Loud Pipes...Save Lives....Myth? Not the case for me! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Loud Pipes...Save Lives....Myth? Not the case for me!

Hello......I was just trying to get some insight on this very heated battle......now please fellas ...I am not trying in the least bit to get friends/brothers on here pissed at each other or make enemies.......I had a '86 Kaw 454 LTD with untouched factory exhaust and would travel I-75 between Florence,KY and Norwood,OH(17 miles) at 55 to 70 MPH every day to commute to work from 7pm evening to 7am morning......On my 454 I can not tell you the amount of times that I was shoved off the road.....cut off....and pulled out in front of with that bike with that exhaust. Hell that bike had a HUGE Fulmer windshield on it too....so it was plenty visible.....also had a 80/100 watt upgrade h-4 bulb....so the headlight was plenty bright.....even on a sunny day. NOW........my '86 Vulcan 750 with V&H Cruzers with no fiberglass on the baffles.......I travel the same highway and surface roads as I did with the 454 with the exact same driving style....and I have yet to be cut off.....shoved over ......or be pulled out in front of. This bike is only slightly larger than my 454.....so the only thing that has changed is my exhaust volume......that's it! Yes.....I am with you that Harley's with 2 foot drag pipes blasting past where you are is just absurd......and the guy with drag pipes in your neighbors driveway revving and tuning his bike all afternoon........YES!... I HATE THAT TOO!......but I don't see a reason for bad mouthing aftermarket exhaust.......if it is within reason......yes they will be louder.....they have to be or nobody would buy them..........Other than sheer size......the Goldwings with the factory "whisper" exhaust seems to be a dangerous thing to me.......you can't even hear them running.......I understand cars have quiet exhaust......but I don't care if you don't see me in my car......you hit me in my car....I'm protected.......on my bike......I want people to know that I am there!!!!! You hit me on my bike ......since you can't tell I'm there.... because your Starbucks coffee and cell phone conversation is more important than a fellow mans life......yeah you hit me......I am probably going to die and leave my little girl with out a father......for the couple of seconds that my loud exhaust will be annoying you .....I will keep my loud pipes to make sure I have on more thing to keep me alive to ride another day.....so far for me.....my Loud Pipes are getting the other drivers to see me and saving my life. I created this thread to let others on here just VOICE their OPINIONS.....and that's it......no bad mouthing each other.....no commenting on each other that will start a fight and get this thread closed for ever. .......after all .........factory exhaust, or drag pipes......we are all VN750 brothers here......lets remember that.........I really wish 'ol Lance was still with us to throw his 2 cents in on this thread........seriously fellas we should all share our OPINIONS on this very important subject these days......

Last edited by BRET H; 04-24-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRET H View Post
Hello......I was just trying to get some insight on this very heated battle......now please fellas ...I am not trying in the least bit to get friends/brothers on here pissed at each other or make enemies.......I had a '86 Kaw 454 LTD with untouched factory exhaust and would travel I-75 between Florence,KY and Norwood,OH(17 miles) at 55 to 70 MPH every day to commute to work from 7pm evening to 7am morning......On my 454 I can not tell you the amount of times that I was shoved off the road.....cut off....and pulled out in front of with that bike with that exhaust. Hell that bike had a HUGE Fulmer windshield on it too....so it was plenty visible.....also had a 80/100 watt upgrade h-4 bulb....so the headlight was plenty bright.....even on a sunny day. NOW........my '86 Vulcan 750 with V&H Cruzers with no fiberglass on the baffles.......I travel the same highway and surface roads as I did with the 454 with the exact same driving style....and I have yet to be cut off.....shoved over ......or be pulled out in front of. This bike is only slightly larger than my 454.....so the only thing that has changed is my exhaust volume......that's it! Yes.....I am with you that Harley's with 2 foot drag pipes blasting past where you are is just absurd......and the guy with drag pipes in your neighbors driveway revving and tuning his bike all afternoon........YES!... I HATE THAT TOO!......but I don't see a reason for bad mouthing aftermarket exhaust.......if it is within reason......yes they will be louder.....they have to be or nobody would buy them..........Other than sheer size......the Goldwings with the factory "whisper" exhaust seems to be a dangerous thing to me.......you can't even hear them running.......I understand cars have quiet exhaust......but I don't care if you don't see me in my car......you hit me in my car....I'm protected.......on my bike......I want people to know that I am there!!!!! You hit me on my bike ......because you can't tell I'm there.... because your Starbucks coffee and cell phone conversation is more important than a fellow mans life......yeah you hit me......I am probably going to die and leave my little girl with out a father......for the couple of seconds that my loud exhaust will be annoying you .....I will keep my loud pipes to make sure I have on more thing to keep me alive to ride another day.....so far for me.....my Loud Pipes are getting the other drivers to see me and saving my life. I created this thread to let others on here just VOICE there OPINION.....and that's it......no bad mouthing each other.......after all .........factory exhaust, or drag pipes......we are all VN750 brothers here......lets remember that.........I really wish 'ol Lance was still with us to throw his 2 cents in on this thread........seriously fellas we should all share our OPINIONS on this very important subject these days......
Here is my opinion-- Quote from MPR News
Years ago, cyclists started a campaign called "loud pipes save lives." But manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and groups like the American Motorcyclist Association now voice the mantra -- "loud pipes risk rights." That's because communities in Massachusetts and Arizona have threatened to ban motorcycles from riding in certain areas because of the noise. Just this month, the city of Stillwater began cracking down on motorcycle noise after complaints.

JM2001

" Loud Pipes Risk Rights "

2001 Vulcan 750
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rectifier relocated
splines lubed
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degoated
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Last edited by JM2001; 04-24-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:16 PM
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Everyone here knows my feelings on "loud pipes" but I will give only facts I have seen rather than my opinion.

