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this isn't a all or nothing question though. I'm not interested in straight-thru LOUD pipes, but a nice aftermarket pipe that provides better air flow and a nice growl when under heavy throttle is really a sweet sound to me. many years ago I happened to see (hear) a valkerie with aftermarket pipes that were a bit too loud for my taste, but man did the thing sound terrific under throttle. Not like the v-2 sound. more like a sportscar.
 

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The issue of loud vehicles is relevant to me because, choices made by folks to customize (make loud) they’re car/truck/bike/atv/boat/airplanes/etc, causes stupid noise that I can not get away from AT MY HOME. And that is pollution. You can make the vehicle shiny/dull/high/low/wide/narrow/ long/short/convertible/dark windowed/etc and it won‘t be an issue because I’m not going to be affected by it. I don’t have to see it. But the noise comes through the woods, around the hills, up the ravine. For this reason, and only this reason, I can’t wait for electric cars. Not that I want one, but it will be quieter. Rank over. But one last thing, loud pipes suck. 🙂 Have a nice Day…Forest Gump!!
 

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I love the soft purr of the Goldwing while cruising down the highway. I don't like the loud pipes on Harleys and other such bikes. The GW makes enough sound to support its wonderful smooth power, yet quiet enough to let me listen to my music on my communicator speakers while I ride. And it's not too loud to disturb my neighbours or any other bystanders.
 

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I drive an emergency vehicle on a daily basis and people pay less attention to a squad with a 100 watt siren blaring and lights going much less loud pipes. I enjoy the quiet and the wind whipping past my helmet.


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I can second that. So many time I found myself behind someone with my siren on for blocks. I like quiet.
 

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the poll is way too myopic. I like the sound of a nice growl from vehicles of all types. I sure don't like the knuckleheads that have to rev up straight pipes and cause "havoc". this subject is too polarizing. those that hate loud pipes only think of the straight pipe scenario. Even when I run aftermarket exhaust, I'm concious of it when in neighborhoods and such. The few ruin it for the masses.
 

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I really don't believe the reason of the loud pipes as a "safety feature". I try to avoid those with loud pipes when riding. What bothers me the most is those that start their bikes a 6AM..sit out there and let it warm up for 10-15 minutes, every now and then blipping the throttle (for some reason..to keep it running??) and then just shut the bike off and not ride! WTH?!? They need to get their daily fix of noise?

There are a number of articles that disprove the theory, but it is instead a personal choice of the V-twin owner to go with straight pipes and claim they are saving lives....no...they are just annoying the hell out of a lot of people!

No...I don't like loud pipes!

Loud pipes save lives

This myth is originated in the very biking world and is has a lot of supporters among both riders and custom aftermarket exhaust pipes manufacturers. Basically, those who claim that loud pipes save lives assume that the louder the noise a motorcycle makes on the road, the more chances they have of being noticed by other road-colleagues and thus less likely the occurrence of an accident.

The truth behind such a claim disproves this myth on so many levels: simple, common physics, common sense or plain reason can bring in countless reasons because this is just a myth. Let's tread the path of physics a bit and analyze what's happening from a strictly mechanical point of view.

Motorcycle exhausts openings are facing towards the rear of the bike, and it's obviously to the back where the gases and all the noise are directed. Assuming that the noise a motorcycle makes travels in an omnidirectional manner is just wrong, because noise is air (or other gases, for what's worth) in movement. With the air/ gas jest directed towards the rear of the bike, it's there where all the noise goes. And if you don't believe this, just 'start your engine in the open and then check the noise levels when facing the bike and behind it, alternatively.

When riding at higher speeds, things are even worse, because you're not only remaining close to the place where all the exhaust gases start to make noise hitting the mass of air, but you're traveling further from that zone as you advance on the road. Now, having established that pipes generate a lot more noise behind the bike than in front of it, claiming that loud(er) pipes would help getting you noticed by the man driving the car in front sounds just silly. A loud exhaust pipe could come in handy when splitting the lanes at low speed, letting the drivers in front of you know “something is approaching” and maybe preventing them from cutting you off or opening the doors. Analyzing the crash reports, statistics indicate that around 77% of the hazards come in front of the biker, and only 3% approach from behind. What's next, front-facing exhausts?

