New York City Council unfairly targets motorcycle sound - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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New York City Council unfairly targets motorcycle sound

For thoses that live in, near, around or visit....

The New York City Council is considering a bill that the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) says discriminates against motorcyclists and imposes severe, out-of-line penalties.

The AMA also complained that the measure languished in the Council for two years and then, in a surprise move, was revived just a week before the scheduled final vote in December, allowing little opportunity for public comment. The Council has since pulled the bill off the agenda. It’s unknown when a final vote will be scheduled.

The measure would make it illegal for any motorcycle to be on city streets unless it has an exhaust system with a stamp that states it is approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Essentially that means the bike must have a stock exhaust system.

Motorcyclists caught without an EPA-stamped exhaust system would face fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense and temporary forfeiture of the motorcycle until the fine is paid. A second offense would result in a fine of up to $2,500 and permanent forfeiture of the motorcycle.

City officials apparently believe that requiring motorcyclists to have EPA-approved exhaust systems is easier to enforce than trying to prove a motorcycle exceeds the city’s vaguely defined 80-decibel sound limit.

AMA Government Affairs Manager Imre Szauter stressed that the AMA has long opposed excessive motorcycle sound and has funded information and public relations campaigns in support of quiet motorcycle use.

“The issue is that the New York City Council is unfairly singling out motorcyclists because motorcycles are the only vehicles covered under the bill,” he said. “If New York City officials believe they have a sound problem, then the problem should be handled through the existing noise ordinance and not through piecemeal legislation targeting specific modes of transportation.”

Szauter added that requiring motorcycles–and no other motor vehicles–to have a stock exhaust system is particularly discriminatory. When the muffler wears out or breaks on a car, the car owner can go to a local muffler shop and get an aftermarket system that costs much less than an original equipment system. The proposed New York City law wouldn’t allow a motorcyclist to do that, forcing the motorcyclist to potentially spend hundreds of dollars more for an original equipment system, assuming that system is even still available.

“If a motorcyclist can’t find a stock system, then the rider faces stiff fines and forfeiture of the machine, Szauter said. “These penalties are too severe and out of line when compared with other city laws.”

Szauter urged all New York City motorcyclists to contact their City Council members immediately and ask that they reject this discriminatory measure.

Concerned motorcyclists living outside the area, especially those who work in or frequently visit the city, should contact Speaker of City Council Christine Quinn by telephone at (212) 788-7210; by letter to City Hall, New York, NY 10007; or by e-mail by visiting http://council.nyc.gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml.

http://www.1st5ive.com/harley-davids...on/motorcycle/
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 11:15 AM
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The requirement doesn't seem too onerous.

The fines however are crazy!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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here is a little info on sound decibels

Noise Levels
Both the amount of noise and the length of time you are exposed to the noise determine its ability to damage your hearing. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. Sounds louder than 80 decibels are considered potentially hazardous. The noise chart below gives an idea of average decibel levels for everyday sounds around you.

Painful
150 dB = rock music peak

140 dB = firearms, air raid siren, jet engine

130 dB = jackhammer

120 dB = jet plane take-off, amplified rock music at 4-6 ft., car stereo, band practice

Extremely Loud
110 dB = rock music, model airplane

106 dB = timpani and bass drum rolls

100 dB = snowmobile, chain saw, pneumatic drill

90 dB = lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, subway

Very Loud
80 dB = alarm clock, busy street

70 dB = busy traffic, vacuum cleaner

60 dB = conversation, dishwasher

Moderate
50 dB = moderate rainfall

40 dB = quiet room

Faint
30 dB = whisper, quiet library
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 03:39 PM
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We have ourselves to blame for this. If bikes didn't run around with straight pipes this kind of thing would not have taken place.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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NYC has some of the most congested streets and roads in the country.
I think motorcycles should have a bit of amnesty when it comes to certain rules and laws. Some of the reasons being, we use less gas than most cars, we take up less space on the roads and they generally are less dirty with regards to pollution.

This proposed law is way too heavy handed and is biased towards riders.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 07:23 AM
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Here in NSW, Australia, similar legislation was brought in a few years ago. It was, after a lot of argument, proved to be foolish and was rescinded.

