Loud pipes earn fines


Edmonton police test their new motorcycle-sound meters.

Loud pipes may or may not save lives*,
but they will surely cost money this summer in one Alberta city.

The city of Edmonton has moved to
require motorcycles to keep within noise limits as specified by the new SAE J2825 sound emission tests for motorcycles.

Any motorcycles that exceeds the test limits will be subject to a fine of $250.

Edmonton police have acquired eight
sound meters, and will start using them on some city streets next

Police said motorcycles across Canada
were tested for adherence to the sound limit while the Edmonton law
was being written; about one in six failed the test, but all had
modified exhaust systems. They said stock pipes had no trouble

Edmonton’s city council still needs to
pass the bylaw, but that is expected.


It’s a 2 stage test;

First an idle test, which can be
as a screening test where the sound level of any model tested must not
exceed 92dbA. Following the screening test a mid
test is conducted, motorcycles are separated into 2 classes:

  • 2000 rpm for less than 3 cylinders
    and more than 4 cylinder, limit is 96 dbA
  • 5000 rpm for 3 or 4 cylinders,
    is 100 dbA

(test procedure calls for 75% of
rpm or 2000/5000 rpm, whichever is less)

*You’re entitled to your opinion, but CMG says loud pipes suck.


  1. I agree completely as long as this is fairly applied. There is nothing that burns my biscuit more than some knuckle head on an open piped bike blasting by. It gives all of us a bad name.
    While we’re at it, how about quietening the 130dB beepers on kneeling transit buses. One of these stops at 5:15 am outside my house very day. Apparently it’s “required safety equipment”.

  2. Won’t effect me I have a Honda VTX 1300c made in Ohio USA (stock pipes), or at least assembled there. No attitude here…….

  3. Hay Deb
    Great idea. We almost need to start a site for people to post there ticket dates. This way people can pool there money together in respects to lawyer fees. I have not been fined yet but have heard many that have. Every one that I have talked to will be fighting it. But as for setting up a site I m not to computer SMRT.

  4. 🙂 I not only live in Canada because of it’s freedoms and independance from dictatorship, I AM EFFIN CANADIAN…..born, raised and lived in this area eversince. I am more Fricken Canadian than any neighbor I have, BUT, they dictate the laws……. I am thinking it is time for the TRUE Canadians to stand tall and tell the Wanna Be Canadians, that YES, we do have loud pipes 4 – 6 months of the year. So Fricken What. How loud is your LawnMower or your Motherinlaw? Or your nephews new Truck/with Woofers, Tweeters and a white girl!!!!!! See my support in Court…Sept 8th

  5. Okay, it’s been over two weeks since I received my Summons for my Loud pipes, and after posting, was hoping to hear from someone else that was also ticketed. I have reconsidered and WILL go to court. Sucks that I have to spend Sept 8th at the courthouse, BUT, I feel it necessary to be heard.I know for a fact that other riders got taken down that same day and look forward to their presence in court. THIS, must be altered as far as a law. Isn’t there a 11:00P.M.Noisebylaw, and shouldn’t this have some effect on us legal riders? I’ve got some thoughts to share that day and will be prepared!

  6. Here’s the deal. If loud pipes piss you off, go the other way. I am not saying we should run open straights and wake up the neighbours. But the ass that sits in his Honda Civic with the 9inch tail pipe and 10,000 watt stereo is distrubing the peace a hell of lot more then a big V-Twin going past. It’s the same as a person buying a house near an airport knowing that it’s there, and then complaining about the noise. If you want piece and quiet you are living to close to the rest of the population, I hear real estate is cheap in the middle of Hudson Bay!

  7. There is NO fairness to this law. I was cruising at a big 50 km in a 50km zone when 2 vehicles passed me. Not seconds later I had a police pull me over. I was not speeding, acting like an idiot or doing anything that would remotely be illegal. BUT, then out came the sound meter. Listen, this is nothing but a CASH COW for the Effin City of Edmonton. I will go and pay the fricken fine, BUT, I will not give the city of Edmonton my time or money anymore. I do not live in the city and do not need the hassles. Screw you city Council and your high and mighty decisions!

