Sierra Club Handbook

The Sierra Club has published the Handbook for Regulation of Use of Off-Road Motor Vehicles, which outlines methods to reduce off-road motorized recreation. Them granola crunchers even have a "handbook" outlining how to reduce or completely eliminate off-road vehicle travel. If you read just the first paragraph you'll be shocked. Here's a sample from their self proclaimed "fact sheet":

NOISE: Under the best of conditions, as in a forest, the noise from the average motorcycle can be heard more than a half-mile away, and a loud one, over two miles away. A motorcyclist traveling 72 miles, audible for a mile on either side of the route of travel extends an audible presence into 130 square miles. ORV riding preempts and drives out the activities that are quieter, less consumptive and more contemplative. The same 130 square miles used by one dirt biker could have been enjoyed by 150 hikers, birders or photographers with few encounters or knowledge of another's proximal presence. Some of life's functions are dependent on quietness. Animals and birds depend on quietness to find their mates, and protect themselves from attack. It is known that the pileated woodpecker, the broad-winged hawk, Cooper's hawk, sharp shinned hawk, great horned owl, and barred owl are very sensitive to sound disturbances. The noise level generated by a single motorcycle is approximately 10,000,000 times greater than that experienced by a person in a quiet suburban rqesidential area. The fact is that most ORV noise is unnecessary; even motorcycles can be muffled to a relatively unobjectionable noise level.

I'd like to see the basis for 10,000X higher but they do make a valid point regarding a motorcycle projecting it's presence in a huge area. Check the 'get rid of loud pipes in '02' thread on the KTM side. The fact is, the quieter we are the less ammo the Sierra Club has to shut us out of ridable land.


Nvr fnsh,

I think you missed a few zeros! That's 10 "Million", and I'm as equally curious as to where this number came from. Statistics are frequently exaggerated by a person/group with a cause to prove their point. I don't mind quieting my bike down a little so we can share the woods, but I also don't think that will satisfy the tree huggers a bit. Their objective appears to be to rid all forests of motorcycles! :)

There is no doubt they hate us but the last line says it all "The fact is most ORV noise is unnecessary; even motorcycles can be muffled to a relatively unobjectionable noise level".

To the guys that just aren't getting the obvious here, I have a suggestion. Buy a nice big quiet muffler for your bike and then buy a Sony walkman. Make a recording of the loudest, most obnoxious pipe you've ever heard and play it while you ride. You'll hear the awesome sound of a finely tuned machine roaring between your legs. It will be loud as hell (and therefore you must be going really fast....... :) ). Then all the animals can procreate and everything will be right in the animal kingdom.


P.S. Merry x-mas

I don't mind quieting my bike down a little so we can share the woods, but I also don't think that will satisfy the tree huggers a bit. Their objective appears to be to rid all forests of motorcycles.

Now this is a man with great wisdom. No matter how many rights we give up to the whacko's, they will never be satisfied. As soon as you make your bike quiet, they want it more quiet. They will scare you into giving up your rights.

HERKYPILOT has this figured out, what's up with the rest of you? This argument sounds so familiar. :)

Tree Hugger - I agree what you say about the tree huggers completely, there will be no satisfying them. What the quieter pipes will do is stop the people who don't really mind off road recreation right now from becoming people who consider it starting to be a nuisance.

Just a few cents worth from my side of the pond... They are right when they quote 10,000,000, because sound or dB ratings are logarithmic. A twofold increase in percieved noise is not 2x on the numerical scale, it is something like 100 times... I am not sure here, high school maths fails me now... after 20 years... I am sure someone with the facts can clarify this... I just wanted to point out that noise measurements is not linear, so although the number 10 million seems big, it is not the equivalent of 10 million pairs of hiking boots marching in unison...

One other thing we all need to make an effort to do is to not try to argue directly with the environmentalists - that just ends up with two sides who are never going to concede each others points - and it becomes an emotional issue for people when they have to take sides... Environmentalists don't like you if you occupy a middle ground, you are either with them totally, or against them... no win there...

What we need to do is positive things in our own way - organise a cleanup day, where one Sunday a bunch of land users go through a trail section and pull out rubbish, old cars, help with some regeneration or land management issues... Fix up some signs or facilities... Just one day a year, and make sure the local paper and TV hear about it in advance, not just dirt bikes, but 4WD clubs as well... This is the type of direct action that shows we can be responsible, and find a balance, so we don't have to be regulated against...

