Note: Suggestion prior to reading this article…For the concerned citizen seeking information regarding illegally loud motor vehicles with an emphasis relevant to illegally LOUD motorcycles, if you are unfamiliar with the Federal Law concerning noise emissions pertaining to street-use, production motorcycles, please see my video titled “Loud Motorcycles? (Pt. 1) THE LAW” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouBsdUq-2Iw
This video will provide you with a basic understanding of the U.S. EPA’s Code of Federal Regulations pertaining to motorcycle noise emissions thereby better equipping you, the vehicular noise beleaguered citizen, with knowledge and the “truth” regarding the Loud Biker Cult[ure] in America and their narcissistic behavior that destroys the quality of life and unnecessarily endangers the health and welfare of millions of American citizens on a daily basis. Viewing this video prior to reading the following article will clarify certain aspects of enforcement protocol and subsequent discussions concerning illegally equipped, illegally LOUD motorcycles.
C-CALM pleads with every motor vehicle noise beleaguered American citizen to PLEASE get involved and call, write, your local, county, state and federal representatives and COMPLAIN – COMPLAIN – COMPLAIN…YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE AND RESTORE PEACE AND DIGNITY TO OUR ROADWAYS AND OUR COMMUNITIES AND STOP THE ILLEGAL MOTOR VEHICLE NOISE BULLIES WHO ASSAULT OUR MOST INNOCENT WITH IMPUNITY! If you don’t care – the police won’t care…
Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired – Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles (C-CALM) – Facebook, YouTube and WordPress.com // Noise Free America
Are you aware that for many millions of American Citizens, on a daily basis, unregulated motor vehicle noise is the #1 culprit under-girding the destruction of good quality of life standards – especially for those residing and working in our congested urban areas? Did you know that the most physiologically and psychologically vulnerable segment of our society suffering injury as a result of unregulated, intrusive, motor vehicle noise is our most innocent e.g. our children, our elderly and our handicapped? Though a detailed and specific Federal Law and forty-nine State Muffler Laws have been enacted specifically to protect your health and welfare, your quality of life, relevant to dangerous, unregulated, illegal motorcycle and medium-to-heavy duty truck noise emissions, motor vehicle noise is one of, if not the most neglected infraction of the motor vehicle code – why have our law enforcement communities failed to protect the American Citizen from the daily plague of unregulated motor vehicle noise emissions? That travesty is discussed within this article.
At this point in my introduction the Loud Biker Cult[ure], that is, those men and women who have opted, for hedonistic/narcissistic reasons, to remove their US EPA, quiet, factory-installed muffler mechanism and replace same with an illegally loud, “NOT FOR ROAD USE,” exhaust, will be flush with anger and retaliatory motives. What this defiant and irresponsible segment of the motorcycling community fails to acknowledge is that two-year-old-child and her single mom who are living in a poorly constructed second-floor apartment overlooking a very busy intersection in Anywhere, USA.
The Loud Biker Cult[ure], as well as the modified auto and truck cult[ure], selfishly ignores the intrusive, dangerous, disruptive, destructive nature of their vehicle’s illegal, unregulated exhaust mechanism – many of these exhausts emitting upwards of 110+ dB(A) under hard acceleration as they throttle away from the above mentioned intersection emitting NOISE emissions that are, in far too many instances, clearly audible for one-mile or more – illegal vehicular noise emissions that easily permeates the protective confines of this apartment and destroys, numerous times an hour, the quality of life of that two-year-old child as she attempts to nap, converse with her mom, play and interact with her friends or siblings – not to mention the fatigued single mom who simply desires a few hours of respite from her responsibilities as a single, working mother!
As a side note: The current defense to riding LOUD by the Loud Biker Cult[ure] is the repetitive mantra that motorcycles only make up approximately three-to-five-percent of the vehicles on our public roadways; therefore, this reasoning suggests or questions how loud motorcycles could possibly be such a destructive, imposing, intrusive problem? Answer? Simply perform a Google Search with the words “Loud Motorcycles” and begin reading the plethora of pleas for help and intercession from the LOUD motorcycle noise beleaguered citizenry around the United States. Also, the selfish, narcissistic Loud Biker Cult[ure] insists that their illegally LOUD exhausts make them safer and often chant the lie of “Loud Pipes Save Lives.” Don’t be deceived by this narcissistic excuse for bad-bully-irresponsible behavior. Do Loud Pipes Save Lives? See my video on this silly subject in the “Related Articles and Videos” section below.
Loud Biker Cult[ure], life does NOT revolve around only you and your wanton desires – your selfish and illegal behavior does have consequences! Please, ride legally, ride respectfully by operating your motorcycle with the legal, quiet, US EPA approved, factory-installed muffler properly affixed to your vehicle. Note: For an interesting perspective relevant to the “attitude” of many within the Loud Biker Cult[ure] as they counter arguments and complaints relevant to their intrusive and illegally LOUD motorcycle behavior, please see my article: “Loud Biker Comments – The Wall of Shame” at: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/loud-biker-mentality-1949-v-21st-century/
With that said…
Please, let’s discuss the truth about the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure]…I am fully aware that many in our Society, due to the lack of vehicular noise enforcement for some three-decades, believe motorcycles were manufactured to be intrusively LOUD – WELL – Not so! Please read on and I will provide you with the TRUTH that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else void extensive research. If you, the concerned citizen, will read this article through carefully, you will probably know more about motorcycle noise enforcement than some 90% of the police officers patrolling our communities and our Interstates! The Police won’t tell you this; the Motorcycle Rights Organizations won’t tell you this…but your questions about why you are audibly assaulted on a daily basis by the purveyors of illegal motor vehicle noise is articulated within the following paragraphs.
It is very important that the vehicular noise beleaguered American citizen understand this before we continue – the Federal Government via the United States Environmental Protection Agency, beginning with the 1983 motorcycle production year, regulates motorcycle noise emissions for one very significant reason – a concern for the protection of the health and welfare of you and your family, the American Citizen. The responsibility for ensuring those production motorcycles remain in compliance with Federal noise standards was delegated to our Local and State Law Enforcement Community and people, America’s State and Local law enforcement entities are failing the American citizen miserably; therefore, continue reading and find out why!
