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Falling prey to a myth

They are falling for the 'noise increases safety' myth. This gets debated back and forth, but in 42 years of driving and riding my experience says no. I don't think thermonuclear devices would make some folks take notice. Over the years I've owned loud cars and loud bikes and saw no benefit in terms of other drivers noticing I was there.
 

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"Loud pipes save lives" is debatable for drivers. For pedestrians, a dead-quiet machine won't be heard beyond the tire whine. People won't look, won't be alerted and be struck for no other reason than the aural cue wasn't there.

However - there's even more to it than that. People are conditioned and associate the vroom with cars and bikes. It's why so many of us buy a certain bike or mount different exhaust systems - to get a sound.

Which is more desirable? A Ducati 996 with Termiogni's belting out that gorgeous, almost literally knee-wobbling rumble.....or the same bike with identical performance but fuel-efficient and DEAD quiet?

Gimme that roar. Every time.
 
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Re: Falling prey to a myth

andyauger said:
They are falling for the 'noise increases safety' myth. This gets debated back and forth, but in 42 years of driving and riding my experience says no. I don't think thermonuclear devices would make some folks take notice. Over the years I've owned loud cars and loud bikes and saw no benefit in terms of other drivers noticing I was there.
I agree. Take railroad crossings, for example. Even with countless flashing lights, horns, and bells, some drivers still fail to notice that a train is coming. Google train, crossing, accident, and "didn't see", and see how many hits you get. When so focused on a specific task, people tend to have tunnel vision and filter everything else out. I don't care how loud your pipe is, how bright your helmet is, or how reflective your gear is, if a driver can't notice a locomotive, how is he gonna notice you on your motorcycle.

This study on "inattentional blindness" I found really helpful, if not scary:
http://www.ama-cycle.org/magazine/2001/story3sept.html

Ride safe, ride paranoid, and act as if you were invisible.
 

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Re: Falling prey to a myth

reyortiz said:
andyauger said:
They are falling for the 'noise increases safety' myth. This gets debated back and forth, but in 42 years of driving and riding my experience says no. I don't think thermonuclear devices would make some folks take notice. Over the years I've owned loud cars and loud bikes and saw no benefit in terms of other drivers noticing I was there.
I agree. Take railroad crossings, for example. Even with countless flashing lights, horns, and bells, some drivers still fail to notice that a train is coming. Google train, crossing, accident, and "didn't see", and see how many hits you get. When so focused on a specific task, people tend to have tunnel vision and filter everything else out. I don't care how loud your pipe is, how bright your helmet is, or how reflective your gear is, if a driver can't notice a locomotive, how is he gonna notice you on your motorcycle.

This study on "inattentional blindness" I found really helpful, if not scary:
http://www.ama-cycle.org/magazine/2001/story3sept.html

Ride safe, ride paranoid, and act as if you were invisible.
+1!

Its amazing how many accedents there are between a tractor-trailer and a car with the car driver saying the they never saw the truck... if they don't think it ahould be there, they don't see it now matter what the size.
 

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So, the second part of my post just gets ignored, huh?

Ruefus said:
....People are conditioned and associate the vroom with cars and bikes. It's why so many of us buy a certain bike or mount different exhaust systems - to get a sound.

Which is more desirable? A Ducati 996 with Termiogni's belting out that gorgeous, almost literally knee-wobbling rumble.....or the same bike with identical performance but fuel-efficient and DEAD quiet?

Gimme that roar. Every time.
 

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Last year I almost pulled out in front of a Harley in my car. I was mortified because it was on a straight empty stretch of road(so I thought). It is amazing how the power of one side of the mind can convince the other side that something is not there!
 

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Note that they don't specify that the noise is only for other motorists. Pedestrians use sound too. Those new hybrid cars can really sneak up on you when you're walking across a parking lot. :shock:
(Back to lurk mode)
 

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I hear you, Ruefus

Many people do connect the noise and the machine. I think this is some part of the reptile brain that remains in our skulls. How else do you explain the universal fascination with firecrackers?

Whatever floats your boat. I don't like riding loud bikes, although I once did. Riding quiet bikes (e.g., bicycles) made me realize that it's much more important for me to hear what's going on around me than the roar of my own vehicle. Maybe other folks tune out external noises and sights, but I sure don't. For almost 20 years my main modes of transportation were bicycle (when it was cooler or when it didn't matter if I was sweaty) and motorcycle (when I had to arrive presentable). So for me it's a matter of hearing others rather than other people hearing me.
 

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Although loud pipes may not have much affect on being noticed, I still choose to have one. 'Cause if having a loud pipe saves me from having one accident then it's paid for itself mulitple times over. Just my $.02

Edit: To get back to the main topic. That bike is pretty cool IMO. It'd be something cool to putt around on in town.
 

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mag, put you a slip on pipe, youll like the sound better and the bike will be louder..
 

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texasblues said:
Although loud pipes may not have much affect on being noticed, I still choose to have one. 'Cause if having a loud pipe saves me from having one accident then it's paid for itself mulitple times over. Just my $.02

Edit: To get back to the main topic. That bike is pretty cool IMO. It'd be something cool to putt around on in town.
Exactly!! That is the way I feel about it.
 

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I think part of the problem is that it's far too easy to get a driver's license in the US. It all requires minimal training and minimal knowledge of how to operate a vehicle. Put those together, you've got a ticking timebomb weighing in at 3500 pounds running down the road with the operator talkin on a cellphone while runnin it.
 

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Pedestrians are no more aware than drivers. I had people jaywalk in front of my 1964 Corvette, and that sucker was not quiet. I worked for a while with the New Orleans Fire Department. People would walk, ride and drive right in front of a large ladder with lights, sirens and air horns going. The situation is worse now with the number of cell phones and MP3 players stuck in peoples ears.

I've ridden both bicycles and motorcycles extensively in a busy city for decades. You can never count on the actions of others. You must assume that the people on the street and the sidewalk are going to get in your way at inopportune and random times. You need to leave clearance and a way out. Loud rarely helps, so you can never count on it and it's not a strategy worth pursuing.

If you just like loud bikes go ahead and pipe it, that's up to you. But don't try to justify it by claiming it's safer. That's spreading false comfort.
 
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