Can You Hear Me Now?

This report, Noisy Motorcycles – An Environmental Quality of Life Issue, is a pretty good picture of where we are today and how far motorcycle manufacturers are from grasping reality. Tom Austin, the MIC’s so-called “technical expert,” delivered an intellectually TKO with the claim that “OEMs support SAE J2825 as an alternative test for replacement systems because it offers direct economic benefits and increased floor traffic for their dealers who will be able to sell compliant aftermarket systems. He added that a more enforceable standard would have a positive effect on the public acceptance of motorcycles.” Yep, that’s what the public is concerned with, dealers’ ability to sell noisy exhaust systems as a legal upgrade. That’s exactly what I hear from my neighbors when they curse some bozo riding through our neighborhood on a blubber-machine that out-guns the Guard’s helicopters, noise-wise.

My takeaway from this paper is that motorcyclists’ disorganizations and the MIC have thrown up so many barriers to controlling motorcycle noise that the real “solution” will be to simply ban motorcycles from public roads. No part of the discussion has anything to do with protecting the public’s right to peace and quiet. As long as that is not the primary purpose of figuring out this huge (for motorcycling, while completely inconsequential for humanity and society) issue, we are heading down the drain without a floatation device.

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