Rickey D. Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired – Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles – Facebook C-CALM
A Quick Note for Law Enforcement
A brief message to the Law Enforcement Community that will check-in see what this article is all about. It has been my personal experience after years involving intense traffic enforcement protocol, that proactive vehicular noise enforcement is incredible probable cause. Why? You will discover that the personality-type which, with volition, modifies a motor vehicle to make senseless, illegal, NOISE, then, proceeds to use said vehicle on our public roadways to audibly assault our children, our elderly, our handicapped, our families and does so without any semblance of remorse, is the very same personality-type possessing a propensity to offend in other areas of the law. Therefore, any officer who endeavors to proactively enforce vehicular noise laws will, more likely than not, experience a dramatic rise in his/her warrant arrests statistics – vehicular noise enforcement is simply good police work!
Please see my article specifically written for law enforcement relevant to a workable motorcycle noise enforcement technique that is practically cost-less for police departments and easily implemented by the patrol beat officer without the use of problematic sound meters and specific testing criteria. This simple motor vehicle noise enforcement technique, “Noise Comparison Analysis,” permitted me to maintain a 99.8% conviction-rate for all vehicular noise citations brought before me for adjudication – it will also work for YOU and your department: “Motorcycle Noise Enforcement – 101” https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/motorcycle-noise-enforcement-101/
Motivation for Writing this Article
As a retired 31-year veteran of the Houston Police Department who fought the exponential increase of illegally loud motor vehicles on our roadways, I was inspired to write this article after reading a March 07, 2016 newspaper segment titled “Ask a Cop.” The Officer’s relatively impotent response to a ladies sincere question regarding illegally LOUD motorcycles motivated me to do my part and provide the American public with the information and the truth I have gained through experiential knowledge after having policed the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure] for years.
Permit me to provide a relevant excerpt from the news column titled “Ask a Cop” thereby providing a context for the subsequent “controversial” content provided in this article.
Janice, a resident of the State of Texas, asks the following question of the Officer:
“My husband and I were coming from church last week and we were in a very good spirit because our Pastor taught a wonderful lesson from God’s Word. But that seemed short lived because while we were at a red light, someone pulled right next to us on a very loud motorcycle and revved up the motor, which almost made me leap out of my seat. Officer Antoine, I tell you, the most awful sound came from that motorcycle and as I looked at him, he had this silly grin on his face because he knew very well he startled me. Don’t’ get me wrong, I’ve heard motorcycle noise before, but this was over the top for noise. Officer Antoine, is there a certain level of noise/sound that can be emitted from a motorcycle or car/truck?”
Officer’s response to Janice:
“Good question, Janice! You are not alone, Janice. I’m sure that many readers and motorists alike have had an encounter with a motorcycle or vehicle on the roadway that emit very loud noise. Janice, many states have maximum noise decibels levels that cannot legally be passed, but Texas doesn’t have a decibel level for motorcycle/motor vehicle noise level.”
Well then, considering this Officer’s answer – what’s the vehicular noise beleaguered citizen to do? Are we to simply stand idly by and allow the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure] to audibly assault us and our family with impunity? How can this be?
Here is Texas’ Motor Vehicle Code 547.604: (A rather generic State muffler law, very similar to most State muffler laws throughout the United States.) Note: To see your States motor vehicle muffler law, please tab here…
(a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise.
(b) A person may not use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device on a motor vehicle.
According to the Officer’s response to Janice, seeing that Texas does not have a codified “decibel level” as an element within the State muffler law, how does an officer enforce this law? How does an officer quantify or analyze or evaluate or determine what is “excessive or unusual noise?”
- Can this law, constructed like most muffler laws throughout the United States, be enforced, if so, what is the standard – is this law totally subjective?
- Is there any form of “objective” standard for comparison or does a judge or jury have to simply rely on the “subjective” opinion/analysis of an officer that the violator so charged was operating a motor vehicle that was emitting “excessive or unusual noise?”
- Is this lack of objectivity in our State laws the very reason for an almost complete lack of enforcement of muffler laws/vehicular noise laws – is this why our roadways are inundated with egregiously LOUD motor vehicles?
- How do we determine illegality/culpability?
The Short Answer
Though the “long answer” is articulated/explained within the narrative of this article, the short answer to the questions relevant to enforcement of what appears to be a wholly subjective muffler statute is “YES,” the statutory elements of “excessive or unusual noise” or “factory-installed muffler” are not subjective but “objective” and easily enforced by Noise Comparison Analysis (NCA).
Our “objective standard” is the US EPA approved, factory-installed, quiet, motorcycle muffler that is thoroughly, scientifically tested (a model/sample thereof) and installed by the manufacturer, labeled as per the US EPA’s – Code of Federal Regulations requirements and shipped to the motorcycle dealer for the retail market. By Federal Law, that motorcycle muffler is supposed to remain in its US EPA approved (quiet) status for the LIFE of the motorcycle; therefore, the US EPA included “tampering” restrictions within the Code of Federal Regulations and that restriction is articulated on a label affixed to the motorcycle’s frame and within the owners manual.
So then, what is “excessive or unusual noise” emanating from a motorcycle exhaust? Any sound in excess of the compliant, US EPA approved, factory-installed muffler – a very quiet muffler indeed! Easily enforceable and easily adjudicated seeing that the US EPA established 80 dB(A) “total” motorcycle noise emissions as the “minimum level” of exposure protection for the general public; therefore, does commonsense not tell us that sound emanating from a motorcycle greater than the OEM – Factory-installed muffler is indeed “excessive or unusual?”
This article is written exclusively for the vehicular NOISE beleaguered American Citizen that is sick and tired of the daily audible assault perpetrated upon them and their family by members of the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure]. Following, is the “truth” that most police officers don’t know, don’t understand or are too apathetic or participatory to care about. There is not sufficient time for me to elaborate on every facet of interest or contention relevant to the controversial LOUD motorcycle noise plague in our society; therefore, permit me to touch on the relevant facts that will make you, the American Citizen, better informed.
