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This thread is located in the Ducati MS News.

Amazed Where is the 'News?

This comment: "...but for a lot of people – particularly the non-riding public – loud exhausts prove to be obnoxious."

Asinine statement. What facts are the basis of this comment?
 

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People who voted against, either

don't ride

don't live in a city with masses of teenagers texting

don't live in a high density traffic area with multiple lanes

Don't live in Texas with little discipline on the highway being allowed to cruise in any lane and switch frequently

Don't own a Ducati

bob
 

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… This comment: "...but for a lot of people – particularly the non-riding public – loud exhausts prove to be obnoxious."
Asinine statement. What facts are the basis of this comment?
Perhaps the fact that it’s true? For a lot of people – particularly the non-riding public – loud exhausts DO prove to be obnoxious. To deny that reality is asinine.

People who voted against, either
don't ride
don't live in a city with masses of teenagers texting
don't live in a high density traffic area with multiple lanes
Don't live in Texas with little discipline on the highway being allowed to cruise in any lane and switch frequently
Don't own a Ducati
bob
False. False. False. True, but I did ride for 25 years in SoCal, and the last 5 years in New England – Los Angeles and Boston are both worse than anything Texas has to offer. And false.

Perhaps people who voted against have found that people who are insulated in their cars and distracted don’t wake up for loud pipes, especially when the sound of the pipes goes mostly to the rear, while the threats of the road mostly come from the front.

PhilB
 

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What? Only 2 options? I can't choose either.

I would pick a "A little bit louder without being obnoxious" or "Loud pipes are fine if ridden conscientiously".

I am well aware my 900ss is really loud and not everybody likes it, so I don't rev high in neighborhoods, or in front of a cafe where people are eating outside, for example. The other day my wife and I were enjoying a late evening drink at a restaurant with outdoor seating. This guy on a big bagger Harley fired up his bike with the pipes facing right at us from about 10 feet away. It sounded really nice, at first, but then he proceeded to rev the piss out of it 6-8 times. It was painfully loud to me... and I'm not nearly as sensitive to loud sounds as my wife. THEN he turned on his stereo, cranking ACDCs Back in Black as he goosed it out of the parking lot. He went around the corner where I couldn't see him and must have been caught by a red light because he started revving the motor again. He must have been 4-5 blocks away before I couldn't hear the music anymore, and even further for the pipes.
Long story short, "loudness" is only one part of the equation. Manners matter just as much.
 

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Perhaps the fact that it’s true? For a lot of people – particularly the non-riding public – loud exhausts DO prove to be obnoxious. To deny that reality is asinine.

False. False. False. True, but I did ride for 25 years in SoCal, and the last 5 years in New England – Los Angeles and Boston are both worse than anything Texas has to offer. And false.

Perhaps people who voted against have found that people who are insulated in their cars and distracted don’t wake up for loud pipes, especially when the sound of the pipes goes mostly to the rear, while the threats of the road mostly come from the front.

PhilB
Phil, We'll have to agree to disagree. I am on the same page as another poster with the thought if your bike is loud it important to be considerate for others. I never start the bike in the garage as it megaphones the sound to the neighborhood. Never rev the bike unnecessarily. Be considerate in public places. But in traffic when I see a cage drifting a little erratically. I get close enough (but not too close) I see people becoming aware of my presence solely due to the engine. Once I'm sure they see me I move past. Using a horn (other than its really wimpy) often invites road rage.

Any my bike is loud but not extremely so. Factory DP exhaust here.

bob
 

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I am against "loud pipes without a reason". By that I mean putting straight pipes on an 883 is bunch of b.s., just makes for noise pollution. I can pretty much say this for any bagger.... My friend had a great set on his MV F4. I would let him ride ahead in the traffic so that he could rev the piss out out his bike and get the cagers to take note.
 

