Loud Motorcycles

The Solution

Congress gave states and their subdivisions broad powers to control motorcycles and motorcycle exhaust systems11-1 with respect to vehicle owners who deliberately make their motorcycles loud. The federal government's job is to control the manufacturers of motorcycles and motorcycle exhaust systems. States and subdivisions are not required by Congress and the EPA to adopt these federal laws and regulations; only encouraged11-2.

Therefore the only way to keep loud aftermarket competition use exhaust systems off street use motorcycles, is for states or political subdivisions to make it illegal to install them. This is easily achieved by adopting the Noise Control Act (NCA) and federal motorcycle noise emissions regulations into state laws and/or cities local noise ordinances. It is far easier for states and subdivisions to use their rights of section 4905e(2)11-3 of the NCA, to license, and/or, regulate what type (only EPA approved) of exhaust systems are installed on federally regulated motorcycles, than to test all exhaust systems with ineffective stationary type noise level testing procedures.

This can be achieved by including the following in statutes to vehicle noise codes:

Motorcycles: all highway use motorcycles, manufactured after December 31 1982, shall be equipped as required by federal EPA noise emissions regulations 40CFR205 parts D&E, pursuant to the NCA of 1972, to include; a) labeled exhaust systems, free of defects or modifications, that state they meet federal noise emissions standards, in accordance to the maximum dba levels for the model years listed below; and, b) All other related equipment, to include chaise mounted labels (as a means to facilitate vehicle and exhaust system applicability), and other integral exhaust system components11-4. Nothing in this section shall prevent the installation of U.S. EPA approved low noise emission mufflers11-5 onto these motorcycles11-6.

Maximum U.S. EPA noise emission muffler ratings, for highway use motorcycles manufactured;
After 1982 and before 1986: 83dba
After 1985 to present: 80dba

Doing this will enforce the highest standard of motorcycle muffler and only allow quiet, tested, and appropriately labeled EPA approved mufflers that meet federal noise emissions standards (and prohibit all other types of mufflers), to be used on street use motorcycles as is the way they all come from the factory since 1983. No sound level meters or special skills are required.

The NCA additionally gives states and political subdivisions wide ranging authority, such as the right to restrict the operation and movement of federally regulated motorcycles within neighborhoods, at times of day or night, or the number of federally regulated motorcycles operating together.

The NCA also gives every citizen of the U.S. (regardless of whether their state adopts and enforces the NCA) the option of commencing a "citizens suit11-7" against motorcyclists, motorcycle manufacturers, and their agents (dealerships), and aftermarket motorcycle exhaust system manufactures that violate the NCA11-8.

This option was clarified to Congress by the EPA at the Senate hearing in 1982 (with the closing of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC)) as a replacement legal option available to states, cities, and citizens, in the absence of ONAC, as this was one of its duties:

"...under the citizens suit provisions of the act [NCA], any person including any state or local government, may bring a civil suit against a manufacturer or other person who is allegedly in violation of an existing regulation11-9."