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Discussion Starter #1
I read the article in the Sept/Oct issue of HOG Tales titled "Something We Never Want to Lose"

I found it very interesting and recommend that the rest of us read it as well. Maybe we can pass it off to the *** riders as well.
 

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Jim McCaslin article said:
"Maybe we fall in love all over again with the unique and mesmerizing sound "quality" of our own V-twin, not just the volume"
Good point.
 

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I was riding with a small group of friends one Sunday morning in the mountains and as we passed a little country church one of the riders blipped the throttle one good time as we passed. We stopped about 5 minutes later and I jumped all over him for doing it. At the time he saw no harm in it and thought it to be funny. I explained the need to be respectful of others especially while church is in session.
 

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He doesn't even talk the talk very well . . .

What a load of self-serving crap!

So, the President of the MoCo is concerned that some goon from the EPA is going to stick it up his tailpipe and ruin the good deal that the EPA created for Harley for years, resulting in millions - no billions - in aftermarket parts & accessories?

Forget all the nice historical talk about the Silent Gray Fellow - that's not the potato, potato sound the MoCo patented and became famous for.

Then, thirty some years ago, and about the time the Company fought the japanese bike wars with a little help from an administration or two, the EPA started putting into place restrictions which resulted in the factory shipping emasculated bikes direct to the customer. What's the first thing that buyers said when they satisfied that "primeval" urge and took delivery? "It doesn't sound like a Harley!" Then, the customer finds out that they're getting passed by VW Rabbit diesels coming off the stoplight because the motors are so choked down and leaned out that you can get more power out of a vacuum cleaner.

What's the solution? Of course, the MoCo was ready and willing to provide a solution. Screamin Eagle pipes, race tuners, big bore kits and a trip to the dyno put that rocket back between your legs and made it sound like the bike everyone dreamed of having. And it made the MoCo boatloads of money, to the tune of billions in P&A sales and profits to dealers who rebuilt and accessorized, then tuned bikes. Harley Tax anyone?

Problem is, motorcycles, and especially Harleys, became popular to the baby boomers, so the MoCo built more. A lot more. Two, or three times historical production levels. And sold them, not just to old school bikers, but to all of the baby boomers who could afford the "lifestyle". Boatloads of bikes. Everywhere, including out in the 'burbs where little old ladies, soccer moms and metrosexual males could hear the thunder. And that's where the problem started, because now, instead of the occasional bike in some blue collar part of town where nobody gave a damn, you had shiny leather clad urbane cowboys racking the throttle in their neighborhood waking baby Jimmy, and hacking off all the pissants who like their peace and quiet. They complain to their local official and the political noise level rises. News media folks thrive on controversy and conflict, so every story gets reported, and overblown until you'd think those loud bikes were parked in every other garage.

Then, the EPA gets back into the act and starts to put the squeeze on the MoCo for their wink 'n nod game and forces it into slashing the Screamin' Eagle line. Well, if the MoCo can't make a nickel on aftermarket, NOW it's a big problem because you chose the WRONG pipes. Pffftttt! Wrong answer, jack.

When Mr. McCaslin calls for action, he means we're gonna roll over on this one because we're not makin' the kind of change we used to make, and the aftermarket guys ain't gonna get the sweat off our balls, let alone a dime of customer P&A spending if we can help it.

So, how much has the MoCo put into ABATE to stand up for motorcyclists rights? One percent of their net profit on part & accessories could buy friggin' Congress ten times over. When I hear McCaslin call to organize manufacturers, aftermarket makers, dealers, riders, and indys to stand together, that would buy a lot more credibility rather than the pitiful whining this article represents. When I see him tell people like the Mayor of Milwaukee or the local talk radio guys to STFU and quit their whining about bike noise, maybe I'll believe he cares about something more than his retirement plan and stock options.

"Awaken the sleeping giant of social concern that lives next door to all of us." Is that a polite way of saying there's more of them than us? My next door neighbor is a pain in the ass, but I ignore them and put up with their crap because if I don't like it, I can move. "Social concern" is nothing more than the ability of other people to "be offended" in our wimp soceity and then think they have the moral authority to tell you what to do. What ever happened to tolerence in America? The only way to deal with the mental midgets who want to regulate you between cradle and grave is to organize and tell them firmly, NO. And if you screw with me any more, I and twenty of my friends will get together, organize and vote you off the town council.

If you think that political action is useless, take a look at the fight the NRA has carried on for the past forty years and the successes they've had. Many folks who bragged they were on the NRA's enemies list are now back in private life, kicked to the curb by the voters.

