I like wings rather on the quieter side, but all others a nice rich & throaty rumble. I've found loud exhausts, like being buffeted by wind, along with engine and general road noise lead to excessive fatigue setting in when you're burning some miles. At least that's worked with me, though take that with a grain of salt because I'm just getting back into riding after a twenty year break(burnout).
I'm going back on my trusty old GL1000 which is a far cry from what the vast majority of you folks ride, but she was my first highway love and I guess shall remain so until death us do part.
I like the sound of my 2018 Tour. Quiet at low rpm, noticeable but not obnoxious at higher RPM. I had a BMW K1600GTL before this wing, pretty much the same sound levels except higher pitched. I read on the BMW forum: “If you want to see the world, buy a BMW; if you want the world to see you, buy a Harley.” Insert “Goldwing” instead of “BMW”. That sums up my feelings on loud pipes. Mostly people looking for attention.
These days I prefer as little noise as possible, but back in the day, at least one of my bikes was pretty obnoxious... IIRC, the HD's of the 60's vintage had a very well muffled but very pleasing exhaust note - I always liked those... These days, I prefer not to hear loud pipes - my hearing is bad enough already from various loud noises when I was young and stupid and used no hearing protection... I love not to hear my Wing and prefer to ride that way, but I do understand the throaty pipes, especially from the younger riders, but please - no ear splitting noises for this old guy!!!
From childhood to about 30 years old i always had a tuned pipe of some type on just about anything i owned, i even cut open the pipes on my first gl1000 many moons ago, but today i think that anyone who changes they’re pipes to extra noisy are looking for attention, the “loud pipes saves lives thing“ is a joke . Its a “look at me” thing. Had some older fella with ridiculous pipes on an indian hurt everyones ears that was waiting on line for a hotdog at a roadside stand , just cause he thought it was cool. In my opinion, the only thing that sounds worse than a twin with loud pipes is a single cylinder. make mine a stealth machine with an electric exhaust dump on a handlebar switch that leads to a less restricted muffler! Where did all of the goldwing riders end up in the walking dead? They were all safe and living quietly up north! The loud pipe guys had their hands full
It doesn't matter really. V twins will always have loud pipes and do the constant throttle blipping. From the mechanical standpoint as soon as these guy remove the mufflers they take an already weak engine and remove much needed horsepower. The shortie pipes many are using are rated by speed shops as "untunable" as the gas flow is so poor the engines will actually begin misfiring due to poor air flow.
On one of the other forums there was a long tread running regarding best ear plugs and it went on and on regarding the fit and noise reduction etc. I stayed out of it but was thinking why? Just tone down the exhaust and enjoy passing through the countryside rather than invading it.
I like the quiet of the GL and enjoy the fact we can go all day and NOT be burned out and dizzy by the time we find a motel for the night. our friends who had louder pipes and earplugs were totally done by 5pm and called it a night so the wife and I went out and cruised the local attractions while they decompressed.
I guess this is also why we will not do group rides, We will go to a tractor pull instead
Every time I have mounted pipes on to something I own I have regretted it and ended up taking them off. I tried pipes on my Honda del sol, a Harley soft tail, a Honda SuperHawk and, most recently, a Vespa GTS 300. In every case, I saw no appreciable increase in horsepower. Many times I lost low end torque. And, after a while, I couldn't stand listening to the sound. I notice Harley owners where I live ride with ear plugs. That solves part of the problem but you still annoy everyone else on the road. Better to just keep the stock pipes and spend your money on something else....
No thanks. I don't mind nice throaty sound, but not the overbearing sound of some them out there. I do like the nice purrr of the wing.
To stay visible, I make sure I can see the cagers mirrors and as an instructor once told me, wave to every kid in a car. They usually let mom and dad know that the man on a motorcycle just waived to me, making mom or dad aware of me. Just my 2cents.
I guess I'll get back onto getting my old GL going sometime this fall because I do miss the quiet & smoothness on the road. As of right now the old Norton Roadster is what got restored first and therefore is what is put to the road. Definitely not the smoothest, but it is quick & nimble enough with loads of power. The exhaust is not too annoying providing the throttle isn't treated like it was 40 years ago when I stored it away, but cruising under 70 it doesn't wear on me too much...I guess. A lot of that can be attributed to all of the years of riding without a helmet too because my hearing isn't the best anymore.
Reading this again has hopefully gotten my motivation rolling again to finish up the GL 1000 before engine noise, wind, & exhaust finish off my hearing. Only have tires, carbs, & brakes left to do and it's roadworthy.
Be safe. Don't be deaf.
We just got back from our cross country trip and rode through the hills on the last leg. The noise was deafening as 99% of the bike have megaphones installed. I see it as just part of the fashion thing but local resident must really hate being outdoors during the rallys. It's nice to be above the law I guess
I wonder how many hours you ears ring after a long ride? I don't think I could do 500 mile days with loud pipes, I could not stand that much coolness
A little simple physics says the sound is coming out behind you as you ride away from it........
so the only ones that hear the pipes in time to see you first are the ones coming up from behind.
If you are meeting someone.... you are passed are at least beside them before they hear you.
I have opted for the bright florescent blind you yellow green for a jacket and helmet