To the Noise Beleaguered Citizen
NOTE: Please tab on the highlighted reddish or blue colored text throughout the article to reference attached information…
Please understand this very important point – the solution to the vehicular noise problem within your community and throughout our Nation is completely complaint remedied/complaint oriented. Let me explain. Law enforcement, especially the majority of our patrol officers, are in their youth and therefore many lack empathy towards environmental noise and more specifically “vehicular noise complaints.” Law Enforcement is, due to a lack of training, basically ignorant concerning the sociological, physiological, psychological injurious effects of unregulated motor vehicle noise in the environment and the especially harmful affect this intrusive pollutant has on the physiology of our children, our elderly and our handicapped. Law enforcement is unaware that while other forms of environmental pollutants are actually decreasing, environmental noise pollution is increasing; therefore, vehicular noise pollution has become the #1 destructive element relevant to daily quality-of-life standards (Pg. 13) for many millions of Americans, especially those living within our congested urban areas.
Shamefully, far too many of our police officers are participatory in the illegal behavior and compromise their personal values and professional integrity by riding LOUD and audibly assaulting the very citizenry they are sworn to protect. Please listen: If you are truly sick and tired of the motor vehicle noise in your community you must take the initiative to complain regularly to your police and to your local/state leadership; otherwise, NOTHING WILL BE DONE! Very few law enforcement agencies are “proactive” relevant to “noise;” therefore, unless there is a sufficient number or “regular” complaints about vehicular noise – the problem will not only continue, but it will inevitably increase. If you don’t care – the police won’t care!
Photos: A blast from the past during my years as a motorcycle officer with the Houston Police Department. I have personally owned and operated some 31 motorcycles since age 12. I generally performed most of my own motorcycle maintenance. I have ridden professionally for years and accumulated hundreds-of-thousands-of-miles on motorcycles; therefore, I know motorcycles, I know how to survive on a motorcycle and I know motorcyclists as well as the “biker mentality” – I am familiar with the mindset and motivation of the Group Dynamic that controls and directs the behavior of the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure]. Thank you for reading this article that specifically addresses an ever-present and exponentially growing societal problem that will, if left unabated by commonsense and sanity, deny our posterity the ability and right to enjoy any semblance of domestic tranquility, that is, the unencumbered operation of illegally modified, illegally equipped, illegally LOUD motor vehicles on the roadways and within the communities of our United States. Thank you, Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired
Before we get started, let me share a sampling of motorcycle videos that will identify exactly what I mean when I say, “Illegally equipped, Illegally LOUD motorcycle.” This video (tab on highlighted text) is an excellent example of a variety of illegally loud motorcycles that traverse our public roadways on a daily basis, and they do so almost completely unencumbered by our apathetic law enforcement community who is failing to protect the civil liberties of the American Citizenry, citizens just like you and your family.
Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Emissions Comparison #1
Exhaust Sound Comparison for Harley at RevZilla.com – Video (Personal Favorite Comparison) Though most sound-systems integral with laptops and desktop computers will not permit a quality contrast-comparison of NOISE differentiation between the factory-installed, EPA approved muffler and the NOT FOR ROAD USE mufflers portrayed in this demonstration, you should obtain a basic understanding of exhaust noise differentials for our purposes. Note the disclaimer at the beginning of the video stating that the aftermarket exhausts demonstrated in the video are NOT for use on street motorcycles in California? Why? A better question, why are these illegal NOISE producers even allowed for retail and installation on street-use motorcycles; after all, they are strictly forbidden for street use by the Code of Federal Regulations as well as forty-nine of our fifty States as per well-established State laws?
Because California has taken an affirmative stance to regulate motorcycle exhaust emissions while other States, though they have enacted Constitutionally sound, enforceable, motor vehicle NOISE laws, our law enforcement community, both State and local, is apathetic, impotent, unconcerned about protecting you and our families quality of life, health and welfare from the LOUD Biker Cult[ure] – the LOUD Biker Cult[ure] who cares for absolutely NOTHING but their own perceived “entitlement” and hedonistic desires. Far too many of our municipal leaders openly prostitute themselves with the LOUD Biker Cult[ure] via Motorcycle Rallies where these “leaders” trade your civil protections for profit – revenue for the city coffer! Question: What can be done and what have YOU done about the unacceptable situation? Read on…
Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Emissions Comparison #2
Tab here to hear a new, freshly rolled-off the showroom floor, 2016 Indian Scout Motorcycle that has had its Factory-installed, quiet, EPA certified muffler removed by the dealership and that dealership, with absolutely no care or concern for the health and welfare or the quality of life of you or your family, opted to install an illegally LOUD aftermarket exhaust mechanism from Dirty Bird Concepts. Here is the same Dirty Bird Concepts exhaust under hard acceleration. This aftermarket exhaust emits somewhere between four-to-six times (or more under hard acceleration) the decibel levels (logarithmic scale) of the factory-installed muffler. Note: This Indian Scout motorcycle was shipped from the manufacturer in accordance with EPA mandates specifically in-place for your protection and there are clearly articulated tampering prohibitions within the Code of Federal Regulations prohibiting the modification of this motorcycle’s noise emissions system. Now, compare the illegally modified Indian Scout’s noise emissions to an Indian Scout with the Factory-installed exhaust.
Texas’ muffler law, 547.604, much like every other State muffler law in the United States, appears to be relatively impotent at first glance, but the law does provide a police officer with sufficient probable cause to stop, cite and arrest if necessary and, if the officer knows the history of the law and its genesis from the Code of Federal Regulations, said officer can achieve great success during adjudication using 547.604. Problem is, most Texas officers, as well as local and State Law Enforcement Officers throughout the United States, don’t know the law nor are they interested in enforcing it and protecting you, the citizen, from vehicular noise assault/abuse that is increasing at an exponential rate on our roadways, Interstates and within our communities throughout this Nation.
