in

Loud pipes… Irritate like hell – column

It has now been scientifically researched: No matter how open your exhausts are, motorists really don't hear you. The rest of the world does. And the rest are increasingly pissed off by that noise. Even me, as an old school biker, it annoys me. But there are people who are a bit hypersensitive to what we like without making a roaring noise.

Highly sensitive?


This morning I walked to my moped with a fresh baguette, oranges and delicious cheese. A modern-looking mother stepped out of a better middle class with an exemplary stylized child of about two or three years old. Children do not have a license plate that can be used to estimate their age. That's a drawback. When that child saw my V-twin standing on the jiffy, she covered her ears with a scared face.

Her mother gave me a reproachful look and began to comfort the child. I stuck the baguette in the neck of my T-shirt, put the cheese in the suitcase. Put the vitamins on top. Put on my bot cap. Waved my leg over the buddy, turned on the ignition and started. The mother came up to me and asked me to turn off the engine until she and her daughter were out of the picture. Jacinte was highly sensitive and could not stand a lot of noise. The lady then reported that she was also highly sensitive. She wanted to tell a lot more about herself. I thought I could put my hands over my ears like her daughter, but realized the limitations of that approach. After all, I had my helmet on. Jacinte, meanwhile, wept convincingly. I tapped the box into one and rolled off the curb into freedom.

Sound that you keep hearing

In addition, I enjoyed the brave snort of the K&N filters, which have resulted in impressive fuel consumption on the 650 cc Guzzi with modified nozzle assignment. Also seems to have something to do with a series of Dell'Orto's that were once delivered with wrong throttles. That still needs to be investigated. Because a 650 cc Guzzi that runs 1 to 12 in a quiet dynamic driving style is actually great. On the other hand: after my first Ural combination was fitted with flowed heads, larger valves and other valve springs plus an extremely rare cross camshaft, that thing ran at 120 1 on 6,5. And that was also partly due to a set of thick Pacco – made in Mexico – competition carburetors.

But if you want to experience sound, a bunch of K&N's are much better and cheaper than noise pipes. Because above eighty you no longer hear the exhaust decibels themselves.

Yet those noisy pipes also had their charm

And the sound of classic single and two-cylinder sports lungs is much less of a nuisance than that of a four-cylinder extended to 12.500 rpm. Or a modern, fat V-twin. The unsurpassed Sander van Bergen once organized the Tunnelrun around Amsterdam. The two biggest celebrations were the noise measurement with the stuff of a police officer friend. With some fiddling with the ignition advance, Comrade Ernie's standard WLA hit 120 dB(A). And that's solid. The other highlight was a ride on the then newly redesigned Prinseneiland. The brave column of old stuff – recovery: classics – set off the car alarms of the lease bins and kumpannie cars parked everywhere.

But yes: that used to be….

More columns can be found via this link

More stories about classic engines you can find it again via this link

19 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. I almost have “vicarious shame” when I start my 1968 Trident. The beautiful growl from the raygun exhausts is much louder than the whisper of a modern BMW or something. Of course I enjoy this great sound in combination with the steering of the engine. Driving along the well-known river embankment routes gives me shame. (I'm glad I don't live there, those mopeds drive you crazy) Unfortunately there are still too many brainless types who provide their mopeds with an exhaust (with valve) so that they can make tough noise on their “easyrider imitation”. We prefer to drive on a circuit, that is safe and you can enjoy your 105 dBa.

  2. Noise pollution is, as I mentioned in another motorcycle-related forum, very subjective; an old classic car gets approving looks even with a sound pipe, while a modern Tupperware cannon can only count on rejection.
    My old side valve is nowhere near 120dBA, so friend Ernie's copy must have a fun pipe…

  3. Oh yes, loud exhausts, you hear them, for 5 seconds, because then you are over again.
    Forbearance is a big thing.
    Here the scooter youth finds it currently a thrill to drive half the street on the rear wheel.
    Irritating ?
    Well, if the kids are just in bed, yes.
    But I think it's quite an art, hundreds of meters on the scoot on the rear wheel.
    And I too was young. . . .
    Let them go, someday they will be wiser.

    I currently drive an oldtimer moped, a Puch Monza, just original exhaust, 12 mm carb, everything except a stripe tractor or bleeeerding, also because my driver's license is too sweet for me.
    And at the traffic light or passing there are people who are short of hands to cover their ears and nose.
    While a modern full-synth oil barely smokes at 1:50, and the puff is anything but loud when idling. . ..

  4. Once on a beautiful spring day I was sitting with my wife on a terrace in La Roche en Ardenne and the only sound that came above all around us was the roaring exhaust pipes all around. Not ten minutes, but continuously. It was bizarre. And every other hour such a column would come roaring into the town with those headlines like “oh, oh, oh, how wonderful we are”.

    Pathetic toddlers.

