Loud pipes saves lives... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Loud pipes saves lives...

Let me preface this with this is my opinion ONLY. I like intelligent discourse so if you don't agree please let me know with some civility.

I see the comments and have discussions all the time about louder exhausts and how they make safer bikes. Sadly this is situational at best and with sound proofing in cars I highly doubt it makes much difference.

Then you get into the aspect of the Doppler Effect those cars in front of you aren't hearing anything until you are next to them, which is debateable due to soundproofing in the car as well as the blue tooth headset in their ear and/or the radio cranked to a volume described as AHHH MY EARS BLEED!!! Also factor in climate control and the fan's white noise and the fact glass can block certain registers of sound. Your left with the fact that most cars won't hear your exhaust until you are right next to them and minimally at best.

So if you love how your exhaust sounds - AWESOME!

If you think/ or know it improves performance and that is what you want - AWESOME!!!

If you think the traffic ahead of you or directly to your left or right can hear it more than what ever they are focusing on you - MAYBE

If your exhaust is louder than a police, ambulance or fire engine siren - my advice is wear hearing protection.

Physics is against the loud pipes saves lives thing. Environmental controls and comfort in cars is against this also. As an example think about how long it took to hear that ambulance behind you now factor in your exhaust probably isn't as loud. Now think of you on a motorcycle with a loud exhaust directly under your right ear and wearing a helmet... your actually less likely to hear things than a driver.

I love hearing different exhausts but louder pipes won't help you as much as riding defensively.

Be safe fellow rider and enjoy your ride. I was having a conversation at happy hour last night (diet coke and lime all the way and free wings ). I wish I had saved the napkin drawings of sound wave demonstration. Was talking to some Harley/Vulcan riders I ran into last night who saw me pull in on the Versys and started chit chatting with me about how quiet my bike was compared to theirs. I managed to score a free burger out of the deal, especially when I kept refusing beers.

Just imagine some big bearded beefy pirate making WOOOOO noises in a bar to demonstrate sound level differences by walking to and from us. By the way they were great to talk to and had some tips for my ride trip next year on some places to stop along the way for scenery pictures.

"Why do I ride?"


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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:41 AM
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My $.02 on the subject.


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Bones... thanks for some more reading material!

I bookmarked the main site so I can peruse it at my leisure.

P.S. One of your articles reminds of why I am taking my trip next year. I think there is some dust here in my office as my eye's started to water man.

"Why do I ride?"


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Last edited by MikeV; 01-12-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:13 AM
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Nicely put MikeV, I'm pretty much in agreement with all you said. It's situational at best and if everyone rode a bike that was as loud as a pirate ship it would be miserable for people riding bikes, walking, convertibles, etc...

I've had several instances where I was coming up to pass on the left and they decide to move over and pass about the same time, as I rolled off the throttle the sound of my bike let them know that I was there and they'd stay in their lane but, as you said, most newer vehicles are so soundproof and than all the other distractions don't make that something you can count on. Ride defensively and being 'proficient' as a rider are the keys to enjoyment and safety not loud pipes!

Ride To Live, Live To Ride....no, really!
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:40 AM
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If I need a car to hear me, I use the horn- that's what it's for!
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:54 AM
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Stebel Nautilus air horn that is

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:55 AM
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just my opinion/viewpoint on life
EVERY right comes with responsibilities
you may claim you have the right to as loud as a chimp with a set of cymbals
I claim you need to respect my right to live peacefully
you don't have a right to force your choices on me
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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I agree Blackdog.

I just wish that those with loud pipes could admit that scientifically the loud pipes do nothing for safety in 90% of cases.

I was reading some decibel information on exhausts recently and it seems like the unbaffled exhausts run at about 126-150dB from the side and rear while not moving. If you factor in how soundwave decibels are less from the front you're probably losing about 20dB if not more. Normal conversation is between 75-90dB if I recall correctly. Most interiors of cars will deaden noise by 15-30dB from some specs I've seen. Once you factor in radios, white noise from fans, and people yapping on cellphones be it speaker or headsets it gets even more interesting.

