Tyre noise more nuisance than exhaust

tyre pressures Emergency braking - tyre noise

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.

tyre noise
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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 50cm2 compared with a car of about 948cm2.

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.

Read this article to find out how to get the correct tyre pressures.Motorcycle tyre pressures - nitrogen - tyre noise

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has issued legal limits to control the noise from tyres and is now negotiating legal limits for noise generated by the road surface.

In Australia, there has been some testing and application of a “poroelastic” road surface to reduce road noise.

However, recent research has shown that temperature influences noise emission as much as tyres and road surface.

Not sure what can be done about the temperature!

However, while the authorities are concerned about tyre noise, they might be less concerned with motorcycle exhaust noise.

4 Comments

  1. STUFF THE “UNITED NATIONS” & “WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION” full of has beens trying to rule the world.

  2. I bet Europe doesn’t use the granite coarse chip over a light glue bitumen adhesive overseal that Queensland’s ultra cheap Councils so clearly love.
    Alas, Transport Qld has also applied to the Bruce Hwy in place of low noise asphaltic Bitumen when housing is not alongside the roadway. North Lakes to Burpengary for instance.

  3. You mean “climate change” cannot be blamed for tyre noise? That a temperature rise of 0.0000001 degree triples tyre road noise? That the tyre noise cannot be blamed on the lack of spending trillions more dollars installing windmills and solar panels? What is the world coming to? And motorbikes are not being blamed for “climate change” while lawnmowers and barbecues are copping heaps more blame for “climate change”?

    1. Please provide verification that “a temperature rise of 0.0000001 degree (Celsius or Fahrenheit – please state!) triples tyre road noise”. Also, taking into account that motorcycle tyre temperatures can rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius on a run and taking your stipulation on the temperature rise/road noise relationship, it must be quite deafening for riders when that happens. Is that really correct?

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