Biker patch clearly reflecting the hedonistic, selfish personality of those who, with intent and forethought, audibly assault our children, our elderly, our handicapped and our families with illegal motorcycle noise emissions. Do they care?
Texas 547.604 requires that a vehicles muffler not emit “excessive or unusual noise.” Sounds too “subjective” yes? Not at all. First, legal precedent does permit subjective analysis of a motor vehicles noise emissions, but the informed and educated officer does not have to overly concern himself/herself with subjectivity in vehicular noise enforcement or in the adjudicatory process, nor is a sound meter required for successful adjudication. Why? Please, read on…
Second, the EPA’s Code of Federal Regulations restricts medium-to-heavy duty trucks and street motorcycles to a total vehicle noise emissions of 80 dB(A) (1986-production year forward) and this 80 dB(A) limit is measured by using a very strict, EPA mandated, scientifically controlled, drive-by testing procedure (SAE J331a) that measures the vehicles “total” noise emissions.
A street motorcycle seeking EPA certification, in order to be legally operated on a public roadway, is tested on each side of the motorcycle at 49.2 feet under maximum acceleration (up to maximum brake horse power) between two designated points. Every constituent moving part on that motorcycle is analyzed in its “totality” during the drive-by test and “total” noise emissions for 1986 year model motorcycles forward cannot emit more than 80 dB(A) in order to receive certification…take a moment and think about how quiet that EPA approved muffler actually is to dampen motorcycle engine exhaust acoustics to a level that does not contribute to a “total” motorcycle noise emissions greater than 80 dB(A)! Any idea as to why the Federal Government has invested so much research, time, man hours, money into controlling motorcycle noise emissions?
Statement from the United States Congress
Excerpts from 42 U.S. Code § 4901: The United States Congress finds, (1) that inadequately controlled noise presents a growing danger to the health and welfare of the Nation’s population, particularly in urban areas; (b) The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare. (Noise Control Act of 1972)
Statement from the Environmental Protection Agency
Noise pollution adversely affects the lives of millions of people. Studies have shown that there are direct links between noise and health. Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity. Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is the most common and often discussed health effect, but research has shown that exposure to constant or high levels of noise can cause countless adverse health affects. These sources of noise, according to the EPA, are rail and motor carriers, low noise emission products, construction equipment, transport equipment, trucks, motorcycles.
Statement from Charles Lang, educator at the University Level – physics (The truth about NOISE and its negative physiological effects on you and our most innocent in society)
I’m glad someone brought up the issue of the impact and measurement of sound levels. Yes, this is a scientific measurement of sound levels which are, by design and implementation, measures of air pressure variations. A commonly used unit of air pressure is the Pascal (in honor of Blaise Pascal, the father of fluid dynamics). It is sometimes confused with sound power measurements (energy, watts over time). Both are logarithmic (exponential) mathematically and somewhat perceptibly. Thus a six deciBel (honoring Alexander Graham Bell) increase in pressure is a 4x increase in power. I could go in to much more detail but this isn’t the forum to do so. I have taught the physics of sound at a college level, and have spent much of my academic career studying it.
Back to the point, Measurement and effect are somewhat different. Now I’m being academic. The common (legally) used scale for noise measuring instrumentation is “A” weighted, meaning that it accounts for the statistical interpretation of what humans are most sensitive to. I, personally and professionally, don’t agree that an “A” weighted scale tells the whole story. I’m alone in that assessment as far as the EPA and other regulators. This is why I differ. The human sensory system is designed for survival of the species. When we hear a roar (low frequency energy diminished by the “A” weighted instrument), it does not reflect our visceral response. Our adrenal glands produce cortisol designed for “flight or fight”. We haven’t yet evolved beyond that. This human response is well known. Our bloodstream is inundated with a hormone designed to keep us safe. Unmuffled vehicles produce energy below what our ears perceive Yet our body does. It’s known as infrasound. Our military is very aware of this phenomena. We’re wired for it!
Noise is power in every sense, literally and figuratively, and should be minimized such that when it’s necessary for survival it’s useful. Otherwise, it’s like Aesop’s fable of continually “crying wolf”. It eventually loses it’s innate usefulness. Then we die! Mostly from stress related illness, like the number one killer in America, heart disease. I am so perplexed as to why three percent of the population (or less) [the Loud Motorcycle Culture] has this much power over our lives. Man, I could go on…as I type this… unmuffled motorcycles, trucks, et al invade my domicile and my mind, with such a stupid, selfish, idiotic declaration of their perceived freedom. Not to mention our political representatives who blindly support them, cynically, for campaign donations. Sorry Rick, but showing me how evil they are…well, my outrage meter is broken. I have a dark heart today!
Article relevant to physiological/psychological effect of noise pollution:
Noise pollution – dementia’s causative agent By Shylajhaa Sathyaram January 6, 2017 see:
The Legislative Aspects of Noise Pollution
A Brief Review of the Legislative Aspects of Noise Pollution by Dr. Brind Kumar*, Sharad V. Oberoi@, Akash Goenka @ http://home.uchicago.edu/~mstaisch/Sharad/papers/Legislative%20Aspects%20of%20Noise%20Pollution.pdf
With the advancement of science and technology at an unprecedented pace, the urban centers of today’s world have evolved not just in size but also in terms of the living conditions provided by them. This has brought about an increasing new awareness about the noise pollution, which has become a part of our day-to-day lives. Studies have been conducted to trace the amount of damage caused by the noise from various natural as well as man-made sources, especially traffic. In fact, noise has come to be associated with the mental, physical, emotional and psychological well-being of an individual, be it human beings or even animals. In legal terms, noise can be considered as an assault on an individual. Apparently, this is a potential hazard to the provisions of sound living conditions and needs to be checked at planning, administrative and judicial level.
Motorcycle Exhausts Noise Emissions Comparison #3:
This is a legal set of factory-installed pipes/muffler on a Harley Dyna Wide Glide. Listen to this video to hear the EPA compliant muffler on a Harley Dyna compared to the decibel output of a Sampson “RIP Saws” aftermarket exhaust installed on the same motorcycle.
Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Emissions Comparison #4
Photo below: This is a set of illegal aftermarket pipes (not for roadway use) by Vance and Hines called “Short Shots” – many aftermarket motorcycle exhausts in their various configurations are audible for well over a mile within the right atmospheric conditions during hard acceleration. On a logarithmic scale, these illegal pipes emit approximately six-to-eight times (or more) the legal 80 dB(A) as mandated by the EPA’s Code of Federal Regulations. That 80 dB(A) restriction has been put in place for YOUR protection and the protection of our children, our elderly, our handicapped. Does the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure] care? Not one little bit…as far as they are concerned, it’s all about them and their hedonistic desires as they thumb their nose at the rule of law and at our children, our elderly, our handicapped living in communities throughout the United States! This, while our law enforcement community looks the other way! Why?
For more information see this informative article:
SHADES OF GRAY: Selling and installing aftermarket exhausts, and the legal liabilities for dealers
Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Emissions Comparison #5
Tab here to hear a sound comparison between a Factory EPA approved muffler and a set of Vance Short Shots – though the motorcycle in the video does not have the displacement of the Harley product in the photo, you will, at the very least, notice the stark dB differentiation between the EPA legal muffler and the illegal aftermarket exhaust.
Some of the variations of illegal, non-compliant, egregiously LOUD motorcycle exhausts border on the ridiculous and are a blatantly “in your face” violation of the rule of law, common decency and clearly demonstrate the hedonistic mentality of the Loud Biker Cult[ure] relevant to any concerns for the health and welfare of the American Citizen. Law enforcement has absolutely no excuse for their nonfeasance and failure to intercede on behalf of the American public to protect us from those who, with intent and foreknowledge, audibly assault and destroy the quality life of every citizen forced to endure the illegally LOUD motorcycle NOISE NONSENSE! How difficult is it, even without audible verification, for law enforcement to differentiate between the EPA approved mufflers in the first photo and the illegal exhausts in the subsequent photos?
Also see: Vance and Hines – Regulatory Concerns? It’s About Time!: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/10203/
Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Emissions Comparison #6
Listen to this illegal aftermarket exhaust on a Buell sportbike, imagine this motorcycle operated outside the bedroom window of a sleeping infant. Here is a stock Buell Blast motorcycle in its factory configuration with the factory EPA approved muffler affixed and no modifications. Which of these two motorcycles would you prefer to have riding by your child’s school bus stop? How about two-four-six or more of these motorcycles in formation by your place of Worship on Sunday morning? Would you prefer #1 or #2? Why not stand-up for your rights and demand the muffler laws be enforced and stop the noise nonsense in your community?
Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Emissions Comparison #7
Stock Harley Davidson Sportster with the EPA approved factory installed muffler compared to a Vance and Hines Short Shot exhaust mechanism. Perhaps you prefer to “do it yourself” and take advantage of a plethora of “illegal” variations of LOUD exhaust “kits” on the market: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1BEI8zonWY
Note the LOUD biker in this video demonstrating his illegal exhaust mechanism within a crowded, confined residential neighborhood – clueless and uncaring while operating an illegally equipped motorcycle with the capability of emitting incredible noise emissions that are audible for one-mile or more under hard acceleration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRyNB3E_Dp8
The obvious is undeniable, the motorcycle aftermarket industry in combination with the operation of illegally equipped, illegally LOUD motorcycles on our public roadways is OUT OF CONTROL yet very little to NOTHING is done to counter this “in your face” violation of the rule of law and the destruction of our daily quality of life!
Bellow: Miscellaneous Photos of Aftermarket Exhaust/Shop-Built Pipe Absurdity
Tab here to listen to this M4 illegally LOUD sportbike exhaust mechanism affixed to a street ready Kawasaki ZX 10R. How about his guy riding by your bedroom window after last call for alcohol at the nearest biker bar?
- So then, how does the EPA’s 80 dB(A) total motorcycle noise emissions restriction help nullify “subjective” arguments regarding the wording and elements contained in Texas 547.604(a)? In other words, what is “excessive or unusual noise” used as statutory elements in many State Vehicle Codes to identify an “illegal muffler or exhaust?”
- How can the EPA’s 80 dB(A) total motorcycle noise restriction assist our law enforcement community in addressing the exponential increase of illegally modified, illegally LOUD motorcycles on our roadways?
First, a question for officers and citizens alike…do you know why the United States Environmental Protection Agency has limited “total” motorcycle noise emissions to 80 dB(A)? (The EPA actually wanted motorcycle noise emissions limited to 78 dB(A) but Suzuki complained that 78 dB(A) would be too costly; therefore, they settled on 80 dB(A).)
The answer? After extensive testing, analysis, input from the medical and related science community, 80 dB(A) total motorcycle noise emissions is the “minimum” level of protection relevant to vehicular noise emissions for exposure by the general public; therefore, it is simply “commonsense” that any muffler on a motorcycle emitting a noise level in excess of that which is emitted by the factory-installed, EPA approved muffler is emitting “excessive and unusual noise” and it is prima facie evidence that the motorcycle muffler or exhaust emitting sound greater than the OEM – Factory installed muffler is ILLEGAL!
ANSWER – ANSWER – ANSWER
Therefore, the answer to our questions relevant to what exactly is “excessive and unusual noise” and what objective standard of comparison is readily available for enforcement? – the Factory-installed muffler! Yes, this is exactly why an officer does not need to employ a sound meter “instrument” to determine sound emissions illegality in muffler noise emissions because the OEM/EPA labeled muffler is the “objective” enforcement standard. Simply use the darn thing…it has already been tested and certified, why complicate your vehicular noise enforcement protocol with a silly sound meter that is going to cause you nothing but adjudicatory problems and expense? Every patrol officer is capable of using “sound comparison analysis” to differentiate between a factory-installed – quiet – legal muffler and a “NOT FOR ROAD USE” – LOUD – aftermarket exhaust mechanism.
