How Loud is Loud?

Have you ever wondered why it's okay for yuppies to put straight pipes on their HD's to make them as loud as possible so they can ride around in crowded neighborhoods and be cool, but people get bent out of shape when I ride my dirt bike out in BFE where there is not a person for miles?

I don't get it. :)

If a tree falls in the woods…

I live on 5 acres with my parents in a rural part of San Diego and we still recieve complaints about noise form the city between my 400, my Father's Harley, and his Buggy. Oh well, we just know how to have fun unlike everyone else around us with their horses!! And no, I don't have a personal track! Unfortunately we live on a mtn side that's way to difficult to set up for a track but my Father said I could if I wanted to clear all the brush.


When in doubt, GAS IT!

People go the country to get away from the noise of the straight piped harley. In the city the harley is loud but it isn't THAT much louder than the ambient noise.

In the forest, desert, etc our 103dB bikes are a hell of a lot louder than ambient AND the noise can carry much, much farther.


Brian, My T4 does blow a 104db. I race my bike in the desert where I pay alot of money to the Indians and other Governments. We simply lease a chunk of land for the weekend and we are able to ride on the land. THERES NOBODY IN SIGHT! Should I have to make my bike 93db's so that I wont scare the trees? Dont get me wrong but I too want to make motorcycles more friendly to the enviroment but give me a break! Im so sick of people telling me what I can and cant do. I dont wheelie up and down my street on my bike, thats just plain disrespectful to my neighbors, but the guy that lives across the street with a Harley will!! Are you saying that my WR at 104db's in the Moapa Indian reservation is worse than joe weekend warrior's Harley screeming down Ventura Blvd? Im confused maybe I read this wrong because you cant really think this. :D

Ron, The DSP on your WR sounds great!!! I dont think is too loud, but other people might! :) Dan

Well when Mr and Misses Yuppy scum packs the sport ute and heads to the great outdoors for a peaceful quite weekend,thats when I come along crapping in they're coco puffs.PAYBACKS A BITCH AYYYY BUFFY??????? beavis.gif


You're an idiot.

Brian, I try not to live my life under rules made by tree huggers but dont get me wrong, Im very respectful of others, maybe my bike is a 103 but its still loud. First its 2 strokes then tires then CC's then 4 strokes its too bad...

I went to Westlake High! I live near the Oaks mall in TO off of Lynn road!! What a small world. Good to talk to you!! Dan

I made the point in another post; it can be the sound of a dirt bike that offends, not the volume. You can identify the sound many miles away although the db reading has diminished to nothing, people who live in or visit the bush for the apparent solitude can find this offensive. With the edge taken off the bark I can ride without their knowledge. In this part of Australia that is important because trailriding is not exactly legal in most places that we ride. Only 20% of land is privately owned and because we have no Bill of Rights Government can make any laws that they like, even local Governments, fortunately the State is so undeveloped(thanks greenies) that they can't afford to enforce the laws they make. As long as there are no complains we are left alone.

P.S.As it is I ride with ear-plugs or I go deaf.

Noise is a fact of life. I have to deal with a noisy police helicopter at 2:00 am every morning. What can I do about it? Move to where they don't have police helicopters or buy earplugs. The same goes for Johny Treehugger.

Say both Johny Treehugger and myself wish to go recreate in the mountains and we end up within one mile of each other. We are both there to escape the city. Then I start my motorcycle. It's not going to matter to Johny if my motorcycle is 98db or 104db, he's not going to like it just like I don't like a police helicopter above my house at 2:00am. He has a choice - get back in the suv and drive a few miles or wait a few minutes until I'm out of his hearing range.

Who's to say Johny has the right to stop me from riding my motorcycle because he does not like the sound of my motorcycle? It's like me saying Johny can't go to the mountains because I don't like the smell of the pot he's smoking.

Personally, I think this noise issue is blown way out of proportion. Just more PC nonsense. I don't ride in areas where it's going to bother people. That would be rude. It's way beyond rude for Johny Treehugger to try to stop me from recreating, just as he is, because he does not like what I do. Is he more important than I? He thinks so. That is the issue, not noise.

If you don't like the sound of a sweet running four stroke, then stay away from OHV areas. Okay, rant over. Whew, I feel better.

Hey Dan, how was the ride Sunday?

