Loud pipes, legal for Harleys, not cars. Why? [Archive] - Team Camaro Tech

: Loud pipes, legal for Harleys, not cars. Why?

Nov 19th, 05, 11:12 AM
Does anyone know how Harley (and other) motorcycles can get away with EXTREMELY loud exhaust, but not autos? I've noticed lately that no matter wht state /city I'm in, the bikes are always earsplitting, as loud as any open headered car I've owned. But they are never cited. But if anyone would run their car that loud, they would be immediately pulled over. What gives?

Nov 19th, 05, 11:38 AM
I think somewhere on this forum, someone said that it's because the loud pipes make drivers aware of the motorcycle, or something like that. But I'm with you... I want to run straight pipes on the chevelle but we would be pulled over immediately. :rolleyes:

Nov 19th, 05, 12:47 PM
Lets not start this all over again. This battle has been fought here before. I have been nailed with my loud Harley but NOT with my loud car. The cop that got me on my Harley just had an issue with bikes. The loud pipes are not "legal" on either vehicle.
The long and short of it is if you use your head and don't be a nuisance you probably won't be bothered.
The police man that got me didn't get me for noise. He just looked and told me that straight pipes aren't legal. They weren't straight pipes, they were $700.00 Rinehart baffled pipes but they are loud so I didn't argue with him.

Nov 19th, 05, 04:13 PM
Years ago the Trooper that used to give me all my speeding tickets pulled me over b/c my car was too loud as I went by the old Scales House where he took coffee.

I told him he didn't have to get down and look b/c I had blown one resonator completely off and then had unhooked the other side to keep it from hanging on something so I was actually running one side out the manifold and the other side out the end of the exhaust pipe.

I also told him I had ordered a cheap exhaust set from Sears that afternoon and he just said to bring it by the Scales House once I got it fixed which I promptly did. No problem at all but that sucker sure was loud running around town until I got the repair kit on it. (Had ta get around tho...)....


PS., and my transverse muffler had a hole in the back of it like a football size to boot!!

Nov 19th, 05, 06:44 PM
Well we live close to each other and I can tell you I have been pulled over more than once on my bike for my loud pipes

Nov 19th, 05, 08:03 PM
Oh No not this again. LOL

Nov 19th, 05, 11:14 PM
loud pipes save lives...

it's on a bumper sticker, so it must be true.

Nov 20th, 05, 12:09 AM
It is generally acceptable in the eyes of most officers to not write up a Harley for loud pipes. I have a few cops in my family and a few are friends. (in fact my neighbor is one of the dispatchers :) ) Anyway, for some reason leather jackets and loud pipes are a part of the Harley tradition. It's been that way since probably the 30's or so. Tattoo's are pretty common on the local bikers I've seen/met. My brother has a harley and he rev's it at every light. I ask him why he does it and he just says " It's a Harley thing". Sometimes I rev up my engine in a parade or at a light. I'm not trying to impress anyone, just like the tone/sound the built sbc makes. Must be the same for the bikes...

Dano :beers:

Nov 20th, 05, 10:46 AM
Here, if police sees a nicely done muscle car, they don't bother you, same with motorcycles. Unless you're showing off in an unappropriate place. Know what? I really feel sorry for the "ricers". The police down here, "sometimes" looks at the tail end of the ricer, and if they see a polished muffler under the bumper, thats enough reason to pull over that car and give them a ticket. $250.00 for a chrome muffler is too much. I'd rather paint it flat black, but thanks God I got rid of mine long ago... My 68 is kinda noisy outside, which I love, and I only get thumbs up from law officers.:thumbsup:

Nov 20th, 05, 11:18 AM
This topic is funny and will never be sorted out. First of all there is no street riden Harley that is as loud as a V8 with open headers. No way, no how. Straight pipes on Harley are illegal, lets clear up what a straight pipe is, it is a pipe with no baffles or muffler at all. Just an open pipe. While some (very few in my area) run straight pipes (it used to be cool "back in the day"). My pipe on my Harley was "loud" by some standards, but it was not a straight pipe. I as a "biker" did not sit at stop lights and rev the engine, the same goes for most (not all) of my biker buddies. Now if we went through a tunnel in a pack all bets were off.

