New California Sound Law

Define 'Enduro' & 'competition' bikes if you can. Are competion bikes red sticker bikes? Are enduro bikes green sticker bikes?


Bill Dart posted this on the DRZ forum:

The stock pipes I am refering to are on competition machines, machines not intended for public land use by the manufacturer. These machines don't have a spark arrestor either, which is also required for public land use. Your stock DRZ pipe easily passes close to the 90 db level. Your Big Gun will PROBABLY meet the standard, with the quiet core in place. In fact all enduro bikes come with pipes that will meet the 96 db standard, if they are still stock anyway, and have the stock removeable baffle that some brands use, still in place.

Most 2-strokes will meet the standard, and the KTM competition 4 strokes will meet the standard.

Quiet is Cool

Bill Dart


Sticker color doesn't really determine the owner's intended use. It only influences it.

In Calif, either sticker is legal in MOST months for competition OR trail riding on public lands. The only restriction is that red stickers are not legal for trail riding on public land in certain months. Both stickers are legal in all closed-course (organized) competitions, whether they be enduro or otherwise during any month. An enduro is, by definition, a competition.

Hope this helps.


The Red sticker/Green Sticker question is VERY complicated, especially when you mix the CARB emission certification with EPA noise certification.

There is no direct correlation between Red sticker bikes, Green sticker bikes, competition bikes and enduro bikes.

For noise purposes, EPA is the authority. EPA certified bikes include the Honda XR line, the KLX's and KDX's, the Yamaha WR and TTR models, and the Suzuki DR line. These are officially "enduro" bikes. All the others are competition bikes, including every KTM model, the CR's, CRF's, YZ's, YZF's, KX and RM models

For emission purposes, which determins if you get a red or green sticker in California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is the authority. Most competition bikes, but not all, are red sticker bikes, and most enduro bikes, but not all, are green sticker bikes.

Since their aren't very many, it is easier to list the Green sticker models. These include all of the enduro bikes listed above, except that the DRZ400's and the KDX 200/220's are red sticker bikes. The KTM competition 4 stroke EXC/MXC models for 03 are all green sticker legal, and the 02 EXC moels are as well. None of the other competition 4-strokes are green sticker legal.

I hope this clears up the confusion

Regarding the new law in California, it was supported by AMA District 36, 37, & 38, the national AMA office, CORVA, the San Diego Off-Road Coalition, the Blue Ribbon Coalition, CA4WD. Noisy bike are killing our sport. Noise is the only thing that we do that pisses off EVERYBODY. All the other stuff our opponents throw at us is baloney, but noise is a real issue.

With all these 4-strokes running 45HP plus, do you think that another horsepower or 2 will move you up. A slow rider on a fast bike is still slow.

Quiet is COOL


My club puts on the first National Enduro each year in February and we usually get hit with all of the new laws and AMA rules first. I just received this note from Bill Dart at the Blue Ribbon Coalition regarding reduced sound levels for enduro bikes, which I assume covers the DRZe. California riders, before you buy that new "loud" performance pipe for your bike, check this out:


The new law calls for a 96db maximum for all enduro bikes built since 86, and all competition bikes built since 98. All enduro bikes built prior to 86 and all competition bikes built prior to 98 are allowed 101 db. The law has been passed by the Senate and the Assembly, and is on the Governors desk right now. It will be signed in the next couple of weeks, and become effective 1-1-03

You should highlight the new law in your flyer. Every Yamaha 400/426 and Honda CRF 450 will need a new pipe, unless they already have an FMF Q4 or a Big Gun with the Quiet Core. Even the stock pipes fail, as they are about 100db. I have asked D-36 to highlight this on the web page, plus talk about it at the annual sanction meeting.

You will likely have people try to get around the rules. The FMF pipes can't be modified, but I would not be surprised if Big Gun owners pull the quiet core after testing, or the ones with super trap discs put more discs back in the stack. I would encourage you to have a "spot check" system at the finish to check finishers that sound too loud, and DQ anybody who is caught cheating. If the word gets out right away that this is serious and you will be DQ'ed if you cheat, we can minimize the cheating.