Always use the presence of the EPA Label as your first indicator of legality – muffler too loud but labeled? Check for tampering. The NOISE mongers are crafty and will attempt to intricately hide their illegal tampering – look closely and you will discover the lines of cutting/wire-welding the muffler back together after removing part or the entire baffling from the muffler.
Differentiating sound levels between an EPA approved, compliant, Factory-installed OEM muffler (that has not been tampered with) and an illegal aftermarket-racing exhaust that has been affixed to a street motorcycle is very easy (both visually and audibly) and the adjudicatory standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” should also be easy to establish if those in the judicial arena are familiar with the enforcement protocol being used by the law enforcement community in that jurisdiction. Educating the magistrates and judges on the use of the EPA muffler as the objective standard requires a combined effort among those in the judiciary, city legal department, city prosecutor’s office and knowledgeable members of the law enforcement community. It’s Constitutional, it’s relatively easy, the cost is minimal and it WORKS!
Again, this is NOT rocket science! We have established the fact that 80 dB(A) has been stipulated as the “minimum” safe level of “total” motorcycle noise emissions for exposure by the general public; therefore, commonsense tells us that any motorcycle noise greater than that of the stock, factory-installed, EPA approved muffler is “excessive or unusual noise” and is cite-able as a violation of every State Code containing said statutory elements. Why are our state and local law enforcement entities so very impotent and failing to protect us from the bully behavior of the LOUD Biker Cult[ure]? – There are no valid or relevant excuses other than ignorance, apathy, participatory conduct, Political Correctness! This is unacceptable!!!
Warning to State and Local Legislators concerning
the Motorcycle Rights Organizations (MRO’s)
Note: California’s Motorcycle Muffler Label Law, SB435, is an excellent example of a State Legislature taking the bull-by-the-horns and attempting to proactively address the problem of illegally equipped, illegally LOUD motorcycles operating on the roadways of California. UNFORTUNATELY, Senator Pavely’s original intent for SB435 was successfully castrated by the Motorcycle Rights Organizations, their attorneys and money laden lobbyists; therefore, any municipality or State seeking an efficient, Constitutional, inexpensive, solution to the exponential increase of unlawful Motorcycle NOISE on our roadways, be wary of the disingenuous, hedonistic, self-serving tactics of the unscrupulous Motorcycle Rights Organizations (MRO’s).
The MRO’s are wolves in sheep clothing and do NOT have the health and welfare, concerns and interests of the American people at heart – The MRO’s serve ONLY the hedonistic interests of their financial contributors/their members of which a substantial number of these contributors are members of the LOUD Motorcycle Cult[ure]. The MRO’s have literally purchased their way into the hearts and minds of our legislators, local and State leadership through their money laden lobbyists. The MRO’s seek a “special class” moniker for their members, one that scoffs at the rule-of-law and makes a mockery out of “equality and justice for all.” Be warned and be wary – don’t be naive – be informed and demand that the Loud Biker Thuggery in your community be stopped – demand change before it is too late! The peace and tranquility of our posterity weighs in the balance!
I am aware that the SAE J2825 Stationary Motorcycle Test is available if legislation is written for its implementation, but personally, I caution against using it. I have, on occasion, implemented the SAE J2825 test for my own personal verification of motorcycle aftermarket sound emissions, but formulating vehicular noise enforcement legislation that requires the use of a sound meter is NOT a good idea for vehicular noise enforcement protocol. Why?
After years of standing before a judge or sitting in the presence of a jury and providing testimony, let me assure you, YOU DON’T WANT TO INTRODUCE AN “INSTRUMENT” INTO THE ADJUDICATORY PROCESS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Why? The introduction of a laser, radar, speedometer, sound meter or any instrument that requires certification, calibration, regular testing, opens up of a plethora of legal challenges during adjudication. A sound meter for enforcement generally requires an expensive Type 1 Sound Meter. The initial expense of Type 1 or Type 2 sound meters will often times be too much of a burden on the restricted budget of most local law enforcement agencies in order to purchase these instruments in sufficient quantity; therefore, enforcement will be limited and sporadic at best.
The proper use of sound meter equipment requires training, concerns about ambient noise, basic understanding of logarithmic scale computations, regular calibration, record keeping, special court testimony skills, in short, the use of a sound meter for vehicular noise enforcement provides defense attorneys fertile ground on which to cultivate “reasonable doubt” in the mind of judges, magistrates and jurors. Regular failures in adjudicating vehicular noise cases will frustrate and embarrass enforcement personnel who will inevitably eschew vehicular noise enforcement and the impotent status quo of nonfeasance will continue while the American public needlessly suffers at the hedonistic hands of the purveyors of illegal motor vehicle noise.
Why cut your nose off to spite your face and cripple yourself with a decibel meter when the Environmental Protection Agency has provided law enforcement with an “objective” standard, the EPA has required a label on that objective standard and provided Federal restrictions relevant to tampering with that “objective” standard – it’s free, it’s required on every street motorcycle built by major manufacturers, it’s labeled and “readily visible”…so then, what is this “objective” standard and why is law enforcement failing to do their job and use this objective standard as an enforcement tool? Read on…
Once a motorcycle has passed the EPA sound testing procedure, that particular make and model of motorcycle is required to be labeled, both on the muffler and on the frame of the motorcycle. The approved muffler is permanently embossed with an EPA label in a readily visible location that designates the approved acoustical dampening characteristics of said muffler and the make and model of motorcycle for which that muffler is approved.
The following photo: Certification label embossed into the EPA approved, certified, exhaust mechanism in a readily visible location, but as of late, some manufacturers have been subtlety placing these labels (citing aesthetic reasons) in areas requiring enforcement personnel to hunt and search – this should not be and therefore fails to comply with the Code of Federal Regulations §205.169(c). Is the Federal Government doing anything about it? Not that I am aware of!
Photo below: Positioned on the frame of the motorcycle, usually located on the frames down-tube, but may be on a horizontal support frame member near or just under the fuel tank on motorcycles with molded fiberglass side panels e.g. sportbikes.
