radio was playing at 80 decibels within the vehicle the
would be nearly undetectable. A dangerous situation for a
that takes up limited mirror viewing area.
We discovered that with a radio playing the Sportster could be
at just one car length behind the vehicle. The results were almost
same for the Road King.
With the radio off, these motorcycles could be discerned at two car
lengths. A brief span of time in traffic to maneuver if a car
its direction abruptly.
The custom bike could be easily detected following at 5 car lengths
and close to 7 if the radio was not in the equation.
The intersection test was the most difficult because speed and
distance are tricky to determine control. The un-altered
Harley-Davidson was difficult to hear at all with or without radio
The modified Road King and Sportsters had a fleeting chance of
heard across an intersection to warn a motorist. The only
that could be easily heard across an intersection was the 1956
with modified exhaust.
The final test was most interesting. Again the stock bike would
virtually arrive at the intersection unheard, whereas the Sportster
and the Road King were detected for 3 car lengths before the
intersection. Consequently there would be a moment of driver
time available, at 35 mph, for the driver or motorcyclist to react
a dangerous situation.
Again the custom bike with modified exhaust could be heard from over
block away prior to the intersection allowing the driver to be
of an approaching motorcycle and make defensive maneuvers prior to
entering the intersection.
Our study also identified the consistency of road sound in an
industrial area in Wilmington, California, which affords almost
around riding weather. This street has an average of 450 trucks
passing in an hour given at 93-100 decibels. An average of 673 cars
pass daily during a peak hour at a constant 81-83 decibels and maybe
dozen motorcycles pass by during that hour for a culminated seconds
motorcycle noise at 80-100 decibels.
Our findings point out various considerations regarding motorcycle
noise regulations. We are not in favor of disturbing or
motorcycle noise. We support Daytona, Florida's anti-revving
ordinance. Abusive noise use is ticketed. We also support an
that allows ticketing for any motorcyclist who abuses his
after 10:00 p.m. at night in a residential district. We believe
motorcycles need to make some noise, but that it must be handled