Toronto comes down on loud pipes

Toronto motorcyclists with loud pipes have a new enemy: Mayor John Tory says he’s siccing the cops onto them this summer, and bylaw officers will join them in the fall.

“I think people who live in the city understand that it’s not going to be Algonquin Park and it’s not going to be silent at all times,” said Tory in a press announcement Monday evening.

“But the thing they have no understanding and no patience for, and I tend to agree with them, is noise that is caused by vehicles — especially people who are deliberately revving their engines and otherwise modifying their equipment to create an excessive level of noise that is disrupting the lives of people who are living in the city.”

Over the next week, Toronto police will be conducting a blitz to stop loud bikes, and will fine the riders if their noise is found to be over the legal limit. They’ll carry on through the summer with additional spot checks. Drivers can be charged for having an improper muffler or for making unnecessary noise, or both, with each offence carrying a possible $110 fine.

The blitz is not just focused on motorcycles, but on all vehicles that make excessive noise, including cars and trucks with open mufflers and even with overly loud music blasting from sound systems.

In October, Tory said a new bylaw will allow bylaw officers to ticket stationary vehicles making too much noise, but it will still be the responsibility of police to stop moving vehicles considered in violation.


  1. The problems with that include:

    1. For older models, there may be no available OEM or “certified” mufflers available. Try to find a set of factory pipes for a 1973 Honda CB350F or even the later CB400F and you will fail.

    2. Have you priced factory pipes? If a bike is even a few years old, the cost of a replacement pipe will be more than the bike is worth.

    3. Replacement pipes CAN be perfectly legal in terms of sound. Why pay a huge price to have a pipe certified if it is nice and quiet? We’re not all made of money, you know.

    How about a compromise? IF the pipes are marked as “OEM” or “certified” then no sound test is needed. Otherwise if someone has a bike with aftermarket pipes, then do the sound test.

    Personally my Scrambler Icon has the stock pipes and cat on it and I’m perfectly happy with the sound, legal as it is. I don’t suffer from small-dick syndrome so I don’t need to make unnecessary noise.

    • I completely agree. The problem isn’t aftermarket cans in and of themselves, IMO, the problem is that the marketplace has driven manufacturers to build overly loud mufflers for street use (or dicks that use track-only cans on the street). The famed ELR with its Kerker had adequate baffling such that it sounded astoundingly good yet wasn’t excessively loud. If enough of us push for reasonable volumes, the manufacturers would have no choice but to comply. Money talks.

      As usual, though, the guys who rejoice in making the most noise will end up spoiling it for everybody. #LoudPipesRuinLives

      • Yep, I’m a member of a Honda Shadow FB group and the most common question is: “I just bought a Shadow, how do I make it louder?” Not, “How can I go faster,” or “How can I make it more comfortable,” or “how do I fix xxx?” … I sometimes feel like suggesting they trade their motorcycle for a chainsaw if all they want to do is make noise.

  2. Should be just like British Columbia IMO…
    Exhaust muffler should be OEM. If OEM is removed, replacement must be OEM or ‘certified’ (approved) aftermarket. All mufflers must have certification engraved on pipe.
    Easier on enforcement!
    If OEM ‘missing’ – and replacement not certified – then boom, citation.
    No dB meter required…

  3. The Toronto by-law to come in effect in October, will be useless in reducing the motorcycle noise problem, since the stationary testing will be based on the SAE J2825 which has been shown to underestimate the noise emitted by “aftermarket” motorcycle exhaust systems.

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