AMA Position on Excessive Motorcycle Noise
Reprinted with permission from the Government Relations Section of the official AMA web site.
The American Motorcyclist Association, established in 1924, has maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle noise throughout its history. It has funded information and public relations campaigns in support of quiet motorcycle use and was the first motorsports sanctioning body in the world to regulate and reduce the sound level of racing vehicles.
The Association believes that few other factors contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively noisy motorcycles. A minority, riding loud motorcycles, may leave the impression that all motorcycles are loud. In fact, a significant percentage of the public does not realize that motorcycles are built to federally mandated noise control standards.
Each segment of the motorcycling community -- including the riders, event organizers, retailers and distributors, original equipment and aftermarket manufacturers, law enforcement and the safety community -- must realize that it cannot single- handedly solve this problem. However, each has a role and a responsibility in achieving a solution.
Shifting blame and failing to adopt responsible policies on a voluntary basis can only result in greater prejudice and discrimination against motorcycling. The consequences of continuing to ignore this issue will likely result in excessively rigorous state and federal standards, more expensive and less attractive motorcycles, the reduction of choices in aftermarket products, abusive enforcement of current laws and other solutions undesirable to riders and the motorcycle industry.
Based on its opposition to excessive motorcycle noise, the American Motorcyclist Association recommends the following:
•All motorcyclists should be sensitive to community standards and respect the rights of fellow citizens to enjoy a peaceful environment.
•Motorcyclists should not modify exhaust systems in a way that will increase sound to an offensive level.
•Organizers of motorcycle events should take steps through advertising, peer pressure and enforcement to make excessively loud motorcycles unwelcome.
•Motorcycle retailers should discourage the installation and use of excessively loud replacement exhaust systems.
•The motorcycle industry, including aftermarket suppliers of replacement exhaust systems, should adopt responsible product design and marketing policies aimed at limiting the cumulative impact of excessive motorcycle noise.
•Manufacturers producing motorcycles to appropriate federal standards should continue to educate their dealers and customers that louder exhaust systems do not necessarily improve the performance of a motorcycle.
•Law enforcement agencies should fairly and consistently enforce appropriate laws and ordinances against excessive vehicle noise.
•The motorcycle industry and the safety community should educate customers that excessive noise may be fatiguing to riders, making them less able to enjoy riding and less able to exercise good riding skills.