  5. From what I have seen, there is no uniform standard for motorcycle noise production. For example, a BMW R1150GS may not make nearly as much noise as a Ducati 1199 Panigale. Depends on the type approval. It is no easy task to do an arbitrary noise measurement. But if there is a non-original exhaust with significantly more sound than the original, you can of course run into a print. There is then no discussion possible about Harleys with silencerless exhaust pipes. In Germany you can't just screw another pipe underneath. That requires a 'Betriebs Erlaubnis'. At a traffic control without that document you are the Sjaak. Even the correct tires from another brand are not allowed on it without this being updated in the vehicle papers.

  6. Road noise is invariably attributed to motorbikes, just like 'cracks' and that is of course subjective drivel. Many four-wheelers happily participate in this, whether or not equipped with retrofitted valves in the exhaust. I've been riding a motorcycle myself since 1962, but I am quite often annoyed by figures who try to cover up their lack of steering quality with open bleach pipes. They cause damage to the image of the normal motorcyclist.
    What I do not agree with is the comment regarding the 'standard' motor with 120 db (A). Either the measurement was performed incorrectly or there is no standard. An engine with 120 db (A) simply does not get type approval here…
    For the rest completely agree!

  7. I regularly run into this dilemma. My V11 with Mivv cone exhausts is homologated with E-mark. at 89 dB according to the supplied certificate. The Guzzi was imported from Germany with the relevant exhausts on it. When I asked the German seller (motorcycle store) whether dampers were allowed in Germany, the answer was affirmative, with the comment that they would certainly not pose a problem “in den Niederlanden”.

    Point now: it is almost impossible to have a noise measurement done at both RDW and Hermandad, and as it looks now we will have to wait for the flying brigades which will cause nasty surprises along the roads with the equipment, such as is already done here further on in the Ardennes and Eifel.

    It's up to the real bleachpipe knights to realize that it can save you a big picture and a lot of trouble to keep things within the norm, but then you also have to get the opportunity to do this through a measurement. Especially for classic enthusiasts who are often devoid of the original pipe, I think a wish.
    Finally: a fat V twin is like a good cigar, taking it easy in company…

  8. As a father of a (among other things) highly sensitive child, being recognizable, afraid of noise. But the world simply contains a lot of noise. If a child is really highly sensitive (so no fashion statement by mom herself instead of a doctor/psychologist), he will always have trouble with it. You just have to practice how to deal with it. And keeping away from the sources is not how you deal with that.

    My son allowed me to accelerate with the Trans Am, but not full throttle and certainly not with the cut outs open through a tunnel. Fine, I was already mighty happy and very proud of him that he wanted / dared to go with me. So work on that tolerance yourself.

  9. Unfortunately, tolerance is often hard to find. Too hard is just antisocial and that nit-picking is just Dutch and has to do with not giving. And if the whole world has to adapt to your child, then you have to do something about the education of your child.

    Thom
    Father of two wonderfully worldly growing daughters and keeper of a lot of old iron on two and four wheels

  10. It has to do with an aging population. With age one becomes more sensitive to loud noise (and strangely enough also deaf) and to bright light (and strangely enough also visually impaired).
    That is why silencers and Chinese LED lights are less and less appreciated for the time being.
    Since I am also graying, I recognize the problems and irritation.

  11. Open pipes kick earlier and put some horses out of the stable if that foot-butt assumption of more horsepower will come true.
    The whole circus has to be coordinated painfully accurately. If it's just about the fat sound, then it's wise not to do it.
    Electric motors are top notch, if they find something on environmentally destructive batteries for which cobalt is extracted from underground by children in Africa. The driving is fantastic and quiet. And we've all learned to look in traffic, right? Then why make noise when you arrive with a plug-in bike?
    It seems as if the leper cart of yesteryear has been reborn. They used to walk there with a clapper in front to announce the approaching disaster.

  12. Once on Fakebook I joined a discussion about this topic. My view that more enforcement should be done on this point gave me a number of m3's worth of dredging. Because of the idiots who drive without decibel killers as standard and thus confront their more modest colleague motorcyclists with all kinds of crazy measures, there is no feeling at all for their absurd behavior. They really believe in "Loud pipes save lives" even though it has been scientifically proven that this cannot be the case because a motorist only hears those troublemakers when they have passed him.

  13. It won't be good for the electric motorbikes either: “Sir, please a few loud 'croak!' call when you come near me? I'm scared every time I don't hear you approaching!”

  14. Snoring Webers and a freeflow pipe , if it stays a bit within the norms then for me it is the mechanical blues .

  15. Yes, even as a motorcyclist I am irritated by that exaggerated noise. Thanks to those blèr pipes we are no longer welcome everywhere unfortunately.

Give an answer

The email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The October issue, containing:

  • Citroën CX 25 Prestige Turbo 2
  • Frame construction in the Netherlands
  • Frisian Firebird lovers
  • Lancia Fulvia
  • Toyota Corona RT40
  • BMW R90S
  • Classic Days Duesseldorf
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVIII
cover 10 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

Volvo P1800 and 1800. A beloved classic has been around for over sixty years

A battery of 50.000 euros