Nanaimo RCMP crack down on bikers

Singling out motorcyclists is just about as backward as policing from a horse. Unfortunately, loud pipes aren't making bikers any friends these days. Photo: Wikipedia
Singling out motorcyclists is just about as backward as policing from a horse. Unfortunately, loud pipes aren't making bikers any friends these days. Photo: Wikipedia

Motorcyclists in Nanaimo, BC, are being hassled by the Man, and they don’t like it.

The town’s RCMP force recently announced a motorcycle inspection program; if they see you ride by, they can pull you over for a spot check. The Times-Colonist newspaper says police will be looking at helmet and license issues and – surprise, surprise – checking out your motorcycle’s exhaust system to see if your bike’s too noisy.

Now, area motorcyclists are pretty sour about the whole thing, and they should be. Police officers shouldn’t be singling out riders for traffic citations. The RCMP says the move comes as part of a safety campaign, but as the riders rightly point out, if the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by car driver inattention, wouldn’t the cagers be a more logical target for a crackdown?

Of course, safety is only one side of this program, though – the RCMP aren’t checking your exhaust to make sure it’s loud enough to prevent an accident. Instead, they’re probably enforcing the 91-decibel limit because an overabundance of obnoxiously loud machines has local residents up in arms.

Canadian motorcyclists need to watch this situation and take notice; with loud pipe bans in Alberta and New Brunswick, and now this inspection program in BC, it appears public opinion is turning against noisy motorcycles. Maybe it’s time to start policing ourselves – before the RCMP does it for us.


  1. Simmer down Sonny Boy, before you get yerself beat up.
    Them’s two big groups yer insultin so be careful.
    But yeah…both groups would make a nice fire.

    • Only fag bikers, cops, and 8 year olds go to ‘parties’.

      Nice moniker and avatar. Confused much?

      Let me guess…you’re a tough-guy PC Libtard who is 100% on board with ‘diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’, eh?


  2. Not to contradict the consensus on the idiocy of “Loud Pipes Saves Lives”, however, with the new electric cycles coming out, they are looking at adding noise to them for security resons, as no one can hear them. Maybe a “Pipes Saves Lives” attitude.

  3. I can see both sides of this argument really. I’ve had alot of problems and many near misses on my little suzuki with people just plain not knowing i was there. It’s a quiet little bike and pretty forgettable. I honk the dinky little horn and I get ignored. My old harley chopper, people know I’m there. It’s not loud to the point of permanent hearing damage, but you know I’m there. If people actually looked around and used their eyes once in a while when they drive I wouldn’t worry as much probably. I feel bad for pedestrians and people in their yards and I apologize constantly to my neighbors. But I have to make sure that some idiot in their hermetically sealed bmw doesn’t smoke me because they’re not paying attention and they don’t realize I’m even there.
    That being said, open pipes on my old 45ci wla harley in question are barely as loud as a stock exhaust on a new big twin so there is obviously a limit to how loud it needs to be. 2.5″-3″ open pipes on a big twin and it’s so loud you don’t even know where the sound is coming from and kind of defeats the purpose. So maybe a reasonable accomodation like a decibal limit isn’t that bad an idea.

    • Sorry, but the ‘loud pipes argument’ doesn’t have much if any credibility in terms of being safe. Our riding skills in terms of scanning and predicting risks and then taking appropriate action will save your life, not noise from your pipes….which are pointed in the wrong direction to have any real effect anyway…is it a coincidence that sirens on emergency vehicles are all pointed in a forward direction? All my bikes have aftermarket cans, so don’t get me wrong, I like the sound of a crisp exhaust note, but riders who insist on essentially unmuffled bikes are causing all of us more grief than any amount of potential risk reduction.

  4. There are a lot more riders out there. I suspect the percentages haven’t changed much, but the volume sure has.
    There will be more adjustments required as society adapts to the increased number of motorcyclists and all of our quirks.
    Glad to see fewer opinions that “loud pipes save lives”.
    The idiocy of this defense has never ceased to amaze me.

  5. The self-policing opportunity has come and gone as at least part of the riding community and industry has been unwilling or unable to stop the obnoxious wall of noise that accompanies the “look at me” crowd. Now we cry foul when “the man” is going to do it for us… not through bias, high handed, selective enforcement but by going after offenders. And we are surprised how? If you dont want to be “targetted”…stop annoying people!

  6. “Maybe it’s time to start policing ourselves – before the RCMP does it for us.”

    That would have been a good idea.

  7. My experience from discussion on this subject on motorcycle forums is that some riders are convinced that their liking for the sound of their bike trumps everyone else’s desire to not be bothered by obnoxiously loud bikes. My personal observations are that the worst offenders are cruisers, particulary Harleys, many of which are obnoxious even at an idle, but other types of bikes are not immune, especially depending on how they’re ridden.

    This singling out of a particular type of bike without any cause is still bullshit, however.

  8. This is spreading like a virus…and I just bought a bike that screams “pull me over”…the stock exhaust is fairly loud, but I try not to open it up until I hit the hiway…but when slowing using engine braking it burps & farts a lot…hopefully the fact that it is stock will get me off…?? or I will just stay out of the noise bylaw municipalities…sorry Edmonton, I guess you can’t have anymore of my money…


  9. Well said, but I fear the ‘lets police ourselves’ approach is too late. We have only the loud pipes ‘look at me I’m cool’ crowd to thank for this (applies to cruisers and sportbikes alike).

  10. Seems to me there’s alot of open piped cruisers ridden by fellows dressed up like pirates around that area. I say bring on the sound testers, get these guys off the road and back onto their beat up pickup trucks. Leave motorcycling to people not interested in garnering public attention by blipping their throttles at city lights, and waking people up as they head home from the bar.

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