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LOUD PIPES! What's with them?

I live in a very quiet rural area. Last night I took the critters for a ride into town to pick up some of those horrible toxic Px's the doctors still have me taking. I was sitting in the drive up lane at a Walgreens near a major intersection. The windows were half down so the critters could hang their noses out and sniff those city smells. We sat there waiting for 5 to 10 minutes.

You would think that the sounds of normal traffic with an occasional big truck would come drifting into the jeep. But all I could hear for the entire 5 to 10 minutes was godawful noisy v-twins - lots of 'em - many of which were simply sitting at the stop light revving their throttles. Over the years I've had some altered exhausts on Triumphs and Beemers, but none of them were in the same category as these new pipes.

My personal opinion is that any performance boost these pipes offer are negligible and only useful at extreme illegal speeds. The trouble and expense of rejetting or altering the computer chip probably isnt' worth it. I think these super loud pipes are just another way of trying to get attention - Hey! Look at me!

Okay. I feel better now. Anybody wanna let me have it?
 

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I agree.

There is a sound that eminates from a well built motor. Some exhausts stifle this sound, some let it be heard with all the beauty that goes with it. And some exhausts amplify this sound to where you can't hear anything the exhaust.
 

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I'm with you. I love the sound of a breathed-on motor as much as the next guy, but when your happy butt wakes me up for no other purpose than drawing attention, I have a problem. This applies to Harleys, car stereos, sportbikes and Fast And Furious wannabes. Personally, I have NO problem with a noise ordinance. If civility is out of the grasp of the Great Unwashed, let it be forced on them.
 

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I don't mind aftermarket pipes. What I DO mind, are those ridiculous straight pipes that most HD wannabee's end up putting on. What makes it worse, is they sit there and blap the damn throttle at stoplights, as if my mirrors shaking from them just sitting at idle wasn't enough "life-saving" volume. They are in the same class as squids, IMO. Maybe a class below. At least squids have the sense to buy a bike that performs worth a squat.
 

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I have a wanker living just a few doors from me that has a Harley. He put on these ape hangers that put his arms up in the air like he is being held up at gun point, and then he recently put on these stupidly loud pipes that he lets everyone in the neighbourhood enjoy on both accel and decels. You just know that it is all about the look at me syndrome. They do nothing for the performance of the bike. I can hear the bike when he comes to the stop sign in front of my place and it is running like shite and stalls the odd time. I just roll on the ground laughing when that happens. Of course then he rides by and deafens me...
 

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As far as loud pipes on Harleys, well, what do you expect? The whole purpose of a Harley is to say "Look at me!" It's the same as these jerks who get a stereo that thumps the windows in the next car. "I want attention!"

I've seen little "loud pipes save lives" stickers, but that's crap. On a recent trip, a buddy and I were on I-5 and were behind a loud Harley for a while. As soon as we passed it, the noise went away. We remarked in our helmet comms as to how quickly the noise vanished. I spent a lot of years as vol. Fireman, EMT, Chief. I can tell you that, up against modern closed vehicles, even a full powered siren is only good for one or two car lengths in front of you at freeway speed.

The loud pipes, like the big obsolete bike with tons of pretty chrome and a very distinctive sound, are simply a cry for attention.

I would tolerate some increased noise, if it gave a significant performance boost. But my Wee-strom is working fine with the stock pipe, and I like being able to idle through a parking lot with the modular helmet up, exchanging smiles with the moms there, because I don't sound like a menace. ;)
 

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The majority of pipes on harleys and metric bikes, does actually hurt their performance. I agree that the mass majority of straight pipes are just too damn loud and obnoxious. However a twin sportbike engine with race cans sounds amazing to me, not loud....good harmonics. I am pretty sure the biggest problems/concerns arise with the cruiser and hog crowd. Allot of mx bikes have pretty loud cans on them too, which is hurting the offroad riding crowds. Pretty soon allot of states and cities will be banning exhausts that go over certain decibels. I really don't think I'd have a problem with that. Heck...I am hearing just as many stupid modified Honda Civics that are just as annoying sounding as Harleys.
 

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The V-twins do have a nice sound, and there's no need to turn the exhaust into a megaphone to appreciate it.

Many well-tuned engines have wonderful sounds. I once read an article that described the big "built" Mopar in a moonshiner's car as "hot black thunder."