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Nice article. Personally, I hate loud pipes. The fact is that we motorcyclists are in the minority, and creating a nuisance in public doesn't help our causes. Last week I saw a group of 4 guys on dirt bikes popping wheelies through city streets. Moron squids. Every weekend at about 1 or 2AM some idiots with really loud pipes race down the expressway near my house. Windows closed, quarter mile away on the other side of dense woods and its loud enough to wake the dead. They know there are no cops around (yet), so they're screwing down the road. Idiots. Granted, not all bikers with loud pipes are squids. But they all give the rest of us bikers a bad rep.
 

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Harley riders are the worst by far...followed by kids with inline 4 sport bikes. Getting gas yesterday when 6 of those sport bike idiots sat there rev'ing their race exhaust for a full 30 seconds for no reason at all. I have a full LV exhaust on my air cooled Multi and I am considerate enough not to let it rev too high in the neighborhood or rev it for no reason at all. It's call being considerate and acting like an adult. I believe straight pipes should be illegal and we should enforce that law. YMMV
 

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When? Only loud at startup, or also at idle? Loud at cruising rpm, or only at redline or throttle blip? Anything can be considered loud under the right circumstances.

How loud is loud? Loud enough to disrupt a city block, destorying the situational awareness of everyone in the vicinity, increasing the likelihood of an accident? While being self deluded into one of many "safety" bro myths?

The median age of motorcycle ownership and motorcycle fatalities has been climbing, due to the large demographic called boomer I/boomer II. That demographic is now accountable for more motorcycle fatalities than even the youngest ownership demographic, a very impressive accomplishment.

I like to believe, self delusion is the number one killer on motorcycles. In a few more decades, there should be fewer riders that blip for no good reason.
 

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When? Only loud at startup, or also at idle? Loud at cruising rpm, or only at redline or throttle blip? Anything can be considered loud under the right circumstances.

How loud is loud? Loud enough to disrupt a city block, destorying the situational awareness of everyone in the vicinity, increasing the likelihood of an accident? While being self deluded into one of many "safety" bro myths?

The median age of motorcycle ownership and motorcycle fatalities has been climbing, due to the large demographic called boomer I/boomer II. That demographic is now accountable for more motorcycle fatalities than even the youngest ownership demographic, a very impressive accomplishment.

I like to believe, self delusion is the number one killer on motorcycles. In a few more decades, there should be fewer riders that blip for no good reason.
How loud is loud? Read the article linked a few posts back. Many cities and towns have noise ordinances.
 

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Poor girls

Loud pipes sound awesome. I loved the sound before i started riding. It got me into it, to some extent. One of the things i really love about motorcycles are the engines -- and i want to hear them as they function, not muffled by a giant California can.

And even when i lived in Bronxville, right off the sawmill, i still loved the sound of the really dumb, inline-4 race-gangs flying out from the city at 4 am. Just sounds like being at a race, and there is no time i wouldn't want to be at a race.

Related: when i see kids on the streets in Harlem, riding it like they stole it cause they did, ripping through traffic on dirtbikes, acting like the 12 o'clock boys -- how can that not put a smile on your face? God bless those hooligans.
 

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I can play both sides of the fence here. I'm a lifelong motorcyclist AND I live on an arterial street in a town with a lot of HD's, Victories, Shadows, etc who, as a group, seem to favor loud pipes.

I've owned several bikes with let's just say louder than stock exhaust. One was a performance-tuned FBF system on a Ducati, it was loud at WOT but it was more of a roar. Nobody ever complained to me about it, and I got a lot of comments from the non-riding public about what a beautiful bike it was and how great it sounded (dry clutch too!). I tried not to make it roar in residential neighborhoods and, while it was definitely louder than stock and made a bit of a racket on startup, the frequencies were lower... you could feel the pulses in your gut through a concrete wall.

