IIt's time to get serious. We're saying "Shut Up!"
Too many trails are being closed and Counties are continuously trying to take away your right to ride on your own property, so District 23 has implemented sound testing at the moto cross events as has been done for several years prior at the off-road events. A 96 decibel maximum exhaust limit will be enforced as per AMA rules. Is the District being cruel? Are they picking on people that have aftermarket mufflers? Are they just trying to force everyone to ride stock muffled bikes? No, no, and no!
Less Sound = More Ground
Being active in keeping our riding areas open, we encounter many situations and opinions. Our club encounters a smattering of our riding friends who continue to ride with loud pipes. Emotional horsepower. Noise annoys. Period. Most of the 4-strokes nowadays have so much power, why would you want to go up another 10 decibels for a small amount of ponies? We are also around land owners, public and private. Many don't understand our sport, and we ALWAYS get hit with the noise issue. Most off-road events are on public lands where people use the lands in other various ways too. That's what they remember - the noise. Noise annoys, and I don't buy into the "loud pipes save lives" slogan, although that's primarily for the street.
Loud Pipes Risk Rights
In this cloud-of-loud, here are some options that work:
- Repack your muffler correctly (do this first!)
- Run with the stock exhaust (possibly the stealthiest and best solution)
- Run with the stock exhaust and modify it
- Run with an aftermarket muffler
- Add an extension that points the exhaust downward
- Add a thick cycle tube on the end of the pipe (pointing downward) or something thicker like a car radiator hose
Muffling a big bore four stroke motor is a real pain. Anything you do to make it quiet seems to have the same effect as stuffing a potato in the exhaust pipe. I've come to realize, however, that if there is going to be anywhere left to ride, its up to us to make our machines as quiet as possible. I'd rather put up with a little less horsepower than have closed signs on my favorite riding areas, or be told it's ILLEGAL to ride on the acreage you purchased just for riding. If you can put up with the stock muffler, leave it on. "But it weighs 23lbs!" one rider said. The lightest aftermarket mufflers shed a whooping 2lbs (Big Deal on a motorcycle that already weighs 285lbs).
The AMA has a standard for measuring exhaust sound which is posted in their rules book each year.
It's up to us to take care of us, before we have yet more laws imposed on our sport, or continue to get closed out. You basically have two choices: Be part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem.