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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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......:beerchug:
 

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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......:beerchug:
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.
 

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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.


KM
 

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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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I will agree with Knifemaker on some of his points.....yes usually Big V-Twins are the ones sporting the crazy loud exhausts.....and they are usually doing 90 MPH.....so yes there "big" exhaust sound is way behind the bike.....not helping them be noticed. I will say my exhaust has helped me much more in traffic on city streets doing 25 to 45 MPH more than anywhere. Riding at 40 mph......I can look in the side mirror of a car 2 car lengths ahead of me see the driver looking forward driving.....then twist my throttle to rev up my bike another 1500-2000 rpm and see there face and eyes instantly look back at me when the whole time I have stayed in the exact same distance from them.... I am upset to hear that some communities are going as far to ban bikes due to loud exhausts........ If that is the case.....the the next time my neighbor gets a contractor to build an addition on the back of his house and I am trying to sleep during the day because I work 3rd shift.....his contractor should be forced to use Old School carpenter hand saws and screw drivers instead of Power saws and hammers because they are ruining my right to my peace and quiet now that the loud motorcycles have been banned from my community. It's not illegal for me to buy a Craftsman power saw or a Stanley hammer , the same as it's not illegal for me to buy a set of V&H pipes for my bike from Dennis Kirk......The difference.....my bike will be past you or your home in a couple of seconds......the power saw will be screaming next to my bedroom window all damn day, every day for 2 weeks.....We all have a Right to feel how we do about noise in your town......some don't mind ...others hate it.......the fact that I have a RIGHT to buy a loud ass exhaust system.....and others have the RIGHT to try to make me take it back off .....is what makes being a free American the greatest freedom ever!!!!! I really just wanted to get an understanding on why certain people feel the way they do about this subject......... I like seeing different points of view......I feel by reading what all of my other fellow men and women have to say.......at the end of the day.....makes me a smarter person!! Thanks for all of your responses to this thread so far!!!!:smiley_th
 

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I don't care for excessive noise on a bike, but I have had experinces where rapping on the pipes has caused drivers in intersections to stop pulling out in front of me. They didn't see me until they looked to see where the noise was coming from.
Knifemaker has good points, but I'm betting he is alot more alert driving than most of the half asleep folks I encounter at 5:30 am. If sound is one more tool I have to engage the awareness of the drivers around me, I would like to keep it in the arsenal when needed.
I am running stock pipes, and can be heard with them.
Bronson
 

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I run V&H Cruzers and love them. They look great, and they sound great too. Are they loud? They sure can be with a twist of the throttle. I don't think they are obnoxiously loud, but that's just my opinion. If it gets someone attention, then it's a good thing.
That's why I run an HID headlight and driving lights mounted near the front axle..... to get attention. That's why I have clusters of running lights and brake lights..... to get attention. Even my engine glows "radioactive" green..... to get attention. And not just because I have one cool-ass Vulcan ( and I do :smiley_th ) It's all in an effort to be seen/heard so hopefully they wont run me off the road or turn left in front of me...... I don't want to ever hear "gee, sorry, I didn't see you."
 

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"They also don’t understand the special safety concerns that effect bikers. Heck, most of the time they don’t even pay attention to us. They encroach on our lane of travel, cut in front of us and generally act like we’re not even there. That’s why I believe that loud pipes do save our lives."

Tom Kiley has made a serious jump in logic. He points out that cars are often less conscious of bikes, then says that is why he believes loud pipes save lives. Whaaaat? Cars do all the things he says they do because drivers don't notice loud bikes in the first place, except for in a few certain circumstances...

like those of the law-breaking cops. All we get are the results of an internal study, probably based on the officers' level of comfort riding a quiet bike. They spend almost all of their time on city streets, though, where you can actually hear a bike from all directions.

Still, when people say they didn't hear a bike, it is a default answer that takes blame away from the eyes. I look where I'm going. I use my ears too, but the eyes give us a vehicle/person's actual position.

For that matter, I don't ever hear pedestrians or bicyclists. Should we yell at people walking/running in all dark clothing for not being loud enough in the street? Maybe we should start putting firecracker dispensers at every crosswalk.
 

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I can see when , under certain circumstanses, it might be advantageous to make some noise to get noticed. Is this not what the horns are for ? Wouldn't a few blasts from the horn get the same reaction and make that driver ahead of you look in his mirror?

The horn thus has the advantage of making you loud when you want to be, but not be loud all the time annoying the general public. Hell, they market horns solely on how much louder they are.... And there is no pending legislation that I am aware of calling for less loud horns.

Every point made here about "revving" the motor so that SUV notices you can be quickly substituted with just using your horn. A loud bike just says "I have a loud bike" ... Where a horn says " look out!!!" which is the message you really are trying to convey here.

So just stop twisting your wrist and try using your left thumb. To blip your throttle to let everyone hear your loud pipe means you have to pull in the clutch.... Cutting power to the wheel... Sounds like an unsafe practise to me.



KM
 

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This debate is realitive to ones perspective and therefore will never be answered. As for using my horn all the time, I will be sure to get the finger more than I would like and with my temperment that is not a good thing. DMV has a law against "Accessive Use of your Horn" which is open to interpretation by all LEO's as with all laws. I would rather be seen as a typical loud biker than one with an annoying itchy horn finger. If I can increase my odds of being seen by .10% through my throttle then so be it.
 

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I've still got stock exhausts on mine (although modded by the PO), with the resulting popping sounds when you roll off the throttle.
That sound makes people notice you because its so different. I've got it practiced to the point that it nearly sounds like a burst from a machine gun.
It helps that all the time you're making the sound you're slowing down as well.
Loud pipes are so common round here that I think people ignore them.
 

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This debate is realitive to ones perspective and therefore will never be answered. .
And that is kinda the whole problem here. If you want to make the statement "loud pipes save lives" , you kinda have to back that up with some data as proof. I can say:
"Helmets save lives" because there are studies that show they do. I can say "55 saves lives"... For the same reason ..

However I have seen no data ...other than heresy.... that proves the statement " Loud pipes save lives" could be true.

So really, saying they do is just a big lie.... Just as much saying they don't.

However, the other arguments are valid...pissing off the general public, putting riders of motorcycles in a bad light, and violating others rights to peace and happiness for your own selfish preferences.

If you have to honk your horn so much that you can get a ticket for it... Or you actually get flipped off by car drivers while you are on a bike, then where you ride is so dangerous you should park the bike and take the bus.

KM
 

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However, the other arguments are valid...pissing off the general public, putting riders of motorcycles in a bad light, and violating others rights to peace and happiness for your own selfish preferences.

Which also makes my arguement valid that cages don’t pay attention in general yet alone look for bikers while encroaching our lane, cut in front of us and generally act like we’re not even there. This belief is of my own personal experience and the need twist my thottle to gain their attention. It is experiences like these that make me believe that loud pipes save lives.
 
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