Then, the EPA has enacted tampering restrictions that clearly indicate the approved muffler can only be removed for maintenance, repair or replacement – BUT – if the muffler is replaced, the replacement muffler must meet the acoustical dampening characteristics of the original factory-installed muffler – a VERY quiet muffler that does NOT permit exhaust emissions that contribute to total motorcycle noise emissions over 80 dB(A) – again, a VERY quiet muffler. Tampering CFR §205.162-2 (c) .
Now please listen-up. It’s at this point that the obfuscating Motorcycle Rights Organizations are going to rise-up with a defiant fist and argue that the factory-installed, EPA certified muffler’s acoustical dampening characteristics are only valid for one-year or 3730 miles, whichever comes first. What? This is simply another lie of the Loud Biker Cult[ure] and their supporters that take the Acoustical Assurance Period (AAP) (CFR §205.152 (a)(3)) in the Code of Federal Regulations (a muffler warranty period required by the EPA to protect the consumer) and twist it to say something that it simply does not say. The author of the AAP, a Mr. Ken Feith, formerly of the EPA, has clearly stated (Pg. 2 and 17 – 21) that the AAP or the acoustical dampening characteristics of mufflers on modern motorcycles is intended to remain in effect for the LIFE OF THE MOTORCYCLE; therefore, please don’t be an uninformed victim of this pervasive LIE of the Loud Biker Cult[ure].
So what’s the problem? The egregiously LOUD motorcycles you are hearing on approximately 60% to as high as 80% of the motorcycles traversing our roadways today are NOT street legal…
- They have had their legal-EPA approved, very quiet muffler removed and replaced with a “racing – closed course only, not for road use” muffler that is not approved for use on a street motorcycle.
- Some of the lower-end manufacturers of aftermarket motorcycle exhausts don’t take the time to label their product thereby expressing absolutely no fear of regulatory intervention – that’s your fault Ms. Gina McCarthy, Director of the EPA, for failing to regulate the conspiratorial disingenuous tactics of the billion-dollar motorcycle aftermarket exhaust industry!
- Other members of the Loud Biker Cult[ure], those lacking the funds to purchase an expensive aftermarket exhaust, simply cut their quiet factory-installed, EPA compliant, mufflers off and run straight pipes or methodically cut their quiet muffler open, remove part or all of the baffling and carefully weld the compromised area back together – all for the purpose of making illegal NOISE! Operating a motorcycle on our public roadways with a muffler that does not conform to the quiet specifications of the factory-installed muffler is ILLEGAL, violates civil protections, it’s selfish and bully behavior by the LOUD Motorcycle Cult[ure]. So then, why is nothing being done about it?
For more information regarding the criminally conspiratorial marketing strategies of the motorcycle aftermarket industry, please see the informative article published by Dealers News: Note – the following URL “suspiciously” changes from time to time and will reflect an error code as unable to locate page. If this URL does not work, please type in “Dealers News – Shades of Gray – Selling and installing aftermarket exhaust systems – the liability for dealers.” See: http://dealernews.prod.as2.guidance.com/dealernews/article/shades-gray-selling-and-installing-aftermarket-exhausts-and-legal-liabilities-dea
Why is nothing being done you ask? Our police are too apathetic, lazy, ignorant of the law, participatory and our local leadership, in the interest of the coffer, prostitutes themselves (see video) and looks the other way for the expendable income of these leather-clad noise bullies thereby trading your civil-liberties for profit.
See my recent lawsuit on this subject of mayoral prostitution with the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure]. Will a retired Cop as a Pro Se Plaintiff have any hope of success against Government corruption? (Stop snickering) Only the Good Lord knows…but it’s a battle that must be waged as the Loud Biker Cult[ure], their Motorcycle Rights Organizations, their lobbyists in Washington and their attorneys are seeking a “special class” societal moniker and they consider themselves to be “above the law,” while our police are impotent and apathetic relevant to this National plague. NOTE: At the time of this article update, January 1, 2017, Holtsclaw v. Sanders et al is under review by a Federal Appellate Court.
You, the American Citizen, had better wise-up and rise-up and take your roadways and communities back from these leather-clad noise bullies or our posterity will never know or understand the concept of domestic tranquility – write, call, complain – it’s your civic duty and your responsibility to your family and your neighbor! The current social ideology of Moral Relativism is fertile ground for the exponential growth of the hedonistic, selfish, behavior of the Loud Biker Cult[ure]; therefore, demand change before it’s too late!!!
Our society has a enemy among us that has subtly ingratiated itself through a facade of good works, patriotism, religion, Hollywood, social and print media…the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure] is obsessed with and controlled by the pervasive and often times dangerous Group Dynamic. If you, the American Citizen, fails to educate yourself relevant to this intrusive, dangerous, NOISE scourge raping our senses and invading our homes, our posterity will never enjoy a moments peace. It’s up to you, the American Citizen – more specifically, the American Fathers who are responsible for the welfare of their families!
The primary reason nothing is done to stop the operation of illegally equipped, illegally LOUD motor vehicles on our roadways is the lack of concerned citizen complaints and their failure to demand change! It’s up to you, the American Citizen, to protect your family and your posterity from the vehicular noise bullies who care absolutely nothing about your quality-of-life, your civil-liberties or your health and welfare – why be bullied, why be violated?
If you, Mom and Dad, don’t take the time to complain to every one of your local, county, state, authorities and local, state, federal representatives, NOTHING WILL BE DONE and you’ll have absolutely no one to blame but yourself! Fathers, you MUST demand change and stop the unacceptable status quo of nonfeasance so pervasive among our law enforcement community relevant to vehicular noise enforcement. Your child’s health, learning, future is dependent upon your intercession to combat this National Noise Plague!
