Do you think the main reason people get loud exhuasts is safety or image?
Personally, I don't care for loud bikes but I am not knocking anyone who does or who chooses to get loud pipes--as long as they don't annoy me at night.
I am into pickups and a lot of drivers get maganflow or flowmaster exhausts to add some flair to the truck. I put a TRD catback on my Tacoma just because I like the stainless steel pipe and tip and it isn't overly loud. In this, case, however, safety certainly cannot be offered as a valid reason, especially when you are driving a Ram2500 HD, which can take out about 90% of the vehicles on the road without even breaking a stride.
With bikes it is different, however, and I think a reasoned argument can be made that loud pipes do offer a bit of a safety cushion of sorts. I think ti is true that if someone can hear you, they know you are around. That is not certainly true for many drivers who drive poorly to begin with, or just don't pay attention or care, etc..But I have to admit that I usually do hear loud motorcycles on the highway before I see them, especially if they are coming up trhough my blind spot.
As far as why people choose to get loud exhausts to begin with, my opinion is the answer for a good number is possibly a mixture of both safety and aeasthetics. And many will just get it because it is loud.
In the end, however, you look and wonder--if safety is the overrdiing factor, then why the lack of gear? I noticed today when driving on the highway that most of the riders with loud exhuasts on ther bikes(primarily cruisers) weren't even wearing a helmet. Many were in shorts and tennis shoes and nobody wore gloves. Nobody I saw had any kind of riding jacket and it was either a t-shirt or tank top. I am not judging them for choosing to ride how they want. I just think it strange that if being safety-conscious is the big concern, you would think at least minimal gear would be used. Then again, maybe they have a false sense of security and think the loud exhaust offers a margin of safety that means that they won't get into an incident. So, perhaps having a loud exchaust leads to this behavior and cancels out any possible advantage, given the consequences of a wreck without gear. Who knows.
Last edited by MEPS; 07-21-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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In my case, the stock exhaust had to go cause it was ugly. Pure esthetics and it sounds meatier than the stock as a bonus. Still single cylinder sounding but an improvement. This is my third bike and the only one to receive new exhaust. Not a safety factor for me. I'm also not convinced loud exhaust save lives.
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Most LPSL people wear no gear. Most deaths are one vehicle accidents and left turn in front. Loud pipes don't work in these crashes. That is likely a way sell the Mrs on the expensive pipe and keep them from being outlawed.
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~ From a safety perspective a loud pipe is pretty much useless. The noise is mostly heard next to and behind you, not in front of you. The people that need to notice you for safety reasons are usually in front of you not behind or right next to you. Plenty of ways to increase safety on the road, loud pipes are not one of them.
~ However, If you live in California and lane share at high speed (coming within inches of the car mirrors on either side of you) like I used to, you can scare the crap out of people as you pass them. It may even cause them to swerve just as you've gone by, this may bother other lane sharing bikes crazy enough to follow you, but you should be ok. Having a LOUD pipe while doing this may increase the cager's oh sh1t moment.
If by some reason the cars are making space for you as you approach between lanes, I assure you it has nothing to do with your pipe. Their peripheral vision picks you up in their mirror.
~ So the main reason to get a loud pipe? Because you like the sound and looks, and like to be 'heard' by others, (especially in tunnels real bad@ss!)
~ When I was 16 I had a Yamaha XT 550 with a loud exhaust and thought I was way cool. Then I grew up, moved to L.A. and had kids. Trying to put my babies down for a nap or to sleep at night....made me rethink some of the choices I made when I was 16...
Want to accessorize your bike? Go for it, but I recommend skipping the loud exhaust.
Want safety? Get a highly visible helmet. Also, Don't drink and ride, wear your gear, msf course etc. etc...
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I have mixed feelings on this subject. I hate loud pipes, as in my opinion, they are annoying to others and embarrassing to any rider who gives a **** about other people. Then again, a lot of people who hate them will say that you can't hear a noisy bike coming up behind you. This is complete rubbish. Unless you're travelling faster than the speed of sound, this makes no sense at all. I can hear a loud bike coming up behind me, usually before I've noticed it in my mirrors, and being a motorcyclist, I check mine more than your average car driver. So I will begrudgingly admit that loud pipes do save lives, but I'm still not getting one.
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A friend of mine owns a company that supplies law enforcement with, among other things, sirens. I watched a video demonstration of one of their products where they were taking sound level reading from sirens located in different places on the vehicle..on the roof, behind the grille, inside the pushbars, etc. Interesting test and it showed how directional the sirens are. My take away from that video was that loud pipes are probably a lot like police sirens in that they are pretty directional. They may help you be noticed from the back or even quartering off your back, but probably won't help you much with vehicles ahead or crossing your path. Unscientific reasoning, to be sure, but it was the conclusion I made. So now I'm looking for loud pipes because I like the way they sound. LOL
I had a really loud Area P full exhaust on my 2nd 2008 Ninja250R. I bought that way after crashing my 1st stock Ninja250R. I hated it. The only ones who noticed it were my neighbors who were too polite to say anything. I felt like a total creep coming home late at night waking up every house I passed on the way home from wherever I started. There was no way to quiet that pipe down at all.
Nobody in an automobile ever noticed the volume of my exhaust. Ever. Why would they when the sound is directed behind them and away from them? The only people who noticed the decibels were the people I passed in their front yards who no doubt got an unfavorable impression of motorcyclists from it. That bike was modded to the max, but I was never so happy as the day I traded it in for my nice stock CBR and it's civilized exhast note.
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I think it is just an added value for someone who wants a styling upgrade on his/her bike. I do believe it can make a difference in the hectic traffic of Bogota. A loud exhaust definitely make them know you're somewhere around and it could eventually save your life.
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