We all know the other type of issue that we need to address - the 2% of trail idiots who ruin it for the other 98% of responsible riders... These fools are usually on noisy bikes, wearing minimum protective clothing, unregistered, riding through virgin bush or around suburban land... they are the ones that bring the wrath down on us all... IF you see them, ask them to join a club, to be a bit more responsible, invite them to go on a ride with you in the future... nothing like the peer pressure of a few of your mates to help to bring someone into line... They don't have to have the latest bike, but it needs to be appropriate... If this sort of trail abuser is eliminated, then a lot of the complaints will be as well...

The situation here in Australia, esp. in QLD where I live, is that unless groups of users put in submissions, the parks review board will just close the trails... We need to be part of a club, and the club needs to be a member of the State association - then our voices can be heard - I have two sides here - bikes and 4WD - I ride the same places I drive... I want to see them stay open... It has been reasonable to this point, with few permanent closures... so there is hope for us to have access for many years to come...

Just some food for thought,


We do want to keep our riding areas nice, so a cleanup every once in a while is probably in order for all of us. If we just use the old Boy Scout rule of thumb and leave the place cleaner than we found it, all our riding areas should be nice, with nothing for them to complain about. But we should do it for us, not them.

I also agree that giving ground to enviro wackos' demands only changes the demands. We have compromised away all our rights. Now, riding on our own land in the US is a priviledge, not a right anymore. I won't do any more to placate these dishonest, conniving people who have lost touch with reality. I don't mind some wilderness, but I am tired of having areas that are good for nothing except an off-road playground closed by their misrepresentations of fact. I am a US citizen in good standing with all my rights intact. My voice should be heard, and is heard every time I write my Senator or Congressman. I remind them that I contribute my vote and my money to whatever politicians share my views. The ones that don't are not long for their jobs. Please join me in doing the same if you are a US citizen.

**** the tree huggers. They are the biggest hypocrites of them all. I wonder if the house they all live in is made out of wood. When I was in college I had a girl in our ethics class who gave a big presentation on how the trees are this and the forest is that. Very tree huggish. Well at the end of her speech I asked her what her home was made out of. To my surprise she said " plastic ". "Holy $hit "I said. I would like to see this. So we went to her apartment complex. . She said, "See plastic". It had vinyl siding. OMG I cant believe this. So I proceeded to pull a piece back from the building in the back and showed that it was solid wood underneath. I think she screamed at me and told me to leave. From that day on she wouldn't look at me or talk to me. Later in the year I did a report on how vinyl siding is better then wood siding. She glared at me the whole time. I hate being told to loud, to fast to rough on the land. Yea but so is Motha Nature. Forest fires, floods, earthquakes. How about Commuter planes. They make more noise then we do and you can here them for miles. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing like flying a 1946 super cub tail dragger over the south part of lake pend o rile to look at the mountain goats then slipping the SOB to get it to drop altitude and not gain air speed to land. At the local riding area we have around here “Canfield Mountain” the trails were set up for Dirt bikes. There is a triangle that has a hiker, pedal biker and a dirt biker. IT says everyone yields to dirt bikes, and then hikers yield to pedal bikers. I have several friends that belong to PANTRA. They go through the local riding areas and pick up trash and what not that was left by th highschoolers partieng and the hikers camping and breaking all their glass beer bottles ( we only drink out of aluminum cans better for the enviornment). We ran into a guy with a newspaper company doing a story up there. He was interviewing the hikers and pedal bikers about how horrible it is to share a mountain with us. So we asked to give him a few things to write down. The article in the paper read the following. "Rude, crude, and smells like exhaust” that bastard. I have never seen so many letters to the editor. Any way enough of the boring story. Tell the bastards to wear earplugs if it is too loud. Then they wont be able to hear the mountain lion sneaking up on them. They who tried so hard to help it make a comeback. But that is a whole other store. As a newfound friend of mine by the name of R.D. Mercer would say. "I have a 55 gallon drum of whoop ass I am going to dump all over you” They all need to get a haircut and get a real job.

NEVER Retreat, NEVER Surrender....I will give up my LOUD White Brothers E-Series exhaust system when they pry it from my Cold Dead Hands. They can then bury me upside down and use my butt for a Bicycle Rack as far as I'm concerned. They should Hikers Nascar hearing protectors with little tweety noises played through them.

Someone does need to do something about those Thumpity Bump Bump cars on the highway that sound like they're getting ready to eject the trunk lid though.....Sometimes I can't hear my Rock-N-Roll at full volume over that junk......

Happy New Year.....

Bonzai :)

:) It may just be me.....BUT is it reasonable to expect to be able to go anywhere on this planet and NOT hear something?????? Fair enough if you cant have a reasonable conversation OR your ears bleed! but there are not many bikes that fall into that criteria, the most that you could complain about is that for a fleeting moment that bike is perhaps loud, IF we give in on this issue, we may as well sell our bikes, in a country the size of yours it really shouldn't be a problem about the space used, if an area is frequented by trail bikes and walkers still use it then it is their choice, they know that the noise may disturb their oh so sensitive hearing!


