Why are Harley Davidson Motorcycles So Loud?



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In this video:

Straight off the line today, Harley exhaust systems can emit noise as high as 80 decibels (dBs), give or take depending on the model. For reference, a typical car when idling emits noise at about 35-45 dB and in the high 50s to low 60s decibel levels at freeway speeds. Even something like a 2008 Ford F-450 truck only gets as loud as 51 dB when idling and 68 dB when traveling at 65 mph.

Want the text version?: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/11/harley-davidson-motorcycles-loud/

Sources:

http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/noise/vehiclenoise.htm
http://www.auto-decibel-db.com/
http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/09/02/murphys-law-the-unbearable-loudness-of-harley-hogs/
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810834.pdf
http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/loud-pipes-cost-harley-davidson-tries-to-quiet-motorcycle-noise
http://www.noiseoff.org/motorcycles.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_regulation
http://windenergydevelopmentllc.com/Noise_Levels_Chart.html
http://www.kxly.com/news/spokane-news/Pipe-down-Spokane-passes-noise-ordinance/13419730
https://www.bikesbluesandbbq.org/pdf/hog_tales_noise_article.pdf
http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/09/02/murphys-law-the-unbearable-loudness-of-harley-hogs/
http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/09/02/murphys-law-the-unbearable-loudness-of-harley-hogs/
http://www.redding.com/news/harleys-roaring-pipes-test-noise-level-limits

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39 Comments to “Why are Harley Davidson Motorcycles So Loud?”

  1. John H says:

    South Park has an episode of why Harley's are loud.

    Harley gave up on being innovative after Yamaha destroyed them in flat track racing.

    Seems like they gave up on being American as well.

  2. I do anything to try to get me noticed on the road. I realize you can't get everyone's attention all the time, but loud pipes do save lives, esp when the bike is alongside a car on the interstate or other multiple lane highway. I wear bright colored armored jackets(safety green), knee guards, gloves, decent helmet, etc. Also, a modulating headlight is a good idea.

  3. Chubbs slim says:

    a crotch rocket with aftermarket exhaust will hurt your ears more than a harley Davidson in my opinion

  4. I own a loud Harley for the same reason I own a loud Ducati. which is also the same reason why I also have a loud gixxer. cause I fucking can that's why. Mericaaaa Fuck yeah !!!!!!

  5. Wuchagot says:

    Would you like some cheese with that whine? Don't own a Harley, let those who do worry about the future state of their own hearing, problem solved. Ohh, and please don't ever say DeceBells again.

  6. I love the way my bike sounds I love the sounds any engine makes. My son calls out 'bike' from his car seat when he hears one coming. Not liking something is a conscious choice, it is what you make of it. Instead of looking at a biker with load pipes and saying "how obnoxious" try looking at them as another person expressing their freedom how they have chosen.

  7. Matt Foley says:

    "Loud pipes save lives" is a myth often said by idiots who don't wear helmets. Ironic, huh?

    Better to ride with your highbeam on. People will see you long before they hear you. Most bike accidents happen when oncoming car turns left in front of bike they didn't see coming.

  8. Jim Piver says:

    The smaller the penis the louder the pipes.

  9. B M says:

    because their owners are assholes thats why.

  10. Robert Dobbs says:

    40 years ago, a bunch of fat-assed Hardly-Abelson posers beat up some stoned 100 pound hippies at a Rolling Stone concert, and now HD actually hires social media staff to keep posting about how "tough" the posers of these sub-standard bikes are. They sell "lifestyle" and clothing products- not bikes. They defraud the American people and get fined $12 million, and they sell to losers and mid-life crisis dentists. The biggest pussies I have ever met are HD posers. Loud pipes = tiny penis

  11. clyde frog says:

    loud exhaust's do get you noticed but riding with a little common sense saves lives. driver's that look for bikes save more live's!

  12. Biker Tramp says:

    I have been riding Harley's for over 35 years, and not once have any of you fucktards had the guts to complain about my loud pipes to my face… You are nothing but a bunch of fucking whiny pussies…

  13. Biker Tramp says:

    My Harley is loud just to piss off shitheads like you… If I'm ever beside you on the road be sure to roll up your window so I will know my efforts aren't going to waste.

  14. Art Mchugh says:

    the racket made by these chrome plated air compressors is just a byproduct of these chopper jockeys need to be part of the HEARD .my thoughts on their lack of respect of people in earshot is proudly displayed on my t shirt that reads LOUD PIPES ,POOR SUBSTITUTE FOR NO SKILLS.

  15. H2k says:

    why are harley davidson motorcycles so loud? "because the riders are pure trash", video finished.

