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Premium Member
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581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I am not from the States, but from Europe, Bosnia, I'd like to ask you one question. So, as far as I know and according to the USA laws and legislation, loud and louder pipes and mufflers are forbidden, i.e. are not legal for use on the city streets and highways. But, almost all Harleys have aftermarket (loud) pipes and mufflers. How come? What about police?

This is interesting question for me, thanks in advance for your reply.

All the best!

emirharley
"Sarajevo Bikers Club" MC
www.sarajevobikersclub.ba
-----------------------------------------------------
2001 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic FLHRCI HDI EFI
Screamin' Eagle Stage One Kit
RevTech DFO Stealth Performance System
Screamin' Eagle Performance Mufflers
(Set two: Wild Pig Pipes, 2" baffles)
Ape Hanger
Back Rest
Kuryakyn Spider Light
...
et cetera
..
.
 

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Premium Member
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245 Posts
its the enforcement..

There are, and have been for a long time laws on the books against modifying exhaust systems, EPA regulations at the Federal level, many states have such laws, and many counties and cities have laws against excessive noise.

To date, except in some cities where the public has made a lot of complaints or the cops need a crusade, there simply hasn't been much enforcement. Few states require an annual inspection and those that do are more interested in safety equipment...adequate lights, good tires, etc.

In most areas, unless you're being a complete b*tthead and reving up and setting off car alarms, the cops won't pay you much mind. But, that's a judgement call on their part, if you've got a modified exhaust, you can be stopped and ticketed. If you're smart, you just try not to get their attention.

In most states, cars have to have an annual inspection for compliance with smog regulations, and part of the inspection is to check for modified exhaust, and you will get a citation and not be able to register your car if one is found. There's no legal or technical reason why the same can't be required of bikes, and if/when this happens, a lot of us have a problem.

Some areas, Carefree in Arizona, and Laguna Beach California come to mind, they really do enforce, there's cops by the side of the road with a decibel meter and they'll run you down and ticket you just like a radar speed trap. Again, this is usually the result of the guys revving open stacks, at all hours of the day or night until the citizens complain to the city council who lean on the police who start to lean on bikers.
 

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Premium Member
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581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, AndrewM01, very much for taking your time to write this very detailed answer. Obviously all depends on policeman's "good will", that's for sure.

Thanks once more, be safe and enjoy the ride and the life!

Best

emirharley
"Sarajevo Bikers Club" MC
[email protected]
www.sarajevobikersclub.ba
-----------------------------------------------------
2001 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic FLHRCI HDI EFI
Screamin' Eagle Stage One Kit
RevTech DFO Stealth Performance System
Screamin' Eagle Performance Mufflers
(Set two: Wild Pig Pipes, 2" baffles)
Ape Hanger
Back Rest
Kuryakyn Spider Light
...
et cetera
..
.
 

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Registered
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260 Posts
Similar to Sodomy and adult Fornication(unmaried sex) laws, it's simply rarely enforced.

I recently went from non-baffled straight pipes, which were on the bike when I purchased it, to quiet factory exhaust. The local wrench said I was "a first".:) He literally had 3 semi trailers full of take-off exhausts for me to dig through and find what I needed.
 

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23 Posts
Due mostly to budget problems, many police depts have had to make a choice as to what laws they can spend time on to enforce, and around where I live, taxpayers demand to feel safe. Departments rightly spend their stretched resources hunting felony criminals and don't have time for infractions that only annoy people---that's a gross oversimplication, but as they say about playground basketball, "no blood, no foul":nunu:
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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4,369 Posts
Most of the police here in NJ will stop you for speeding, reckless or careless driving. In doing these illegal activities, you may find many loud motorcycles. Generally speaking, it is the excessive noise that brings us/you to their attention. Since the local and state police are not "trained" in decible meters, they are satisfied in ticketing you for careless, reckless driving and/or speeding. Those are "sure fire" tickets. ie: revenue.
 

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2005 Road King Classic
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2,649 Posts
Don't forget about the police that ride Harleys with loud pipes.:brows:

I still have the stock exhaust on my bike. Funny thing is there is one car, in my neighborhood, that everytime I go by it the alarm goes off. Go figure. It never happens to the guy with the Honda Goldwing sewing machine as he drives by.:dunno:
 

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Premium Member
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581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One thing is for sure: it is not the bike (sound) that triggers the alarm, but bad quality of the device/alarm. In most Europen countries, it is illegal to use the alarm devices which could be triggered by the SOUND or by the low frequency sound produced my other vehicles (trucks, mufflers, et cetera).

emirharley
"Sarajevo Bikers Club" MC
[email protected]
www.sarajevobikersclub.ba
-----------------------------------------------------
2001 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic FLHRCI HDI EFI
Screamin' Eagle Stage One Kit
RevTech DFO Stealth Performance System
Screamin' Eagle Performance Mufflers
(Set two: Wild Pig Pipes, 2" baffles)
Ape Hanger
Back Rest
Kuryakyn Spider Light
...
et cetera
..
 

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279 Posts
Most of the time, cops don't have the time to sit and wait to write "cites"
for pipes. They will usually tag pipes as an add on to speeding, etc. If
someone is being obnoxious with an attitude and making a general ass
of himself with the loud pipes, they will make the hit. If a rider is keeping
the sound to a minimum and showing consideration going through town it's
usually not an issue.

There are new and existing city ordinances in place due to excessive
noise complaints these days and some of these cities and towns are
having special details in force as a crackdown and citing anything on
2 wheels. Unfortunately, those with the "attitude" have blown it for
all concerned; there seems to be a lot of "attitude" around these days.
 

