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Discussion Starter #1
So, I see a lot of comments in the (Harley/biker) community (and this is where the primary issue is arguably) along the lines of "LOUD and fast", am I getting old or what, but LOUD is generally way too loud. When I got my 04 Deuce a few years ago (my first new Harley in many years - been riding for 40 yrs.) the thing sounded way too anemic with the stock exhaust so one of my first purchases was V & H Big Shot Staggereds, with Thunder Monster baffles(?) to top it off no less. After all, I wanted it to sound like a Harley right? Had it that way for 8,000 miles until I sold it. During that time went on several rides with 5 or 6 buddies with Harleys and a couple of the guys refused to ride next to me it was so loud, they were of course razzing me but there was a certain amount of truth to what they were saying. I've got to admit what was kind of cool at first, quickly became a major pain in the ass, it was getting where I was truly embarassed to start the thing up it made so much noise. I certainly didn't 'blip' it at lights, just let it idle so as not to call attention to myself. To make matters worse there seem to be a large percentage of doofus'es out there who try to make as much noise as possible. Full throttle starts, blipping the hell out of it a light (idle problem, with a fuel injected bike maybe?) etc., what is the point? Am I missing something? All these people are doing, is pissing off pretty much everybody (neighbors, pedestrians, citizens, the general public, etc.,) and ruining it for us and the bikers in general. Note: don't be riding riding trough Laguna Beach and several other communites in So Cal on the weekend making noise with loud pipes, cuz there is a good chance you'll get busted. Why the crackdown - the a fore mentioned doofus'es. I enjoy riding up to Hell's Kitchen for a coke on Saturday or Sunday and find it amusing as guys leave the establishment, full on, making as much noise as possible ( however up there, there pretty much isn't anybody to bother and I guess it's a testosterone thing - the one who makes the most noise wins?). I suppose there is some merit to 'loud pipes save lives', although everything I have read has not supported this conclusion. I do however admit from personal experiece that on the freeway common sense tells you there must be some merit to it. But jesus, enough is enough. If you're one of the guys who make as much noise as possible - explain please. I have pretty much made a conscious decision to leave the stock pipes on my new Ultra - and take a more low key approach. Just my opinion - thoughts? Like I said I must be getting old, wait... I am, 58. Let the dog pile begin ----- :hidesbehind
 

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Curmudgeon
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7,040 Posts
Well I'm 63, once I decide to keep my sporty or upgrade, Ill be installing some type of louder slipon just be cause I like the sound, and at my age I'll do what ever the hell I want. (except maybe brake the law)
 

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Old Member
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2,896 Posts
I've always loved the sound of a loud harley going by me. It gives me butterflys at times. But spending a few days in Sturgis, (usually 2), by then I've had my fill of loud pipes 24/7 and seek the serenity of Yellowstone Park. I guess you can call this a love/hate relationship.
 

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Fla Cajun
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25,353 Posts
I have drag pipes on my Sporty, sometimes i feel like a baffle and sometimes i don't. As far as my neighbors go, if i get up early and ride i rack my pipes off . If i have to listen to there gangster rap at night when i go to bed then paybacks a bit**.
 

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40,797 Posts
I love the smell of Nitro in the morning......
.... smells like... victory!
 

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Just passing thru
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6,636 Posts
I think there is three noise levels. Stock (slightly wimpy) Aftermarket with baffles (just right) and straight pipes (obnoxious).

If I have the chance I always ask guys with straight pipes if that ratty annoying noise bothers them when they are riding. It has to. Most will admit that it does at times.
 

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284 Posts
Hell... Some bikes pass me when I'm in the cage and if my windows are up, I still can't hear them. I think the Fed's have gone way past the point of common sense. Sad really. The citizens are complaining at not being able to hear their cell phone in the car...
I had 2" straight pipes on my Sporty for 20 years. I really didn't care what anybody thought. I liked it. No tickets either. Even at a light sitting next to the law in the next lane. With the Sofa King I have now, I have aftermarket slip on's that make it just rumble at idle. I like that too. I don't really care what anybody runs. A harley going by at 5 in the morning bothers me a lot less than that tree out front full of sparrows yelling at each other when the sun cmes up.
 

