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.