Elephant and Castle, South London, rush hour. GSX-R something-or-other. Loud can. Rider revving like mad because he couldn't get through, presumeably believing he had an automatic right to a clear path through traffic. Me on ER6-f (great for commuting) quietly slips through traffic unnoticed leaving Mr Loud (and angry) behind. Loud can didn't help the GSX-R rider. Pissed off drivers probably closed ranks. Maybe some didn't like bikers to begin with. Maybe some didn't care one way or the other. But you can bet everyone within ear shot of Mr Loud is now more prejudiced against bikers. Thanks, Mr Loud.
Rock climbing in the Peak District at Stannage Edge near Hathersage. Three off-road bikes with open cans blast along road down below and can be heard until way after they are out of sight. They pissed me off. Not so much because of the noise they made, though this was more than a little irritating and probably illegal, but because there was many a muttering of 'wankers' from a lot of the climbers around me and I was put in the position of trying to defend the indefensible – too fast and too noisy. And that was from a group renowned for being independent of spirit, free thinking and anarchic (as are bikers, though some would argue we don't think at all, especially about other people)!
Shortly after about a dozen old Brit bikes travelled the same road at a pace best described as 'making considerable progress'. These guys were having a good time and weren't hanging around. The result? No disparaging mutterings about either noise or speed. Many of the climbers didn't even notice but of those that did the comments were largely appreciative.
So what did loud cans achieve in both these incidents? Not the desired effect, that's for sure. Mr GSX-R rider was rendered impotent while the off road riders managed to put another nail in their own coffin by creating more prejudice against off-roading in the Peaks. Well done. I hope all concerned are proud of themselves.
All you pratts who believe you should be left alone to make as much noise as you want, ride as fast as you like, fit small number plates, speed through villages and bully your way through traffic are doing nothing more than pissing off a lot of people and playing into the hands of the legislators. Be clever about these things. Choose when and where you want to enjoy your freedom and don't deliberately set out to piss off all those around you. That way we'll all be riding with the freedoms we enjoy today for a lot longer.
I suppose it comes down to being mature about your riding or being a twat. It's your choice. Just don't complain when legislation bans you from being even mildly anarchic!