Loud pipes causing stir in Saint John

With militant pro-noise and anti-noise crowds, the battle over loud pipes could get interesting in Saint John.
With militant pro-noise and anti-noise crowds, the battle over loud pipes could get interesting in Saint John.

Motorcycle noise continues to be a hot topic for some residents of Saint John, N.B.

Earlier this year we told you that Saint John police wanted to address the vehicle noise issue this summer, perhaps by bringing in an anti-noise bylaw similar to Bathurst’s. Of course, many of the city’s motorcyclists were unhappy with this, since they feel Bathurst’s law discriminates against bikers.

But even though city council hasn’t addressed the issue with a bylaw yet, the concerned citizens behind the Noise Free Saint John Facebook group haven’t given up. They’ve started an online petition to fight noise, and recently spent a day with a noise meter in the city core, handing out “courtesy tickets” to people whose vehicles failed their meter test.

Bikers angered by this move turned around and hosted their own rally in the city’s core. The Noise Freedom Saint John rally ran the last weekend in July.

What lies ahead for the city? It’d be hard to imagine a future without some sort of noise bylaw for Saint John, but it sure looks as if the city’s bikers won’t take it lying down. It could get interesting, so stay tuned.


  1. people should get a life and find something they like to do, these cry babies are the same ones with their children on leashes or harnesses and dont go near the motorcycle man hes bad,a lot of cars got big loud exhaust and large truck but yet they keep picking out motorcycles, If the pass this law we should have motorcycles come from all over the nova scotia ant the world to protest this bull shit and make who ever crys about it , their town living hell

    • It’s that exact sort of anti-social behaviour that put the majority against motorcycles in the first place. Some douche decides to make somebody’s life hell (or simply doesn’t care how much noise they’re making) and the politicians take it as an opportunity to clamp down even further. It ALWAYS backfires.

  2. Loud sportbikes are a problem, too, although I’ve found that they don’t tend to be as obnoxious as the cruisers, probably because their maximum noise level occurs at higher rpms and throttle opening which they usually aren’t using around town.  You can sure hear them miles away when they open it up on the highway, though.

    Speaking of loud cruisers, I was pleasantly surprised last week.  I was sitting in the parking lot of an Irving Big Stop in NB, where there was a pretty radical looking custom parked, with very short looking pipes.  Guy came out to ride it away, and I figured there would be an ear-splitting noise when he started it.  Imagine my surprise when it was actually quite well-muffled.

  3. Let me guess… the majority of these riders are 40 to 55 years of age and own Harleys. I don’t see the younger generation being the issue here, at least not on motorcycles.
    Sad to say but demographically speaking this nuisance and narcissistic way of thinking will soon go away as this group retires from motorcycling and becomes the problem of senior residence homes instead.
    Perhaps the Youtube  clip called “For all the “loud pipes” might drive the message home better.
    I am not against Harleys. There are many respectable Harley owners out there with some wickedly awesome bikes. V-twins, of all makes, can produce some lovely music. Proper volume should leave  you wanting more, not less.

    • I’d agree with this, with an addition – the people who are signing this petition and doing all the whining about noise are also members of the “me first” generation, those born in the sixties with an unearned sense of entitlement.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t think it is an age thing (and not just because I fit the bracket you picked)…I ride with a group of 20 to 35 yo guys, and the loudest bike in the group is owned by a 21yo with a sport bike (CBR600R)…he’s got an aftermarket can on it (two brothers, I think)…I do agree that it is mostly the cruiser guys with their straight pipes (which I have never liked), but there are a lot of sport bikes with fairly obnoxious cans on them that are not helping our image…

      Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sound of a performance engine just as much as the next guy…but put a decent muffler on it so that you aren’t “annoying” the general public that doesn’t want to hear your “awesome ride”…


  4. Wow LP, that’s pretty bleak.  Most people ride a bike because they enjoy it.  It’s not deeply psychological.  Even a cruiser is fun to ride.

  5. I look at the whole cruiser thing as something extremely ugly … and because 99.9% (it seems) of motorcycles on the road today are cruisers, it is affecting how I feel about motorcycles and in fact humanity as a whole (hole?). I feel no connection with these people, in fact I feel like it is a big wave of ignorance sweeping over the shores of motorcycling and destroying what was once a more interesting culture. Perhaps the same can be said for all sorts of cultures such as music … too many lambs following an idea which becomes the norm, but at it’s core there is nothing but a vacuum. There is no love, simply a congregation of thoughtless fools who borrow a perception of cool for their own vacuous lives.

    Oh, that felt good.

  6. Yeah, that’ll put a stop to it. Bring in a couple of hundred motorcyclists, with loud bikes.

    Is it my imagination, or has critical thinking gone the way of the dodo?

    • I don’t think critical thinking was ever a strong point for the loud pipe morons.  Certainly respect for others ranks pretty low in that group.

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