If the problem is noise, then noise levels should be the only test. Requiring OEM mufflers is unfair for bikes, which move through a lot of model replacements very quickly, and the same requirement for cars would put a whole industry out of business.

The legislation here brought three agencies into partnership, the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) who looks after vehicle registration, road speeds, fines etc. The EPA, and the Police.

The EPA forced the legislation then left it to others to make sense of it. They required that every motorcycle muffler had a sticker on it that stated the noise level and the bike it was made for. Trouble was, no such stickers existed. The only bikes that fitted were those with original equipment which were stamped in the factory.

The Police had the job of pulling over bikes and checking for the sticker (which, remember, did not exist) and preliminary noise levels.

A further irony was that the real noise culprits, the big Harleys etc, did not get pulled over. The coppers would have noise days on popular ride roads. Jap sports bikes got pulled over while the big thumpers with straight through pipes were left alone.

The RTA had the task of checking noise levels on bikes that were outlawed by the Police. This check could only be done in their own dedicated premises, of which only one site existed in the state. If the bike failed the test, or the sticker proved inadequate, the bike could not be ridden. And considering that nobody manufactured the stickers and nobody knew what they should look like, this meant bikes off the road for something that didn't exist.

The state motorcycle riders' association then started making the stickers (somebody just thought up the design) and selling them through bike shops. They were sticky back metal and had spaces for bike brand, noise level, and engine revs. I got a sticker for my old 1981 Suzuki (with after market muffler) and got a muffler shop to measure the level. I got my Dremel tool and engraved it. Suddenly I was legal.

Within a year or two the legislation was rescinded. Somehow there were enough politicians with motorbikes who agreed the whole system was foolish.

Noise laws here are now enforced solely on noise levels, not on requiring stickers or stamps on the equipment. I wish the NY riders well in among it all.

The next thing here in oz is a move to introduce front number plates. Seems the politicians have one brain that they share between them, sometimes.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 08:24 AM
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Requiring stock systems is discriminatory if only done to motorcycles,I understand the noise thing and agree but if I get a after market system and its no louder than stock its still illegal.Bull**it I say.but as stated we as motorcyclists as a group have done it to our self's,loud open pipes,aholes thinking its ok to rev the heck out of it in residential areas and being obnoxious idiots have lead to all of us being punished for the Small group who does this crap.We are reaping what we have sown

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 09:23 AM
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I don't have any problems with legislation that tries to control motorcycle noise. I live in a part of town where guys with teeny weenies go back and forth down the street revving the crap out of their bikes saying "look at me". The Harley crowd are the worst offenders and it's like every time their bike backfires they get an orgasm. I had one guy this summer that was revving his bike behind me at a traffic light. He let go of the clutch early and almost dropped his bike. They're idiots. When you get a group of them together it's multiple idiocy and the noise level is totally unnecessary.

These guys love to go where the noise reverberates off buildings, bridges, etc. My mother lives by a hospital and these jerks have no compassion for old people or sick people. They just want to be seen and heard. I know a guy who bought a downtown condo and sold it because he couldn't handle the motorcycle noise bouncing off the buildings. These guys think it's okay to go to somebody else's part of town, create a bunch of noise, and then go back to their quiet back yards and barbecues in suburbia. It's not kids on sports bikes that cause the problem. They don't want to be like old greasers who are living a mid life crisis on a cruiser.

This isn't a matter of assessing how loud you can go before it causes hearing damage, it's a matter of common courtesy.

The cops aren't going to pull over guys who aren't causing a problem just for something to do. They've got better things to do. If they need a sticker law to control the idiots, so be it.

Last edited by charly; 12-29-2008 at 09:35 AM.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 08:03 PM
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The City council has deferred this initiative according to the AMA "which means its not dead but wont be considered anytime soon".
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddjack View Post
Requiring stock systems is discriminatory if only done to motorcycles...
Yes, but it wouldn't be illegal discrimination. There is always pressure on groups (or objects) that are highly visible, and loud motorcycles are indeed visible (or audible) in their obnoxiousness.

