Loud motorcycle exhausts are not causing as much noise pollution as tyre noise from large volumes of traffic.
That’s according to a World Health Organisation report that found traffic-related noise pollution accounts for over one million “healthy years” lost annually to ill health, disability or early death in Europe.
The report says one of the biggest contributors to noise pollution is the sound of tyres on pavement. No mention of motorcycle exhaust noise.
The worst type of tyre/road interaction occurs at speeds above, 50km/h and “quiet” electric vehicles are not exempt.
Motorcycles with half as many wheels and substantially smaller tyre contact patches produce much less noise than even a small hatchback.
The tyre contact patch of an average motorcycle (depending on tyre profile and width) is about 50mm2 compared with a car of about 948mm2.
In fact, legal limits for motorcycle noise are set by ride-by tests which take into account road noise.
So one way motorcycle riders can be quieter is to ensure they have correct tyre pressures which reduce the contact patch.