Hey Dan,

How's it going? I have to agree with you about the greens. After reading the "From Off-road to Ruin" article at, I've also come to the conclusion that the greens will not stop until we are eliminated from the planet. They have taken pictures of every tire track and eroded hill in the last few remaining "open riding areas", and present it as if it were both widespread and the absolute end of the world. Since they literally worship the earth, they will not tolerate the slightest "damage" to it, no matter where it occurs. Noise is their #1 complaint, but they'll just focus on everything else they don't like if we allow them to continue (erosion, speed, pollution, dust, lawlessness, etc, etc, etc). I had to laugh at the picture of a trials section, which is arguably the least invasive type of off-road activity that exists, in terms of "damage", acres involved, and noise. They will never be satisfied with compromise, we must fight them tooth and nail! Most riders I know want to be respectful and just get along, so we can start by addressing excessive noise. The Bass Lake and Sequioa dual-sport events repeatedly ran us through general use campgrounds, and I KNOW we didn't make any friends up there. Campers were putting up makeshift signs like "SLOW DOWN", "NO DUST", and just giving us all dirty looks as 100's of us roared by for two days. The sad part is that it's all unnecessary! We can have all the power we deserve, light weight, and a quiet exhaust IF the manufacturers made this a priority. California has just lowered the standard to 96 dB, and they've budgeted for lots of new enforcement (dB meters and BLM agents). Maybe this will actually be a good thing for our sport?

Heard of multiple use? If we are going to hold up Multi Use as our platform we had better be willing to share with all other types of recreational activities.

If all those bikes had been as quiet as my '88 Katana 1100 then the campers wouldn't even know you where there. Let's see - 1127 cc, ~ 90 hp that was as loud as sewing machine vs 399cc, ~45hp that cause dogs to run for cover.

I read the entire CalWild report - they do make some valid points. However, their methods for resolving some legitimate issues are absolutely intolerable. Look, people riding in closed area SHOULD be cited. I may not agree with why the area is closed but the fact is it's now closed.

One of the things CalWild & others want are 'buffer' zones between wildnerness areas & OHV areas. I experienced this first hand in San Luis Obispo with the Garcia Ridge trail. It is/was the border of a wilderness area. Quieter bikes will have a direct impact on reducing these kinds of demands. Think about it - they don't want to see or hear us. I don't know about you but I can't see other bikes thru trees/mtns/brush or around corners. BUT I CAN DAMN WELL HEAR THEM. If Johnny Treehugger can't hear or see me in the distance what's he gonna complain about? Physical damage - ie erosion. Fine let him. I can refute physical damage with cold hard facts or manage erosion by rotating trail closures/maintenance which will require more trails to be built in order to keep a set number of miles open at all times. I CANNOT REFUTE PERCEPTION NOR CAN I REFUTE THE COLD HARD FACTS OF A SOUND METER 2 MILES INSIDE A WILDNERNESS AREA.

Pull your heads out of your self absorbed asses and use a quiet exhaust system. I highly doubt that the 2hp gain makes you faster any place other than a drag strip.

Look at what has happened around airports. Airports were originally built in the middle of nowhere because of the noise. Now they've got houses all around them and the home owners are complaining and getting the restrictions on noise that they want - just look at Long Beach & John Wayne Airports.


[This message has been edited by Brian Meadows (edited 03-21-2001).]

Well said Brian!!!

I personally feel that a loud exhaust system is obnoxious. I put a quiet core insert in my E series pipe because it was detracting from my own riding experience. This issue is real. If it bothers me, and I RIDE, think how it affects others. If you don't care that's your business. But that kind of attitude will only hurt our cause, and we're already in a WORLD OF HURT.


Do you really believe a 10 or 20 db reduction is going to make a difference?

I'm not advocating loud pipes. The point I'm trying to make is I don't think it's about noise or air pollution or soil erosion or anything else they use against us. They don't like what we do PERIOD! Nothing is going to change that.

If it were about noise then the HD guys would have to conform to the same db levels we do. The next thing you know we will all be riding one of these and it still will not be good enough:

That is, if we have enough electricity to charge the batteries.

A 6dB increase is TWICE as loud - dB is logrithmic. A 6dB reduction is cutting the noise in HALF. Do I think it would make that big a difference? ABSOF***INGLUTELY. - Like I stated above - I'd much rather fight over facts than perception - Noise regs are based on perception. They are written to the lowest common denominator. Anybody ever read noise emission reqquirements for residential or industrial areas? I have - my last job I was the responsible engineer for meeting the emitted noise requirements on a 75kW gas turbine powered generator that is designed to be sited at McDonalds, Walgreens, 7-11s etc. Our system requirement was 65dBA @10meters. The site requirements for noise across a property line depended on the zoning - residential was the lowest. Don't you think that most people want it to be quieter than their neighborhood when they go hiking?

The hardcore enviromentalists do not like dirt bikes period - I agree. But why give the hardcore enviro's more ammo to use against us when lobbying John Q. Public for votes. John Publics main bitch about dirtbikes is the noise - most people are rational enough to accept a managed solution on the erosion type stuff - if they don't see it or hear it they don't care about it. It's the 'not in my backyard' syndrome.

Do a search on Mammoth Bar in the archives and read up on the problems guys have had.

Personaly, I don't subscribe to 'loud pipes save lives'. I wish the cops would ticket the damn things....


