Considering all of the discussion in the comment section after the Mission One electric motorcycle post about how the bike is too quiet followed by comments by some riders saying loud pipes alert drivers to their presence and keep them safer, this article by the AMA addressing the noise issue seems very timely. The problem is loud pipes do attract a lot of attention, very negative attention, and they lead to anti-noise ordinances which hurt all riders.
The first time I saw a sticker that said “Loud pipes save lives” I smiled thinking it was a joke, a humorous justification for an obviously too loud exhaust, but I found some riders really believed it then, and still do.
As one comment pointed out, what saves your life is that gray matter between your ears. Learn how to ride, pay attention, ride smart, assume the cars, trucks and SUVs do not see you. Part of the fun of riding is knowing your reflexes have to be quicker than those of anyone surrounded by steel. Every ride keeps you sharp. You’re part of a special group, you don’t need a set of really loud pipes to save you, I certainly wouldn’t feel very safe if my exhaust pipes were all that stood between me and injury or death. Pipes can sound good without being obnoxious. There are far too many communities ready to legislate against motorcycles, don’t give them another excuse to head down that path.
Interesting article from the AMA and their call for “self regulation” makes a lot of sense.