So from the rear of a vehicle a louder exhaust is probably blasting out (an overestimate to be safe) of a steady 95-100dB. Conservative would be 75-90dB.

Which means you are probably only reaching 75-90dB of sound inside the car if not less.

These are just some rough estimates if I had some measuring equipment I'd think about running an experiment just to see because I it interests me a bit. Won't even get into the ambient air conditions of humidity and temperature which effect sound wave length also.

Ok I think I've reached my nerdiness for the day. Anyone seen the latest issue of Maxim?

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 09:46 AM
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when it comes to our toys logic and reason do not apply, and I decided a long time ago that it was a waste of time to argue with beliefs
I'm still waiting for my helmet to kill me
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 10:09 AM
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Ever notice the people who claim loud pipes save lives would not be caught dead wearing Hi Vis gear?

I you shine the hard light of reality on the whole aftermarket exhaust thing it probably has the worst cost/benefit ratio of any mod you can make to a bike. If your lucky you might gain a few imperceptible HP from you bike for the cost of a set saddle bags or set of heated gear or maybe a high end Gortex motorcycle jacket. This comes at the cost of extra noise which is going to annoy a lot of people and dull your awareness of other vehicles on the road.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Nice points Sprocket.

I didn't even factor in that portion. I was actually just approaching it from a decibel perception. Interesting.

Which reminds me I need to buy a roll of 3m reflective tape so I can put some on my new hard cases.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeV View Post
Hey Bones... thanks for some more reading material!

I bookmarked the main site so I can peruse it at my leisure.

P.S. One of your articles reminds of why I am taking my trip next year. I think there is some dust here in my office as my eye's started to water man.
You're welcome, Mike. Yes, take that trip with your Dad. I gave the eulogy at my Dad's funeral and referenced that trip and how much it meant to me. One of my friends who was in the congregation did not come to the reception but he called me the next day to explain his absence: he left the church, went to a travel agency and booked a trip to Florida to spend a few days golfing with his father. They had a great time. A couple months later his father died (on a golf course!). You never know...


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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 10:32 AM
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you don't need high vis markings or heated gear when you only ride bar to bar one or two days a week in large herds (like sheep)

I know that's their choice....but really
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:26 PM
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ice cream headache?

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 02:34 PM
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I hear loud pipes while i am driving. Don't know where the heck the bike is 95% of the time because it is blocked by other traffic. If I don't see the bike/rider (and being a bike rider I am more aware of bikes on the road than non-riders) i will hit the blinker and make that lane change, loud pipe or not. As a driver I would much rather a rider made sure he was easy to be seen and not heard.

My 2 cents.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:08 PM
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This is my signature on another forum:

I believe it is better to be seen than to be heard. Remember, they give out licenses to deaf people, but not blind people.

Hi Viz and Lights are better than loud pipes.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:37 PM
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i agree with this discussion in saying that loud pipes might not be statistically proven to save the lives of the rider, BUT I have seen a huge difference in the amount of people that walk out in front of me in the city. It used to happen all the time and now that people can hear me coming, they don't try to cut across the street in front of me nearly as often.

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 03:59 AM
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I find that the loud pipes makes a difference when you are very near the vehicle you are tailing. Other than that, is like what's being said. It's better to have your lights out bright, add-on more lights so that the vehicle in front of you will take notice of the lights from his rear view mirrors. I'll say, the 2 daylight LED driving lights I had installed is making life easier for me as cars that wanna change lanes (I split lanes) would stop doing so and goes back into their lanes.

I have a buddy with a V with a loud pipe. At speeds of 130kph, I couldn't hear him when he's behind me. I can hear him if he's in front of me.

Bright Lights save lives.

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 03:39 PM
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Most dangers lie ahead of you, and those ahead don't hear much from your exhaust. This includes the rider himself, since the exhaust is usually behind is head, and aimed away from his head. (That's not quite true for the Versys, but you get the point.)

Therefore, loud pipes are mostly heard by those who don't have to, and probably don't want to hear them.

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