Loud pipes don’t save lives. That’s right! I said it! I just don’t buy into the hype. I’m positive that some of you will disagree, some quite passionately, and I’m quite certain many of you will bombastically share several examples of situations you found yourself where were it not for the sound of your pipes some oblivious cager would’ve turned you into the latest statistic. But I’m not convinced that the sole reason you’re still here & telling your story and me how simple minded I am is simply the noise your motorcycle makes.
So here’s my defense: while the sound & volume of your exhaust system may have been a factor in avoiding an incident I would suggest that it was only that, one factor. I would be willing to bet that more often than not whether the attention of the other party was attained or not the result was left up to and handled by you and your own riding skills. Let me give you an example. My bike is piped out with what I would consider to be a beautiful rumble. Much louder than stock. While riding along the highway some cager merging onto the highway decided to jump an extra lane and come into mine. I was in sixth gear travelling at highway speed (and not one kilometer over, officer!) so you can assume that the bike was making noise well above an idle. Didn’t matter. This driver had no idea I was there! So it was up to me and my own ability to recognize the situation and react appropriately. Bike volume was of no factor at all in this instance.
To be fair I get it. As I mentioned above I have little doubt that many of you can provide a few examples of your pipe getting someone’s attention and thus avoiding a collision. But if that’s all it were then loud bikes would never get hit and the reality of it is they do. And don’t forget the ever increasing pressure on municipal and provincial governments to restrict decibel levels that clearly target specifically motorcycles! But that’s for another blog. So ride safe, keep your head on a swivel and always assume that everyone out there is aiming for you!!
Until next time, keep riding…