I also owned a Yamaha XS650 (gift from an aging relative) that was fitted with what I loosely call mufflers, but which were about 12" long and maybe 1-3/4" diameter. These were, quite frankly, embarassingly loud and I felt like an asshole riding the bike. They were UNNECESSARILY loud, (seemingly) gave no performance gain to the bike (which handled like a POS at the best of times) and I'm quite sure annoyed people everywhere I went. There was a very narrow RPM sweet spot, around 3K, must've been some resonant frequency or something but they were pretty quiet at that RPM and I tried to keep it there as much as possible until I got out of residential neighborhoods. The frequency that these pipes generated was much higher than the Ducati and really hurt your ears... I actually had a couple of riding buddies who refused to ride behind me on that bike. I don't see why this type of muffler should exist off of a racetrack (they almost certainly would not pass the max dB test at the track anyway with out db killers or similar inserts) and I would say that they were of a similar level of annoyance to the general public as my riding around blaring an airhorn everywhere I went. The airhorn would also alert other drivers to my presence, and I could righteously claim safety to justify doing this, but I always come back to my Mom's favorite saying, which is "your privileges END where someone else's BEGIN". I'm sure that there is some perverse pleasure to be had by creating that much noise, but I think I developed a sense of respecting others enough not to act in an outright selfish asshole-ish way somewhere between high school graduation and age 25.

I live on a fairly busy street which connects a downtown business district with a major highway, and endured years of packs of HD's roaring by after last call at a popular local bar... the amount of sound half a dozen open piped harleys can make accelerating down a building-lined street at 3am is, uh, a lot. Thank God that bar burnt down and the harleys went somewhere else. I also live next to a 90-mile-long lake with a highway winding up one side of it, and all summer long everyone on the opposite side of the lake listens to the sound of harleys accelerating out of corners and up hills on the highway carrying crystal clear across the water. Who wants to listen to that all day?
 

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I think dspear's post makes the distinction, there is sounding loud and sounding good. It's like all those guys that put a really loud muffler on their Honda Civic's and a Ferrari with a Tubi or Novitec exhaust. Both are loud but only one sounds good!
 

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Yeah, the two questions on the poll are just not nearly good enough. As many people have said, there is a bit of loudness that is good for safety, performance, and acoustics.

I used to be solidly in the camp that quiet is better, having lived in mostly rural areas. In June, I was broadsided on my Tiger Explorer while moving through traffic in a roundabout. I had the right of way, I saw the driver and she had plenty of time to see me, I assumed that she would stop at the entrance to the roundabout, as I did not imagine she was not paying attention to the ONE DIRECTION YOU NEED TO LOOK WHILE ENTERING A ROUNDABOUT... and yet, she drove through my bike as if it weren't there. Fortunately I walked away from that accident, the car struck my crash guards and I was tossed off, almost harmlessly (got a contusion on my foot that took a few months to heal, but not serious).

This is relevant, because the Tiger Explorer is a QUIET bike.

My multi, with stock exhaust, is certainly not a loud bike a la straight pipe cruisers, but it's a good deal louder than the Tiger, and I DO see people look at me more often than when I was on the Tiger. The only real difference is the amount of noise I'm making, which is enough to announce my presence. The Tiger may as well have been another car.

I also frequently ride an electric bicycle in and around the city (Boston). The one I'm riding now goes about 30 mph, and I'm building another that will be able to do twice that, so it's basically an electric motorcycle... I'm honestly a little bit concerned that the lack of noise will be a safety issue, and am considering adding an electric horn.
 

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If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning how to ride that thing would do.


Seriously. If your reason for straight pipes has ANYTHING to do with "safety", then you just might have other problems that you should deal with first.
Because perhaps unlike you, my loud pipes DID save my life. Story below.

For reference, here is a link. The prior owner did this mod, which I think was too much. This video was shot by my friend who wanted a video of backfire. So I delivered. I do not usually do this... https://vimeo.com/233934527

Anyways, I consider your idea ignoring fundamental principles of human/driver behavior and physics.


