I got invited to a BBQ the other day.
Technically it was my wife’s do.
So apart from the hosts I didn’t know another soul.
One of the other couples arrived on their Harley so I started to make idle chatter with the bloke and the subject of mufflers arose.
I got to hear the argument ‘loud mufflers save lives’.
The premise has a certain logic to it.
But it’s simply wrong, not born-out in any independent study I could locate and ignores the fact bad drivers crash into other cars at the same rate as they crash into motorbikes.
Ignores physics: sound travels behind a bike not in front of it.
How many accidents happen when a vehicle driving on an open highway drives up the arse of another one moving at speed?
Then there’s the ‘herd of elephants in the room’ if you are in-fact a safety conscious motorcyclist?
Not an attention seeking one, driven by fashion and the desire to be a weekend rebel.
Daytime running lights will make you more visible to other motorists.
There are studies (Scandinavia, Denmark etc) that prove this.
Similarly donning a hi-vis jacket as opposed to dark leathers will also increase visibility.
So if you want to put loud pipes on your bike for safety reasons and not just exhibiting a form of attention deficit syndrome – then by rights it follows you will ride the roads in a fluro yellow vest or similar with headlights blazing day and night, eh?
As we all know Harley Davidson owners see themselves as ‘real men’ and wouldn’t be seen dead in poofy fluro, nor adopting the effeminate habit of riding with lights on during the day.
Yet these very same Harley owners are perfectly happy creating noise pollution under the guise of personal safety!
Last but not least as a safety conscious motorcycle owner what about buying a motorbike that has the most favourable specs for handling, suspension and brakes etc?
Get say a sports bike like a Ducati or Kawasaki which would ‘kill’ a heavy Harley in any performance, handling comparison.
More importantly the likes of a Ducati, Yamaha, BMW make safer motorcycles better suited to N.Z roads.
That’s probably why the owners of these motorbikes don’t see it as necessary to employ noisy exhausts.