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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Loud Pipes Saves.....

Interestiung situation yesterday while out enjoying warm sunny riding weather. I was stopped at a light (roasting my legs with the air from the cooling fan- but that's another post), wearing my helmet, and heard the faint sound of a siren. It got louder and as I was finally able to see past all the cars stopped behind me, it was a emergency squad coming up on the intersection. Of course, everyone moved to the right to let it pass. My light turned green and had I had been sporting loud pipes, I would have proceeded through the intersection, not knowing anything was going on around me.

I dunno, I believe the loud pipe theory may not hold water when it comes to safety. BUT, when it comes to horespower, well, now we are talking something altogether different

Lets be careful out there.

SW Ohio

'02 VN750
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 10:38 AM
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I've always held to the fact that when I ride (stock exhaust) I can hear most of what is gong on around me. Every sense you can use to increase your safety. A good loud horn is more effective than pipes in my opinion. Loud colors yes. In fact I ordered a banana yellow mesh jacket for my summer riding this week. I'm just feeling too exposed in my T shirt and leather vest. Yeah I look cool, LOL, but my skin is exposed to elements and road rash in the event, and I'm not as visible to cagers.

In keeping with the topic, I have heard, but not seen the stats, that accidents happen more often to bikes with loud pipes than not. I don't have any facts, it's something someone once quoted to me.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BSkaggs513 View Post
had I had been sporting loud pipes, I would have proceeded through the intersection, not knowing anything was going on around me.

I dunno, I believe the loud pipe theory may not hold water when it comes to safety. BUT, when it comes to horespower, well, now we are talking something altogether different

Lets be careful out there.
I've rode my neighbors 1975 Sportster with wide open pipes and while I totally find them offensive, I can still hear what is going on when emergency equipment is moving. I have V&H Cruisers on my VN750 and V&H Dual Baggers on my Nomad. With both, I can still hear the radio's on the bikes. They are loud when necessary but still allow me to hear the outside world.

About 4 years ago, on a nasty March or April day I was driving my car home from work. I still had some winter salt on the car and the windows and mirrors were not as clean as they should be. Traffic was medium and we were clipping down the expressway at around 50mph. My exit is coming up within the next two miles so I start looking for a opening to move to the right lane. BUT!!! But I hear something in my blind spot. Sounds like a bike... I honestly don't see it as it is in my blind spot and my car is not as clean as it should be, but there it is. A Harley Davidson in this chilly afternoon with a demon in control. I let the bike pass and get in behind it and see what is infront of me from the colors and the hair. I came close to taking out one of the Outlaws MC leadership as I recognize the demon from his colors and his white cornrows flowing in the breeze. In my neck of the woods, you nail an Outlaw, you die. Plain and simple. So, this demon having his loud pipes that cut over my music and through the grime on my windows saved both his life and mine.

While I don't agree with the "Loud Pipes Saves Lives" crowd, I can say that I can never ride a bike with the quiet OEM pipes and feel safe. Having my pipes on my V&H equiped bikes does add a measure of "HEY, I'M IN THIS LANE" that nothing else can compare to. They are loud enough to mark my presence but quiet enough for me to still hear the world and my music...

Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog
2006 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic FLHTCUI ~ The Big Black Bitch ~ 26,000 miles.
2002 Kawasaki Nomad 1500 ~ The Red Dog ~ Traded in at 22,000 miles of smiles (purchased new 10/05 / Traded in 6/12).
1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 ~ Black Betty ~ 34,999.7 miles
VROC ~v~ 485
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 02:18 PM
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I now that the "Loud pipes save lives" is always a controversial and well debated topic, but I would love to have someone that is not a believer ride with me on the expressways of Chicago just once, what with all of the traffic, construction with constantly shifting lane changes, agressive cab drivers and drivers with every distraction under the sun in their cars (I saw two cars Friday night on The Dan Ryan Expressway with the drivers watching a DVD player attached to their visors). My experience is that for some reason, they in many instances ignore, or don't give a darn about a horn honk but a roll on the throttle and they actually turn their heads when drifting or changing into my lane. Of course this a non-scientific survey and just my opinion from my daily riding experience and I will give you that straight pipes are a bit over the top...........

