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Kevin Ash  says:

Opinion: Time to remove our loud pipes

MCN columnist Kevin Ash stirred up a hornets’ nest when he said motorcyclists should give up on loud exhausts. Here are the edited highlights of his comments – MCN would be interested in what you think... The pressure on police forces and councils around the country to ‘do something’ about motorcycles doesn’t come from accident rates, and is little to do...

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  • Posted 6 years ago (24 June 2009 10:36)

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Jul 08

Posts: 190

zephyrdave says:


3 Problems with illegal pipes -

firstly, it gives the guy with the speed gun warning your coming so he can have it pointed at the brow of the hill as you come over it....

secondly it draws attention to you so if you are riding like a twat (weekend warriors you know who you are) it ensures you get seen doing so which adds to the general public opinion that all bikers are reckless muppets who are just crashes waiting to happen and need to be protected from themselves. And to be fair some of us are...

It gives the police a reason to pull you over, where they can then go over the bike with a fine toothed comb if they want and if you're in north Wales or North Yorkshire or somewhere similar they don't need much of a reason.

A louder than stock (not illegal) can in town does makes sense, I've run both and a louder can does make a difference when you're filtering etc but it doesn't stop people being ignorant or stupid. Extra BHP or less weight excuses are a load of tosh though - lose a few kilos and do an advanced course and you'll get much more benefit than you do from a race can.

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Mar 07

Posts: 102

Evs7 says:

Noise levels

I think that loud pipes is just one of a thousand reasons or to put it more correctly excuses that the public use to put motorcycles and motorcyclists down.

Quite frankly I've driven passed teenagers 1.2 litre vauxhall corsa's with dustbin sized exhaust pipes on that are louder than my motorbike. Also a lot of them seem to have their stereo's configured on maximum bass for maximum disturbance.

The fact is people don't like it when someone is having more fun than themselves. Lets be honest, we all look at Brad Pitt and think.... lucky b******.  He's got a great job, Angelina Jolie, loads of money. Thats why the press is always trying to knock him. The better your chips have fallen on the table the more people will try to wipe you out on the next hand.

So the real reason everyone really hates on bikers is because they know what we know... Its as much fun as you can have with your pants on. It's just they don't have the guts to try it.

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Jan 09

Posts: 61

tinktonk says:

Mr Zulu

I'm aparently missing the point of deafening pipes. So, it appears, are most other people.

Could you tell us what it is, please?

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Apr 07

Posts: 157

AFKAN says:

Ahhh the classic...

"Loud pipes save lives"... What a load of crap.

Do you seriously believe that a car driver will hear you coming???

I've been driving for 20 years and not once have I ever heard a motorcycle coming up behind me.  Why? Because the windows are up and my stereo is on.  All loud pipes achieve is the "oh look at me, look at me I've got a fast bike"

Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of a Ducati on Termignonis, but I really feel for those who live on biking roads.  My Fiance lives near the A12 and sitting outside I can constantly hear bikes zooming up and down it.

It's no good pointing the finger at others with the classic "well he's noisier than me"... Pure playground stuff.

Take some responsibility for your own actions.  I like a bit of speed, but I prefer to do it without announcing it to the whole county ;-)

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Jun 09

Posts: 30

paulqc says:


Define 'acceptable manner'?  Could this also mean that brainwashing and the belief of all things from the establishment?  Socially, if biking isn't acceptable (and it isn't, look at the recent reports of the EU Parliment debating wether motorcycles are acceptabe, from a safety aspect (honest), for their vision of future motoring), then I'd rather be on the outside. I look to biking as a last bastion of freedom in an increasingly intollerent and manipulative society. Fight for your right.

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Jun 09

Posts: 11

callahan1971 says:

Them and us.

I love Motorcycling and I can see the appeal of riding any kind of Bike from Commuters to Uber Tourers. The biggest problem we have as a Motorcycling community is ourselves. Anyone who is anti bike will be that way regardless. They do not differentiate between Grandad on his Triumph and "Shredder" on his R1 Streetfighter. As soon as we develop a "them and us" attitude we are no better than the antis. I have watched my other chosen sport, shooting, be destroyed over the years by the same attitude; one disipline sacrificing the other to further their own needs. Stop me if I'm wrong but most bikes are only really loud when they are running a good bit over the speed limit so surely if we all stuck to the letter of the law we'd be o.k? Yeah right! People need to drop the holier than thou attitude and make up their minds; you either live by every rule or you allow yourselves and others to use their discretion. Speeding's illegal whether you do it quietly or not!

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

I agree with Kevin,

As a keen engine nut & motorcyclist I like a keen exhaust note but I'm not impressed by loud pipes  whether on Vauxhall Corsas (why?), Peugeots or Bikes. When I sit in my garden and I can hear four cylinder motorcycles loudly going past on the main road over half a mile away I think they are too loud and I am sure Joe Public does too. Its doing us no favours.

The arguments about safety and noise are well overdone. For some reason the sound doesn't really go in front of the bike - which is why if you are not paying attention the first you hear of a loud bike is when it passes you (I have jumped a few times when this has happened on the A1 to me!). And the other issue is that the user probably can't hear anything else. Not just other bikes but police cars, that car thats trying to overtake you on the outside of a roundabout, accidents (yes I did really hear the collision) etc... 

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Nov 05

Posts: 41

cascadeair says:

Ride Friendly

If we don't police ourselves, Jonny Counselor will do it for you. Keep scaring the crap out of gran so she tells the council and you get what you pay for. More stupid laws. We already have a lot of privileges others in cars do not have (filitering, etc), but they will be legislated out of existence if we are crass. Ride quiet, and ride reasonable. Keep our sport healthy and ride like something no-one would notice.

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mr zulu


Mar 07

Posts: 103

mr zulu says:


my point is this.there are lots of things that annoy me in this world.i dont try and change them all though,apart from looking for world peace and feeding starving children that giving these people the time of day about loud bikes are a real problem when one doesnt exsist.strimmers going all weekend gets my goat but,i dont report my neighbours to the police or my M.p because i tolerate it.i accept that i cant get all i want.if one of your biggest gripes in life is the sound bikes or cars make,what a sad life you must lead.i for one dont want to give these persons any sort of validity.:winkie:

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Aug 08

Posts: 18

martyn242 says:


Maybe if car drivers learned to drive a bit better we might not need lound cans- i ride with headights on all the time, bright flashy helmet, hi-vis jacket on commutes, and leathers. The only thing i found that reduces the likelyhood of being knocked off or sideswiped is my noisy exhaust. Car drivers spend that much time in tunnel vission land they need waking up!  When drivers stop swerving at me, cutting me up, stting in the wrong lanes, pulling out etc i will put a quiet can back on.

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