Motorcycles

Motorcycles with Straight Pipes, Boom Cars, Car Alarms, Semi Trucks with Engine Brakes, Off-Road Vehicles, Back-Up Alarms, Keyless Entry Sounds, Artificial Vehicle Sounds, Rumbler Sirens.
141 posts
Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:05 pm
March 9, 2010. My noise issue deals with motorcycles, particularly huge motor cross type bikes with deafening exhaust systems operating on a rural property located adjacent to my land in middle Georgia. I do not live on my property but plan to move there this year and live in an existing home on site. The owner of the adjacent property has built a race track for these monster motorcycles and uses it late afternoons during the week; on weekends, he invites upwards of ten people who bring their deafening bikes. I've seen as many as twelve to fifteen bikes operating at the same time. As I mentioned, the noise is deafening, even inside my home, to the point it even shakes the china in the cabinets. Also, dust is an issue since prevailing winds send it towards my home. My county has zoning ordinances though the laws are vague when it comes to non-commercial activities such as this....apparently, the owner of this track does not charge to others to use it. There are other neighbors, mostly elderly, affected by this noise but they are asking me to help come up with a recommendation or a solution. I humble seek advice, opinions, and recommendations regarding this noise issue to determine if I have any chance of silencing it. Thank you, Jim
Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:25 am
Your neighbor is causing (in legal parlance), a public nuisance. Regardless of the existing zoning and community standards for noise, the obvious result is that is affecting your use and enjoyment of your property. These two sections on NoiseOFF address your situation:

http://www.noiseoff.org/neighbors.php
http://www.noiseoff.org/guide.php

I recommend that you work with your affected neighbors that you hire an attorney. It means you will have to pool monies to pay for the legal fees that will cost several thousand dollars. This section provides an overview of the legal process:

http://www.noiseoff.org/legal.php

Please keep us posted on how you proceed.
Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:21 am
Hello,

Anyone who thinks that noise polution is merely a nuisance is wrong. I began riding motorcycles around 1965. My first bike was a 1942 Harley 45, tank shift. I've probably owned fifteen bikes, including a BSA Lightening and Hornet, 650 cc, which were considered very fast during their day. Stupidly I didn't realize what I was doing to my hearing. My Hornet had no baffles in the mufflers. At the time I was also spending my evenings in the bar where Bruce Springsteen was playing. I sat about ten feet from him and his band for many nights. This was when he was just a skinny kid, unknown. At any rate, by the time I was 23 I had significant ringing in my ears. Then one day I went kayaking with a friend, and we camped out on an island, and the next morning we woke up as ducks were flying overhead. He had a shotgun, and fired it. I heard what sounded like a horn go off in my head. That was almost forty years ago, and the horn is still blaring. Then about four years ago I was in my garage when a neighbor's car alarm went off. It's a long story, but I could not get out of my garage, and the owner didn't know how to shut off the alarm. Right now I'm listening in my left ear to a sound -- sort of like a ten-note scale -- that mimics the car alarm. The head of the hearing clinic at the Univ. of Pennsylvania has told me it isn't likely to go away. If the average person suddenly was hit with what I hear every hour of every day, that person would not like it. And if that person wonders why motorcycles should have mufflers, the answer would become quite clear. Hearing damage is cumulative, and the results are usually permanent. Car alarms (and residential fire alarms), motorcycle exhausts, boat exhausts, public address systems, loudspeakers, guns and a host of other noise makers, are a serious public health menace. The problem is, once people catch on to it, it's usually too late. It's too late for me, but I would like to see other folks not have to go through this. When a cycle speeds past a pedestrian or a kid on a bicycle, there is a significant risk of damage. The same goes when a cigarette boat blows past some guy in a dingy. Or if you're standing under a smoke detector when it blares off. The human ear cannot handle these noises. We're supposed to hear a deer crunch a leaf, not a 100 db motorcycle blast away from a stop light. If the cycle guys could be made to understand that mufflers don't make their dicks smaller, they might calm down. But they confuse sound with masculinity. For them, altering their mufflers is sort of like a woman getting a tit job. It enhances them. The same with the boats. Exhausts can be run under water. No way will the cigarette guys to that. THEY WANT TO BE HEARD! They demand to be heard. Away from their boats and motorcycles they are lost and alone in a land they don't understand. They're puny, insignificant, and ignored. They desperately want everyone's attention, and I don't know what to give them if their noisemakers are removed. But I do think they might reconsider if they realized they might end up with what I have. I can't go back and put the baffles in that Hornet, but a guy today can fix his motorcycle and have a good bike and a good life and show some consideration for others. And the argument that loud mufflers are safe is absurd. If they're safe, then all vehicles should have their mufflers removed.
Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:59 pm
Sorry to hear about your hearing loss and the noise polluting motocross track that is ruining the value of your property, Jim. We know all to well that noise like that is more than a nuisance. The problem is, not all public officials know this. I believe Georgia's noise laws are pretty lax. In addition to taking legal action on your neighbor, you might consider lobbying for more effective noise and zoning ordinances.

