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Oh To Be In England Now That Summers Here

August 5, 2009
What a Whopper!!

What a Whopper!!

Hereford, England – Now don’t get me wrong on this one, I’m not a boring old biking git, but I’ve always had this thing about loud motorcycle exhausts. I hate em.

Maybe it’s the case, being brought up to be ‘careful’ with money, that I fail to understand the reasoning behind buying a bike, costing umpteen thousands of pounds, and then spending even more dosh fitting an ‘after market’ exhaust system. What’s the point? After all Mr Honda, Yamaha, Triumph etc etc have spent considerable sums of money, time and engineering skill designing and fitting exhaust systems that not only enhance the bikes power output but also conform with the appropriate noise regulations.

Thinking about it is more likely the fact that I get really p****d off when my afternoon spent communing with nature, lovely girl nature, is interrupted by the local HOG boys passing within a 10 mile radius of my location. Ok Ok it’s not just Harleys with screamin eagles that get up my nasal fluff its anything that sounds like a F-16 on reheat passing within 2metres of my location. In fact I’d rather have an F-16 passing within two metres because at least they are noisy with a purpose i.e. to scare the c**p out of anyone who currently doesn’t agree with the NATO alliances take on foreign policy.

Ok there are some bikers, I use the term loosely, who are smitten with the belief that having a loud exhaust system or can enhances their, machismo, performance, safety, rights, etc etc. But as someone who’s been in the front trench of riders rights take it from me folks that the general public’s biggest grind with motorcycling is noise.

Now we have an abundance of theories as to why bikers have an affectation with fitting extremely large hollow tubes to the back end of otherwise nice bits of machinery.

There’s the ‘conspiracy’ theory relating to the bike manufactures and after market exhaust boys milking us of large amounts of cash for an essential performance enhancing pipe.

There’s the ‘fight or flight’ response theory. I like this one. This is based on the concept that the noise and vibration of the exhaust releases the stress hormone cortisol causing metabolic changes including an instantaneous increase in cardio- respiratory rates and muscle tension. The state of arousal is perpetuated by a release of dopamine, endorphines, norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline). In short boys and girls it makes you feel well um horny.

We have the ‘loud pipes save lives’ theorem. This states that the noise emitted by loud motorcycle exhaust systems will aid conspicuity and cause more watchful driving by motorists and in general makes other road users aware of the bikes approach. As with all theorems ‘loud pipes save lives’ is conveniently balanced by ‘loud pipes cost rights’. This points out that as the majority of the noise generated by a loud pipe is emitted to the rear of the machine, it’s likely to be pretty useless as a conspicuity aid as most accident hazards approach the motorcycle from the front.

Then there’s my, admittedly completely biased, view that this exhaust thing is perpetuated by motorcycling attention-seeking menopausal males with the big boys toy making big loud noise thing. Who basically don’t give a naff about bikes, biking, the biking community, other biker’s rights and the rights of the wider community to enjoy a noise free environment.

Right I’m off back to the humming of the bees, the sycamore trees and the commune with nature.

Have fun!!

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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