I'm going to load up some huge sub-woofers in my Escalade and start blasting 50 Cent. Not because I like Fitty's music (if you can call it that). I will pump out throbbing bass for safety.
As ridiculous as that might sound, it's the rationale used by thousands of motorcyclists who yank the exhaust off their bikes. "It's not my libido- it's for safety."
The myth that "loud pipes save lives" appears to be more popular than ever. But even more obvious is the public backlash against annoying exhaust pipes. Almost daily I see news reports of another town or community enacting ordinances to limit motorcycle sound levels.
You might ask, "Doesn't that piss you off?" Not nearly as much as the reaction from the motorcycling community.
Any discussion of the issue is typically off-limits. More often than not the immediate reaction is the old don't-tread-on-me line. The teary-eyed plea from flag-draped bikers is, "We're the real victims here, man." Sorry, it just doesn't hold water. The fact is a self-absorbed minority have created a problem, but everyone who rides is going to suffer the consequences. Playing roshambo with individual rights isn't going to solve anything.
According to the American Motorcyclists Association: "Of the myriad issues facing motorcyclists today, excessive motorcycle sound has become the single greatest threat to American motorcycling’s future. It’s among the most controversial and potentially divisive issues in motorcycling and, we believe, the issue over which motorcyclists have the most control."
Dude, that's not some government think tank- that's a quote from the AM-freakin' A.
There is no proof whatsoever that excessive sound makes a motorcyclist any safer. Now you can find tons of anecdotal evidence: "I revved her up and the car snapped right back into their lane." Which does prove something- the need for more rider awareness training. Are you riding in someone's blind spot? Then you need to spend money on an MSF course, not drag pipes.
According to the Hurt Report, almost 80% of motorcycle collisions that result in fatalities originate in front of you. The 11:00 o'clock position to be exact. No surprise to me- most of my Oh Shit moments involve a car pulling out of a driveway, left-turners, etc. We drive on the right side of the road so oncoming traffic will be somewhere in that 10 to 12 o'clock area.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that loud pipes, or rap music, won't offer you any protection.