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Old 04-04-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
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Loud Exhausts? Are they really "A LIFE SAVER"?

About an year ago, I bough a 97 Honda VFR750 with Akrapovic aftermarket exhaust, the rest of the bike was complete stock. I asked the seller about the reason, and he replied: "Well, it get cager's attention so less chance of being run over".
Anyhow, Its exhaust note felt cool at first. The bark of its V4 Engine from full on Akraovic's is really "THROATY & LOUD"!!! But its getting more and more annoying as time passing by. So much that I'm seriously thinking about removing Povic's and fitting something quiter, much quiter, Preferabily stock.
From what I've noticed so far is that loud exhaust doesn't make any noticeable difference. Cager's still don't notice me, they still try to shove me in the corner, they still seem surprised when I overtake them, they still brake real hard right in front of me. While on the other hand, its exhaust note is making me deaf... What's the point really? My neighbours are getting mad as since I warm up the bike every morning (I ride her daily) and they thinks I'm doing that on purpose. I even told them that this thing got 4 carbs, but they just grin at me! Not to mention, a little girl got REAL sacred when I revved up the bike in an underground parking lot. ZERO benefit at the cost of TONS of annoyance. What's your opinion?
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
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I think excessively loud pipes are annoying. (but just about everyone likes a healthy sounding bike) The only thing that will keep you safe is diligence and luck!
'13 DL650 '97 DR411SE
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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having rode for three years on quiet bikes in an urban environment and recently jumping to a louder bike i would have to say no, they are not. nor is a horn, although handy at annoying people who jump out in front of me. same with the stock exhaust on my new bike. i might rev the engine if cut off by someone or someone is not moving on a green light whereas before i might have honked. but those aren't "life or death" situations

when on a bike i am invisible. it is my responsibility to "see and be seen" not count on loud pipes or a horn or some other noisy distraction to be noticed or heard. if in a real dangerous situation where only the volume of my pipes or horn can save me, literally, i am most likely already screwed imo. if my last resort is loud pipes and not an avoidance maneuver or another safe alternative made on the fly while riding, i have either made a serious error in judgement and put myself in a bad situation or a bad situation has arose and like some riders am simply caught between a rock and a hard place. no matter how loud my bike in that case i am going down, noisy pipes and all

loud pipes let people know you are there IF they hear you. and they may not SEE you, anyway. that does not equate to safer, or saving your life. it just is what it is. and in a life or death situation it isn't much imo

any time i have used my horn or pipes on my bikes its just to let people know "hey, i am here and you just...." but i doubt if in any sort of real danger and its the LAST thing standing between myself and getting hit pipes will do much of anything except be the last thing i might ever hear
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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has anyone ever heard pipes before they pass you?

I have never had a car that did not either insulate or make enough noise of it's own to override the sound coming from pipes that are mounted in the rear and send noise BEHIND THE BIKE.

Even the ones that rattle the front windshield after they pass you.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:26 AM   #5
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Same experience here.
Switched from a bike with stock exhaust, to the bike with baffles removed, and the cagers still don't see you. I am noticing some ringing in my ears and a little bit of hearing loss though.
1984 Honda CB650sc - Nighthawk - with 33K miles - Fuelly Log
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:29 AM   #6
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My observations as a car driver have been that the distinctive sound of a motorcycle engine with an exhaust louder than that of the average passenger car has on at least two or three occasions alerted me to the presence of a bike in the vicinity that I hadn't yet seen or was hanging out in my blind spot. That said, I think the "loud pipes save lives" line is mostly used as an excuse to create an obnoxiously loud vehicle for its own sake. The value of the extra notice that the loud exhaust may provide in some cases has to be weighed against the down sides (as you pointed out -- both your own hearing and your relationships with your neighbors and others.) For me the calculation comes down squarely on the side of a stock-volume-level exhaust. You may be able to get an insert for your current exhaust -- the Akrapovic on my F650GS came with a removable bit that, when installed, drops the sound levels to about what the stock muffler put out.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:34 AM   #7
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Most modern trucks and cars are so well insulated it's difficult to hear outside noises. I drive a patrol car and even with lights and siren blaring there are folks that don't see or hear me when I'm on their back bumper. If they can't see or hear emergency vehicles when they're running code they won't see or hear your motorcycle.

As previously mentioned ride as if you're invisible. Because you are. No matter what steps you do to make yourself visible.

Get the exhaust you want. When I bought a used Yamaha FZ6 it came with Leo Vince pipes and they were loud. I found and installed a stock exhaust and never looked back.

Caveat: I do have an Akropovic (pronounced uh-KRAW-puh-vich) pipe on my BMW K12GT. I got it for looks, weight savings (yeah, on a 630lb bike) and for sound. It doesn't annoy me or my wife when we're riding 2 up. I also get compliments on the sound when we're riding with others, not annoyingly loud but a good tone. Each bike is different.
'07 DR650, '08 K12GT
Colonel "Bat" Guano: I think you're some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some kind of mutiny of preverts. Now MOVE!
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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I like my exhaust volume to be louder than OEM but much less than open pipes. that will get the attention of cagers IF their brain is functioning. many times it is not so it wouldn't make a difference.

I would leave the cat intact and install a slip on

or full system with DB killers installed.

however, I found the S1000rr to be loud enough in OEM form. it can easily exceed 95 db easily during a full throttle run to redline. so mine is OEM.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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I would like to point out that my neighbor, who is a Hell's Angels member and runs loud pipes....

knows how to control them. He leaves for work at 2AM, and I sleep with the widow open.

I have yet to be wakened by him starting the bike and leaving.

I have heard it on those nights where I am still working at 2AM, but I am awake.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:47 AM   #10
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Let me be the first:

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Old 04-04-2014, 10:08 AM   #11
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i like bikes with a louder then stock silencers fitted but dont wont my ears to bleed or to get ramed of the road by a pissed off car driver.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:12 AM   #12
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When I was 22 I use to get a massive boner for my WR400 with WB promeg open megaphone. Today /34/ I try to keep things quieter.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
Let me be the first:

beat me to it
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:17 AM   #14
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this is the all new, 2014 edition

pipes change year to year
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:22 AM   #15
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ok they don't change. they're just LOUD in any year

have to admit they have never bothered me, however. even on occasion when riders would come through an otherwise peaceful neighborhood. growing up i had a biker gang down the street. always heard them but it did not disturb us much. we knew the bikes were going to be shut off or soon gone when we heard them come and go. got used to it, i guess
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