Why Loud Motorcycles Are Silent

If you are interested in riding a motorcycle, it is a good idea to consider muffling your exhaust. In fact, some provinces have already made loud motorcycle exhaust an automatic fine. Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, has also been vocal about the issue, calling for tougher motorcycle laws.

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Unmuffled motorcycles

When it comes to safety on the road, motorcycles with full-face helmets are more visible to other motorists. Additionally, riding on the left hand side of the lane improves visibility. Finally, wearing a single-coloured motorcycle jacket is better than riding in a matte black one. Moreover, riding with both hands on the handlebars helps increase visibility.

Motorcycle noise levels vary from bike to bike. The volume of a motorcycle depends on the engine’s design, aftermarket modifications and the rider’s attitude.

V-twin engines

V-twin motorcycle engines are the most popular types of motorcycle engines in the United States, and they are known for their loud exhaust noises. These engines are easy to make and feature a unique 45-degree “V” configuration. A single pin connects both pistons, which fire alternately on each revolution. This makes the exhaust sound rhythmic and similar to a V8 engine.

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There are many factors that influence the noise of motorcycle engines, including the cubic capacity of the engine and the design of the cylinders. Many motorcycles are quite quiet, but the size of their engine can make a difference. Single-cylinder and parallel twin engines are relatively quiet, while big capacity V-twin and inline-four engines tend to be loud. V-twin motorcycles are particularly noisy, because they use two large pistons that create a “pop, pop, pause” sound.

Inline-four engines

The inline-four engine is a type of gasoline engine with four cylinders in a line. The cylinders are parallel to each other and the crankshaft is in the middle. While the inline-four is considered the most common motorcycle engine design, there are some reasons to avoid it. These engines have many disadvantages, including being too loud and compromising on performance.

Inline-four motorcycle engines are known to be loud because they produce most power at the top of the rev range. Inline-four motorcycles, such as the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, can rev as high as 14,000 RPM. This gives them a distinctive racing sound and howl. These engines are often found on Japanese bikes, where they have become a staple of the bike industry.

Older bikes

Generally, older bikes are louder than newer ones. The reason for this is that older bikes’ exhaust pipes have corroded and become thinner over time. Owners may be too busy to attend to these problems. As a result, they do not realize that their bikes are making louder noises.

Some bike owners will install straight pipes that have no internal baffles. This adds a very loud sound to the bike, but has little to do with performance. These owners are mainly interested in the noise they make and are not concerned about performance.

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Noise control act

The noise from motorcycles can be so loud that it is possible to be pulled over by police. Although the police are allowed to cite violators, it may not always be possible to get to the source of the noise. To prove that a motorcycle is making excessive noise, police may need special testing equipment and training.

California has regulations that limit the noise of motorcycles. These regulations have set noise limits for different types of operating conditions. A motorcycle manufactured after 1970 must be no louder than 92 decibels, while one manufactured prior to that time period can be up to two decibels louder.


Motorcycles have a reputation for being loud, but a muffler can make them sound much quieter. Mufflers work by using sound absorbing materials to cancel out sound waves. They are similar to a concert hall, which is designed to provide the best acoustics for the soloist.

Since 1983, federal law has required motorcycle manufacturers to install mufflers. The regulations require mufflers to minimize noise emissions, but do not define what constitutes an effective muffler. Most state laws require that motorcycles use an EPA-approved muffler.