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30 Posts
several years ago i went away for a week with several straight pipe riders. On the way back i made sure i was at the front. I just purchased an flhr that will leave stock. I went through the pushing the sporty a block in the morning, turning off the low rider 3 blocks from home at night and coasting in. Old yup too old to push the bike out or in to not annoy my neighbors. Also i don't have to cover up the rattles anymore.
 

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What?
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3,256 Posts
I prefer a deep throaty growl. like when you put a set of 40 series Flowmasters on a car/truck. I live in ******* heaven where these idiots have 1 7/8" pipes on their trucks and the first thing they do is get three to five inch tips welded on. Then they cut the mufflers out. Sounds like a wet fart in the shower. As far as bikes go, I really don't seem to care. I guess it's not that obnoxious to me. But then I haven't ridden beside anyone with an open exhaust for 900 miles either.
 

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On a ride
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4,996 Posts
Over time have come to appreciate exhaust with a deep note versus a loud note. Many loud H-D's sound harsh and blatty. IMO.

I see riders with loud aftermarket exhausts blipping the throttle at lights or gas stations, or blasting away when the light turns green. I know what they're thinking, "Am I cool or what". The irony is those within earshot aren't thinking "cool" but "fool".

Still, I'm in favor of letting the rider decide, going with whatever gives them a thrill, but would suggest awareness of others versus "me first".

BTW... many LOUD full exhaust systems, after an expensive purchase, $$$ for intake upgrades, more $$$ for FI adjustments, can deliver extra HP and torque, but it often comes at the very high end of the RPM range (where few H-D riders ever ride), and it isn't unusual for it to come at the expense of performance at the low-mid range, where many riders do ride.
 

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Banned
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11,040 Posts
The Man tries to control everything! If you want loud pipes then run em.If you dont then dont its that simple.Personal preferance comes into play.I like to set off car alarms and I like loud ass pipes too do the old washer trick to get your midrange back.there made to breath so let em.
Ive run straights my whole life and never got a ticket for it.Its a matter of how you roll your sled If your always on the throttle even at the lights then the Man will notice you and youll draw the attention you dont want .But if you respectful with em then they leave you alone.There is a time and a place for everything.
 

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Just passing thru
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6,636 Posts
One thing that I have noticed is the loudness of ones exhaust almost always corresponds with the personality of the rider.

Low sound level = mild mannered

moderately loud = moderately outgoing

Loud pipes = outgoing personality
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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13,505 Posts
I have two vehicles with over 400 hp 400 ft/lbs, and while they sound real good, they are not loud.
My Screaming Eagle exhaust on my maybe 80hp LowRider is louder, and straight pipes,
ESPECIALLY on the V-Rod would be MUCH louder.

So, what does extreme loudness make the owners feel like they have?
HP? Torque? Rudeness?
A complete lack of class?
Maybe a little bitty teensy tiny dink?
 

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Curmudgeon
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7,040 Posts
I have two vehicles with over 400 hp 400 ft/lbs, and while they sound real good, they are not loud.
My Screaming Eagle exhaust on my maybe 80hp LowRider is louder, and straight pipes,
ESPECIALLY on the V-Rod would be MUCH louder.

So, what does extreme loudness make the owners feel like they have?
HP? Torque? Rudeness?
A complete lack of class?
Maybe a little bitty teensy tiny dink?
Lets not start pulling out the rullers, this is getting silly.
 

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IBA Member 40248
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120 Posts
I just bought a 2008 Ultra and had SE slip on's put on it with the super tuner. To me, a 39 year old professional that lives in a cul de sac neighborhood, its just right. Not too loud, but loud enough to make sure the dufus on the cell phone in the car in the next lane hears you. After riding in the Washington DC area, I can tell you first hand, the louder pipes make it a bit safer since other drivers will hear you. The stock pipes on my 2003 Heritage were too whimpy for my taste. With that said, I think waking up your neighbors 4 blocks over is a bit too much and yes, embarrassing. Part of owning a Harley is making it your own, to include the sound. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing...

My two cents adjusted for inflation....
 
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