Why are extremely loud Harleys not banned for disturbing the peace?

It baffles me that the drivers of the many Harley Davidson motorcycles which are equipped with excessively loud exhaust systems (or rather, exhaust systems which muffle very little) do not find them cited for disturbing the peace, if not having their motorcycles banned from street use. If I drive a car that has a defective or absent muffler, such that it produces a similar kind of noise, I’ve no doubt I’d be cited for it.


I agree completely. Likewise, I’m sympathetic to people being fined for loud stereos (although there’s a time and place where you should be able to turn them up, and a time and place to not turn them up).

Loud Harleys are just a symptom of a larger issue - the loss of sense of community in America. At some point the police decided that loud motorcycles are a low priority. They didn’t understand that for everyone to live together successfully in a community there has to be shared values. You can’t have people saying, “I like my Harley loud, so everyone on this block has to stop what they’re doing and cover their ears.”

All things considered, they sound pretty good! If I had to make a choice of listening to a loud Harley or a “fast and furious” style compact car with a “performance” muffler, I’d take the Golden Tones of a Harley. Why would anyone want to make their car sound like a loud lawnmower? Between exhaust noise and super-amp stereos, it’s no wonder so many young people are losing their hearing and their lives.

Unfortunately it’s a sign of the times. People have become increasingly inconsiderate and rude to others; it’s the noise, the cell phones, the boom boxes, the litter and it goes on and on. Where I live in South Carolina where state law mandates a “working muffler in good condition on all vehicles to reduce noise” goes completely unenforced. I had 2 Harley pull up to me at a stop light and my ears hurt for weeks afterwards. Go to a park to relax and get away from it all and who always pulls up but a pack of Harleys revving their engines producing that loud, obnoxious racket. They will justify their actions by saying they collect toys and stuff like that but all year long they harass the population. Around here I would say maybe one in 20 have stock mufflers.

It’s not a matter of what a person thinks sounds good or, at least, better than something else. Regardless of the noise it is very disturbing to a community and forces people to have to listen to it. Any type of intentional noise can be intrusive and damaging and is just plain inconsiderate. There is absolutely no excuse for it.
"The American Motorcyclist Association, established in 1924, has maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle noise throughout its history. It has funded information and public relations campaigns in support of quiet motorcycle use and was the first motorsports sanctioning body in the world to regulate and reduce the sound level of racing vehicles.

The Association believes that few other factors contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively noisy motorcycles. A minority, riding loud motorcycles, may leave the impression that all motorcycles are loud. In fact, a significant percentage of the public does not realize that motorcycles are built to federally mandated noise control standards.

Each segment of the motorcycling community – including the riders, event organizers, retailers and distributors, original equipment and aftermarket manufacturers, law enforcement and the safety community – must realize that it cannot single- handedly solve this problem. However, each has a role and a responsibility in achieving a solution. "

It’s not just motorcycles. All loud vehicles and machinery are obnoxious. Plenty of cars are equally loud and obnoxious, not to mention lawnmowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, etc. And don’t get me started on barking dogs!

I think some people just have an emotional need to shout their presence and demand attention. There should be strong laws against noise, and they should be enforced. However, enforcement requires cops, and cops need to be paid, and that requires revenues from taxes, and nobody wants to pay taxes for the services they demand.

You need to be aware of the psychology of these disturbed clowns.
They are stuck in their macho , pre-teen mentality with an obvous need for attention that they never got from their parents.
They must conform to the stereotype of the “bad boy” image …
tattoos of skulls and swastikas - the beer gut - the beards - the unsafe half-helmets … etc…

We have a Harley group in town that rides every week - business owners, professional people, working stiffs, who do many charity rides and enjoy the comradarie of the group without scaring every cat and dog in the county. Great People!

I have ridden motorcycles and enjoy “the ride” very much , but can’t stand the “gang” image that seems to be required of some groups.
My daughter’s boyfriend has a Harley D ( with many,many miles on it ) but he is just a normal , hard-working guy who enjoys the bike with a standard quiet exhaust. No psycho there.

Oh, wow, do I wonder the same. I live in a valley and these morons roar up and down the surrounding hills at 4 & 5 a.m., after the bars close. My theory is they are pathetically trying to recapture their lost youth (they’re all grey heads). Sad, very sad.

Because many police now have harleys…usually only japanese sport bikes get tickets for loud pipes…

As long as they run and roll away, I don’t mind so much. Living on a street where a throttle dope lives can be annoying. Then there is the guy who has a bike that has to be started 20 times before it keeps running along with the loud cursing at 1155 PM. Some guy used to have an old car that he’d cruise in at about 0100 AM. When he got back, the door wouldn’t latch so he slammed it about 25 times before he finally used the lock.

Don’t you guys have bigger things to worry about?
Look at the bright side… H-D gets about the same mileage as a Prius… unlike your SUV.

A big Harley has about the same horse power (75) as a Prius but produces way more air pollution and way more noise pollution. Most bike riders joy ride around all day revving their engines while Prius owners usually do not. Every H-D owner I know has either a gas guzzling pickup truck or SUV.

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The cops are “too busy” anymore to write traffic tickets for anything other than speeding in a zone where the fines are doubled, reckless driving, or DUI. If you give a Harley a ticket for no mufflers, they guy will show up at the courthouse with the stock mufflers in place and swear he never touched it.

A 50 mile ride on one of these bikes results in permanent hearing loss these meatheads don’t seem to care about…Huh??Whud ya say??

Well they are in some locals. It just depends on whether the locals enforce their noise laws or not. They really get tiring hearing them. Plus I’ll say the same for the 18 wheelers with their jake brakes, and the little ricers with their pipes too. Guess I’m just getting old but I like a little peace and quiet while driving.

If you have someone next door constantly annoying you then you may have a complaint.
If not, then it’s just more whining for the gov. to tax/ban/legislate something out of existence that you don’t personally care for.

If you’re offended by Harleys, then you should be equally offended by loud stereos, ricer cars, trucks, aircraft, chainsaws (see ricers), and by some of the worst offenders of all; barking dogs and leaf blowers.

Another option rather than complaining anonymously on a forum is to confront those deaf “meat head” Harley riders face to face and tell them to quieten it down.
If you feel that strongly about the issue then put up or shut up.

That’s so they can go pick it up when it brakes down.

Guilty as charged. I just sold my Road King Classic with pipes that had stamped on the underside “For Racing Off Road Use Only”. Try as I may, I couldn’t sneak out of the neighborhood early in the morning without being noticed. I tried to limit my wide open throttling for going under freeway overpasses. But, at 63 years of age, I have finally outgrown the need for attention. :slight_smile:

Check out www.nonoise.org Yep,we should not have to listen to Harleys with straight pipes and other noisemakers. Write your congressman to ask him to ask the EPA why no action on noise pollution.

A Harley is the nicest-looking bike by the side of the road.