Harley-Davidson Tries To Quiet Motorc...

Harley-Davidson Tries To Quiet Motorcycle Noise - Loud Pipes' Cost

There are 294 comments on the Automotive story from Jul 16, 2008, titled Harley-Davidson Tries To Quiet Motorcycle Noise - Loud Pipes' Cost. In it, Automotive reports that:

Jim McCaslin is President and CEO of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. In a message entitled "Something We Never Want to Lose" on his company's website, Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and CEO Jim McCaslin ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Automotive.

First Prev
of 15
Next Last
Harley Noise Pollution

United States

#1 Jul 17, 2008
I recently vacationed in the West with my son in the Black Hills and Yellowstone areas. We drove our car and camped to visit as many of the natural wonders of this area as we could in nine days. We generally had a wonderful time, except for one ever-present annoyance; noise pollution from motorcycles.

During the course of our trip through five National Parks, we stopped at scenic overlooks, hiked, fly fished, and endeavored to appreciate the natural beauty of the West, but there was rarely a time when we did not hear the roar of the Harley Noise. We did not hear the cars. We did not hear the trucks. We heard the Harley Noise. Now I refer to the Harley Noise as ďvery loud motorcycle noiseĒ. The bikes may be one of the other brands that try to emulate the Harley Davidson Motorcycle, but the thunder culture of the loud Harley has inspired other manufacturers and bikers to modify the exhaust systems to make excessive noise. So the ďHarley NoiseĒ is justifiably labeled, regardless of the brand. Especially because the vast majority of the excessive noise makers are indeed Harleys.

When at Yellowstone we hiked Ĺ mile off the road to get away from other fisherman and tourist racket, we heard birds, the wind, the stream, and then distant Harley Noise about every ten minutes. We could not get away from it wherever we went. I call that noise pollution. We did not hear cars. We did not hear trucks. We heard the Harley Noise everywhere in Yellowstone National Park while trying to enjoy the solitude of such a beautiful place. What is it with the Harley culture that requires the excessive noise? The rider enjoys the rumble, but ignores the fact that everybody within a half mile hears it too. Most people donít like the noise. We donít hear any of the Fords or Toyotas which have bigger engines and better mufflers. Why must we listen the Harley Noise? On the trip I actually saw guys on Harleys pull out ear plugs at the gas station when they stopped. The irony of that goes without saying.

There are many other quiet motorcycles that we donít hear and that is normal and good. I have two motorcycles, including a big quiet Japanese cruiser. I ride often and would consider myself a biker. But I donít make noise pollution. At home in northern Michigan I live out the country far from town so that I can have peace and quiet. When I sleep at night with the window open I am disturbed only by the occasional whippoorwill, my rooster that crows in the morning, and the periodic Harley Noise out on the country road day and night. I donít hear the cars. I donít hear the trucks. The Harley Noise wake me up. This is noise pollution.

Now when I see the Bikers in public places with their leather and black t-shirts and tattoos and Harley Davidson gear, I do not see an American icon, or a rebel, or any fashion statement. I am not impressed because I see a noise polluter. I know that these folks with the helmet hair and the chaps are the ones who wake me up, and disturb my peace at the trout stream and cause me to roll up my windows on the road. My impression is that these Bikers do not have any respect for the harmony of people around them. While this may not be fair because some Bikers ride a Suzuki or BMW that is as quiet as my Pontiac, this remains my perception of the Bikers now; and I donít think I am alone with this. We do not want to hear the Harley Noise. Itís not cool any more. The Harley Noise pollution has gone too far, and it is my hope that the manufacturers, local communities , and law enforcement will take steps to reduce the nuisance noise that the majority of the public has been politely enduring, but wishes would end.

Judged:

16

13

11

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
mulderdog

South Yarmouth, MA

#2 Jul 17, 2008
Best new I've read in months.
Mark

Louisville, TN

#3 Jul 17, 2008
Grow up, you just wish you had a Harley. I would expect this drivel from a Honda Cruiser. Do you also complain about the young studs that play their Rap music so loud you can't hear the Harley next to them?