Don was talking about having FMF come to your event. I told him to make sure they are well stocked with Q pipes if they come, so that guys can make their bike meet the law and still ride your event.


Hi Bill,

Good work on keeping our trails open.

One thing I don't understand: A very reliable source told me that the EPA took a 2000WR400F and a 2000YZ426F from the showroom of a SoCal dealer and tested them for emissions. They both passed.

Somehow, neither bike wound up being approved for emissions, and neither can get a green sticker. How could this be, since the WR in stock trim is VERY quiet???



Here's my take. I believe many of the bikes sold today including the WR and DRZ would pass emissions tests just like the XR does. However, it costs big money for the manufacturers to go before CARB to get the green sticker approval. Given the limited number of four stroke bikes Yamaha and Suzuki, relative to their worldwide market, sell in Calif in a given year, I think they determine it is not cost effective to spend the green on the lawyers to get the CARB approval.


Formerly of HB


Is there a definitive list somewhere of what bikes pass the EPA noise limit? Is the MSO or title marked somehow as Enduro or Competition?

Thanks for all your hard work.


The CARB folks have added other things beside exhaust emissions to the requirements. The crankcase breather cannot dump oil. This is the glaring fault on the WR since it constantly lubes the frame rails at the end of the breather pipe.

Take a look at a stock Honda XR650. It has a small can behind the radiator with the oil catch for the breather tube.

Yamaha isn't willing to spend the bucks for CARB certification. They sell every one they make right now without certification.


Thanks for the heads up. I'm heading out to the Mile High enduro in Cloudcroft, NM this weekend. Their flyer is calling for 94dB (20 inches away, 45 aft and outboard from the exhaust opening at idle). It’ll be interesting to see how well this rule will be enforced. I just bought a used FMF Q for this very purpose. My freshly repacked SX-1 Stroker with the quiet tip was running about 98-99 dB.

All 2000 and up WRs are red sticker bikes. The DMV keeps track of them by the 8th digit in the VIN. If it’s a “C” or “3” you’re hosed and are supposed to get a red sticker. See for more details. However, the DMV has been known to screw this up and issue green stickers to bikes slated for red stickers. Its just a matter of time before their processes will become robust enough to catch this error and no one will be able to slip through the crack.

Thanks again,


Gentlemen -

Bill Dart is THE MAN !!

If there was anyone who knew the system and how it will affect all of us riders out here in District 36, it was Bill Dart. We miss his expertise dearly out here.

I've got a new WR450 on order right now and I have the FMF Q4 already negotiated into the price I will pay (whenever the WR's get here).

If we want to keep the riding areas we have, we better wake up and take this sound issue seriously.

Quiet is now definitely cool.

Steve F. Valley Climbers MC

2000 and up wr's eh, thank god for the the smart ones at the dmv who send me a green sticker for my 2000 wr every year. and i'm also glad i left nor cal and all the sound problems up there.

good luck with the enduro.


Someone "deleted" my last post on this subject. First of all I do NOT care if I am politically correct or NOT!

There is way too much Horse $hit going on out in CA and especially in districts that Bill Dart appears to have management influence in. I have been racing for years and am currently racing the GNCC circuit. I have never been to a race that was sitting in someones back yard....All have been way out in the middle of nowhere located on private land....Noise? hell theres nobody out there to complain. If I didn't know better I would think that MX tracks and HareScrambles Races are held in housing sub-divisions in the state of confusion called CA.

Bill Dart say's that noise is killing our sport....When was the last time you were in a dome or an areana for a Supercross event...Seems just as loud this year as in years past...Don't see those being outlawed. As I've said many times before I feel that my brothers in California are being screwed by (corrected) Left Wing Politician's , Greenies and Greenie wannabee's.