  8. just bought a decibal meter. My lawn mower is 94 db! Why can my neighbour run a lawn mower for an hour outside my window, but if i run my bike past his house for 15 seconds, i get a fine? i tested the lawn mower from the same 20 inches and 45 degree angle. Discrimination!!! And can you all shut your kids up at the park ? They are disturbing my quiet day. How about city transit? Louder and goes by more often than loud bikes! Planes going over my house are quite loud also. cant hear my bike when they are coming in to land! Const. sites, dogs, strong winds trains, transports. I have rights too!

  9. My dick is huge! And my pipes are loud. And I’m respectful. What do you whiners think of that? Don’t beleive me? whip it out!

  10. Speaking of emerging nanny states, in the UK recently they were distributing safety vests as a good idea, though not a requirement [yet]. A ridiculous idea but one that is touted for the simple reason that some motorists and motorcyclists don’t practice the sufficient cunning that would have them cautious around intersections and heavy traffic. If we can intelligently deal with those situations then we will have prudently survived, and require less regulation, in order to drive like hell on those low-traffic, gnarled back roads. I ride more off-road than I used to for these very reasons.

  11. …more potential say over the individual. Look at Europe. You want individualism go live on the deserted northern plains. Or wait for our numbers to drastically reduce. Post-Armageddon pipe sales should be through the roof. More people translates into more differences and more of those who are bothered by excessive and unnecessary noise. If the noise is ‘necessary’ we tolerate it but if it is for stunted ego reasons we recommend therapy. Why not stealth your way around – silence and cunning.

    I’m glad most posters here have the sense not to fuck things up for the rest.

  12. “I came to Canada to get away from a dictatorship, seems like it’s coming back. There’s nothing new here folks, open pipes were likely more common 20-30 years ago on average then there are now. [Not true – and way more bikes today] The only difference today is more whiners, an ever so eager government to take more of our $$$, police who want to hold more power, and a public who love to bend over. ”

    Wrong Ruip, it’s simpler than your paranoid fantasy. It’s due to an ncreasing number of people, not a dictator. More people and naturally the collective has…

  13. LP:
    “One man’s obnoxious is another man’s pleasure. ” That is true and is why there are regulations in the first place.

  14. By all means, test for excessive exhaust sound, but test all vehichles equally. My hearing (and backyard relaxation) is equally affected by excessively loud trucks, cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, busses etc.

    But they must also weight the rankings for type of sound. 90 degree twins do make a much sweeter sound than 45 degree single crankpin twins. :p And straight sixes sound better than boxer fours. And diesels, well they just sound awful, not matter what type. 😉

  15. I think this may be a record for number of comments. Who’d have thunk that load pipes would cause so much debate … 🙂

    BTW, when you post a comment it shows an error code but your comment will still be posted. We’ll get on that right away. Maybe.

  16. One thing that has become abundantly clear to me over the past few days is:

    Loud Pipes Cause Arguments

    That might be a good enough reason to have them banned. Until then, I’m going to investigate the price of bumper stickers.

  17. Has anyone cared to check how loud 92dB is…this is basically targetting the guys (and gals) who run straight pipes. There are a few aftermarket suppliers who went for the extra flow that will be on the hit list, but for the most part, if you have baffling/packing in your muffler, you will make it through…

    And yes, it shoud be applied to all vehicles…a 1/2 ton with a V8 and straight pipes is just as obnoxious.

    That’s my two cents…

  18. I think we all need to take a breather.
    Maybe break another law and have a wee smoke to clear the air.
    Then we can sit back and say WOW MAN, who would have thought this topic could occupy us to such an extent.
    Who would have thought there was so much hidden animosity lurking in the minds of we otherwise seemingly good natured bike types?

    Don’t Bogart … pass it on over to me … ah that’s better.

    Peace love and goodwill to all … 8)

  19. Wow … from pipes to immigration?? The officials should really be asking people if they are planning to run straight pipes BEFORE they let them land to Canada. That would solve it would it not?

  20. If that was at Calabogie, procedure is different, noise meter is a lot further back. Still, 90% of aftermarket exhausts that aren’t straight pipes should pass. Also, THIS IS NOT A NEW LAW just a way to properly enforce an existing one that has been on the books for decades!

  21. To give you an idea of results of similar testing, I just had my bike sound-tested at Turn2 (!). My FZ1 with a Yosh pipe, came in at 90db. That’s at 8 grand!