Judged:

28

18

9

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
Irover

Vincentown, NJ

#5 Jul 18, 2008
If that isn't the height of hypocrisy! First HD
builds touring bikes that run soooo hot that in order to make them cool enuf to ride you MUST replace the pipes, and puts this crap out about
noise pollution. GIVE ME A BREAK.........
mattsnever

United States

#6 Jul 18, 2008
Loud Pipes Save Lives!!!!!!!!!!

Judged:

20

17

12

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
Tmac

Denver, CO

#7 Jul 18, 2008
Defensive riding saves lives not loud pipes.
mattsnever wrote:
Loud Pipes Save Lives!!!!!!!!!!

Judged:

23

10

9

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
thomas

Brookfield, WI

#8 Jul 18, 2008
well ''''' you know what - sounds like that people are just not happy with there life, or life style.
Markt

Maynard, MA

#9 Jul 18, 2008
Double standard, period.
If I want to be extra-safe in my car, then it's ok to remove the muffler?

Judged:

11

10

5

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
Dino

Long Beach, CA

#10 Jul 18, 2008
MyLife wrote:
<quoted text>
The ear plugs are to curb the wind noise, that at any speed over 50 mph, violates OSHA standards if experienced for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period. Most motorcyclists, even those riding dead quiet Hondas wear ear plugs if they're going to be on the highway. Even if wearing a full face helmet, which actually increases in decibels at the higher registers...
But you wouldn't know anything about that.
Great response...
I've worked around jet engines, Diesels and race cars since 1975. I've been riding just about as long. I wear earplugs when I ride too.

Most folks don't understand the earplug thing for bikers...
merlin

Brookfield, WI

#11 Jul 18, 2008
with people on cell phone's with the windows up and the a/c on full blast. you have to do something to get attenion of drivers. with food in hand and the phone in the other - who's driving the car ?- the little tuner car's with the loud stereo systems and coffe can muffler - you can hear the a 1/2 mile away - when they get close they shake the china cabinet - and you can hear the rusty body panels rattle (funny thing to here) everybody can beat this into the ground and the noise will still be there. been driving loud cars for 45 years and i haven't change my disire for loud pipes as of yet. grandkids love to ride on the LOUD harley. there generation will be the same, and soo on. "happy motoring"
moondog

State College, PA

#12 Jul 18, 2008
Interesting that the Oakland police have now requested lourer pipes - because they discovered that they do alert drivers who are too distracted by food, smoke, passengers, cell phones, etc. to pay attention to driving. Of course controversial because people hold dear to that which offends them.

http://motorcycles.about.com/b/2008/06/16/oak...
sportysrock

Nashua, NH

#13 Jul 18, 2008
Oh the harley noise ... blah blah blah

Didn't your mother tell you to stay away from those biker fellers? And the wind is plenty of noise as the other responder noted.

There is plenty of other noise EVERYWHERE. You only focused on the dreaded harley noise.

Judged:

12

10

7

Reply »
Report Abuse Judge it!
Fred

Sterling, VA

#14 Jul 18, 2008
Loud pipes do not save lives. It's simply not true and there are not statistics to support the loud pipes save lives BS.

If you put yourself in a position where the cager has to notice you, and give a s***, you're already screwed.

Ever notice that most of the guys who claim that they have loud pipes to be noticed ride around in all black with no reflective gear on motorcycles that put them as low to the pavement as is practical? Did you note that they almost never have headlight modulators, taillight modulators, or upgraded horns? And they either have no helmet or some beanie-style "half-helmet". Yeah, they're all about safety. Sure they are.
wrecker

