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One problem at a time.

There is stock, which still makes some noise on some bikes.
There is louder than stock, usually aftermarket or modified stock exhaust.
There is loud aftermarket exhaust systems.
There are straight pipes with no "muffling" devices at all.

The last two are causing all the problems. I won't get into why they are desired or what should be done.

I will say that when you see a young child jump in fear when a bike starts up near them, that is beyond acceptable.

I don't understand why "we" allow motorcycles to be as loud as many of them are. You certainly would not expect to get away with that on the average car.
 

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Some folks just can't stand the sound of a stock bike or perceive that some power increase will happen if they change the exhaust system. There may even be just a few that are so immature that it makes them happy to be noisy. If laws get passed to eliminate exhaust changes, good! Nothing really needs to be louder that a Rolls Royce or Tesla.
 

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Here is my theory. Motorcyclists, pretty much all of us, like to take a different path in life than the herd. For the most part we are extroverts. Whether we will admit it or not, subconsciously there is a desire to stand out from the crowd.

For a minority of riders, this is just not good enough. They want to stand out even among other motorcyclists, so they do it with noise.

It starts young. In any group of kids, there will be one hollering much louder than the rest, to monopolize attention. This kid will be the one to bolt loud pipes on their bike one day.
 

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Down where I live, acceptance for a loud car or truck appears to be on par with loud bikes, so getting away with loud exhaust seems pretty universal across the board. There's no shortage here of clapped out imports with fart can mufflers or obnoxious pickup trucks with glasspacks. I don't think it's a motorcycle thing or a car thing, it's a guy thing.
 

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Stock mufflers are typically huge, heavy, restrictive and ugly. I don't mind the dB levels the stock mufflers produce but the rest I can do w/o. But there's is no free lunch. Hard to have a free flowing muffler that is light and reduces noise to a lo level.

Its not just motorcycles. Brodozer diesel with 8" stacks or tuners with turbo's with waste gates slamming open are just as obnoxious.
 

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Stock mufflers are typically huge, heavy, restrictive and ugly. I don't mind the dB levels the stock mufflers produce but the rest I can do w/o. But there's is no free lunch. Hard to have a free flowing muffler that is light and reduces noise to a lo level.

Its not just motorcycles. Brodozer diesel with 8" stacks or tuners with turbo's with waste gates slamming open are just as obnoxious.
If weight is really an issue, most MC riders could increase the performance of their bike more by cutting back on snacks.
 

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If weight is really an issue, most MC riders could increase the performance of their bike more by cutting back on snacks.
No doubt but some weight while not an issues is always an issue. Its very rare when I hear this bike would be perfect if only it weighted more.

Plus if the mufflers weighed less than a 60's chrome Buick bumper that would mean more snacks I can bring along.
 

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My first bike came with loud pipes. I didn't want them, but that was the best deal I found on the bike I wanted. The roar was addictive. Hearing the engine rev up was almost as good as a drug for putting a smile on my face. I understand the pull. But I hated waking my neighbors when I rode to work in the morning, or came back in late at night. And as someone suggested earlier, I scared a couple of small children starting the bike. Also made some smile when they made throttle twisting motions as I rode by, so I grabbed the clutch and let it bellow a bit. I miss the noise, but on the whole, being a good citizen won out, and stock pipes were one of the requirements for the second bike, my 07 Wee. It's tractor like sound is not nearly so satisfying. But my neighbors don't complain, small children don't cry, and it just means that I have to wait until I'm actually ON the bike before twisting the throttle puts a smile on my face. I can live with that.

And with apologies to the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" crowd, I'm quite convinced that the only safety feature that really matters on any vehicle is the one with it's hands on the controls.
 

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I'm wondering if a loud exhaust doesn't somehow mess with engine idle because all motorcycles I've seen with loud pipes apparently need to be constantly revved at stoplights, etc. to keep them from dying.

I'll never understand "homey pipes" on cars, either. The only purpose they seem to serve is to broadcast to the world the driver's ineptitude at operating a manual transmission.
 

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It comes come down to an established dbA level, according to local/state/federal statutes. California has already done this. California state code states exhaust systems cannot exceed 95 dBA. "Fix-it" tickets can be issued, as of 2019 fines are mandatory, and can range upwards of $1,000, and Police officers can “exercise their judgment” in determining if your exhaust noise is over the legal limit.

If enough complaining/campaigning by non-riders is done this could be followed in other states.

Manufacturers might start stating dbA levels of the exhausts they make for their customers. Enough of the above and this might become a requirement.

My Strom came with a Scorpion Red Power slip-on. It's probably louder than stock, but doesn't sound loud to me. I can't find any info on it's dbA level so the loudness is my opinion, who knows how the cager sitting next to me at a traffic light distinguishes it.
 

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I bought my 07 fee with stain tune w/o baffels. Whew she was loud. Got me some baffels from Amazon, sounds more tolerable now.
 

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There are plenty of loud exhaust laws out there (ex. Virginia). The issue is that the laws are often not enforced.

Its like enforcing speed limits. With way more people violating the law than the people enforcing it, its easy to get away with.

Honestly I'd rather my tax dollars be spent on the law spending their time hunting down violent criminals than spending the day sitting along the road issuing 4 or 5 loud muffler citations.
 

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Loud ANYTHING sucks☹!!!
I live in a small town and there is a 3/4mi/1+km gradual hill that run past my townhome going into/out of town. Uphill, it the privately owned grain trucks needing to go up through the gears with open 9 inch exhaust on weekdays and Jake brake all the way down in spite of signage prohibiting it. Weekends, it's the cruiser's and squid's turn. But all that pales in comparison to the CN-BNSF locomotives with air horns that are off the dB chart, that cross a road that serves our marinas and boat launch area. I'm all for safety at rail crossings, but do we really need to know that a train is approaching the crossing from a mile away, in our homes with the windows shut? Then there's the flying ace that does touch & go float plane landings on the St Croix River. We've talked about moving back to the Cities where it's nice and quiet.
 
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