  22. Now getting back on topic, the whole point of majority rules; well let’s hope not. Far too many Canadians have no time for motorcyclists – because it’s bad for the environment, a strain on our healthcare, a burden on insurance costs, etc. Loud pipes barely enter into it, unless you’re one of those who buys a home in the country and then believes you can own the earspace around it. This “if I don’t like it you can’t have it” attitude is the real danger. And for those of you in support of this law, can anyone tell me how its enforcable when two of my bikes don’t even have a tach.

  23. Name calling? When I said we should be tolerant of dumbasses I was referring to loud teenagers & loud motorcyclists. But you’ve just clearly shown yourself to be exactly that…maybe you can refer me to the part of the charter that refers to me as a 2nd tier “paper Canadian’, that somehow I have less of a right to voice my opinion than you do. Fortunately, your bigoted opinion has no connection with reality, but atleast you still have the freedom to choose which ass check of mine you can kiss.

  24. Rui, its precisely because of tolerant people like myself that people like you have been allowed to emigrate to this country. And you’re like many immigrants I Know – come to Canada, become a paper Canadian, and then start criticizing the country without understanding what is self-evident.

    As previously stated, you’re more than welcome to go back to where you came from. Or would you prefer to confirm your boorishness and resume the name-calling – the last defence of a bereft argument?
    Flail away but I think losing your audience.

  25. I just came in from a nightime swim – was looking for a tranquil moment just by myself…if it wasn’t for those loudmouth kids 3 houses over screaming marco polo in their own pool. Maybe I should call my MP, yeah, a new law will shut them up!? Or maybe I should just call it a night and go inside…for those of you complaining that you hear loud bikes from your house…then maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t have bought a house so close to a major street. SHAAAADUP already!

    And Blackie, it’s because I’m clearly more Canadian than you that I understand tolerance, even with dumbasses.

  26. Your right to loud pipes ends when you drive three blocks away from my home and wake me up from my afternoon nap because a painting fell off my wall.
    Don’t like the law? Don’t be a F%#$tard and have some respect.
    Got no respect for others? Hey guess what, YOU’RE being treated with no respect.

  27. Another article to be filed in the “No Shite, Sherlock” drawer. I’ve been saying it for years – the loud pipes crowd are screwing it for the rest of us and by the time we collectively realise this, it will be too late.

  28. Well, ruip, you don’t seem to be able to recognize a democracy when you see one. This law is being implemented because the vast majority of people are sick and tired of obnoxiously loud pipes shattering their enjoyment of life. THEY want this law and there’s more of them than there are of you.

    If you’re having difficulty grasping the concept then I respectfully suggest you try a different country.

  29. Being that I live in Edmonton and I have a slip-on on my bike this little by-law hits me pretty close to home. As much as I don’t agree with the implementation of this by-law, I do not blame the police. They are not the ones calling for it and they are not the ones who want to have to enforce it. Having a noise ordinance and a measurable way to enforce it is not a bad idea in itself, what really upsets me about it is the targeting of a specific minority group. It should apply to ALL vehicles not just motorcycles.

  30. People like LP do not get it. They claim to have the “right” to run loud exhausts on the vehicles. What they do not have is respect for other people and their rights, or the right to infringe on those rights, such as not having to put up with excessive traffic noise. The reason I have not, nor will I ever, put a loud exhaust on any of my bikes is that I have too much respect for my neighbours and others It is sad that it has come to the point that such a law has been deemed necessary by those in charge, but it is a price that we all may have to pay for the selfishness of other

  31. Papa Z and LP seem to get it, rest of you don’t. I don’t need more laws ‘nor more government. I came to Canada to get away from a dictatorship, seems like it’s coming back. There’s nothing new here folks, open pipes were likely more common 20-30 years ago on average then there are now. The only difference today is more whiners, an ever so eager government to take more of our $$$, police who want to hold more power, and a public who love to bend over.
    For the record, my cruiser remains stock – didn’t buy it for performance, but my sportbike and car have aftermarket parts incl. exhaust.

  32. At least they are using a db meter instead of there highly trained and sensitive ears to pass judgement on what is to loud!!

