New York targets bikes


"I’m going deaf. It’s those damned New York motorcycles!"

A bill that would target motorcycle noise levels in New York City is unfair, says the American Motorcyclist Association.

The AMA says the bill, which is about to get final approval and would make it illegal for a motorcycle to be on a city street unless its exhaust system is stamped with approval from the Environmental Protection Agency, is "outrageous."

"This is no way to operate a democracy," claimed Imre Szauter, the AMA’s government affairs manager.

Motorcyclists caught without an EPA-stamped exhaust could be fined $1,000 for a first offence, and suffer temporary loss of their bike until the fine is paid.

Szauter notes that the AMA has long opposed excessive motorcycle sound, but riders who cannot find stock exhaust systems for their bikes will be unfairly punished by the measure.


  1. Tank, there should be noise restrictions on lawnmowers as well, but that’s another topic…

    I don’t see any modded lawnmowers with straight pipes and I nobody in my neighbourhood cuts their grass at night… but, there are pr*cks who think it’s ok to cruise through residential streets with straight pipes at all hours of the day.

    What’s the big deal if there are noise restrictions? Like Editor ‘arris and a others have mentioned, the a**holes with ridiculously loud pipes (straight or otherwise) are giving all riders a bad name.

    Have some respect.

  2. Any lawnmower is louder than 80 decibels. How many of you have a landscaper that makes a lot of noise and no one complains? Please! No biker is sitting in front of your house revving his engine to piss you off. If you make all the bikes nice and quiet, How many bikers are going to get hurt or killed before someone thinks this was a bad idea? As far as Taking My Ride for a noise infraction they can kiss my ass. I have seen what happens to an impounded bike!

  3. The proposed law was way to draconian, and actually exceed US EPA specs and so would probably have been challenged. As I understand it, it apparently has been withdrawn, anyway.

    Still, folks who insist on ridiculously loud exhaust systems – and it’s not just straight-pipe cruisers, although they’re the worst offenders – are bringing this kind of trouble down on all the rest of us. And yes, I would also like to see some enforcement of noise laws where cars and light trucks are concerned, too. Most of the rice-boy cars you see just sound like crap. And then there’s car stereo systems…

  4. We’ve become such a self serving what’s in it for me cast your judgement on others type of society that our instincts have become “how can we control those who annoy us…even if they only kinda sort of annoy us” rather than let the individual decide. I don’t like open pipes, but there’s a million other things I don’t like which doesn’t case me to try to control other peoples rights. Suck it up, focus on important shit, stop bitching ya bunch of controlling little crybabies.

    Have a nice day 🙂

  5. “And the only way something is going to get a “North American Standard” stamp or reasonable facsimile is if the standard manufacturers’ stamp is used hence stock pipes only.”

    Well, it doesn’t have to be like that, but once you get politicians in on the act then who knows, but I still think it’s a good idea *providing* that it’s done in a logical manner (which probably applies to pretty well all good ideas).

  6. And the only way something is going to get a “North American Standard” stamp or reasonable facsimile is if the standard manufacturers’ stamp is used hence stock pipes only.

  7. Okay, no I am not against any aftermarket pipe, just the horribly loud ones that piss everyone off and give ammo to anti-motorcycle types.
    And I only agree with the idea of a stamp system to help clarify pipe legality, not such silly things as seizure, huge fines and retro application.
    If my memory serves me right, when the system was brought into the UK, it applied to bikes manufactured only after the date it was put into force and non compliance either got a ticket or a requirement to prove that the pipe had been replaced by a legit one within 7 days. 😡

  8. Jeez, we’re talking about a 1000 minimum fine and immediate seizure of personal property here, you guys are obviously ok with that? Anybody with an aftermarket pipe has to immediately find an approved pipe, that’s fair? I’d have to toss my Hindle on my Blade ’cause it’s not stamped! Maybe some of you can tell me why an aftermarket exhaust is ok on a car but not a bike? I had a Supertrap on my car when I was 18 that’s was far louder than my Harley, but that would be ok, eh? You guys don’t see the biker bashing going on here? Geez, get yer head out of your arses…

  9. All the times I’ve been to NYC, bikes don’t seem to be as big as a problem as delivery vans and trucks and especially the garbage trucks that run at night. Put foot to the floor, drive 50 feet, let the jake on straight pipes stop you, repeat, 10,000 times. And please, if you want to quiet the big apple, enforce the “no honking” laws in effect, or write the signs in 5 different languages so the cabbies have a chance of reading and understanding it. But… if it has to be done (laws for pipes) I like the idea presented mr’arris, less roadside subjectiveness by anti-bike cops

  10. As far as I know if one wants to ride off road in state or national forests/ORV areas in the US the exhaust on the bike needs to be approved by the US forestry service with a spark arrestor and a limit of 96 db.
    What’s wrong with regulating the same issue (noise) on the road?

  11. They have a similar system to this in the UK where exhaust systems need a British Standard stamp on them to be legal.
    I think it’s a great idea as it allows for a quick and easy way to check legality at the road side (providing they’ve not been tampered with of course).
    As long as the system allows for any pipe to be tested without making it hugely expensive to do so, then I’m all for it.

  12. Bikes have NEVER been the problem in NYC like they are elsewhere. It’s a revenue-grab, and nothing more. (See related articles in the last couple of weeks about boosting taxes on anything that moves.)

  13. So… would this apply to those merely passing through New York? Would it be retroactive… ie old bikes need to be recertified by some authority?
    What a nightmare!

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