Loud pipes won't save your wallet.

Submitted by Jo on Tue, 06/15/2021 - 14:12
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Anyone who is a bit interested in motorcycles knows that 2021 is all about the Euro5 emission standards. Bikes who don't comply to these strict regulations are updated or simply discontinued.
Since the introduction of the Euro standards for motorcycles, not only the emissions from motorcycles have been considered, but also the noise they produce.

In order to obtain a Euro4 type approval, a motorcycle was allowed to produce a maximum of 80dB in a driving test, for the Euro5 standard that is restricted to 77dB.

Anyone familiar with noise measurements will know that 77dB is roughly equivalent to a flushing toilet, while a stationary motorcycle with standard exhaust produces between 90-95dB.
Obviously, this depends on many factors like engine capacity, exhaust range, amongst others.
It is no secret that engine manufacturers sometimes have trouble meeting those ever increasing noise standards, so the manufacturers therefore focus specifically on the 77dB at the homologation speed.

In fairness, neither Europe nor the engine manufacturers care much about noise regulation, as the reality is much more important than meeting the EURO5 standard or the homologation process in the lab.

Numerous Euro5 homologated motors produce more than 100dB, even without revving or moving! And then we are not talking about aftermarket exhausts, let alone the crafts of some custom builders.

It has even come to the point that after the compulsory noise measurements on track days, noise tests are now also effectively carried out on public roads.
The police, when they finally catch you, are performing a static noise measurement using a DB-meter, and the results are disregarded (rightly) with the Euro5 standard.

Motorcycles and noise pollution are not a new theme. We all want to have a good sounding motorcycle, in tune with the looks or capabilities of the engine.
But according to recent research, conducted in Germany, as many as 50% of road users are regularly disturbed by the noise of motorcycles.

In Belgium, the Malmedy-Stavelot police zone treated several motorcyclists to a fine who exceeded 101dB with their loud pipes.

Measures in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria are also becoming stricter and stricter.
Many parts of Austria and Germany are on the verge of banning motorcycles all together from this picturesque part of the world. Although that will be tragic for us it is also completely understandable.

I have used loud pipes over the years to part the traffic when splitting lanes. One point is true - it does work. However, it is unmistakably antisocial and turns many reasonable road-users, stuck in traffic, into bike-hating mischief in search of eternal vengeance.

Last year, I spent my summer riding my bike in the Alps, with fully road legal exhaust fitted. That didn't stop many beautiful walks in this stunning mountain range being ruined by loud pipes, echoing for miles unend.

A loud pipe early on a weekend morning really is a terrible thing for the people amongst us. If it's any kind of a loud noise without having any kind of appealing raw to it, it can actually make it unpleasant for the rider too, surely on longer roadtrips.
At the risk of sounding far too sensible for a biker, I grew to hate their thoughtlessness  and unforgivably offensiveness in the wrong environment.