Originally posted by Mike in Silicon valley:

There is no doubt they hate us but the last line says it all "The fact is most ORV noise is unnecessary; even motorcycles can be muffled to a relatively unobjectionable noise level".

To the guys that just aren't getting the obvious here, I have a suggestion. Buy a nice big quiet muffler for your bike and then buy a Sony walkman. Make a recording of the loudest, most obnoxious pipe you've ever heard and play it while you ride. You'll hear the awesome sound of a finely tuned machine roaring between your legs. It will be loud as hell (and therefore you must be going really fast....... :) ). Then all the animals can procreate and everything will be right in the animal kingdom.


P.S. Merry x-mas

You're exactly right. That's the one thing we can't argue with. The best thing we can do is police ourselves and stay or get involved. Strength in numbers ya know. It's just beyond me how they can spend so much time dreaming up different strategies that are usually way out in left field- and spending BIG bucks to do it! The problem is, most average citizens don't know any better. Hell, everyone knows that anything w/ an internal combustion engine makes it MUST be causing problems in the woods w/ animals and only God knows what else. What I mean is- the majority of the voting public is located in the major metro/suburban areas and they don't experience the outdoors like you and I do. Ya, they may venture into the woods once or twice a year, but not on a regular basis- not enough to make an educated vote or voice an educated opinion.

Hey Tree Hugger, you thinkin bout changin yer name yet? :D

[ December 28, 2001: Message edited by: ColoradoDRZ ]

Atta boy, Guy. You've got the spirit. How about the rest of you guys? Are we gonna let them have our land, or are we gonna fight them every damn step of the way? Guy's not even here in the States and he's ready for a good fight. It's time to put up or shut up in California. If we all pull on the same rope, we could actually get some of this land back.

The sound issue is something we can try and do something about. What about the stuff we can't do anything about? Such as the lies they can make up about what we are doing to the environment! I am sick of the people who say that "some of us just don't get it"! Look at how successfully the greenies have divided us. Hell, we are too busy fighting and insulting each other to put up a good offensive against them! Now, who are the stupid ones? Ok you smart guys. You have been set up again. Did you notice? Well, let stupid little ole me explain it to you. In California, KTM has cut a deal with the State. They get a Green sticker for their "G" model machines. But, guess what? In order to make the "G" model machines meet EPA/California standards they won't run! Ok, they will run, just barely. They are jetted so lean that stock they run like total crap. Now, there are already federal laws in place that say that if you modify it in any way you are not only out of compliance but, you have just violated federal law. All they have to do is enforce the law that already is! Now, I have what is called a 49 state model. I should be able to get it smogged so that it meets the standards and hence gets a green sticker right? ITS ONLY A JETTING CHANGE for Christ sake! Wrong, I can't do that. Is this reasonable? NO! Where will it end? It will end when THEY SAY IT WILL END. Unless of course, more of you say ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Farmers are loosing crop land. Ranchers are loosing grazing land. The logging industry has all but been put out of business along with mining in many places. Americans are loosing their lively hoods. We are becoming more and more dependent on imports for everything we get including things that we can produce right here. The Bill of Rights if barely clinging by a thread and the Constitution is being obscured by layer after layer of Federalism. I know that some of you will castigate me for having said something so politically incorrect. But, I just can't understand for the life of me how you can think that it is ok for some to have a right to quiet while others do not have a right to make a little noise. What is the moral basis for this belief? The concept of Ying and Yang is well understood by just about everyone it seems except socialist, environmentalist, people who hate, and other practitioneers of intollerance or cowards. Can you imagine them trying to pass a law that prohibits fans at a football game from cheering louder than a whisper? Well, that is not far from what they are trying to do with us. There are literally thousands of miles of forest, desert, and beaches where off-road vehicles are not permitted to go. People seeking a place to hike can find the quiet and tranqility they seek. I know, because I am also a hiker! There should also be places where off-roaders can go with their families to pursue their happiness. Oh well, I know this will not settle anything, but at least I got to vent a little. :)

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: PMAUST ]

:D All this crap about animals needing P&Q to pro-create is just bollox!, It must be the same over there, but when you drive down any main road (Highway) over here, you can see all the animals right on the edge of the road (and NO, I dont mean the roadkill! :D ), Kestrel's chasing the mice, hedgehogs etc, if it happens on our little Island I am Damn sure that in the God knows how many millions of acres of open space that you guy's have, that the Odd occasional bike passing thru will havbe minimal effect!

