Loud Pipes Save Lives

Now they're kicking around the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" topic on HDForums . This topic never seems to die, and it's only b...

Loud Pipes Save LivesNow they're kicking around the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" topic on HDForums. This topic never seems to die, and it's only because local governments are on the attack.

In this case, someone wrote a letter to the editor of Rider Magazine, and asked if there is any evidence that loud pipes actually saves lives. The editor responds that it doesn't...
The "Loud Pipes Save Lives" argument is a red herring, created to excuse what is simply inconsiderate and generally illegal behavior meant to attract attention. The damage loud pipes on any kind of motorcycle do to our image and riding freedom (not to mention hearing) is irreparable, while motorcycling can be made safer by voluntarily increasing conspicuity (e.g.- reflective, brightly colored apparel), rider training and licensing, and wearing adequately protective apparel.
I don't know anyone who installs a new exhaust system for the purpose of safety, and I agree it's largely a battle cry of motorcycle rights organizations. But I don't agree that it's a red herring. In fact, I do believe that it can save lives, and probably has saved many.

First, emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks rely on loud noisemakers to get the attention of other motorists. So, we know for a fact that loud noises do get people's attention.

Second, I know this personally because I've heard the rumblings of motorcycles creep into my blind spot when driving a car. I may not hear it loud and clear with my car stereo playing, but I hear just enough that my conscience is telling me that the lane next to me is not open.

The fact is that the proof of loud pipes saving lives are the bikers alive and well. And we just can't prove that they're alive because of their exhaust volume or because of some other safety measure. We can only count them when they're dead. In other words, there's no scientific way to prove this without killing some bikers. For the editor of Rider Magazine, and I presume he's a motorcyclist, to say that this is a red herring, is being unrealistic.


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