Keep our Riding areas open

I live in Northern Michigan where I grew up. As a teenager I could leave our subdivision, hit the railroad track grade to the woods and be gone. We could go to areas 50 miles away, never get on pavement no one cared and it was legal. That was 30 years ago. Last year I decided to buy bikes for myself and 13 yr old son. Now in Michigan without a street legal bike the only place you can ride is private land or designated ORV trails. We drive 35 miles each way every weekend to ride. The single tracks are tight and technical and a blast. This area has tons of woods and State land close to our home but no ORV trails. Snowmobile trails are all over the place but no ORV trails. Those against riding say cycles are to loud, damage the woods and air. With 4 strokes gaining popularity the air issue will become less of an argument and a 40 inch wide path through the woods uses up virtually no land. Snowmobiles are all larger displacement 2 strokes, using more fuel and causing more emissions than cycles. This is overlooked because snowmobiling has a very large impact on the tourist industry. They rent Motels, shop, eat etc.. Tons of people benefit financially from this industry. Those who benefit, vote and voice there opinions. Many don't like the snowmobiles but the financial clout used by those that do has won the battle.

If we compare the issues between cycles and snowmobiles, we cyclists need to be good stewards of the woods, we will cause some erosion but the impact of the skinny little trail is minimal. Our bikes pollute less and as our numbers grow and the sport gains in popularity, as it is, our financial significance will continue to grow. What we can do is KEEP THE NOISE DOWN. People who don't ride hate the noise. I ride a WR400 with the stock pipe and Vortip Baffle. It is quite quiet and makes tons of power for woods riding. I have a YZ pipe and the performance difference is not that great. My son loves the sound of the YZ pipe, but he's 13 and can't vote and his opinion doesn't matter. Even I at times enjoy that uncorked thumper sound but its not OK in the woods, its for the track where every little bit matters. I have a responsibility to all of you current and will be riders to do my part to see the sport grow in numbers as well as places to ride. Keep the noise down and give the nay sayers less to complain about. The issue really is political and in politics if you don't have the votes to win your cause, you compromise.

Search for the thread "Loud Bikes Hurt" for a completely different opinion.


I agree that riding a quite bike is better but I don't have any illisions that my bike being 10 DB quiter is gonna make a nay sayer think "hey thats better, its ok now" It seems this line of thinking is running rampant in the motorcycle community. I would like to know if anyone has come accross anyone that has heard a bike that is at the 96DB limit the AMA is pushing that has changed their mind?? Again lets do are part to keep them quite but realize the reality of the situation, these people don't like our sport.

Endurodog, you are correct, they do not like us. But the "us" is changing. I rode as a kid and gave it up for 30 years. I am 47 own an insurance agency, and wear a tie most days. I ride with my son, two of his friends got bikes since as well as their fathers. They saw the fun we were having and jumped on board. One is an Anesthiesologist and the other is the chief fund raiser for our local hospital. Two of us are Country Club members. Its changing. Look at whats happened to the demographics for Harley owners in the past 30 years. This is a great sport and the base is expanding, keeping the noise down can only help.

Ohhh absolutly. I have had the honor of doing the Colorado 500 the last 3 years. Talk about a mix of business owners, and well to do people. I my self am a 37 year old police officer. I also do what I can to represent the sport in a positive light. But I don't put to much credit in the snake oil argument of "less sound, more ground"

I don't think you'll get many arguments that quieter is better, however, I'm with Rex,

it isn't the end-all of the problem. The problem is that, as a whole, dirtbikers

won't fight for their rights. They expect someone else to do it for them. You wouldn't

believe the number of times I've heard "That's what the AMA is for" or "That's why

I'm a member of the BRC" etc, etc. Until we start mounting massive campaigns to fight

back, it doesn't matter if we're riding electric bikes that make 2db, we're going to be

to be targeted. Those against us will always be against us. If you've been involved

in any "give and take" discussions, you'll know there is little/NO compromise.

I agree that the demographics are changing, but sadly, the core problem is not.

And, FWIW, I know these things first hand. I was in the middle of several

landfights with various groups during my tenure as the chairman of the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit. I've never done anything as frustrating

as those two years. :)


I think you guys all seem to be on the same page. To our opponents, it's not really about sound. It's about eliminating us from public land. This is only one of many attempts. That's why all these restrictions continue to get tighter every time we meet them. They're finding our limits so they can push for standards beyond those limits. One tiny "reasonable" step at a time. They want us out. This is one way they are getting it done.



Preach on Brother Dan. You are 100% correct!


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