  33. One man’s obnoxious is another man’s pleasure.

    Look, I like my quiet just like everyone else and all my bikes are relatively quiet.
    My personal pet peeve is loud cruisers, but I’m just not sure I want to give cops yet one more reason to pull over somebody who I think is a “short pecker-ed” loud piped fool.
    I am hoping the fascination with loud pipes will become socially unfashionable without yet another fucking law.
    But then again, I am a bit of a dreamer …

    love to all … :zzz

  34. Roadrunner, you do not have a Charter right against random stops for compliance with the HTA; R. v. Ladouceur, Supreme Court of Canada, long time ago. Now can a municipality pass a law about the vehicle rather than the way people drive? I doubt it; but they can ask their municipal police to enforce existing regs, including Transport Canada exhaust system requirements.

    Personally, I’d prefer enforcement of existing laws to the incessant passing of new ones. When is the last time a dumb law was repealed?

  35. LP,

    I think you have missed the point. The law will, I’m certain, be applied against OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD motorcycles.

    Buddy of mine just had his Termignoni-piped Ducati tested at a temporary test amnesty program put on by the Vancouver police. At idle he passed, at 4,000rpm he failed at 101 db. Cops told him they wouldn’t be pulling him over as his bike wasn’t loud enough to get their attention.

    So no, the sky is not falling. Just a light shower. 🙂

  36. Got pulled into a “MC safety check” last Sat. on Hwy. 6, Pt. Dover. I wasn’t concerned about my stock bike, but I don’t like the “papers please” Nazi style interuptions to my freedom of movement, charter rights. If someone deserves to be pulled over, go get ’em. If they are quietly minding their own business,leave them alone.

  37. What a bunch of crap! Can no one see that this just another tax, and that it is aimed at a group of people that Joe public won’t back up. It is another way of taking away your freedoms and taxing you for it. Then it makes it easier to take something else from another minority group and tax them for it, until you Joe public find that one by one all your freedoms are gone and the fat politicians have taxed you to death to support their overpriced lifestyle at your cost!

  38. Having lived through far too many Edmonton/Calgary/Red Deer summers with the ear ripping blast of Merch-motored Harleys wrecking the summer evening peace, I can understand why this law has been enacted. It was pretty bad on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton; one asswipe on a VTX1800 was an especially egregious offender. I agree the law should apply equally to all vehicles, as I remember one day in a garage in Red Deer watching a brand new Dodge V10 having it’s factory exhaust ripped out for some name brand sewer-pipe bolt-on so he could broadcast the evidence of his oilfield riches to all and sundry.

  39. Whoa … this topic sure reveals some inner biker angst.
    It is almost like there is no one here who has put a nice pipe on an engine to celebrate the musical qualities of the internal combustion engine.
    It is almost like everyone here has lost their sense of humour.
    It is almost like everyone here rides with an orange safety vest and longs for an airbag and maybe their mommy’s tit for a nice little late night snack.
    Oh, the sky is falling because another loud bike is coming down the road … but man it sounds good … was that the new cross plane crank R1?
    Sleep well … all of you :grin

  40. Don’t forget the idiots with assorted musclecars and pickup trucks (including diesels) who feel that everyone should enjoy the sound of of their vehicles as much as they do. And while we’re at it, how about the semi-tractors that are running with no mufflers (and engine brakes)? Some of those things are ridiculously loud, too. It’s still hard to beat straight-pipe cruiser idiots for sheer volume, annoying sound quality, and asshole-ish attitudes, though.

  41. Here’s hoping they don’t just focus on bikes…

    Don’t forget all them sideways hat wearin, bling sportin’ billion watt stereo blastin’ wet fart muffler sportin four wheel cage goofballs too!

  42. Measurement is 20″ from exhaust outlet at 45 degree angle. This test shouldn’t be a problem unless you have a straight pipe, no packing left, or a way too small muffler.

  43. if they bring the same law to Ottawa, it’ll be interesting to see how they test my Ducati – I don’t have a tach.

    I have to admit – it sounds like a fair test (other than the lack of distance and direction listed above) 10′ in front is different than 10′ behind.

  44. Correctamundo Blackies E.T. Thanks to all those dickweeds for F`n things up for all of us. I never understood the need to announce your presence if you like to go fast,do you actually need another 5HP on a 150HP + bike or set off car alarms on your big air cooled V Twin?

  45. Again, thank you to all the short-peckered people who put obnoxiously loud exhaust systems on your bikes. We all get to pay for your selfishness.

  46. Communities need to find a way to effectively control traffic noise, this may not be the perfect solution but it’s a good start. Loud pipes cost biker rights and and hurt neighborhoods. More cities should follow Edmonton’s lead, I’m contacting my city council.

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