Having installed modified pipes on a bike may indeed make it sound a lot different, with a touch of more aggressive tone, and could, beyond any shadow of doubt, make the rider feel better about him/herself and his or her machinery. Cool pipes make any bike look better, there's too much truth in here to start a debate; but along with the mean looks come a lot of other things...

Common sense urges us to think about noise pollution: while a rider might believe that the new sound of the bike is the most beautiful music in the world, many others might (and will) strongly disagree. Throttling the bike at 11PM thundering down the alley will simply increase the prejudice most non-bikers have against us, the riders. For most people, this sound is as pleasant as a dumpster truck on a Sunday at 5 AM, after returning from a party and getting one hour of sleep.

Adding “it's my bike and I'll do with it as I see fit” is not helping; au contraire, it just makes a very lame excuse for making excessive noise. Owning a motorcycle does not come with the right to break the noise regulations, and even though a racing exhaust might receive clearance for installation on common bikes, this brings little comfort to the passers-by and traffic-fellows. It's just a matter of being polite and care for those around you.

Aftermarket exhausts will also increase the horsepower (both the loud and the properly muffled ones), but claiming this as the main reason for making excessive noise just doesn't cut it. With most of the motorcycles being manufactured these days already coming with more than sufficient power for pretty much any rider or road conditions, it's rather hard to believe that all that was missing was the 5 or 10 bhp increase granted by a hollow exhaust.

Finally, it's the simple fact that a louder pipe is by no means a proactive or primary safety measure, but a secondary one. Again, learning how to ride well (throttle, turn, brake and so on) and keeping a close eye to the traffic around you are essential to making it home safely.
The first rule of avoiding a crash is not placing yourself in a critical traffic situation, and this means riding carefully and being able to detect the potential hazards early. It's always easier to avoid a nasty situation than to find a safe exit from one.

Installing a better horn, wearing a bright color helmet or a high-visibility jacket/ vest are proven methods of making yourself noticed easier in traffic. Even more, these measures are most likely not to offend anyone, and the roads will be a bit safer having less annoyed, less aggressive drivers.
Laughing out loud. How about saying "Doppler Effect" so the educated can otherwise avoid the bloviation?
 

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This article is NOT scientific fact. The writer is presenting his statements as fact without proof. Scientifically, regardless of the direction of the pipes, sound reflects and refracts off other objects in ALL directions at approximately 767 MPH. That's why you can hear a loud motorcycle coming down the street before you see it. Given that FACT, it's scientifically possible that loud pipes can alert someone to an approaching motorcycle and indeed, save someone's life. This is not to say that everyone should do this as their best option. only that it IS possible.

FOLLOW THE SCIENCE.

I really don't believe the reason of the loud pipes as a "safety feature". I try to avoid those with loud pipes when riding. What bothers me the most is those that start their bikes a 6AM..sit out there and let it warm up for 10-15 minutes, every now and then blipping the throttle (for some reason..to keep it running??) and then just shut the bike off and not ride! WTH?!? They need to get their daily fix of noise?

There are a number of articles that disprove the theory, but it is instead a personal choice of the V-twin owner to go with straight pipes and claim they are saving lives....no...they are just annoying the hell out of a lot of people!

No...I don't like loud pipes!

Loud pipes save lives

This myth is originated in the very biking world and is has a lot of supporters among both riders and custom aftermarket exhaust pipes manufacturers. Basically, those who claim that loud pipes save lives assume that the louder the noise a motorcycle makes on the road, the more chances they have of being noticed by other road-colleagues and thus less likely the occurrence of an accident.

The truth behind such a claim disproves this myth on so many levels: simple, common physics, common sense or plain reason can bring in countless reasons because this is just a myth. Let's tread the path of physics a bit and analyze what's happening from a strictly mechanical point of view.

