by MaxPower

Motorcycles – crotch rockets and Harley-esqe, they both piss me off. Ok, its not just motorcycles, 4-banger rice rockets with exhaust pipes the size of a dinner plate piss me off as well.

There may be something Freudian in the ‘need’ to modify one’s crappy Honda to have a 100-decibel exhaust note. Ditto for a 50 year old on a Harley in leather *shudder*. They may be compensating for a lack of size in the reproductive equipment department. I think the actual psychological term for these people are ‘jerk-asses’.

This r4nt was rather spur of the moment. I was sitting in my living room with my balcony door open – something I can do now that we have hit the balmy temps of spring. A deafening roar shattered the quiet of background traffic noise as some 40ish conformist wannabe rebel jams the throttle on his hog. The baffles on his muffler had to be removed as it sounded like a jet was taking off down the street. This was probably exactly the effect he was going for, extreme annoyance. If I had superhuman powers I would use them for nothing other than to run out in front of this idiot and clothesline his fat ass off his cycle.

I live in an apartment building, often at night (more often on weekends) and only when warm (natch) the streets and surrounding buildings filled with people relaxing are subjected to sound pollution worse than any theoretical danger from CO2 or acid rain or whatever. I can’t believe there isn’t a law (that is enforced) against the horrid noise these bikes spew. There is absolutely no possible reason anyone could give for needing a motorcycle to make over 100 decibels of noise. (I don’t know if its actually 100 decibels, as I didn’t have a decibel-o-meter around, but I was recently at a hockey game that hit 113 decibels and THAT was loud).

Frustrated citizens have lobbied for bans on all motorcycles in St. Louis, Detroit, Brockton, Massachusetts, and Springfield, Illinois. The case for each was tied to excessive noise. More recently there have been proposed motorcycle prohibitions in Chicago and New York City. Motorcycle noise was also the justification for these proposals. Damn straight as far as I go. If you don’t want to ban motorcycles altogether then at least making them have the same noise controls as cars & trucks.

This is becoming more and more of a problem; indeed, the American Motorcycle Association has issued a statement regarding motorcycle noise pollution.

“The position (of the AMA being pro-noise control) results from the AMA Board’s desire to avoid further restrictions on motorcycling. If the excessive noise problem is not addressed voluntarily, and in a timely fashion, these restrictions are inevitable. The AMA Board agrees that failing to raise this warning, despite the potential negative reception by some, would be shirking their responsibility to AMA members and the motorcycling community.”

The letter goes on to say: “The reaction (of being anti-motorcycle) usually takes the form of some repressive measure. Often the phrase, “I hate motorcycles” is immediately followed with “they’re too loud.” Reactions of this nature regularly result in bike bans and proposals to limit the modifications we can make to our motorcycles.”

AMEN BROTHER. Ban the suckas. Some people don’t like plane noise – doesn’t bother me I lived close to the flight path of the busiest airport on the planet. However, at least planes are noisy for a reason, motorcycles are noisy for no other reason than the ego deficiency of the riders.

  • Motorcycles
  • by MaxPower
  • Published on May 1st, 2003

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