If Loud Pipes Save Lives, then.....

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by TheProphet, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Hey guys. We're having the usual monthly "Loud Pipes Save Lives" argument/debate over in the "Perfect Line... " section once again. :bash

    Some swear by it, some think it's a silly myth. It made me wonder: What with Electric Bikes being so quiet, have you guys seen or experienced any real, actual difference is Safety? Do you encounter more danger by being quiet? Are the fatality and /or accident rates among Electric Bike riders any better/worse than with fuel dependent bikes, especially those with loud mufflers?

    In the end, isn't it accidents and fatalities that determine a real "safety" impact, vs anecdotal experiences, or "I know a guy who knew a guy, who's cousin..." stories that are presented as "proof".

    What have you guys experienced? :confused
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  2. Peels

    Peels Long timer

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    its funny to me that this is even debated. The majority of The bikes i see smashed up in ditches have shiny chrome pipes with no mufflers.

    But subbing. I'd definitely like to hear this, I'm interested in electric vehicles.
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  3. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  4. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    I firmly believe that taking a BRC (basic riders course) followed by an IRC (intermediate riders course) can do far more to reduce crashes, injury, and deaths than loud pipes.

    Additionally, not riding impaired and wearing a full face helmet that fits properly with motorcycle specific gear head to toe also decreases the likelihood of crashes, injury, and death.

    Loud pipes are distracting to both rider and to drivers near by. If I am lane splitting, the last thing I want is a startled driver causing their head to turn my way as people have a tendency to steer towards where they look. Target fixation applies to both riders and drivers.

    The biggest danger to rider and others on an electric bike or car is in parking lots/garages or malls where there are pedestrians paying less attention to moving vehicles.
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  5. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    I agree with all said, except... how does dressing in ATGATT decrease the likelihood of a crash? I don't think you meant to imply that.
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  6. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    Wild assed guess on my part, but, maybe the bit that stated "not riding impaired". Just a guess, though.



    .
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  7. Frank06

    Frank06 Been here awhile

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    I don't have a ton of E-miles on the roads and where I live there's not a lot of traffic anyway. But I've never had an issue. Lots of accidents are caused by cars turning left in front of you and loud pipes don't do squat in that situation.
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  8. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    You have two separate User Names and Avatars?
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  9. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    “Additionally, not riding impaired and wearing a full face helmet that fits properly with motorcycle specific gear head to toe also decreases the likelihood of crashes, injury, and death.”

    Not riding impaired definitely decreases the likelihood of crashes, injury, and death.

    Wearing a properly fitted DOT approved full face helmet and motorcycle specific gear head to toe decreases the likelihood of injury, death and crashes.

    Why? Consider the following:

    cold hands and feet
    debris/bug in your eye/face
    Being too hot/cold
    Improperly fitted gloves

    ^all of which are not only distractions but can impede a rider from safe riding that could increase the chances of a crash.

    I do not believe that unnecessarily loud pipes save lives. Believing they do can give a rider false assurance of safety. I do however believe that some sound makes others more aware of your presence.

    Electric motorcycles should emit a low noise when traveling in places where pedestrians are less likely to pay attention to a moving vehicle. I have used a Bluetooth speaker playing music specifically in places like the mall or parking lots, resulting in more people looking up from their phones and not stepping off the curb in front of me.
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  10. Peels

    Peels Long timer

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    everything this guy just posted x2 WHole-heartedly agree with having gear keeps you focused. Helmet. hearing protection. jacket. In my mind, a Rider who takes the time to gear up, probably puts more miles on his bike, but also understands more risk hes about to enter into. And will watch for it. Rather than "i got loud pipes lets roll"

    Like the lady who merged in front of me yesterday, crossed two lanes, then went back. I passed, and could make out she was on facebook as she was driving! ugh. No amount of obnoxious exhaust volume would have protected me from that. Probably made it worse, if it startled her.


    I look forward to purchasing an E bike. I dont think they are more dangerous on an open road than Loud piped machines. In parking lots. or congested areas with pedestrians... I suppose....maybe. I like the idea of some sort of noise in this respect, or flashing light....

    My bike is pretty quiet though. I dont see much trouble right now. Most Cars are pretty quiet too. I passed a Tesla yesterday. I could hear its tire noise over my own exhaust LOL got me thinkin about this thread. If it hit me, could I legitimately say "not my fault, he was too quiet-shoulda had loud pipes"

    nonsense.
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  11. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    I think that might be one of the reasons why they invented the horn! :D

    I laugh though, at the idea that dressing up in gear in any way translates to a rider putting more miles on a bike. That's a new one. Note that I NEVER said nor implied that gear was bad in any way, but merely proposed a civil question.