Motorcycle exhausts openings are facing towards the rear of the bike, and it's obviously to the back where the gases and all the noise are directed. Assuming that the noise a motorcycle makes travels in an omnidirectional manner is just wrong, because noise is air (or other gases, for what's worth) in movement. With the air/ gas jest directed towards the rear of the bike, it's there where all the noise goes. And if you don't believe this, just 'start your engine in the open and then check the noise levels when facing the bike and behind it, alternatively.

When riding at higher speeds, things are even worse, because you're not only remaining close to the place where all the exhaust gases start to make noise hitting the mass of air, but you're traveling further from that zone as you advance on the road. Now, having established that pipes generate a lot more noise behind the bike than in front of it, claiming that loud(er) pipes would help getting you noticed by the man driving the car in front sounds just silly. A loud exhaust pipe could come in handy when splitting the lanes at low speed, letting the drivers in front of you know “something is approaching” and maybe preventing them from cutting you off or opening the doors. Analyzing the crash reports, statistics indicate that around 77% of the hazards come in front of the biker, and only 3% approach from behind. What's next, front-facing exhausts?

Having installed modified pipes on a bike may indeed make it sound a lot different, with a touch of more aggressive tone, and could, beyond any shadow of doubt, make the rider feel better about him/herself and his or her machinery. Cool pipes make any bike look better, there's too much truth in here to start a debate; but along with the mean looks come a lot of other things...

Common sense urges us to think about noise pollution: while a rider might believe that the new sound of the bike is the most beautiful music in the world, many others might (and will) strongly disagree. Throttling the bike at 11PM thundering down the alley will simply increase the prejudice most non-bikers have against us, the riders. For most people, this sound is as pleasant as a dumpster truck on a Sunday at 5 AM, after returning from a party and getting one hour of sleep.

Adding “it's my bike and I'll do with it as I see fit” is not helping; au contraire, it just makes a very lame excuse for making excessive noise. Owning a motorcycle does not come with the right to break the noise regulations, and even though a racing exhaust might receive clearance for installation on common bikes, this brings little comfort to the passers-by and traffic-fellows. It's just a matter of being polite and care for those around you.

Aftermarket exhausts will also increase the horsepower (both the loud and the properly muffled ones), but claiming this as the main reason for making excessive noise just doesn't cut it. With most of the motorcycles being manufactured these days already coming with more than sufficient power for pretty much any rider or road conditions, it's rather hard to believe that all that was missing was the 5 or 10 bhp increase granted by a hollow exhaust.

Finally, it's the simple fact that a louder pipe is by no means a proactive or primary safety measure, but a secondary one. Again, learning how to ride well (throttle, turn, brake and so on) and keeping a close eye to the traffic around you are essential to making it home safely.
The first rule of avoiding a crash is not placing yourself in a critical traffic situation, and this means riding carefully and being able to detect the potential hazards early. It's always easier to avoid a nasty situation than to find a safe exit from one.

Installing a better horn, wearing a bright color helmet or a high-visibility jacket/ vest are proven methods of making yourself noticed easier in traffic. Even more, these measures are most likely not to offend anyone, and the roads will be a bit safer having less annoyed, less aggressive drivers.
 

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1985 GL1200 Goldwing Aspencade Limited Edition.
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I hate loud pipes. I've lost hearing in one ear from them. Loud pipes save lives? Maybe. Defensive riding is just as important, and doesn't destroy your hearing in the process.
 
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Nothing screams “I didn’t get enough attention as a child, look at meeee” like loud pipes.
i don't agree with that statement cause i got plenty of attention as a child seeing that i got kicked out of 9th grade over 50 times :) :)
i still have my '75 CB 750 which has the stock four pipe exhaust system, i also have a '79 CB 750 super-K with the 4 into one megaphone exhaust. while the Super-K is way more fun to ride the pipe makes it where i don't want to hear it for more than an hour so all my long hauls were made on the '75
 
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