Loud Motorcycles save lives??


On July 12, 2010, Maine enacted a law meant to prevent those who ride street bikes from altering their exhaust systems to make them louder.  An organization called Maine Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles (MECALM.ORG) played a big part in supporting the change in the law, and has played a big part in trying to get local police departments, State Police, and sheriffs to uphold existing noise ordinance laws as well as this new one.

I don’t believe that MOST motor cyclists are intentionally trying to disturb the peace and I don’t think that MOST of them are altering their bikes to make them louder.  (Harleys are loud enough out of the gate.)  But there is a certain segment of this “user group” that is arrogant, ignorant, and self-absorbed enough to think that they can do what they want, when they want, and disturb whomever they want, with their motorcycles.  The one and only argument they use is “if I”m loud enough then you are more likely to hear me, and therefore won’t accidentally hit me”.

Well, that argument might hold true for the few people who are riding in cars within 50 feet of you.  But that certainly doesn’t hold true for people too far away to hit you in the first place.  And it doesn’t hold true for people sitting in their homes whose dental fillings fall out every time you ride by.  The truth is, some bikers have altered their bikes to make them louder.  As I said and as we all know, Harleys are loud already.  Some make them even louder.  And it’s all about getting attention.  “Look at me, I’m cool”.

Well, you got your attention.  It just wasn’t the attention you wanted.  If the “loudists” (that’s what I call them)  had even one ounce of common decency, or common sense, then this issue never would have come to pass.  If the “loudists” realized for one second that because of their bikes, they are disrupting other people’s lives , and then actually care about that, this issue never would have come to pass.

Like any other social issue, there are some very strong opinions on this subject.  Those against loud motorcycles give compelling evidence of the effects of loud bikes.  You can easily do a Google search and find all kinds of writings on this subject.  The cyclists themselves have very strong opinions as well.  The difference is, the tone of the “loudist’s” writings is so very angry, and so very arrogant, and in some cases, so very stupid.  I read one guy’s comment on a web site who was pissed that he was going to lose the money he invested in his illegal muffler.  He just didn’t get it that all he had to do was put the original muffler back on the bike, that he took off in the first place, and he would be within the law.

If I drove my car down Main Street with a broken exhaust system, or a modified exhaust system, I would be the loudest thing in the area, everyone would hear me, and I would be pulled over in about 2 seconds and cited for a traffic violation, disturbing the peace, and go knows what else.  The same should be true for motorcycles.  If you are on a motorcycle and you are the loudest thing in the area, you are too loud.  If I can’t talk to the person in my car, or hear my radio, because you are next to me at a traffic light revving up your engine, you are too loud.

As for the noise from your bike protecting you from being hit, I could say the same thing about my car because many drivers don’t pay attention to anyone but themselves.  Selfish drivers cause accidents; accidents with other cars and with motorcycles.  You can be as loud as you want but if you encounter a stupid or selfish driver, it won’t matter.

The bottom line here, to bikers who want to be loud – stop being a dick, stop stomping your feet like a 4 year old, get a grip, fix your fucking bike, and then welcome to the real world where the world doesn’t revolve around you.

It should be legal to shoot at people driving loud motorcycles


This is mostly directed at those who choose to drive Harleys, and especially to those who modify their bikes to make them louder, Harley or not.  If these people don’t care about my health and well-being, not to mention my right to live in peace and quiet, then why should I care about theirs.  If they are intentionally going to ride a loud motorcycle, knowing full well that they are pissing people off with the noise, and truly don’t give a shit, then why can’t I take a BB Gun or a 12-Gage shotgun and take target practice.  I don’t want them to die from the gunshot any more than they want me to die from the noise.  But they don’t care if they disrupt my day, or night, so why am I not allowed to disrupt theirs.

I live in Maine.  I don’t really understand the motorcycle culture here but it’s something I never experienced until I moved here.  Recently I wrote a letter to my State Senator and State Representative because I heard that some group was trying to get a law passed to crack down on loud motorcycles.  My story, and my letter, goes as follows:

I live in Springvale, Maine in an apartment, set back from the road a bit, but in the center of town.

 As a result of excessive motorcycle noise, I literally cannot live my life in my home with my windows open.

 It’s winter now, so not much of an issue.  But as soon as the weather turns warmer just a bit, or even if we have one warm winter day, the motorcycles appear like moths to a flame.  By April and right through to November, I cannot open the windows in my home.  No fresh air, no sleeping with a cool breeze coming in the windows, it is literally impossible.

 Why?  Loud motorcycles.  Not only do they get some thrill out of making their motorcycles as loud as possible, the will sit at the traffic light and rev their already loud engines.  When they take off, it’s as if a drill-bit is being jammed into my temple.   I cannot fall asleep, nor stay asleep during the night with my windows open and god forbid if I want to take a nap on a Saturday afternoon with the window open.

It is absolutely ridiculous, uncalled for, and as far as I am concerned, it is selfish on the part of the motorcycle owner, not to mention criminal in how they think they own the road. 

 Along with the noise is the attitude.  Why are motorcyclists allowed to travel in packs of sometimes hundreds?  There was one occasion last summer where I was trying to pull out of a side street onto Pleasant Street in Springvale.  I was trying to get to the doctor as I was dealing with an urgent medical issue.  I sat there as hundreds of motorcycles went by, one after the other, mile after mile, for 32 minutes.  Thirty-two minutes.  That is how long I waited trying to pull out on to the main road so I could get to an urgent doctor visit.  I tried inching my way out hoping somebody would have the smarts to know to let me out.  But no.  Not one single cyclist had the foresight to say “hey other people might need to get somewhere”.   I do not care if it was a joyride or a charity ride.  Groups of motorcycles do not need to travel in unending packs of obnoxious noise and a sense of entitlement.

 But my biggest issue is the noise.  Can they not tell how loud the bike is?  Are they deaf from the noise or do they just not care?  I see how they behave, revving up their engines at traffic lights.  If I’m next to one at a light, I have to close the windows in my car because I can’t hear the radio.  Or my passenger.  That’s just plain wrong.

I will do ANYTHING to help your cause.  I will call whomever you need me to call.  I will write to whomever you need me to write.  I will go to the State House and stand in front of a committee.  You just let me know.

 I have a blog that I can put to work on this topic.  And I will contact media outlets if need be.

 I was so shocked, and excited, that somebody is finally doing something about this.  I had no idea your organization even existed until I saw a news piece on WMTW and then did some Internet searches based on that. 

 Please sign me up to help.

Obviously, I am not serious about taking pot shots at bikers.  I don’t believe in violence.  Especially violence to fight stupidity.  However, there are many days that I think about it when a Harley goes SCREAMING by my home.  Being exposed to loud noises has been proven to cause sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, anxiety, hostility, depression and hypertension.  At a recent doctor visit for a regular checkup, the thing withwhich my doctor was most concerned was my lack of sleep.

I feel like the old guy in the neighborhood who says “you kids get off my lawn” (said in an old man voice, of course) .  I am only in my early forties but have been bothered by loud noises like this for most of my life.  I hate loud TV’s and loud radios, too.  I honesty wouldn’t care so much about this if the root cause was not based in the bike owner’s sense of entitlement.  The U.S. Constitution says we have a right to live our lives freely, but it can’t be at the expense of other citizens right to the same.

If you would like to support MECALM , and would like to support the few Maine Legislators that are backing this bill (LD-1675), or if you simply would like more information, please go to www.mecalm.org