I grew up an airport brat. The Harley guys only think they sound cool, because they've never heard a Rolls Merlin V-12. Have a P51D power dive and make a ground level pass in front of you at close to 500 mph, then pull up hard with all 1,650 cubic inches of that mighty Rolls Merlin in full song, firing out of six short curved stacks on each side. God! It will bring tears to your eyes and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up! Maybe we won the war because P51's and Spitfires had the most beautiful engine ever made. The guys with the ugly planes didn't deserve to win.

I've heard it. I know nothing else will ever sound like it (Allisons are similar but not the same), so I'm not going to waste time trying to make my bike "sound cool."
 

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RubberDown,

If you're taking orders, please put me down for 3 of them!

I absolutely love the shirt!


On the subject of loud pipes on motorcycles . . . . . .

Has anyone ever heard loud pipes on anyone that rides a motorcycle more than 100 miles a day?

How about on a bike that competes in Iron Butt Rallies?

Why is that?



 

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I grew up an airport brat. The Harley guys only think they sound cool, because they've never heard a Rolls Merlin V-12. Have a P51D power dive and make a ground level pass in front of you at close to 500 mph, then pull up hard with all 1,650 cubic inches of that mighty Rolls Merlin in full song, firing out of six short curved stacks on each side. God! It will bring tears to your eyes and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up!
Yep, been there, heard that, couldn't agree more. If the sound of a Merlin doesn't get your blood moving you need serious help.

Maybe we won the war because P51's and Spitfires had the most beautiful engine ever made. The guys with the ugly planes didn't deserve to win.
Those would be the BMW-powered planes :p

Personally, with the exception of aircraft and race engines, I don't think an engine needs to be loud to sound good. My VFR has a sort of hollow sound, kind of like the sound ot newer Mustangs, that I absolutely love. No way I'd put cans on that one and ruin that sound. My V-Strom, well, it could use a little help but so far I haven't heard anything that sounded good to me.

Straight pipes, or even barely-packed cans, on cruisers just plain annoy the hell out of me. I live in town, I work in town, there is no escape from "Noise". This is a "Cruiser" town, and probably 75% of all bikes are Harleys or the Harley Clones. Maybe 5% of those have legitimate mufflers on them and the rest are simply converting gas into noise.

I love to get out on the Natchez Trace Parkway, ride 20 or 30 miles out of town, and just sit and listen to the silence. Sure as the world a gaggle of cruisers will come through and I can hear them 5 miles before they get to me and 5 miles after they pass. A few minutes later here comes another bunch. To me there is nothing remotely appealing about that noise.
 

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Magazine article a while back put it best

"BIG NOISE - LITTLE DICK"

Recent article in the local paper said in Austrailia there is a campaign to curb the Johny Racer wanabes and noisy bikes (Harley's). They are asking everyone to wave their pinky fingers at the offenders. The meaning is clear.
 

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Coming to my Wee from a cruiser with stock pipes that were a little loud, not nearly to the point of being offensive, I have found that I can hear approaching traffic much better. If a cage happens to be speeding up behind me in between mirror scans, I can actually hear them early enough to make a difference. With the cruiser, even with mellow pipes, I couldnt hear them until they were quite close.
 

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Fatstrat said:
If a cage happens to be speeding up behind me in between mirror scans, I can actually hear them early enough to make a difference.
+1 on that. I rely on my hearing as much as sight when riding in traffic.

P51's and Spitfires had the most beautiful engine ever made.
The Lancaster Bomber had four of those Rolls Merlin V-12 monsters and could make the ground shake. The Mosquito bomber had two. Now there was fast and loud. Very cool sounding engine.
 

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Loud pipes are like a corvette...where the pipes scream out "I look a lot tougher then I really am"

and the vette screams "I have a little penis but lots of money"

Hmmm, I ride a Vee Strom and drive an SLK convertable....and yes, I can easily hit bottom of my GF in any position. And no, I don't pretend to be rich.

We were talking while we rode lastnite over the intercom after 3 loud bikes passed us...that the intercom wouldn't do them any good at all<LOL>

Jeff
 

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The Lancaster Bomber had four of those Rolls Merlin V-12 monsters and could make the ground shake. The Mosquito bomber had two. Now there was fast and loud. Very cool sounding engine.
Speaking of Merlins, Merlin-derived V-twin

I'm surprised that no lunatic has managed to put two wheels under a full Merlin, or maybe he has and just didn't live long enough for anybody to notice.
 

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pipes

i had a header pipe on my suzuki gs 1150, once in an underground parking lot ,when i fired it up a lady droped her shopping bags and her kid started crying ,it scared them so much , now im older i love how i can ride my strom without bothering people , with the stock exhust ive had some one tell me how when i passed thier house how nice a sound the bike makes
 
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