You know... its just natural for the leadership of CA to be out of step with the rest of the country....Take for instance the announcement yesterday by "Berkley" They will have a Sept 11th observance, However, NO RED/WHITEand BLUE may be worn, No Flags may be displayed, and NO patriotic songs may be sung....(Eg) God Bless America, and the National Anthem....

So from the State that brought you "No God in the Pledge.... now comes this.


All I got to say is Fruits and Nuts. :)


[ September 10, 2002, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: YAMAKAZE ]


Did you get your number yet? I'm heading there as well, am rider 7A. Got the bike dialed for rocks?


Imagine how frustrated we are. We have to live with this nonsense! Don't be too hard on Bill Dart. We are really having it crammed down our throats out here, and Bill's the proverbial Dutch kid with his finger in the dike. We have a Governor, Lieutenant Gov, Atty General, Treasurer, Controller, State Senate, State Assembly, and local dog catcher all from ONE PARTY. Guess which one?

They are totally unopposed. They just ram new laws and regulations through to please their favorite constituents. Guess who they are? Yep. The extreme environmental crowd, the PETA folks, teachers' unions, and the anti-2nd Amendment groups. Or anyone else who has enough money to interest Gray Davis and his policy of pleasing the highest bidder.



Looks like it is my turn to defend the country this weekend. A last minute FUBAR situation at work has precluded yet another ride... (not to mention the 16 hour drive).

Good luck to you.


Ya do what ya gotta do bro'.

8 years of le in the USCG taught me the meaning "O" that.

If you could ride these norcal trails for one weekend you would understand how good we really got it here.

Sniveling man is a big zero compoared to this.

I would be proud to sponsor you and tuner hooking up out here, just to see.

Then you can bitch slap BD all you want bra.


Dan and Bill,

Sorry Guys, It just literally pisses me off to hear people screaming support AMA, support this group and that group in our fight to turn back the Green tide.....and constantly hear about losses instead of even an occaisionally victory....That Sucks Big!

I know Bill Dart for many out in CA is a hero of sorts....having to enforce laws and policies is a tough job for anyone.....His letter to the group running the event was understandable to begin with but really pushed my buttons when her indicated that someone should be at the finish line to disqualify people....Then made statements that made it appear that he is in bed with a particular exhaust manufacturer......True or not that is the impression made...

You guys deserve a group/lobbyist that will work in your interest, and that's not all the press we see coming out of CA.

This is exactly why I refuse to support any group that cannot show results of some kind....I like many of you work damn hard for my money...The Zero action AMA only gets enough of it to keep me racing...That's it....

Bill, I really do want to come out there and ride with you guys...I was stationed out at Ft. Erwin in the middle of my military carreer and loved riding in the desert when war games were not in progress.

My California TT brothers, you have my unwavering support, admiration and respect for what you must contend with in order to live free and ride. The Rouge politicians, Kiss butt lobbyist's, Greenies and Non-effective money sucking fakes, can Kiss my all American 100% Red/White and Blue Sphincter Muscle !

And that's all I have to say about that !

Bonzai :)


What is the problem with keeping your bike as quiet as possible without a significant loss in power? Euro bikes have been quiet and powerful for years. Fact is that out west our enduros are held on public lands. Because it is "public" there are many other non motorized users that do not want to hear us coming from a mile off. I can respect that. 96 db is not unresonable. In europe the requirement is 94 db. The more we annoy other users with our noise the more they will pressure federal agencies to close our trails. As far as AMA not doing anything what the heck do you want. They can't do it all alone, especially when they do not get support from the people they are trying to protect. They let us know of issues facing us and lobby for a resolution but if we don't take the time to act ourselves they can not do their job. There are millions of motorcyclists in the US, perhaps if all of them supported the AMA we would not have land closures to begin with.

AMA# 768790 and proud of it! Keep up the good work Bill.

One must question who is setting the standard. Is it the government, the AMA, or those opposed to all off-road recreation. Certain groups will never be satisfied with what ever sound level we met.

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