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Should we crack down on loud pipes?


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It’s spring. Even though there’s a coronavirus pandemic on, motorcyclists are still taking to the streets (hey, the AMA and MIC and even the Motorcycle Safety Foundation are telling us to get ready). And with all those motorcycles getting out on the roads, we’re going to see the seasonal re-emergence of the loud pipes crowd.

Some people like loud pipes. Love ’em, even.

And, some people share the same basic opinion as Tristan Hopper, columnist for the National Post, Canada’s semi-conservative national newspaper:

Fact is,  in recent years, Canada’s become a battleground over the loud pipes issue. Canada has long been one of Harley-Davidson’s top export markets (for years, it was Harley’s second-biggest customer, right after the US). There are plenty of other cruisers around, and a decent sportbike subculture in the cities (after all, a Gixxer is the perfect thing for going block to block, amiright?). One of the first modifications most of these owners are doing to their bikes? A new exhaust. Canada’s still pretty loosey-goosey on aftermarket add-ons, so you’ve got a lot of really loud bikes running around.

That’s all fine and dandy for the owners, but it’s frustrating a lot of other people. That’s why the new “sound camera” technology was developed in Canada. This device works on the same basic premise as a speed camera; it identifies vehicles that are too noisy, takes a picture of their plate, and mails a ticket to the owner. It saw testing in western Canada, and now it’s spreading to Europe.

The inventor of the sound camera came up with the idea after a passing loud-pipe biker woke up his baby, that had just gotten to sleep. That’s the exact scenario played out in the video above. No matter what way you cut it, that’s a bad look for motorcyclists. So here’s the question: Is it time for all of us (not just Canadians) to do something about loud pipes? Leave your thoughts in the comments …

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