How about HOG? A ready made political action group if I ever saw one. Want a rally down at city hall to protest overly restrictive acts against bikers or overaggressive enforcement? Maybe the State HOG rally ought to be held in a municipality that acts poorly towards bikers, then you take a ride over to City Hall to send a message - with about fifty MoCo lawyers riding along to make sure things go right. Rememebr the last election and the "we're sending a thousand lawyers into that state to make sure there's no voter suppression?" How about sending a couple of hundred lawyers to Daytona next year to make sure bikers don't get harrassed?

How about a couple of days after Rolling Thunder in D.C.? Half a milion bikes, give or take a few hundred thousand. I'll bet half would stay and extra day to send a little message to Congress that there's a helluva a lot of us, and we vote. Not only do we vote, but we're willing to spend a little cash to preserve our rights, and if that means asking candidates their positions on bikes, then o.k. For the price of a single chrome doodad, if every Harley owner made a donation, this whole issue would go away, and quick.

And that's all I've got to say on the matter. Probably more like a nickel's worth rather than -2$en#e-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
While eperenzlow makes some valid points, I checked on the history of the Silent Gray fellows. They came out in 1906. The first v-twin came 3 years later and then the F-head came out in 1929.

As far as the famous Potato sound - I recall it comes from cam and idle speed, not the pipe alone.

I think the backlash on noise is not because of potatoe sounding engines but rather the dragon roar that comes from pipes a few steps above the 80 dB limit when the trottles are opened up and redlines are reached

I watched the Seattle Cosacks perform on their bikes from the 30's and they purred. I have heard flat heads, knuckles, pans, shovels, and evos all tuned right. None of them roared loud when in vintage form. Instead each had its own symphony of rattles and ticks as lifters worked, gases flowed, and trannys went through the gears. All were potato sounding to some extent because they idled low.

When I got my TC, the previous owner had the hot idle turned down to 500 rpm. It had a potato sound. I have heard stock Dynas bark louder than any of the production (excluding SE) bikes and sound more like a potato sounding bike. Still they are within the newer laws.

Finally, my last shop bike (a 2002 Yamaha Roadstar) had an adjustment that could be done to turn the idle down and it sounded more like a potato at idle than the TC. Did not matter if was stock, drag, or dual crossover exhaust.

The concern is how loud, not rhythm.

Finally as far as HD and the aftermarket. From all the problems the 96" motors have, there is plenty of opportunity for improvement without causing lawmakers to get their pens out.
 

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I needed a tylenol after that read............

Bottom line is, the EPA tier two emission standard 2008~2010 is to blame not HD.
IF you have the time to read all 25,000 pages you will see that this new standard will change many many things we use every day.

No more plastic fuel containers.
How we fuel our vehicles.
Tons more.

Nothing can be done as the wheels have been in motion for the past few years............too little too late.
Motorcycles have been given a "free pass" for many many years on emissions.

All the foot stamping and breath holding will never change the EPA/CARB
Bottom line is, it is not your RIGHT to make noise.......period.

WITH the new standard looming I see new machines every day.
Dyno testing them shows little gains even with exhaust, air and fuel recalibration.
Prices of a system and EFI controller far outweigh gains.....


Just a few moments ago we were talking about when we will see the first fine from CARB on systems we sell to customers in California.........
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There is some hope

ohiomoxter, sounds like you are part of a small shop like myself. I remember a few years back at the V-Twin dealer show in Cincinnatti, there was a panel of the top engine makers covering EPA concerns. It was revealed that the big companies like HD, Honda, and so on rolled over when the first laws (1979 and newer) were made known that they would be enforced.

The place was packed. The AMA was there as well in talks with the EPA and from that we now have several companies like S&S offering us smaller guys the opportunity to buy compliant power plants as long as we do not build 4,000 or more bikes a year.

The EPA is ok with that and AMA is trying hard everyday to keep bikers from being pushed off the roads and trails. However, there seems to be one thing that no one, not even the almighty HD and HOG can not fight - noise complaints.

I read a few years back that the off road riders were losing riding privilages even on private land because of noise. Now we street folks are facing the same problem.

I agree with the article stating, "No one expects everyone to change out their straight pipes overnight. But we must all must consider changing our thinking."

I have seen Samson come out with quieter pipes that perform better than their louder models. I have heard 07's with SE pipes quieter than my 99 stock, but still can take me in performance. Decibels do not equal power. Cagers cannot hear inside their little safe zones. If they cannot hear a siren that will defen the folks running with it on over time, then how does a pipe even at 109 dB expect to make the cager more aware? What reasoning is left for the louder than 80 db pipes? Attention? Yes, but it is drawing the wrong kind if it costs us the use of certain areas.

So we still have exhaust choices. We always will have as long as we behave and police ourselves. It is like the rider mentioned about correcting his partner for blipping while passing a church in session.