If we are honest here, if you stop and listen to a VERY loud bike approaching, yes you may be able to hear it from a distance, but it aint that loud until it is close to you. The greenies are using the noise issue as a stepping stone to ridding the great outdoors of everything that they Dont want!, They shouldn't have the right to dictate to you that all you can ride is an Electric bike with slick tyres so as not to damage the land, OH and only on a thursday when they are not there!!!!

The loud pipe thing is a personal issue, if I do it it gives me a headache, so I have a quiet core, I have NO complaint about other people using loud pipes, THEIR CHOICE! :)

Think on this, if the greens win what will they start on next??? Stand up for yourselves and do not give in, accept that people have different views but do not capitulate to them....their opinion is NOT right.....merely different to yours! :D

I live in tha mountains, and do all activities. I'm sensitive to animals and other people...I just had to add my $.02. Are these people kidding me? Even in the most remote parts of the west, one can hear the roar of airplanes, and the occasional Harley when in the middle of nowhere. Do these people really think that animals are disturbed? Human beings have saturated every single place in this world, and now there is concern? I call bull@#$%.

Animals adapt the same way people do. I'm sure loud noises are just another part of existence for them, and the things that bother these whiners the most is other people. People not perfectly like them. Isn't this a free country? Don't we all have rights?

I have a right to run a stock exhaust, and a right to voice my opinion here. I like quiet pipes because I feel like a stealth motorcyclist. I believe that small performance gains are more honorably achieved through rider skill not from modifications.

Do you think Malcolm Smith (even now) could dust most of us on a stock bike? I'd put money on it. Do you think the latest sport bike Needs a new pipe? Or could the latest race-rep outperform most riders (on the street)

In Europe, you can take advantage of it (at least in Italy, balls out everywhere) But here, it really doesn't matter.

People will bitch no matter what, they will find a way to regulate things, and the whiners usually have the most time to dedicate to their cause. We'll all be out riding motorcycles, missing our chance to defend ourselves. The real tragedy is that it's ALL good....can't we all just get along???

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: aspenj ]


I agree that these people will probably only be happy when they kill our sport. I personally believe it will never happen. I do think it will become increasingly difficult to find areas to ride. All a direct result of the ever increasing population in my opinion.

Damn Paulie,

I bet your blood pressure dropped 50 points after that post........ :) .

I ride in a couple of areas, Georgetown & Grizzly flats, that have residents. I think the noise concern would be an issue there. I think that trying to limit the sound level of your bike would just be the curteous thing to do. I know that most people bought there knowing the area was an off-road recreation area. Still, if I lived there, I would appreciate the lower sound level. As far as riding in areas where no one lives, it's hard to justify an argument for sound control there. Somehow I think that a horned toad is going to try to 'bust-a-nut' whether I'm there or not. I think the problem arises when you ride your bike in both areas, populated and unpopulated.

The only people who's opinion will swayed by our quieter bikes will be the only people who matter to us, the reasonable people. We will never win over the environmentalists. They hate us and therefore we them. But I think we make a mistake when we lump everyone who doesn't ride into one group.


P.S. I too have done many things in my relatively short life. One thing that always perplexed me, WHY would anyone go to an off-road area to hike? Kind of like jogging next to the freeway! Everybody be safe this new years eve!

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: Mike in Silicon valley ]

Mikey, it does feel good. I am actually back to being able to feel my arteries harden again! :) How was Stoneyford? I am planning on going up New Years day. Have a Happy New Year! Paul

I have to admit that I enjoy the peace and quiet of forest/lake/natural area etc etc but still enjoy riding bikes and atvs in those same areas. Loud pipes really tick me off because I consider it to be selfish and rude. Some kids up near Steamboat Springs had one of those motorised skateboards and, yes, they were having fun but it was incredibly obnoxious and did echo up and down the whole valley. It ruined the tranquility for everyone--how can that be right? Where I used to live in Texas had a motocross track and several miles of hill climbs and trails-wonderful family fun and most riders could barely be heard. But sure enough a few 'characters' needed a couple of extra hp (probably losing several more low rpm hp) and had open pipes on their XR500s and TT500s. Surprise surprise the whole area got closed. But they sure exercised their right to choose didn't they. I am OK with noise regulations only because I know it will help save our few remaining riding areas. Why prop airplanes aren't forced to have silencers I don't know.....Oh wait a moment that's commerce and more affluent people who have those---wouldn't want to interfere there would we now? Unfortunately we are a large, unorganised and relatively poor group so we are a good and easy target for these extremists. And, hey, why let facts spoil a good story after all especially in politics....

After all that have a Happy New Year!!

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