I drive a bit over 22 miles a day to go to work. When it is nice I do take my bike, but sometimes I take my car. Some days I have the top down, others because of weather it is up. I never listen to my raidio on the way to work or talk on the phone.

Traffic is medium dense going to work and pretty thick comming home. Even on the days I take the car and not the bike...I do see other riders on bikes in the mix. Alot of big V twins, a few Goldwings and a BMW now and then. Only the big V twins seem to have loud pipes. Some I would call unacceptably loud... some loud but not really horrible.

Now durring all this I have never "heard" a bike before I saw it unless it was in front of me.... and already quite visable. Bikes coming up on my rear are invisable sonicly untill they start to pass...which is right when I see them before I hear them....

So I am totally unsure how having louder exhaust is going to make any difference to me when I am driving. I have a few times almost cut off a "loud" bike coming up behind me ...I saw them before I changed lanes and the fault was really theirs for cutting through traffic at high speeds and not yeilding to the fact I had my damn signal on and was already moving into the lane.

So there are bad drivers and there are bad riders. The only reason I can give you why you think that cars are not trying to shove you off the road as much on your Vulcan as they were on your LTD is more drivers are noticing motorcycles, which is a good thing.....or...your riding habits have changed...meaning you have gained experiance and are not making the same mistakes you did on the 454...or that on the Vulcan you are viewed more as a "bad ass" and more drivers are afraid of you.


40 something years on the road I can tell you I have never avoided running into a bike because I heard it before I saw it.

The issue of course has more to do with JM2001's comment...it is the folks on loud bikes that will cause them to pass legislation eliminating them from the road...because too many take it too far and will just end up fking it up for everyone. But Loud bikes are hit by cars just as much as quiet ones...so the "Saves Lives" thing is a bit exaggerated.


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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:21 PM
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:25 PM
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I have been almost pushed off a road by a person driving and talking on the phone next to me. I hit my horn and nothing woke her up till I kicked her door.
After that I degoated my bike and have found it helps people be aware.
I did almost hit a Deer once, I reved the bike and the Deer ran away.
I will not run wide open pipes but I do like a exhayst that has a good rumbel.
Just my thoughts, in Chicago land to many people are on the phone and I do get there attention that I am there.

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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
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This is going to be an interesting thread LOL

JM2001

" Loud Pipes Risk Rights "

2001 Vulcan 750
marbled
TOC upgrade on ACCT
Air/fuel mixture set to 2 1/2 out
rectifier relocated
splines lubed
iridiums
decals removed
upgraded mirrors
Pic up coil mod done
degoated
All LED lighting
Upgraded Mosfet rectifier
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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:34 PM
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I agree with KM about highway driving but in the concrete jungle where I live at slower speeds, a quick twist of the throttle or a blast from my Air Horns definitely gets the cages attention.

1986 Black Kawasaki Vulcan VN750 "Black KAWK"
VN750 #9300 & VROC #33453

EMGO Handlebar, V&H Exhaust, Drop Shocks, Raised/Painted Fork, MeanStreak Seat, Tank Bib, ME880 Oversize Tires, Engine Guard, Custom Mirrors, Chris Products Turn Signals, Ear Shave, 150/42 Jets, PINGEL Fuel Valve, MCCT, Volt Meter, Shendegen R/R, AGM Battery, Coastered, .020 Coils, Relo Gauges & Headlamp, SilverStar Ultra, LED Flashing Brake Light, Center Stand Delete, WOLO Airhorn.
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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:49 PM
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:59 PM
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I don't like loud pipes. I had V&H Cruzers and went back to stock after taking a long trip. My head was buzzing for a week afterward. I wish I could make it even quieter. I wish everyone agreed with me.

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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 03:12 PM
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I have to agree with KM about on the highway. Your sound is coming out of the back of the bike, most of your problems are ahead of you. I won't stay alongside a car unless I make eye contact with the driver or they catch up with me from behind. I don't stay near vehicles with dark tinted windows. Loud pipes are no substitute for a cautious rider. KM is also right that motorcycle awareness has been a larger public concern in recent years. Motorcycle safety has also become a larger public concern. Teaching riders to use the left 1/3 of the lane when possible, for example, helps make them much more visible to the cages, since the bike appears in two mirrors.

With that said, I think that bike volume might have a slight benefit at intersections, where a large number of accidents occur. At slower speeds or stopped positions, your sound keeps up with you. If you have a vehicle behind you, some of your sound is bounced back forward into the intersection. Bikes are commonly cut off either in left turns or by a car turning left, and in these situations the bike's sound might actually make it across the intersection. Nevertheless, intersections tend to be around houses (do you want your neighbors to hate you?), buildings (your favorite diner or coffee shop), people, etc., where loud pipes can be most obnoxious. Distracted drivers are also distracted from environmental noises!

Loud pipes also drown out other hazards, like emergency vehicle sirens. If I can hear a bike but can't see it, it bugs even me out. Loud bike driving over an overpass as I go under it... sounds like a bike is swerving across the road somewhere. They cause unnecessary panic, spook dogs and horses, wake me up at 1 or 2 in the morning, usually with extra revs thrown in, rattle windows, and are counter-productive in the continual struggle to make bikes more recognized and respected. I even heard a loud bike drown out fog horns on the bay one day... the boats use those sounds to avoid hitting each other.

Like with my guitar, I prefer tone to volume. The Vulcan has decent volume and a nice tone. With stock exhaust the noise limit 83 decibels at 4125 rpm (there is a sticker with this info on your frame). Try standing behind your bike at idle one day while somebody holds it at four grand. It's always louder when you're off the bike.
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