Bathurst bans loud pipes

Harley-Davidson exhaust
Harley-Davidson exhaust
Whether or not loud pipes save lives, you’re going to have to keep your motorcycle below 92 decibels in Bathurst this summer. Photo:

Bathurst, New Brunswick, has passed a bylaw against noisy motorcycles.

City leaders passed the law limiting motorcycle exhaust noise to 92 decibels during Monday night’s council meeting, and many local motorcyclists aren’t happy.

CBC reports a group showed up at the council meeting to protest the bylaw, complete with signs expressing their discontent. They’re claiming discrimination against motorcyclists, but as mayor Stephen Brunet pointed out, as long as you aren’t making a racket in town, nobody’s going to hassle you.

It doesn’t look like the loud-pipe-loving bikers are going to get much sympathy for their position, though – CBC’s story on the bylaw has a comment section quickly filling with support for the new regulation, with readers from other New Brunswick cities saying they’d like to see their municipalities draw up similar laws.

Edmonton’s noise bylaw seems to have inspired other Albertan communities to look at motorcycle noise bylaws; will Bathurst’s decision have the same effect in New Brunswick?


  1. […] Il y a trois ans, Bathurst était une des villes au Canada qui avait pris la décision de faire la guerre contre les silencieux bruyants en mettant en place une loi interne qui permettait aux policiers de donner des amendes aux motocyclistes avec des pots d’échappements produisants plus de 92 décibels. À l’époque, les motocyclistes ont protestés et ont accusé la ville de discrimination. L’amerture relié à l’enjeux persiste encore à ce jour. […]

  2. […] Three years ago, Bathurst was just one of several Canadian cities that decided it was time to strike back against loud pipes, bringing in a bylaw that allowed officers to ticket motorcyclists with exhausts louder than 92 db. At the time, bikers complained, saying they were being discriminated against, and that anger hasn’t gone away. […]

  3. it should not matter what type of bike or how loud it is, it should matter how you drive it. even the loudest bikes are not “that” loud when not hammering on the throttle.

  4. Hey Jimbo,

    OEM pipes…I doubt that would be the problem. Don’t worry about the “other” noisy small peckered types. Their turn is coming. The squeaky wheel get the grease first.
    Legislation like this is truly unfortunate, but in the absence of common sense that is so pervasive today, there really isn’t any other alternative.

  5. Good for Bathurst! There is a similar movement in St. John’s. During the summer afternoons, cruisers with loud pipes drive back and forth the downtown district blipping their throttles and lunging about. It’s painful to work, and it’s painful to shop. They also swamp the deck at my favourite coffee joint in their shiny HD-branded leathers drinking decaf lattes and discussing Geritol and Matlock. I have never seen a more inconsiderate bunch of old codgers.

  6. The first (and only) time I rode a cruiser with a shorty helmet, I was astonished by the amount of windnoise at 60 kph. No wonder ‘V-Twin’ riders want open pipes – you can’t hear your own bike due to the wind noise.

    If those riders wore decent full coverage helmets, they’d find that those helmets, and proper lane position, saves lives – not loud pipes.

  7. I guess I won’t be visiting Bathurst, then. I won’t be buying any gas there, eating in any of their restaurants, shopping in any of their stores, or staying at any of their hotels. Won’t spend a dime there. Wouldn’t want to disturb them.

    • Excellent! Perhaps you should sit in your own driveway and rev your poorly-carbureted strap-on.

      Loud pipes = small pecker.

      • All my bikes are fully stock, with normal OEM mufflers. They are not loud, and I do not think loud pipes save lives. I just don’t like being discriminated against. If they want to establish a maximum noise ordinance (that applies to everybody), that’s fine. But to say that only motorcyclists have to obey the law, and everyone else gets a waiver, is not right.

        And please stop thinking about my pecker.

        • how are you being discriminated against if, as you say “All my bikes are fully stock, with normal OEM mufflers. They are not loud…”

          you did read the story right???… it’s about a crackdown on LOUD bikes….

  8. These by-laws don’t affect only the loud pipers. In Edmonton, a check point is setup and if you are on a bike you are being pulled over at those check points. So yes, even the quiet bikes are being hassled by the by-law.

    • “even the quiet bikes are being hassled by the by-law.”
      which is why most of us riders who are not attention w h o r e s are just as upset with noisy bikes as the rest of the public….     

  9. I gotta say, I never hear these “loud truck and car’ guys. Ever. But as sure as spring rolls around, I hear cruiser after cruiser drive by my house blipping his throttle to get that “extra powerful” sound.

  10. I agree that we need to have some repect for other peoples rights to peace and quiet, but what about the guys with straight pipes on their trucks and the “coffee can” exhaust on the 4cyl sports cars…are they subject to the same decibel legislation? What about a lawn mower…??

    I mean really, they are all noise polution, so why the different rules…??


  11. I must also agree with the bylaws. As usual a few ruin it for the majority. Communities need to also look at the tuner cars with the booming speakers you can hear for miles at night.

  12. Loud pipes have been annoying people for generations. My only question is. Why did it take so long for this type of legislation?

    • Population. Loud pipes have not been an issue for generations. There has been room for them to blast away, disturbing only a few people at a time. Now, with so much population, mainly residential, we all have to give up some “freedoms” to live together.

  13. With no loud pipes now, lives will be put at risk? It’s bad enough riders are already forced to wear dangerous helmets! 🙂

  14. I used to ride with a cruiser guy until he traded in his metric cruiser for a Harley which was not loud enough…he put pipes on it and it was just too loud and attracted too much unwanted attention and looks of disgust. I gave up riding with him…even I couldn’t stand the racket!

  15. These laws are unfortunate, but honestly, what did all these dumb clucks who feel the need to make an ungodly racket everywhere they go was going to happen eventually? I mean, painfully loud exhausts combined with “look at me” attention getting use of the throttle in town? Grow up.

Join the conversation!