It looks like law enforcement would have done you a good service by having you install a legal and quiet exhaust system in your Hornet back in your younger days. Now, there are federal laws that require quiet exhaust systems on bikes but many motorcyclists ignore them and operate their bikes with an array of noisy exhaust systems like, straight pipes, with and without baffles, (baffles in straight pipe doesn't do much good and is illegal), and various aftermarket exhausts that do not comply with federal regulations (louder than stock, of course). You could have also saved yourself a lot of pain if you had brought and used ear plugs with you at those Springsteen concerts. That would be good advice for anyone who likes to attend noisy concerts. If you still hang out with noisy friends keep a pair in your pocket and use them. Even temporary exposure to excessively loud sound sources can have lifelong negative effects.

Yes those loud bikers do seem desperately to want everyone's attention, and they get it too. And in all to many cases, everyone's except those in authority who can (and are supposed to) do something about it. We work hard to remedy that but it is not always easy.

Jim, you do others a valuable service by telling your story. Thanks for sharing it with us. And good luck with those noisy neighbors.
Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:23 am
I don't use the line loud pipes saves lives, if you really want to make a difference tell the Government to enforce after market parts to comply with EPA regulations. If, a car can goto any auto shop repair to fix their car and use after market parts. Why is it that motorcycles can not? Its a big scam, if you guys haven't notice. To collect more money from tickets but allow the sale of after market parts that don't comply. If after market companies complied. You wouldn't have a section on motorcycles anymore!! You guys would have other Noise off issues to deal with. Maybe some people should start to get out more often instead of paying attention to every motorcyclist that comes by. They could be your brother,sister,Dad and Mother. It seems that every motorcyclist is hated. Look twice save a life! Like I said I don't go by loud pipes save lives.
Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:12 am
TABATE wrote:
I don't use the line loud pipes saves lives, if you really want to make a difference tell the Government to enforce after market parts to comply with EPA regulations. If, a car can goto any auto shop repair to fix their car and use after market parts. Why is it that motorcycles can not? Its a big scam, if you guys haven't notice. To collect more money from tickets but allow the sale of after market parts that don't comply. If after market companies complied. You wouldn't have a section on motorcycles anymore!! You guys would have other Noise off issues to deal with. Maybe some people should start to get out more often instead of paying attention to every motorcyclist that comes by. They could be your brother,sister,Dad and Mother. It seems that every motorcyclist is hated. Look twice save a life! Like I said I don't go by loud pipes save lives.


More than any other noise pollution issue, motorcycles are contentious. For people who live near busy thoroughfares, the noise from motorcycles becomes a constant problem day and night. For riders who want to increase performance or change the appearance of their motorcycles, without the risk of tickets, there doesn't seem to be alternatives to the OEM stock exhaust.

If D&D, Vance & Hines, Samson produced EPA-compliant exhaust systems (with a clearly visible stamp), besides the actual reduction in air and noise pollution, it would be a much better product for riders and also greatly improve relations between riders and non-riders.

It could convince non-riders to take up motorcycling. When I visited London some years ago, I was surprised that motorcycles are much more prevalent in use and yet there is less noise.
Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:50 pm
The federal regulations do not prohibit the use of aftermarket exhaust systems by motorcyclists, only non-EPA compliant exhaust systems. The aftermarket manufactures are just starting to develop EPA compliant products(it's about time). Harley Davidson has had EPA compliant slip on mufflers available for quite a while. Vance & Hines is coming out with EPA compliant mufflers this spring. BUB Enterprise is offering EPA compliant BUB Stealth 7 mufflers ( http://www.bubent.com/Harley_Davidson_F ... =05-7039CC ) and are developing a line of EPA compliant exhausts for Harleys.

As is the case at this time, the vast majority of the exhaust systems being offered by Bub ( http://bub.com/ ), and all other after market manufactures, are not EPA compliant, but are for closed course competition only. These types of exhausts dominate their catalog even though motorcycles dedicated solely for, off street, closed competition only, are vastly outnumbered by street motorcycles. This lopsided situation will hopefully change as the EPA regulations are adopted and enforced as they were intended to be, and the aftermarket manufactures develop lines of EPA compliant exhausts for all brands of motorcycles like they were supposed to do in the first place. Motorcyclists who want access to legal aftermarket exhaust systems ( the closed course competition only stuff is not legal for street use) must lobby the motorcycle manufactures and aftermarket manufactures to get their act together and make EPA compliant products available. Expending time and energy opposing the enforcement of motorcycle noise control regulations does nothing to solve the problem. Increased recognition and enforcement of the EPA regulations will encourage the aftermarket to offer legal and quiet products, and will in time, result in a win-win situation for all of us.
Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:16 am
Larry wrote:
The federal regulations do not prohibit the use of aftermarket exhaust systems by motorcyclists, only non-EPA compliant exhaust systems. The aftermarket manufactures are just starting to develop EPA compliant products(it's about time). Harley Davidson has had EPA compliant slip on mufflers available for quite a while. Vance & Hines is coming out with EPA compliant mufflers this spring. BUB Enterprise is offering EPA compliant BUB Stealth 7 mufflers ( http://www.bubent.com/Harley_Davidson_F ... =05-7039CC ) and are developing a line of EPA compliant exhausts for Harleys.