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I was just talking with the service manager at my dealership and he was telling me about some new S&S exhausts that meet the noise requirements in CA yet don't lose any power. They can be mounted on any performance headers like the Rinehart true dual. They won't work on stock headers. He says they are still louder than SE slip ons.

This might be a good solution when and if the crackdown comes.

If S&S is working this out, then maybe BUB will too... then I get to keep my black tips.
 

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I know there may never be an actual stat, but I'm wondering how many Harley riders actually run their "stock" pipes? I'm just guessing 30%? For me, I bought my V&H Ovals just weeks after buying my Harley.
 

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Infidel
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6,331 Posts
Phil P. said:
Unfortunately, those with the "attitude" have blown it for
all concerned; there seems to be a lot of "attitude" around these days.
Phil,

You've hit the nail squarely on the head.

regards,

wyo
 

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Premium Member
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183 Posts
I'm one of the rare individuals who prefer the stock exhaust. When I bought my Heritage Softail Classic last July, I had the stage 1 air cleaner, ECM reflash and Screaming Eagle II slip on mufflers installed. 5000 miles later, last month, I just got tired of hearing all the racket, and tired of feeling conspicuous every time I got on the throttle. Off came the Screaming Eagles, back on went the brand new stock mufflers. What a difference! The stocks still have a nice low sound, but the bark is gone forever. It actually sounds more like a Harley to me than the louder non-stock exhuasts. It sure is a lot more pleasant on a long ride. And I can get on the wick close to my neighbors or a policeman without worrying.
With the stage 1 air cleaner and ECM reflash, the bike is a bit richer, but not very much. Just perfect!
All the noise in the world and a $5 bill will make you $5 richer...
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do not know about you, but my stock mufflers (HD RKC) have NO SOUND AT ALL! Nothing. But, never mind.....So, did I understand correctly: loud mufflers = only US$ 5 ticket (police) ? No, it can't be like that, since in Europe whatever you pay you feel like you survived street robbery.
 

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Restless
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1,672 Posts
8-Ball said:
I was just talking with the service manager at my dealership and he was telling me about some new S&S exhausts that meet the noise requirements in CA yet don't lose any power. They can be mounted on any performance headers like the Rinehart true dual. They won't work on stock headers. He says they are still louder than SE slip ons.

This might be a good solution when and if the crackdown comes.

If S&S is working this out, then maybe BUB will too... then I get to keep my black tips.
Are you talking about S&S's SPO touring mufflers?
 

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Premium Member
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290 Posts
In the St. Louis, Missouri area it is a rarity to come across stock pipes on a H-D. I personally can only remember running across such a bike once. I was very odd indeed to see this Duece on the on-ramp to a highway but not hear a thing!

I have rented H-D's in Durango and Grand Junction, Colorado last summer. These dealers are now keeping their rental fleet and fly-and-ride fleet totally stock. I had an Classic, all stock Electra-Glide for about a week cruising solo in the western US of A and it was not "satisfying" to grab a fistfull of throttle and not be rewarded by the sound of that famous H-D 45 degree roar and rumble!
:crying: "I want my loud pipes back!"
 

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Tommy Meisel said:
I'm one of the rare individuals who prefer the stock exhaust. When I bought my Heritage Softail Classic last July, I had the stage 1 air cleaner, ECM reflash and Screaming Eagle II slip on mufflers installed. 5000 miles later, last month, I just got tired of hearing all the racket, and tired of feeling conspicuous every time I got on the throttle. Off came the Screaming Eagles, back on went the brand new stock mufflers. What a difference! The stocks still have a nice low sound, but the bark is gone forever. It actually sounds more like a Harley to me than the louder non-stock exhuasts. It sure is a lot more pleasant on a long ride. And I can get on the wick close to my neighbors or a policeman without worrying.
With the stage 1 air cleaner and ECM reflash, the bike is a bit richer, but not very much. Just perfect!
All the noise in the world and a $5 bill will make you $5 richer...
Same here, when I bought my bike it had a heck of a bark, too much for me, I couldn't hear myself think. Took it to the dealer a week later for original pipes, they thought I was nuts for wanting quiet pipes.
 

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I couldn't get the stock pipes off fast enough. Sounded like a big honda.
We have a local biker bar/restraunt near here, gets 50- 100 bikes sometimes at once.
Seems like eight out of ten people who leave there have to blast their pipes.
I've never been hasseled for exhaust,but I try to use a little restaint around the citizens,,,,unless they cut me off.
:whistle:
 

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Emirharley...... How true. I lived in Poland for two years before recently moving to The Netherlands. I loved every minute of it but........ travelling through Eastern Europe, my biggest fear was the police! :badmood: Twice I was escorted to an ATM in Warsaw before I figured out how to deal with these guys. No tickets or reciepts for payment either.

My wife was stopped by a cop for basically doing nothing coming out of a shopping center parking lot. The cop detained her with three kids in the car for over an hour trying to make her pay him 250 euros. She made the mistake of speaking some Polish to him instead of playing dumb. :nunu: Finally she ended up giving him 25 euros. I registerd a formal complaint with the City of Warsaw, no response.

Never had a problem with my very loud thunderheader on the Dyna in Poland. Always attracted a crowd of very curious (usually friendly) onlookers. Went to one small resort town and spent two hours letting families take pictures of their kids sitting on my bike!

So far so good in Holland, just had about 10 photoradar tickets 4 months but no probelms with the police. (yet)
 
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