To be perfectly open and honest I think there are people that just don't like Harleys/bikers and like to whine because they make too much noise. It's not the noise that bothers you it's the whole situation. Harleys are not that loud at idle, no matter what kind of pipes.

What's also interesting to me is, the only people that complain are those that have never riden before. The whole loud pipes save lives, really does have "some" merrit to it. That doesn't mean the louder your pipes the safer you are, it just means you are more likely to be "noticed" and not have to hear "I didn't see him officer" while you are laying on the ground.

This topic will never be agreed on, if you have never riden you have no idea in the world what you are talking about. Either some of you have REALLY sensitive ears or you just don't like Harleys. I have been in huge packs of bikes and the sound is not that loud, the wind noise is louder than the bikes. Now will all that said I haven't been with you when you heard these extremely loud bikes so maybe they were running some sort of pipe I have never heard or seen (doubtful).

I agree 100% with Bob on this.

I bet there are older ladies in your neighborhhod that think your Camraos are too loud too. What do you have to say about that? Should you be forced to not have a healthy cam and exhaust? Harleys are so much the same as a hot rod, you guys don't even see it. The same things are done to them as we all do to our hot rods, ignition, cam, headers, intakes, carb, heads. It's all to make a little more power and personalize your ride. Live and let live, it's amazing to hear car guys whining about Harleys. There are jerks in cars that like to burn rubber, do donuts, drive wreckless, etc.... Does that mean all of you are like that? NO. There are some bikers that are knuckleheads and like to make noise just because they can, but we have all been at car shows where there are one or two knuckleheads reving up their engines, Right?

Nov 20th, 05, 08:43 PM
i've seen lots of Harleys around these parts that have exhaust on them that is downright painful to be around when they are taking off from a stoplight- even if they are driving "nice". sure, it's not that loud on the bike- all the sound is being let out behind you. sit in a car off to the right side and just behind a Harley with straight pipes, and you will understand.
i've only ever been around one car like that on the street- a friend of mine had a 10:1 454 powered 79 Camaro with 2 1/4" pipes that necked down to short 2" glasspacks with 2' tailpipes. that thing would make your ears ring if you were right behind it and he cracked the throttle. it was actually a lot louder than all those poser late model 4X4 trucks running around with straight pipes on them these days, and some of them are even more obnoxious than even the worst Harleys out there.

Nov 21st, 05, 08:02 AM
Harley (HOG) is telling owners to quiet down their bikes. The EPA is comiing down on them. You will see laws passed and cops checking bikes to see if they have mufflers. I've seen cops in PA with sound guns registering the sound of the bikes going buy, and the same cops pulling people over and putting a stick in the tail pipe to check for a muffler. The laws will change.

But, anyway it kills your hearing anyway so your going to pay for it the hard way.

Nov 21st, 05, 09:43 AM
I give up. Those darned bikers!!! LOL

Maybe it's just different here in Cali. I seriously don't see many Harleys running around with straight pipes. There are plenty that rumble. Lots of Thunder Headers, Pro Pipes, Bubs, etc...

The whole stick on the tail pipe is not an accurate way to see if there is a muffler. The only thing that would tell is it there is a spark arrestor, which is not need on a street bike. There are lots of mufflers that are of the straight through design. I highly doubt the "stick' test would hold up in court.

Nov 21st, 05, 04:31 PM
Who really cares what HOG is telling people to do. I don't remember putting my pipes on because they told me to :D . Like I said earlier, if you don't go around being an idiot then you won't have too may problems. Decible meters don't care what kind of vehicle is making the noise.
Connecticut loves loud pipes. $276.00 fine and no inspection at m/v dept. Why? It is a big money maker for the state.
thedugan, you'll go deaf from my pipes before I do, they're n loud on the bike :thumbsup:

Nov 21st, 05, 06:55 PM
Just wait Harley is going to be making announcements on it next year.

But you are right about noise, yes you will no go deaf from the pipes on your own bike but you will from the wind noise and the other bikes next to you.

I have already had hearing loss from the bike. Remember everytime you hear ringing in your ear you had hearing loss.

98 FLHR-CI,Stage 2, Samson Pipes..