As is the case at this time, the vast majority of the exhaust systems being offered by Bub ( http://bub.com/ ), and all other after market manufactures, are not EPA compliant, but are for closed course competition only. These types of exhausts dominate their catalog even though motorcycles dedicated solely for, off street, closed competition only, are vastly outnumbered by street motorcycles. This lopsided situation will hopefully change as the EPA regulations are adopted and enforced as they were intended to be, and the aftermarket manufactures develop lines of EPA compliant exhausts for all brands of motorcycles like they were supposed to do in the first place. Motorcyclists who want access to legal aftermarket exhaust systems ( the closed course competition only stuff is not legal for street use) must lobby the motorcycle manufactures and aftermarket manufactures to get their act together and make EPA compliant products available. Expending time and energy opposing the enforcement of motorcycle noise control regulations does nothing to solve the problem. Increased recognition and enforcement of the EPA regulations will encourage the aftermarket to offer legal and quiet products, and will in time, result in a win-win situation for all of us.

Yes, I know about these companies. Slowly but surely I hope this will all come around. It kind of sucks when you can buy a after market exhaust but can't use it on Street and Highway. The end user becomes the bad guy.
Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:20 pm
Yes,TABATE, this whole motorcycle noise issue not only adversely affects the non-riding public, but motorcyclists as well. We are trying to work toward a solution that will be good for everybody. If you should come across any other manufactures who are offering EPA compliant aftermarket exhausts, don't hesitate to let us know. This is the kind of information our friends in the motorcycling community needs.
Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:44 am
jefrencha wrote:
March 9, 2010. My noise issue deals with motorcycles, particularly huge motor cross type bikes with deafening exhaust systems operating on a rural property located adjacent to my land in middle Georgia. I do not live on my property but plan to move there this year and live in an existing home on site. The owner of the adjacent property has built a race track for these monster motorcycles and uses it late afternoons during the week; on weekends, he invites upwards of ten people who bring their deafening bikes. I've seen as many as twelve to fifteen bikes operating at the same time. As I mentioned, the noise is deafening, even inside my home, to the point it even shakes the china in the cabinets. Also, dust is an issue since prevailing winds send it towards my home. My county has zoning ordinances though the laws are vague when it comes to non-commercial activities such as this....apparently, the owner of this track does not charge to others to use it. There are other neighbors, mostly elderly, affected by this noise but they are asking me to help come up with a recommendation or a solution. I humble seek advice, opinions, and recommendations regarding this noise issue to determine if I have any chance of silencing it. Thank you, Jim

Hello,
I just posted a note under "Regulation" topic on this subject. "Good News we defeated the motocross park in Town Meeting".
The situation in Massachusetts was the same as in Georgia where the owner was taking donations so the selectmen could not touch him. But the zoning bylaws themselves did not list "motocross" in industrial or agricultural areas. But then he sold his property to another guy who wanted to make money with motocross. He opened the park, but the town shut it down and somehow was persuaded to take the second motocross guy to court. He lost and the Town was granted $20,000 in attorneys fees (which they are still trying to collect from this 2nd guy) . Then the guy tried to change the bylaws and got 200 signatures from bikers and motocross mothers on a petition to vote at a special town meeting. The meeting was held and the biggest turnout in 40 years showed up to vote it down 2 days ago.
As in your case, there were many elderly neighbors, nature lovers, and a couple of others who spoke against it passionately.
I was overjoyed as the noise was described as "horrendous" even from a mile away. I lobbied against the park myself quite a bit. Someone sent out an anonymous flyer "Coming to your Backyard Soon" to every household in town. It must have cost about $300 and a lot of time to get the town household list into a computer to mass produce the labels. Maybe they hired a company to do it for them.
Your problem is "how to get action against the guy who is letting his friends do motocross for no fee or for donations".
Maybe a mass mailing would work to town voters, such as "please help us" "contact your selectmen" . Maybe a
lawyer could find a way to use Georgia law to your advantage.
Since joining this website, I have learned about being a victim of "noise assault". (See Noiseless' comment under dealing with neighbors.
Knowledge is power.
I wish you good luck. :)
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