If not then we will see more laws like Denver requiring a stamped pipe from the manufacturer or worse - like Germany where SE is a rare find.
 

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R-RatedCustoms said:
As far as the famous Potato sound - I recall it comes from cam and idle speed, not the pipe alone.

I think the backlash on noise is not because of potatoe sounding engines but rather the dragon roar that comes from pipes a few steps above the 80 dB limit when the trottles are opened up and redlines are reached

The concern is how loud, not rhythm.
I think you're right about the sound. It is a combination of cam and idle which makes the rythm and pipes which carry and shape the sound. That's why some pipes are high-pitched and tinny, some rumble deep, and some bark plain 'ol loud. The point is that there is a certain amount of loud that goes to make that sound audible, and distinctive.

When I bought my '06, you couldn't hear jack. It sounded awful. My wife asked me how I liked the new Honda. Put a set of Supertrapp SE's on (just under 3db louder than stock according to the maker) and you can now hear the idle and it has a pleasing rumble which barks on command but can be reasonable in the neighborhood.

The problem is that the nanny crowd won't let you go 3db louder than stock. They want you off the road. They'd rather have you riding a Hoover. Let me give you an example. Last Saturday, I took my son for a ride. We came back into town, and as we were crossing a small concrete bridge after just turning left (2nd gear between 2k & 3k rpm), I go past a pedestrian soccer mom who sees me coming and claps her hands over her ears before I go by. Gimme a break. I wasn't jacking the throttle, or being obnoxious in any way, yet she acted like Atilla and the Huns were about to come by and make off with her. That's the problem - people on the other side who seem to think that they're entitled to never have to smell a fart in their lifetime. Believe me- they don't like you, me or what we represent, no matter how reasonably we act or how responsible we are. That's why they don't give a **** when they pull out in front of you, or cut you off in traffic. You don't matter in their little world.

If you don't stick up for yourself and the things you believe in, the dickweeds - on both sides of the issue - will get you. That's my beef with the MoCo on this issue. Yeah, you're right - nobody's got the right to "make noise". But the levels set are unrealistic and getting worse when stuff like Denver's "nothing but an EPA stamp is acceptable" is allowed to stand.
 

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Actually, I currently work for HMF Performance. We are an aftermarket exhaust company.
Before HMF, I worked with SuperTrapp for 7 years.


sO I kinda have my finger on the pulse of the indusrty...



R-RatedCustoms said:
ohiomoxter, sounds like you are part of a small shop like myself. QUOTE]
 

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You don't get it..........that EPA stamp has been there since the 1980's.
It is NOT the MOCO's fault they are compliant in stock form.
It is the END USER that is breaking the law NOT the manufacturer.

No amount of crying or foot stamping will change the EPA/CARB....sorry.....
Denver is simply following a law that has been on the books for a long long long time. It is iron clad and useless to try to get arounf it.

Check this out:
Read it and weep !
http://www.noiseoff.org/pipes/section.09.01.shtml



eprenzlow said:
If you don't stick up for yourself and the things you believe in, the dickweeds - on both sides of the issue - will get you. That's my beef with the MoCo on this issue. Yeah, you're right - nobody's got the right to "make noise". But the levels set are unrealistic and getting worse when stuff like Denver's "nothing but an EPA stamp is acceptable" is allowed to stand.
 

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ohiomotoxer said:
I've seen that before, about the model-specific frame and muffler labels. I know that my 1999 HD has never had a frame label and the stock mufflers are long gone--but I don't remember seeing any such markings on them either. They were just slip-on mufflers, albeit to fit FXR's, so that made them a bit unusual in mounting points.

To my knowledge, the stock mufflers for my bike (1999 HD FXR2) are discontinued. I wonder what the EPA would have owners of such bikes do? I have to believe that if this gets really serious, that HD could make a ton of money by making a line of retro-fit EPA compliant mufflers for those bikes whose stock systems have been removed or alterred.

Pre-1979 bikes get a bye, and owners of new ones can be told to leave them alone, but what about all those bikes in between? Yard art? Artificial reef material? Scrap steel?
 

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ohiomotoxer said:
Actually, I currently work for HMF Performance. We are an aftermarket exhaust company.
Before HMF, I worked with SuperTrapp for 7 years.


sO I kinda have my finger on the pulse of the indusrty...



R-RatedCustoms said:
ohiomoxter, sounds like you are part of a small shop like myself. QUOTE]
Johnny; so if you worked for Supertrapp, what's you take on their SE's that are the production pipes which replaced the ones they made for Screamin Eagle? 3db sound about right? If I'm not mistaken, you can be +/- 3db on a sound test and still be legal. Let me know if that's not correct. So, someone should be able to make a pipe a litle louder than 80 db and still get the magic stamp.