All of you guys are fighting a war on the wrong front. It's not about noise, tire tracks and all of the other excuses they are using.It's about being politically correct, and in their little minds it is wrong. They don't care if your on roller skates, it's wrong. You call them treehuggers, greenies and several other names. The real title for these people is "Socialist". And they have been forming for no less than twenty years and are organised extreemly well. And they won't quit until you are extinct.

Now you guys finally wake up and start running around in little circles wasting energy. Go to the real problem, your local politicians. Get rid of the Socialist in office. And then work your way up.

Is this a related topic? I'm at comp park last friday, enjoying myself and sporadically conversing with the seemingly pleasant guy next to me.

When finished riding, while loading his stuff he starts playing some headbanger crap at 3/4 volume.

I close my truck door and move to the other side which compels him to go for the other 1/4 of volume.

Hey, to each his own but what gives?

Citizen Kane has got it right... it's Socialism.... A government who is reaching farther and farther into our daily lives.

A bureaucracy's natural progression is to grow larger and larger and to create more and more rules... more and more departments.. more and more paperwork to be filled out.

And any big business who sees an oppurtunity for greater profits by influencing the Gov. to create rules for their benefit does so through large political contributions to politicians during their election drives.

We've got to have that campaign finance reform to head government back towards the "government for the people by the people" ideal it was once supposed to be based upon.

As of now it's government for the special interest lobbies.

And the politically correct lobbies.

Like the Sierra Club.

Oh... and by the way... Quiet your bike down !... mine is !!

As I have said here before... If everybody has a quiet exhaust on... then they are all back to square one with the same regard to HP.

Does it really make any difference if we all have 43 HP instead of 46HP ???

I like to ride in a manner so that people nearby don't even know I am there.

That is success me.

And I am having no less fun.

Funny most of the debate going on here lies in the heart of America's biggest problem...Sunny CA. Those of us who live or have lived in other states probably aren't experiencing the pressure you're feeling over there. Citizen Kane and several others hit the nail on the head, its NOT ABOUT THE NOISE, its about the perception of the sport. In the AZ desert, dirt bikes have always been, and hopefully always will be perceived as part of the desert environment. Kind of like shooting guns in the desert (sorry to open up that can of worms). Nobody bitches about the noise because they expect to hear it. I understand your concern for having places to ride and trying to appease the enemy, but once you concede your loud pipe, you might as well bolt on the catalytic converter, then street tires (knobby's damage the ecosystem thriving in the topsoil you know) and shortly thereafter you can park your bike and explain to your grandkids how back in the good old days honest citizens could actually ride these beasts in the dirt. Keep up the fight gents, but If I were you, I'd ditch California altogether before I'd give up my rights to ride.



I'm not saying that your 104dB WR is worse than your obnoxious neighbors Harley - but the fact of the matter is that the joe treehuggers perception of your WR is much worse.

The fact that you pay good money to ride on 'private' property doesn't mean you can run uncorked. I'm willing to bet that the noise from your bike carries a lot farther than you can see pick out a person. Soundwaves don't understand property lines.... If there was no one around to hear your 104dB WR then by all means go for it. But the fact is you cannot control whether or not there is a receiver (people) that will hear you bike.

I like the sound of a well tuned engine as much as the next person but there is a definite limit to how much noise people will tolerate. I went to the Winternationals at Pomona one year and the ringing in my ears didn't stop for 2 days - that was with ear plugs.

I honestly don't know how you ride your bike if it truly is at 104dB - don't you get tired of the noise?

What part of TO do you live in? I grew up in Westlake - corner of Hidden Valley Road & Decker Cyn.


Over the years we have managed to build a reputation that is less than desireable. Things that were of no concern to us 20 years ago need to be taken into cinsideration NOW. Noise is just one of them. Resposnible users is another. These greenies get a lot of their ammo from just a few ignorant ones. I just got off the phone with NOVACC and they are going to help assist

me inn bringing the two groups together and put everyones concerns on the table. The meeting won't take place for a few months, but it will happen. I was at a legislative hearing Tueasday about bill 717 in NH. Both groups had a chance to speak individually. There was a lot of tension in the group. One thing that both groups had in common was a concern for the environment. If two groups have at least one thing in common there is a cahnce for solutions down the road. This was my first legislative hearing and it was quite boaring but many good points were made. Another big concern are riders going out of their way to get on posted property. It doesnt help the cause. I run a stock exhaust with a different plug. 3/4 diameter insert. Not loud and very little performane enhancement. I will be putting my stock plug back in and that is how it will be. We have enough people on this site and visiting this site to start our own coalition. We need to start a group that is going to be willing to take a chance.

At some point in time these two opposing groups are going to have to work together. We as groups will have to let the past be the past and come up with solutions for the future. This will have to be done together, like it or not. This doen not mean the groups have to like each other, but better communication needs to be made. I am going to give it a shot alone if I have too.

This is a great topic Ron.

Sorry for being long winded


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