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Old 04-19-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
cdavisunlimited
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Default Thoughts around Loud Pipes

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.

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/tec...ech/index.html
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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Default Agreed

I bought a 2011 Hammer off the show room a month back. Don;t know why it sat there. Anyway, in the past month, I have had two occasions where someone has merged into my lane. As a result, I am on the hunt for some loud pipes.

I'll be glad hwen they can hear me becuase they certainly can;t see me.

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Old 04-19-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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I bought a 2011 Hammer off the show room a month back. Don;t know why it sat there. Anyway, in the past month, I have had two occasions where someone has merged into my lane. As a result, I am on the hunt for some loud pipes.

I'll be glad hwen they can hear me becuase they certainly can;t see me.

That's definitely been my experience as well. How do you like the Hammer so far?
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #4
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I would modify the statement by saying SOMETIMES loud pipes save lives. Most vehicles today are extremely quite when you close the windows. If the soccer mom has the windows up, radio blaring, kids screaming, and is on the phone you could have the loudest pipes possible and still get killed. I would still argue that situational awareness, good skills and a loud horn save more lives than loud pipes. But like you said, there is no real way to prove it.

I personally would like a little bit louder than stock pipes but feel that obnoxiously loud pipes are no better than the stereo that you can hear booming 2 blocks away. Everyone has rights and you should respect others rights as much as you expect your to be respected. That is why I agree with AMA's position that "Loud Pipes Risk Rights". I am pretty sure that every state has exhaust mod laws on the books. Most times the cops don't enforce them as a primary offense. But if they perceive or are told its a problem then they can and have increased their enforcement on everyone.

But...I would also rather see law enforcement increase a crackdown on cell phone and other distracted driving violations than pull over someone for having loud pipes. Maryland passed a cell phone law over a year ago yet I don't see much of a change in behavior.

I've also seen people reading, putting on makeup, shaving, etc... in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic. I even heard of a guy who was using his laptop, talking on the phone and drinking his coffee while driving!!! He is just an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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On NYC streets and highways.. I've been squeezed between cars and trucks... almost run off the road when idiots decide they want to get off the highway at the last second, drive across the median and almost pin me to the rail on the off ramp. I have a loud pipe on my Buell, it still managed to happen a few times. Thankfully the bike was nimble, small, yet powerful enough to get me out of some tight spots. I almost got merged into this weekend on the highball with the stock pipes; a light tap on his window got his attention... and when I got to the next light, the coward refused to pull up next to me and face me.

I take my bike in monday for my rpw big slash installation. Louder pipes may not keep me from getting hit, but maybe that combined with the LED's in the back of my helmet, my reflective icon spine protector vest and my horn, and or a quick wrap on on the window with the titanium knuckle gaurd will be enough to get their attention. So I just think of loud pipes as just one way of increasing the odds of being noticed.

I have taken riding courses; I don't crank at lights just for ego's sake, I don't make abrupt movements, nor show off on public roads. I wear all my gear and I am a responsible rider. I am also an AMA member and believe in preserving bikers rights... but out there, I am riding for my own survival... and if I get clipped out there and take one for the team, I doubt all the other AMA members will chip in for my hospital and/or repair bills if I had quiet pipes.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
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I'll agree to disagree with some here. I don't believe riding a 2wheeler with loud pipes saves lives. I'm not knocking how a fellow rider decides what to install on his ride, I'm just sharing my side. In my street riding experience, it comes down two things; paying attention to others and being seen. I have a louder pipe installed, but it's not a safety measure for me.

My first mods with this and other bikes(when needed)are more lighting up front, extra brake lighting(flashing) and upgraded brake pads. We can't rely on anyone in a 4wheeler on the street as all of you know. All the laws on the books in regards to alcohol, talking/texting while driving etc..don't mean squat. It comes down to personal responsibility.

J_Undisputed wrote about "survival". To survive, we must be prepared. Training and practice is a great way to prepare for the battle we face out there on the road.

I know the risk I accept each time I swing my leg over my XC is worth it. I believe we all accept it. Ride On.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdavisunlimited View Post
I came across an interesting article recently about Loud Pipes Saving Lives.
I have stage 1 pipes. They aren't particularly loud. I had three people pull out in front of me today. Horn is weak too. Guess all that's left to do is carry a firearm. Those make a lot of noise and save lives. I like life. I have always been a saver.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #8
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I have stage 1 pipes. They aren't particularly loud. I had three people pull out in front of me today. Horn is weak too. Guess all that's left to do is carry a firearm. Those make a lot of noise and save lives. I like life. I have always been a saver.
Here's a man who is really prepared!
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdavisunlimited View Post
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.

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/tec...ech/index.html


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.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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on my Gixxer...I have had people try to enter my lane or path of travel...I reacted by getting out of their way
Nimble bikes save lives!
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