I'll firstly begin with anecdotal evidence:

I was riding on the 405 in Los Angeles. Surrounding traffic was cruising at around 10MPH. I was splitting at around 25MPH. I heard an extremely loud braking and slightly skidding of tires. Whatever; eyes on the road. I took an exit to fill-up. I ended up seeing an old friend, so after filling up, we rode to near the air pump of that gas station and began chatting. Some minutes later, a car pulls up directly next to us. You know what the first thing out of this guy's mouth was? "I know you'll hate me, but I nearly killed you." "What do you mean?" "Yeah, if I hadn't heard you coming, I would have killed you, I didn't check my mirrors." Basically, the driver was in lane 3. He saw a diagonal opening forward into the carpool lane, aka lane 1. He pins it from lane 3 toward lane 1. He rather quickly put together the fact that the motorcycle he suddenly heard coming was probably splitting, therefore probably interfering with his line of movement. Turns out that driver was also a rider, so he felt great remorse for his sequence of actions.


The human responses system "loud motorcyclists" prey on as a viable form of increasing chances of safety (if the story above did not change your mind):

Basic human behavior in the gross world teaches we have at least 5 senses: sight, touch, smell, sounding and taste.

What brings awareness of a driver to a motorcyclist? You would wager it is primarily sight, and you would wager by implication of your argument is enough for drivers to be aware of us. But that story above should be enough to illustrate to you sight is not enough, and perhaps not in all cases even primary.

We all know sight is not always used by driver, e.g. above. What other way can our presence travel to the driver without our motorcycle physically having yet reached near them, such as achieved through sight? Let us say from 50 feet away, can we make them: smell us? touch us? taste us? Maybe.

But our presence can surely be sent rather far with sound. This lends us to the idea of louder exhausts *angelic voice*. It's another sense we can viably channel our presence to a driver. If it is not damaging our hearing, it can only help, right? Edit: If I have to circumvent the noise of my exhaust with ear-plugs, then I consider that a problem.

Now to address the psycho-social factor. Are loud exhausts an influential factor as to why some people hate motorcyclists? Maybe. But I don't think it's ultimately what causes road rage between motorcyclists and drivers, which is what really matters. Have you seen the YouTube videos of "bikes vs. cagers"? Not ONE of the vehicle drivers yell, "You and your loud exhausts ruining my day, blah, blah, blah!" It's always, "You cut me off!", or "You got too close to me!", etc. In any case, I'll wait for the study to suggest or disprove that theory in the next edition of Journal of Sociology.

On that same token, even with my exhaust which sounds like someone tearing canvas x100, I usually do not pin it or enter RPMs above 4k. Yeah, sometimes I am ripping it around town, but it's usually during night on the freeway. And frankly, I think some people enjoy hearing those moments. I have had numerous people comment on the sound of my exhaust. They all said it's loud, but they liked the "race" tone.

So yeah loud pipes ftw.
 

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Voted on the poll, but not commented so far. It is important to me to start my bike at o'dark thirty on Sunday morning without frightening the neighbors. Still, the carbon fibre cans really bark above about 3,500rpms so it is there for use in city traffic as well as a marital aide.

samadhi put a lot of thought into his post, and it might be considered an unpopular point of view so I want to speak up.

I see too many people driving with ear plugs in and texting to worry too much about the socialized behavior of my pipes,... so until I can carry missile launched RPG's on my bike I think I can use the loud handle appropriately in self-defense. Half-hearted apologies if it seems I don't sometimes but I honestly feel the lunatics are trying to run me over too often as I am a daily rider. Just not an aggressive driver, in my town you really don't get anywhere faster speeding on the surface streets because of all the un-synchronized stoplights every 1/8 mile. If more people would drive as though they were strapped spread-eagle across their hood like an Aztec sacrifice I might change my opinion, but no - they are in their living room cocoon feet up on the Lazyboy lounger yet trying to get to the next intersection one second sooner.
 

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Samadhi,
Thanks for a well thought out response. I, like you, have but anecdotal "evidence" for my argument. I have yet to hear loud pipes when I'm in my cage unless the loud bike is at least beside or in front of me. Until exhausts point their sound waves forward, I don't expect that to change. If I'm splitting (and admittedly that doesn't happen too often in my local) I don't expect anyone to hear me (carbon fiber DP cans on my duc so it isn't particularly loud) as I sneak up.

YMMV.
 
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