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Bike Noise Becoming A Major Issue

Bike Noise Becoming A Major Issue

Release Date: 2/14/2005

This summer in Laconia, New Hampshire, home of the Laconia Motorcycle Week, police staffed a noise checkpoint and handed out 41 summonses and 27 warnings to motorcycle riders for noisy bikes and expired inspection stickers. In Naples, Florida, a councilwoman proposed banning bikes from a certain street because of complaints about motorcycle noise. In New York City, the City Council proposed a law that could result in the seizure of loud motorcycles, and even confiscation in some instances.

Those are just some of the examples that AMA Legislative Affairs Specialist Imre Szauter used to underscore the fact that communities nationwide are cracking down on loud motorcycles, in a talk to the Centennial Park Harley-Davidson Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). The AMA has worked to oppose proposals, such as the one in New York, that discriminate specifically against motorcycles, Szauter said. "If you're going to say you're going to make New York the quietest city in the world, fine," Szauter said, referring to the New York legislation. "But don't single out motorcycles."

But at the same time, the AMA is also working with other elements of the motorcycle community to encourage riders to be responsible and considerate on the noise issue. About 45 members of the H.O.G. Chapter met at the Centennial Park Harley-Davidson dealership in Pataskala, Ohio, for the chapter's monthly meeting. They looked at new Harleys on the showroom floor, ate pizza, and swapped stories before sitting to hear Szauter's talk. Szauter noted that loud pipes don't necessarily mean more performance for a motorcycle. And he warned that if riders don't ride responsibly, that is, keep the noise down in residential areas and at stoplights, for example, then even more government jurisdictions will step in to regulate motorcycles. Responsible riding is critical not only for current motorcyclists to be able to continue riding, but for future generations to be able to ride as well, he said.

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