A poor analogy perhaps, but consider the bans in many cities against specific breeds of dogs, especially the Pit Bull Terrier. Discrimination? Yes. Fair? Depends on your point of view. Legal and Constitutional? Depends on the language, but generally "yes."


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satex View Post
Yes, but it wouldn't be illegal discrimination. There is always pressure on groups (or objects) that are highly visible, and loud motorcycles are indeed visible (or audible) in their obnoxiousness.

A poor analogy perhaps, but consider the bans in many cities against specific breeds of dogs, especially the Pit Bull Terrier. Discrimination? Yes. Fair? Depends on your point of view. Legal and Constitutional? Depends on the language, but generally "yes."
True but not true,since motorcycle,s pay road taxes and are licensed to operated on public roads a case must be made to alter requirements and thats where the discrimination case can be won,other city's have tried and LOST in singling out motorcycles for discriminatory laws.Different than pet ownership laws ,Which are quite common and thus a precedent has been set

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 12:28 PM
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I may pay road taxes, but I still don't have the right to be loud and obnoxiousness. They must also inforce noise control on cars , trucks and the loud radios in them.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 12:39 PM
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When I had my KLR it came with a SuperTrapp exhaust. I didn't realize how loud it was because I always had my helmet on when I rode my bike. One day my neighbor nicely told me that my bike was really loud. She has two little kids. I felt kinda stupid. If I had of kept the bike I would have relunctantly put the stock exhaust back on even though it weighed a million pounds. I'll leave the Versys stock.

Last edited by charly; 01-01-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 03:43 PM
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North Scottsdale in AZ tried the same thing, setting an 80dB limit on bikes(think it was 80dB-might have been different).

There's a very popular weekend biker bar there and some of the residents got pissed off with the no muffler cruiser crowd, both HD and metric.

Some enterprising bikers went to Radio Shack (or similar) bought a dB meter and proved all their local garbage trucks exceeded the 80dB limit and so did some of their buses.

Believe it was taken off the books without going to a trial case.

Anyone in AZ tidy up my vague memory of exactly what happened??

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machog View Post
North Scottsdale in AZ tried the same thing, setting an 80dB limit on bikes(think it was 80dB-might have been different).

There's a very popular weekend biker bar there and some of the residents got pissed off with the no muffler cruiser crowd, both HD and metric.

Some enterprising bikers went to Radio Shack (or similar) bought a dB meter and proved all their local garbage trucks exceeded the 80dB limit and so did some of their buses.

Believe it was taken off the books without going to a trial case.

Anyone in AZ tidy up my vague memory of exactly what happened??

Machog
Which is my argument against these types of laws. There are MANY vehicles that are loud. People only seem to get upset at the vehicles that used for fun, but ignore the rest. Here in San Antonio they've been trying to bring in light rail forever, but in the same breath complain about traffic congestion & noisy mufflers on bikes & cars. The trains will be loud & block many streets causing more of the same.

Buses, trains, semi trucks, street sweepers, garbage trucks, construction vehicles, oh, and airplanes! Anybody live near an airport or an AF base? Now there is some noise...



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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:35 AM
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And my argument also. Noise should target noise, not bikes.

One aspect of the NSW state law is that the noise limit that applies to bikes is related to the year of manufacture, and to the noise limit of that era. My 1981 Suzuki was allowed 100db. My 2008 versys is only allowed 80 or 85, forget what current regs are.

However, there are more cars than motorbikes with noisy pipes in my part of the world.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tommylikesbeer View Post
I may pay road taxes, but I still don't have the right to be loud and obnoxiousness. They must also inforce noise control on cars , trucks and the loud radios in them.
I agree and thus my post,I HATE loud pipes on anything,its a look at me thing for those people IMHO.
Motorcyclists make themselfs higher profile thus attract more negitive reaction.The wonderful press does not help either. As i said I don't like em but without banning all motor driven machines from motorcycles to trucks with trailers with loud pipes its discrimination.

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Last edited by maddjack; 01-02-2009 at 08:47 PM.
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