Bike noise crackdown intensifies

2017 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR brembo brake

The news just gets worse and worse for riders who enjoy a fruity exhaust note as the noise crackdown intensifies across Europe.

We recently reported on Germany’s crackdown with special noise cameras, no-go areas and an 80dB limit on motorcycle exhausts that could make all BMW motorcycles quieter.

Now Austria will ban specific motorcycles with exhaust noise over 95dB on a popular 100km motorcycle route through the Tyrol mountains after receiving complaints from residents.

Bike noise crackdown intensifies
Tyrol mountains are popular among riders (Image: www.touring-italy.net)

Bikes that will be barred from this road include the Aprilia Tuono, Aprilia RSV4, BMW S 1000 RR, Ducati Hypermotard, Ducati Multistrada 1260, Ducati Diavel, Kawasaki Z900 and KTM 890 Duke.

Police will do spot checks on motorcycles and can hand out €220 (about $A350) on-the-spot fines.

Crackdown intensifies

We could appreciate a crackdown on exceedingly loud aftermarket exhausts, but these bikes are all legally allowed to have more than 95dB under European regulations.

Somehow Austria thinks this area is exempt from European laws.

And what is worse is that the ban only applies to motorcycles, not cars or trucks or buses! That’s discrimination, pure and simple.

Like the German example, this is a sobering precedent that could be picked up by safety and noise pollution Nazis across the world.

It follows moves by several other European countries to close roads to motorcycles because of noise and banning them from certain areas over weekends and public holidays.

Quieter roads

Call to challenge exhaust noise fines sign noise cameras
Police conduct roadside noise test at Mt Tamborine

While Australia is yet to introduce Draconian laws like the road bans in Europe, police and transport officers do occasionally operate noise monitoring checks on popular motorcycle routes.

It may seem heavy handed, discriminatory and ignoring the perceived safety benefits of “loud pipes save lives”, but it’s nothing compared with Indian police methods.

In India, police make a subjective assessment followed by smashing the offending exhaust pipe on the roadside.If you think the cops are tough on noisy aftermarket exhausts here, try India where they hammer them flat by the roadside, or confiscated them and flattened them with a backhoe.

They have also made an example of their crackdown by steam rolling confiscated pipes.

20 Comments

  1. I live in Parthenay, France . We are bombarded throughout the day, early morning and into the early hours by a combination of a Harley Davidson with a tampered-with exhaust – the sound is like a bomb going off , then someone on a Yamaha MT 07 with a violent sounding aftermarket exhaust , plus teenagers on sports mopeds with the baffles removed. All utterly anti-social and distressing for residents having to live with this every day. There is no excuse for it and it has ruined the image of motorcycling. Here in Parthenay the Mayor is now involved and has instructed the police to take serious action. Its not unfair discrimination against bikers. It’s just deeply selfish anti-social behaviour.
    I ride a Yamaha FZS1000 EXUP Fazer.

  2. My FJR1300 2013 is specified as 90dB with the engine at the redline with a stock exhaust. It feels pretty loud. Since adding 6dB makes it twice as loud, 95dB seem not an unreasonable limit to me. My old Honda Deauville 2006 is specified at 89dB at the redline. Not a big difference to the FJR. By contrast my car (a humdrum Citröen C4 Cactus 2017 with a 1,6 diesel engine) is 73dB at the redline. You would need to double, double, double and almost double the sound again to break the 95dB limit. I imagine therefore that the vast majority of cars are much quieter than the limit whereas it seems bikes are generally pretty close. Hence the focus on bikes. Of course trucks and buses are noisier simply by virtue of the fact that they are much bigger, but they carry vastly more passengers/cargo for that noise, so it makes direct comparisons a bit irrelevant.

  3. Lets all just sit back and wait, I remember the sheer panic when rumour had it that front number plates were being re-introduced!
    Pete.

  4. “Like the German example, this is a sobering precedent that could be picked up by safety and noise pollution Nazis across the world.”

    A slightly unfortunate sentence, don’t you think, Mark?

  5. Our turn cant be far. There was an article last year, or the one before, announcing that trials had begun with technnolgy that worked much like a speed camera, but with microphones.

    I have since become aware of one site set up in Newcastle NSW; measures the sound of a passing vehicle and snaps a picture of the offending vehicle.

    I dont mind some pipes, but s%^t some are just over the top and will only bring the kind of attention we dont want.

  6. Harley riders with open pipes at full throttle, terrorising the neighbourhood for their twisted pleasure must be stopped!
    These nut jobs get off on annoying their neighbours, frightening drivers at traffic lights, and intimidation. How they’ve been ignored by police and law makers when other vehicles have noise limits is beyond me.

  7. I’m surprised people aren’t wanting this brought in for Harley’s with straight pipes, I’m yet to hear a sport bike even come close to the noise those things make.

  8. This isn’t about noise just another method of control, and to force control they make revenue, like with virus epedemic the government is in its element forcing control by using fines and scare tactics.
    Young people are oppressed by laws that make them frustrated no drinking, no sex no noise no barbecues, and now social distancing , just isolation 4

  9. After market exhauest noise is causing a lot of angst with the locals in the Yorkshire National Parks. People are calling for vehicle free days and Police action on rowdy motor bikes. The actions of a few aleys spoil it for the majority.

  10. The problem is not if the exhaust comes from the actual manufacturer or from shady aftermarket. The problem is that motorbikes are way too often too loud, without concern for the rest of humanity and living creatures who don’t enjoy noise. It’s true though that it’s stupid to not include cars in noise crackdown. I think humans should be included, too. And their pets.

    1. The have been many crackdowns on cars over the years, ignoring motorcycles. And bikes have been allowed 4x louder under ADR 83/00 for a long time. If anything it is overdue as often motorcycles will be heard blocks away, with the only outcome disturbing peaceful areas.

  11. About time! All bikes Sports, Harleys everything should have a noise restriction bring this to Australia asap!
    I’m a regular rider of Mt Mee and many other places around SEQ and i feel sorry for all those people living up there having to put up with these noisy bikes every weekend, same as in the suburbs.
    Loud pipes save lives ? no mate being aware of other road users at all times saves lives, and believe it or not most people that put open pipes/loud systems on their bikes are usually aggressive riders for the purpose of maximising there exhaust sound.

    1. I live near Canungra(Qld) and get a kick out of watching obscenely loud Harley riders take their helmets off and the take earplugs out. If they don’t like the noise, how do the rest of us feel?

      1. Hi Matt,
        Every rider should wear earplugs, regardless of what bike or exhaust they have.
        Above about 80km/h you cannot hear the exhaust on most bikes. I know because I have ridden many test bikes fitted with loud exhausts.
        It’s the wind noise that is louder and the most harmful to riders.
        Wind noise, alone, can be about 100dB at 100km/h even in a full-face helmet.
        After 15 minutes, 100dB starts to damage your hearing.
        Check out this article: https://motorbikewriter.com/loud-motorcycle-helmet/
        Cheers,
        Mark

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