Jim McCaslin, President and COO of Harley Davidson, has an article up on the HD website addressing the loud pipes issue. It’s obvious there are quite a few HD riders swapping out their mufflers for straight pipes, lower power and less torque be damned, it’s noise they want! Seeing all of the custom choppers with sweeping non muffled pipes must mean mufflers are just superfluous weight, right? Well, a lot of non-bikers are not quite so happy with the loud pipes, the endless throttle blipping at stoplights, the loud blasts down the street late at night and sooner or later it leads to laws and regulations that affect everyone and very often those laws are overkill.
Harley riders are not the only ones, however, sportbikes with aftermarket exhausts can be pretty loud, too. Any inline four can generate an enormous decibel level if you don’t have the proper cans on those pipes. It’s not a sweet sound for most of the population and if you keep tweaking somebody’s nose, sooner or later they react, with laws and restrictions.
Before you add that superlight racing exhaust system on your GSX-R or those booming straight pipes on your big V Twin, think about what you’re doing. Even bikers like to sleep at night and may not want to hear you blasting by. If you already have a set of loud pipes on your bike, look at some options for lowering the decibels a notch or two. In the long run we all benefit by aggravating fewer non riders who tolerate your passion at best and actively oppose it at worst.
Just think of the kind of music you can’t listen to for even a minute, then imagine someone cranking up the volume and having to hear it all of the time. Loud pipes to many people are like that. Nuff, said.