    Being an intolerant, self appointed Nazi about gear, or making statements about it making one a better rider, etc., is no different than the false sense of security that loud pipes will save your, and others, lives. Gear will help to minimize certain potential injuries in the event of an accident or fall, which is good.

    It's NOT a good idea to overplay the benefit , as it provides good protection against many minor injuries, and is a good idea for that reason. Fully geared up racing, and street riders die frequently from injury. Don't let the benefit(s) mislead you. Gear up, but also ride safely, and get all the Training possible, whether it be MSF levels, or continued practicing of required skills. THAT will go a longer way in keeping you alive.

    The original question was what experiences Electric Bike riders have with the relative silence of their bikes, especially when played against the idea that a loud bike is safer. Thus far, most have commented only about the negatives of loud pipes, and the benefits of wearing gear.

    Other than that, it sounds like a super quiet bike in slow riding situations is a challenge, as pedestrians cannot hear you. How about on the highway, lane splitting, etc.?
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  12. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    Let's focus on your lack of reading skills.

    Would it really kill you to admit that you lack the reading comprehension skills to understand voltsxamps' post?
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  13. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Wow, some Electric Bike riders are pretty strict about grammar. :lol3 Actually, from a reading skill and grammar perspective, I believe he left out two important commas, known as the Serial Comma. Grammar experts will note that.

    "Additionally, not riding impaired, and wearing a full face helmet that fits properly, with motorcycle specific gear head to toe also decreases the likelihood of crashes, injury, and death."

    The original sentence implies that riding unimpaired AND wearing a Helmet go together. It also implies that wearing a helmet AND motorcycle specific gear always go together. See how sentence structure works? Look up "Comma usage", and "Serial Comma".

    It also could be labeled a run-on sentence. Suggestion would be to separate it into two shorter sentences. :-) It is also poor writing practice to begin a sentence with "Additionally". The reader assumes that when you begin a new sentence, it is in addition to what was written prior. He could have easily left that word out, Try it like that. Sounds and reads better, right? :thumb



    Now.... let's talk about bikes instead of lack of reading skill for a moment. What are your experiences with a quiet electric bike Vs your former fuel driven bike?

    Have you had any experiences on the road that would be thought different now with a quieter ride?
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  14. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    I like to use this analogy: if loud pipes really saves lives then shouldn't every motorcycle have a siren? Wouldn't that mean no motorcycle rider would ever get injured/killed?
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  15. MockSpeed

    MockSpeed Adventurer

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    When drivers and the like aren't distracted by their phones, the likelihood of being "startled" is near zero.

    Why is the driver turning their heads? When I hear exhaust noise that's more than likely a bike, I check my mirrors, if they're coming up on my left/right side.

    The root of the problem is the distracted/unsafe drivers of the world. And they're only getting worse as they're becoming more dependent on sensors paying attention and driving the car.

    Loud or quiet, if they suck, you're screwed both ways.

    Pedestrians however, noise is good to grab their attention. I've seen too many near misses with those electric razor scooters and bicyclists. Increases that collision speed with that pedestrian, it's just gone from minor-serious to fatal.


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  16. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

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    The problem with loud pipes is that they face the rear so the car you've already passed is the one that gets the brunt of your "awareness warning". On the plus side, sounding like a biker gang gives the car driver pause to consider getting beat down for cutting off the "hardcore" rider. When we roll up sounding like George Jetson's commuter mobile, it doesn't have the same effect. I don't know of anyone who woke up in a cold sweat after dreaming of getting curb-stomped by ol' George.
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  17. jsinclair

    jsinclair Been here awhile

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    A "quiet horn" would be an excellent option for dealing with pedestrians. We've only had issues with people walking down the middle of the road in parking areas with our EV.
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  18. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    That's a great idea. A less harsh horn, just enough sound to let folks know you are there, but not "in your face" loud. Good one. :thumb
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  19. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Chevy Volt has an excellent pedestrian horn setup. The center of the steering wheel is the regular horn. But pushing in the left stalk produces a mellow trilling/growling sound from a different horn. It's a heck of a good design.



    The one I drove produced more of a melodic trill than this one does. At least as I remember it.

    I've never done it, but I have considered installing a bicycle bell on my motorcycles. For all those times I just want to say "hello, I'm here" to pedestrians. Where the horn is just way too loud and aggressive.
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  20. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Excellent. Kudos to Chevrolet for thinking this through. I think Tesla has something like this as well.

    The old bicycle bell would also be a great solution. Rather than angering and startling pedestrians, you might get a laugh or a smile, followed by a polite move out of the way! :D
    #20