By the way - I do get it. I just don't like Harley suddenly posing for holy pictures on the noise issue when for years, they played the game and profited handsomely from it. It's not their fault that their stock pipes are compliant, but I don't think thay made much of an effort to come up with a stock pipe that didn't sound like crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
eprenzlow said:
ohiomotoxer said:
Actually, I currently work for HMF Performance. We are an aftermarket exhaust company.
Before HMF, I worked with SuperTrapp for 7 years.


sO I kinda have my finger on the pulse of the indusrty...





Johnny; so if you worked for Supertrapp, what's you take on their SE's that are the production pipes which replaced the ones they made for Screamin Eagle? 3db sound about right? If I'm not mistaken, you can be +/- 3db on a sound test and still be legal. Let me know if that's not correct. So, someone should be able to make a pipe a litle louder than 80 db and still get the magic stamp.

By the way - I do get it. I just don't like Harley suddenly posing for holy pictures on the noise issue when for years, they played the game and profited handsomely from it. It's not their fault that their stock pipes are compliant, but I don't think thay made much of an effort to come up with a stock pipe that didn't sound like crap.
Hear hear on the stock new cans missing some things. I cannot figure out why the Touring mufflers allow the pipe out past the cone. I am sure there is some engineering behind it, but the little protective film of black is not getting in the cone and the cone then starts rusting. I am sure that sooner than the previous mufflers, these newer ones will rust the cone out.

I agree that 3 is not much, but maybe the worried soccer mom had a knee jerk reaction due to exposure of some less polite riders in the past. Seems like a perfect example of how the lawmakers might be reacting as well in that area?
 

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eprenzlow said:
people on the other side who seem to think that they're entitled to never have to smell a fart in their lifetime. Believe me- they don't like you, me or what we represent, no matter how reasonably we act or how responsible we are. That's why they don't give a **** when they pull out in front of you, or cut you off in traffic. You don't matter in their little world. If you don't stick up for yourself and the things you believe in, the dickweeds - on both sides of the issue - will get you.

That's a classic! ;)

btw, not that it means much..... but you wrote, what I feel after reading the article.
 

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EPA & pipes long since trashed & HD

FXR2 said:
I've seen that before, about the model-specific frame and muffler labels. I know that my 1999 HD has never had a frame label and the stock mufflers are long gone--but I don't remember seeing any such markings on them either. They were just slip-on mufflers, albeit to fit FXR's, so that made them a bit unusual in mounting points.

To my knowledge, the stock mufflers for my bike (1999 HD FXR2) are discontinued. I wonder what the EPA would have owners of such bikes do? I have to believe that if this gets really serious, that HD could make a ton of money by making a line of retro-fit EPA compliant mufflers for those bikes whose stock systems have been removed or alterred.

Pre-1979 bikes get a bye, and owners of new ones can be told to leave them alone, but what about all those bikes in between? Yard art? Artificial reef material? Scrap steel?
A person who works in a local dealership a while back told me that the next "income stream" will be replacing smog/emission equipment that was shitcanned by owners (read as: next to EVERYONE) in order to meet upcoming law changes and enforcement of existing ones. I say those of you who kept your stock exhaust maybe you made a smart decision. Stuffs gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets A WHOLE LOT WORSE.....Joy.
Tim
 

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1bdBagr said:
A person who works in a local dealership a while back told me that the next "income stream" will be replacing smog/emission equipment that was shitcanned by owners (read as: next to EVERYONE) in order to meet upcoming law changes and enforcement of existing ones. I say those of you who kept your stock exhaust maybe you made a smart decision. Stuffs gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets A WHOLE LOT WORSE.....Joy.
Tim
The part about HD selling a whole bunch of replacement emission stuff is easy to imagine. But it's about more than loud pipes. I actualy still have the stock headpipes but don't have the slip-ons anymore. But there's more to all this. What would have to be done to a motor whose heads, cams, and ignition have long since been replaced by hi-perf stuff....from HD no less? I wonder how many such motors could never meet today's EPA emission standards, no matter how quiet they might be made to be by installing new mufflers.

It would be pretty funny (sarcasm) to see a huge pile of junked Screaming Eagle heads, cams and ignition modules, aloong with pipes, out behind every HD dealership as they are replaced by bone stock parts---at huge expense to the owners.

Of course, HD would gladly rather sell those owners a new bike. Might be another part of the "plan".
 

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IMO, the people complaining about loud pipes will also complain about Stock pipes, if they can "hear" the bike at all they will complain. it's not going to end if you put on Stock pipes. Control and your bike off the road is what they want. Just my opinion. Chewy
 
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