Nampa, ID

#15 Jul 19, 2008
Nice: You dickhead!
Must be nice to get a fat salary for selling an image to the babyboomers ("BUY A HARLEY, YOUR STILL COOL AT YOUR AGE !!!") while denying the world around You! Funny but when it was only Shriners, Cops and Outlaws Buying a crappy made product (ANY H.D built from 1972 to 1985) from Your company, I never heard a "Whine" like Yours from a corporate drone! It must really suck, for You, to have to sell "The Image" (Includining Paki made leathers and Korean made t-shirts) and have to follow the "Company" line about about being made in America! Noise pollution. Give Me a break, 10 years ago You Dofusses tried to patent the "Sound" a Harley makes (Oh it was something like "potato. potato, potato" If I remember correctly) I noticed that lawsuit failed. Then I saw, that Harley hed released a "New" exhaust system that was EPA compliant, followed by a notice to dealerships that... "They should discourage customers from modifying the exhaust sytem on thier motorcycles". screw off corporate boy! BTW "Fred" in Sterling VA.. My bike is bright Red, I run an H4 halogen "Blue" headlight that didnt stop a soccer mom from parking her mini van on top of Me! Her (classic) response "I didnt notice he was thier"
Fred

Great Falls, VA

#16 Jul 19, 2008
So, Wrecker, would loud pipes have saved you? I doubt it (maybe you had them?). As I said, "If you put yourself in a position where the cager has to notice you, and give a s***, you're already screwed."

One blue-white halogen light doesn't get anyone's attention now since half of the kids have cars with two of them. If you want your headlight to be noticed during the day, get a modulator.

Hope you weren't hurt and that insurance got you a new bike. Ride carefully.
Vicarious

Charles Town, WV

#17 Jul 19, 2008
25 years on many bikes. 25 years of similar debates. Someone's right for loud noises (any noise) ends at my right to not hear it. Just by saying that ain't gonna make it happen. Anyone on two-wheels knows that. Some bikers evaluate their impact on society, some just go with the rest of the group they ride with and have louder pipes. Some just don't care. At any rate, the main thing is we should all recognize we ain't gonna agree on this issue. So, cut the name calling and fess up to just being ignorant for a reason (be you for or against) and enjoy life. After all, it is a one way trip.

Since: Jul 08

United States

#18 Jul 19, 2008
Markt wrote:
Double standard, period.
If I want to be extra-safe in my car, then it's ok to remove the muffler?
no you put on your seat belt, and drink your coffee, and use the fax machine, talk on your cell phone, apply your makeup, eat your food, text message someone, change the radio station, or whatever else you want to do and assume that someone else is looking out for you....

Since: Jul 08

United States

#19 Jul 19, 2008
Tmac wrote:
Defensive riding saves lives not loud pipes.
<quoted text>
Defensive Driving and Loud Pipes Save Lives!!!!

Since: Jul 08

United States

#24 Jul 21, 2008
Arlio gurthria wrote:
<quoted text> Man! I may be getting old and maybe getting worn out from all my poke songs over the years but some of you bikers are pretty stupid these days. I,am sure you have heard of my singing over the long dusty years. May I ask what gives you a right to judge some=one? How do we know that you don,t smoke the piece pipe when your out on your harly? I just found this board by mistake somehow and really I don,t ever have much time to be on any forum these days. Get a life before you cutt some=one down mr.
The comment was that a car doesn't need loud pipes, cagers have seat belts and air bags.... out of all the people that have cut me off, 100% are distracted drivers.... those drivers are talking on their cell phones, eating lunch, or some other derivative....
merlin

Brookfield, WI

#25 Jul 21, 2008
wait about a year. mopeds - scooters - and motorcycle's are going to be a common transportation on the roads. and more so in the city. with the price of gas and maintenance. I have spent time in europe, 2 wheel tranportation dominate's the streets there. gas price in europe.
Netherlands $6.77
Norway $6.56
Denmark $6.29
Belgium $6.02
UK $6.02

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 15
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Harley Davidson Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Biker angered at huge repair bill after Harley ... (Sep '09) Jan 14 Road Lightning King 54
News Harley-Davidson Is Taking Steps To Reverse Its ... Dec '15 glasspilot 4
News Cheney touts economy, Patriot Act during Missou... (Jan '06) Nov '15 Proud Lesbian 5
News Should You Buy a New Harley Davidson (Nov '07) Nov '15 glasspilot 558
News Rare skull disease afflicts child (May '08) Nov '15 District 1 27
News In an instant, drunken driver claims man in fro... Nov '15 Prohibition the A... 2
News Sturgis Rally-goers roll through Madison (Aug '15) Sep '15 Bikers sux 2
More from around the web