Originally Posted by cdavisunlimited
I came across an interesting article recently about Loud Pipes Saving Lives. I liked the article because this is the only person I've heard who actually framed the discussion appropriately. If your argument is that Loud Pipes don't save lives, then you must also admit that quiet pipes don't risk lives.
My thoughts are two-fold; First, this argument is really hard to prove one way or the other since there aren't many good ways to be able to test the theory. And with the types of scientific research that goes on these days, too many ecological fallacies occur. Second, there's no question that loud pipes saves lives to me since my own personal experience through the years has shown a number of people trying to merge into me while riding with stock pipes, and never having an issue while riding with very loud aftermarket pipes (Even while riding on the same roads with the otherwise same bike).
I always laugh when I see people post something like "If you think loud pipes help, imagine what learning to ride would do". This statement is just silly and naive on it's face, since motorcycle accidents have much less to do with riding ability, and more to do with the lack of attention from others on the road.
But one argument that has always stood out to me was the fact that if you believe loud pipes don't save lives, you must also believe that quiet pipes don't put you more at risk. Unfortunately, it is a FACT that more pedestrians are run over by Prius cars than any other, because if pedestrians can't hear you they won't look. Similarly, my own experience has shown more than a couple times, that if people driving cars can't hear your bike, then they won't take the time to look and will merge into you or pull out right in front of you. Just my thoughts for the day.
You're not understanding what the phrase means.
It means simply... instead of relying on the loudness of your pipes by doing something like revving the engine as a car encroaches on your space, you should:
1) Have been alert enough to possibly have avoided the situation by following the 12-second rule and riding more defensively
2) Have had sufficient training and practice in emergency situation avoidance and/or emergency braking (whichever may apply to this particular situation)
Plenty of people ride with quiet pipes and have never been struck by a car. Plenty of people with obnoxiously loud exhausts have been struck by cars. By this alone we can easily surmise that no... loud pipes do not in fact save lives.
Have people heard pipes at the last second and perhaps this caused them to be aware of the existence of the motorcycle in close proximity? Sure, I'm sure it has happened. But a Stebel horn being honked would have had the same effect.
Had Stebel used the slogan "Our loud horns save lives", they would have likely been fined for false advertising.
Fact of the matter is this: When driving a car with the windows up, radio on or when the driver is involved in a conversation with passengers, or on the phone, or have iPod earbuds in (I see this a lot), the A/C cranked up on high... or any number of other noisy distractions... they aren't going to hear you. Your pipes produce a directional sound, and your pipes are pointed BEHIND you... when you are approaching a vehicle from behind them, your loud pipes are barely noticeable to anyone in front of you.
Add to this that most riders do not ride up high in the rev range, so the pipes are not screaming as they would be at wide open throttle.
I put loud pipes on my bikes because I like the sound of loud pipes, not to alert others to my presence. Many drivers cannot hear a fire engine with its airhorns and sirens until the vehicle is immediately upon them due to their rolled up windows and inside-the-car distractions. Your RPW's aren't that loud.
I had RPW Slash pipes on my Vic, and an insanely loud M4 Shorty exhaust on my Gixxer. On both bikes I have had people try to enter my lane or path of travel. I did not take the time by clutching in, revving my motor and letting my pipes scream... or even honk my horn... in hopes that they would hear me, recognize immediately where I was in proximity to their position, and THEN get away from me... you don't have that kind of time. In each situation, I reacted by getting out of their way because at that point it was no longer up to THEM to save my life, it was up to me.