Stevie D.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 03:43 PM
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What goes around....finally comes around???

I actually sympathize with the "loud pipes" theory to a degree.

The problem with that is what we bikers consider "music" is of course perceived by the non-riding community as an in-your-face annoyance, and is mostly viewed as another obtrusive noise, much like an airliner flying directly overhead or a jackhammer working outside one's bedroom window.

Thus the positives of the pipes (e.g., great sound, to us) are more than cancelled out by the "damage" they do to our image as bikers.

Latest case in point: I guess some of you have already heard that the city of Denver, Colorado has just outlawed all other motorcycle pipes for street use--except stock. They have deliberately targeted motorcycles with this ordinance.

Naturally, the AMA is trying to lobby this new law back out of existence.

For more details, hop over to the AMA homepage. You should see the link to this announcement there somewhere.

Unless we as bikers show more consideration for what we're doing to the non-riding public (e.g., riding by sounding like a WWII bomber), I'm afraid we'll see a lot more cities pass laws like this one in Denver......

All of the above is (in part) why I made the earlier pitch about "loud colors save lives"...instead.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 09:00 PM
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I can say as far as my pipes go,deer get out of the way,people take notice of you on the road,and at intersections or stops when the bike is idleing I have no problem hearing what's going on around me.Can even talk to my passenger with no problem when crusing and my pipes are loud!!!!The MAC pipes on mine have recieved a "muffler-ectomy"!! They have cleared many a deer out of the road on my way home from the jail at midnight and the other guys at work that ride leave with me so the don't have any issues with the deer!! So they have saved me many times over as far as I'm concerned!!!

Brian Manchester
'89 "GRIMM"

CUSTOM-Seat,quick detach backrest,2.5"slam brackets,Pipes,Fender struts,head light mount,9"rise dragbars,Grips,Mirrors, turnsignals,LED brake light/Lic.plate frame,Chopper headlight. Shaved,Jetted,coastered,polished forks,saddle&Tool bags,horns moved,180/70/15 rear tire!!! Yes a 180!!!!And other stuff.....
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 12:54 AM
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Loud pipes don't bother me. (although some are REALLY loud)
It's those BOOM BOOM cars that I can't stand !!

AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC

"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by hyperbuzzin View Post
Loud pipes don't bother me. (although some are REALLY loud)
It's those BOOM BOOM cars that I can't stand !!
I'll drink to that!
I have a stop sign on a "T" intersection right at the end of my driveway. There is another one approximately 1 mile further down the road from me coming out of town towards my place. I can here those a** holes with the BOOM-BOOM stereos coming from the stop sign 1 mile from my house, however I can never hear a Harley or any other bike w/ loud pipes take off from that stop sign unless they are drag racing or running wide open and jammin' gears. My neighbor has a Shadow with really loud pipes (makes my VN700 sound quiet, and I have Screamin Eagles on it) I never hear him until he is downshiftng coming up the stop sign in front of my place.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by BMan23777 View Post
They have cleared many a deer out of the road on my way home from the jail at midnight

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 09:57 AM
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I guarantee you can't hear as much with loud pipes as you can with quiet stock ones. As for those that think they drive in bad traffic, I ride in DC it's in the top 10 of bad traffic cities in the US. Me I don't find loud pipes on any vehicle music. It's just as annoying to hear a bike roaring down the road at 6 am on a sunday as it is a pickup truck. Reasonable speed, defensive driving, awareness, bright colors, a good loud horn, these are your best defenses. I ride with a great group of folks in the SCRC, some of them have louder pipes, it makes it difficult to hear my own engine when I am behind one.

Me I'll stand by my opinion, quiet pipes give me one more sense to use. You may be able to hear over your loud pipes but not as well as someone with quiet ones. And as stated it is less annoying to the rest of the world.

We are getting a bad rap as riders from all angles. Irresponsible sport bike riders, remnants of the biker gangs of a bygone era, even your drunk weekend warriors. I'll d what I can to show the world not all riders are like this. I'll put my riding skills up against using loud pipes for safety. My neighbors may never know the difference, but I will.
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