A neighbor walked up my drive the other day as I did some maintenance on my V1k. He smiled at me and said "my wife loves your motorcycle, it's really quiet". That's the attitude of the general population. Some of us might like the "look at me" pipes, or stereo blasting Willy Nelson. But trust me, the nimbys will eventually stop it. People hate loud noise, and they will vote to stop it.
You can argue and hate on me for saying it, but it's inevitable.
Personally, if the tech was mature enough and the price more realistic, I'd love an electric bike, nothing but tire and wind noise. I won't live to see an anti-gravity hover bike. But that would be cool!
I'm in and out of campgrounds a lot, and my diesel skoolie is already loud as hell. I don't need that on my bike, too, especially when I'm boondocking somewhere remote. Easier to sneak in and out in the mornings/evenings for a long day without waking up the people or the animals!
I'm also generally a very quiet person and I hate drawing attention to myself or pissing people off just because of my own preferences, so there's that. I follow Einstein's formula for success in real life and on my bike (X+Y+Z=A, if A is great success, then X is work, Y is play, and Z is keeping your damn mouth shut )
As far as louder pipes being safer because cars can hear you, that doesn't apply to loud diesel trucks or people that blast their music way too loud in their car and can't even hear emergency vehicles approaching.
Having a fairly severe case of tinnitus doesn't help my view on loud pipes, either. I wear the no-noise earplugs because even my quiet X300 makes the 20k tone in my head crank (also the wind), but I can still hear emergency vehicles and other things on the road really well with them. My father rides HD (Ultra Classic) and insists on the loud pipes, but he's also lost his hearing after 35 years on the road 🤷♂️
A while ago I was listening to a local talk show here in Vancouver and the topic was loud motorcycles. Very hot topic. A dopey motorcycle rider from out in one of the suburbs that might be classified as living in the sticks called in. He says its so noisy in Vancouver that his loud pipes don't make any difference and its a good place to make noise. Then another poser rider from Van calls in and says he likes to go out in the country to open up his loud pipes so he doesn't disturb people. You cant go anywhere now that there are no people living or trying to get away from noise. Of course they both are wearing earplugs. So everyone else no matter where they live has to suffer. As far as" loud pipes save lives", use lights instead of noise. LED aux. and running lighting uses very little power. A 1 watt LED makes a lot of running light. People who ride bicycles know know how well this works. So I agree with others, loud pipes give the rest of us a bad name. Its the 21st century and soon all us gas powered bikes are gonna have our performance lunch eaten by electric anyways.
I've probably said this before, and probably in this thread since it is several years old, but the one place where I see loud pipes making a difference is on the California interstates. As long as the bike isn't exceeding the speed of the cars by a lot you will hear the bike and know to stay in your lane as they split lanes past you.
I did put aftermarket pipes on my Moto Guzzi, but the baffles are in. It is not LOUD, but not quiet either. It is a lot lighter and the shorter pipes do look better on the bike. First bike I have ever changed the pipes on.
My Van Van is my campground bike and it is almost electric quiet.
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