  16. Go stick . Your head in a toilet full of shit and and eat your way out

  17. What is 10% of 50,000?  Why do I want to be one of those fatalities that could have been prevented by having louder pipes?  I have been nearly ran off the road due to driver's not knowing I am there, even though I am NOT in their blind spots.  Plus I do wear hearing protection and a full face helmet.  Please stop talking about things that you do not seem to understand.  Hop on a silent motorcycle and ride around… then hop on a loud one.  You WILL notice the difference on the road.

  18. It's so some jackass hears you before he sideswipes you.

  19. Me think this guys such a virgin

  20. Who gives a shit , get a fuckin life , who the fuck rides a quiet Harley hmmmm fuckin no one , loud pipes save life's ie idiots who don't use mirrors

  21. Tell me I can't ride my dads Harley fuck these city slickers

  22. decibels decibels decibels decibels decibels decibels decibels decibels decibels decibels lol

  23. Robert Dobbs says:

    Loud pipes are for micro-penised FAGs who are not bikers, but posers. They buy the Harley perfume for their fat-assed wives. Losers….

  24. prism says:

    Like most people, when I see someone on a loud bike my reaction is, there goes another low-life loser. But actually, I have personally known a couple of these guys who were otherwise fairly decent people. I'm sure there must be others.

  25. tom my says:

    Being a loser is unfortunate. Announcing it to the world with loud exhaust noise is pathetic.

  26. Excellent video – having been a law enforcement officer for over 31 years and having owned 31 motorcycles since age 12 – having ridden professionally for years and accumulated many hundreds of thousands of miles on motorcycles – I know a bit about motorcycles… and having cited and arrested probably more of the Loud Biker Cult[ure] than most officers in the United States…I invite you to read my article titled, "The Truth about Loud Motorcycles the Police Can't or Won't Tell You" see: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/the-truth-about-loud-motorcycles-the-police-wont-or-cant-tell-you/

    The Loud Biker Cult[ure] in America has truly become a scourge on our roadways and within our communities, my article provides the reader a better understand of why our law enforcement community is doing very little about the unacceptable situation and what you, the noise beleaguered citizenry, can do about the vehicular noise problem.

    For more information on the subject of the Loud Biker Cult[ure] please visit my FB Page: Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles (C-CALM) https://www.facebook.com/LoudMotorcyclesSuck/

    My recent Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit over mayoral prostitution with the Loud Biker Cult[ure] and biker rallies: http://static.lakana.com/nxsglobal/nwahomepage/document_dev/2016/02/12/3296_001_7003391_ver1.0.pdf

    Excellent video "Today I Found Out" and thank you for sharing this information.

    Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired
    Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles – Facebook

  27. Robert Dobbs says:

    A poser with loud pipes obviously has a small penis and narcissism issues. They want to be noticed. They are not fast, nor do they handle bikes well. They are simply micro-penised narcissists who have nothing else in life to do except bother people. They should be shot.

  28. Kyle Gale says:

    Does this guy even know how to ride a motorcycle

  29. Sidecar Bob says:

    This is interesting and I agree with what you are trying to say but spouting off un-qualified sound level numbers like that really detracts from your credibility. The same sound measured in differently weighted decibel scales (eg. DBa, DBb, DBc) might have nearly identical readings or vastly different readings depending on the spectrum of said sound. Without specifying the distance the measurement is meaningless; every time you double the distance you reduce the level by 3DB, which means that there is no way that the military jet would be anywhere near that loud when flying over the observer as high as the shot you provided implies. The distance from the source of the sound and nearby hard or soft surfaces can also make a significant difference because of the reflected sound combining with the direct sound.

  30. Seamus McFly says:

    I rode a stock Road Glide, and it was so quiet, I couldn't tell what the engine was doing. Really hard to gear down that way. I think sport bikes are way more loud. Especially, when they constantly het the rev limiter, like it sounds good, when it sounds like don't know what their throttle hand is doing.

  31. We get a lot of tourists going past our house the bikes and cars don't worry us to much for the most part, although 2 Kilometres past our place is the Sea and a dead end, yet some of them are still trying to set the land speed record as they go past lol, what really pisses me off is the selfish dimwits that have to fly right over the top of the houses and town around here in there Ultralights on a Sunday morning dammit, way more annoying than any bike.

  32. prism says:

    Why is it that most people who ride big, loud motorcycles are fat?

  33. James B says:

    Only a pussy would let the noise bother them….There is no alpha males anymore.

  34. Michael Ross says:

    You have a School Boy English Men telling you about decibels. Shut this nuauise up. and hit the DB. He huursts my ears

  35. well, supersports achieve higher levels of noise than HD bikes with after market pipes. I am not a huge fan of noisy ones, but motorcycle engines tend to rev a lot higher that your typical car, thus creating a lot more noise. the old-er 250 ninja IIRC was reving easily on the 15k -19k mark ; your typical SUV while on highway speed won't cross 3k rpm. so there are a lot of factors and variables to me accounted for besides the ones mentioned in this video. just my 5c

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