Now then, I’ve simply provided an overview of why you, the American Citizen, are assaulted, on a daily basis, by illegally LOUD motorcycles on our roadways. I bet you thought these motorcycles were manufactured to be LOUD and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about them audibly entering, without permission, into your home, your bedroom, school, place of worship, hospital room, daycare, retirement home…but you’re wrong – these illegally equipped, illegally modified, illegally LOUD motorcycles came from the manufacturer with a very quiet EPA factory-installed muffler; it is our apathetic law enforcement community and the EPA that has failed to ensure these motorcycles remain in their legal, compliant, factory condition. Please, call and complain to every single one of your local, county, state, federal representatives and law enforcement representatives – Please demand change and demand enforcement of our existing vehicular noise laws; after all, you probably know more now relevant to motorcycle noise enforcement, after having read this article, than 90% of the police officers patrolling our communities and our Interstates – sad, but true!
Now, before I go…two items of loud biker interest I want to address:
- Loud Pipes DO NOT Save Lives (LPSL) – this empty mantra is habitually chanted by the LOUD biker bad-boys as a pathetic excuse for assaulting us with their ILLEGAL motorcycle noise. Please see my video on this silly subject. I have personally owned, operated, maintained some 31 motorcycles since age 12. I have ridden professionally for years and accumulated many hundreds-of-thousands-of-miles on motorcycles; NEVER has NOISE been a factor relevant to my safety – don’t fall for the Loud Pipes Save Lives LIE!!! Please watch the video where I debunk the LPSL myth from a scientific and experiential perspective – simply silliness by grown men wanting to make NOISE!
- “I can justify riding LOUD because I am a philanthropist; I ride in the Patriot Guard; I am an honorable Veteran; I am a member of BACA; I am a Biker for Christ.” Let me ask the Loud Biker Cult[ure] two simple questions about their “excuse” of philanthropy and patriotism for riding illegally LOUD – Hey Loud Biker Dude, is there anything you do on that LOUD motorcycle that you could not do atop a motorcycle equipped with a factory-installed, legal, EPA approved, quiet muffler affixed to it? Why must you involve illegal motorcycle noise in your philanthropic and patriotic endeavors and audibly assault everyone and anyone you purport to care about?
- To all of you “Christian” LOUD bikers out there, I ask you: Did not our Lord command you to Love your neighbor as yourself? Did our Lord Jesus Christ not articulate the fact that loving your neighbor as yourself is the second greatest Commandment and that all of the law was summed-up in the act of Loving the Lord your God above all else and then loving your neighbor as yourself? Two questions Loud Biker Christian – Can you explain to me how audibly assaulting your neighbor and his family with egregiously LOUD, illegally Loud motorcycle noise emissions can be construed as respecting and “loving” your neighbor? When you do such a blasphemous thing as this, why must you wear the cross of our Lord’s suffering and his Holy Name on your colors? See my video on this silly subject titled “Philanthropy or Thuggery.”
If Motorcyclists desire to engage in these very worthy charitable and patriotic organizations, God Bless YOU, but…ride legally, ride with your legal, factory-installed – quiet muffler affixed to your motorcycle and set a “good” example…a good example of one who obeys the law as well as respects the rights, the health and safety of the general public. Why advocate the use of illegal motorcycle NOISE that does NOTHING but audibly assault the very individuals you say you are serving?
“Loud Pipes Save Lives” – Nothing more than a very poor excuse for illegal, unruly bad-bully behavior – “Loud Pipes Violate Rights” is certainly more correct!
Related Videos and Articles:
Congressional Bill Proposal: The American Quality of Life Act – 2017 (A Federal Motor Vehicle Muffler Mandate): https://view.publitas.com/p222-12679/american-quality-of-life-act-2017-congressional-bill-proposal/
Video: Loud Motorcycles? (Pt. 1) THE LAW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouBsdUq-2Iw&t=25s
Video: Loud Motorcycles? (Pt. 2) OBFUSCATION AND DECEIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxFtHInScZQ&t=1562s
Video: Loud Motorcycles? (Pt. 3) OBSTACLES & SOLUTION?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtiVZ6qUX40&t=115s
Video: Loud Motorcycles? (Pt. 4) BIKER RALLIES & MAYORAL PROSTITUTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZiGBqbcFwA&t=160s
Video: Loud Motorcycles? (Pt. 5) A SOUND SOLUTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt-HvGTiOgg&t=964s
Video: Evidence of Arkansas Vehicular Noise Conspiracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ–8v2S784&t=24s
Video: Do Loud Pipes Save Lives?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRxyoSj4sNU&t=29s
Video and Article: D.C. Motorcycle Police and Illegal NOISE – A Compromise with Integrity? https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/d-c-police-motorcycle-detail-and-illegal-noise-a-compromise-wintegrity/
Article: Patriot Guard & MC Noise Nonsense: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/patriot-guard-mc-noise-nonsense/
Article: Vance and Hines – Regulatory Concerns? It’s About Time!: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/10203/
Article: A Final Appeal to the 8th Circuit Court for Intervention: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/a-final-appeal-to-the-8th-circuit-for-intervention/
Article: Conservative Houston Cop in a PC World: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/conservative-houston-cop-in-a-pc-world/
Article: Illegally Loud Motor Vehicles: A Sound Solution: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/illegal-motor-vehicle-noise-a-sound-solution/
Article: Motorcycle Noise Enforcement – 101: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/motorcycle-noise-enforcement-101/
Article: Loud Motorcycles and the EPA: A Letter and Plea for Intercession: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/loud-motorcycles-the-epa-a-plea-for-intercession/
Article: My LOUD Day at the Harley Dealership: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/my-loud-evening-at-the-harley-dealership-truths-a-killer/
Article: EPA v. Harley: $15-million lawsuit: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/epa-sues-harley-for-15-million-better-yet-the-aftermarket-scam-is-out-of-the-bag/
Article: The Loud Biker Cult[ure] Personality: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/loud-biker-mentality-1949-v-21st-century/
Article: State Muffler Laws – A Compilation: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/state-muffler-laws/
Article: Warning: Motorcycle Rights Organizations Seek Protected Class Status: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/warning-motorcycle-rights-organizations-seek-protected-class-status-warning/
Thank you and PLEASE get involved,
Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired
Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles – Facebook
Loud Motorcycles Suck – YouTube
Noise Free America – A Coalition for Quiet