letters | dealing with loud motorcycles

A mere EPA stamp won’t quiet bikes’ blare

As an avid rider for the last 40 years, the president of a motorcycle organization, and a member of the American Motorcyclist Association, I note that many riders are as annoyed as Scot Lehigh by excessive motorcycle exhaust noise (“What crackdown on loud bikes?” Op-ed, Aug. 30).

For nearly 80 years the American Motorcyclist Association has had a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle sound. However, for many reasons, the answer is not, as Lehigh suggests, to require motorcycle mufflers to bear an EPA-approval stamp. (It’s a simple procedure, for example, to remove the baffles of an approved muffler.)

The Society of Automotive Engineers has produced a simple, consistent, and economical sound test standard that can be used to determine whether an on-highway motorcycle exhaust system emits excessive sound. The standard offers specific sound level limits, easily confirmed with a decibel meter.


As the association states, there are few other factors that contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively loud motorcycles.

Bill Litant


The writer is president of BSA Owners’ Club of New England.