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Thread: Noise

  1. #1
    robertgerena
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    Noise

    I am aware that an R1150GS is not a Harley. But in my opinion, if I am riding up to pass a car, I am less likely to be ignored if my bike sounds more like a vehicle than a sewing machine, and the driver is more likely to hear me and check his mirror before changing lanes. I also ride as though "they are all out to get me". This is exactly why I want to make a little more noise. Not neighborhood waking noise, but enough, at highway speed, that I am not easily ignored by cars. Anything that helps to draw attention of car drivers cannot hurt.

  2. #2
    USERNAME
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    my r1150ra has a stain-tune exhaust on it, and without the silencer, it's fairly loud. too loud for me, so i use the little silencer plug. i think it's rude to wake my neighbors when i fire the bike up in the morning to leave the house. i personally put my exhaust note very near the bottom of all the things i can do to be a safe and courteous rider.

    so obviously i am of the mind that counting on a motorist to hear me, over their radio, or phone, or children, or super-silenced car door, does not make me safe. i focus more on positioning myself in such a way that it is really hard for them to hit me, (easy to see me, but assuming they don't, very hard to hit me.) and pretty much assume that they are trying to hit me. this is very hard to accomplish in traffic sometimes, and in that situation, i "wiggle" around in my lane, and strive to be a headlight and red jacket that is moving across and in and out of their mirrors, eventually catching their eye. i've learned that humans are really good at detecting side to side motion, probably better than most other sensory input. even then i don't fully relax, so i practice swerving, panic stops, and keep the controls covered when cars are within 1 second of me.

    also, instead of making noise all the time, i only make it when i think i really need to, namely with my horn.

    i say all of this simply to give a different perspective than that of the 'loud pipes save lives' one. best of luck to you, and check out the stain tune option for your bike. (i've also got a lowering kit which allows me to carry a big bag on the left. im not sure if the GS would benefit from the same.)

  3. #3
    Rally Rat donkey doctor's Avatar
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    Hello; I agree, my 42 years of motorcycle experience has tought me that a silent motorcycle is an ignored motorcycle in some cases. I have found an exhaust system that is loud enough that it can't be ignored but not so noisy or rude sounding that I can't stand it. It is tough to get noticed by a bunch of half-asleep commuters talking on their cell phones.

    I also have twin tone horns on my beemer, they help quite a bit. They sound like a Cadillac, people usually just move then look to see what made that noise. I don't abuse that power however, or it wouldn't have teh right effect. I always ride alone (not in a group) and try to blend with traffic.

    I find that no matter how careful you are, there are still some people who just don't see you, even if they look right at you. those are the ones that notice a loud exhaust.

  4. #4
    Rally Rat JetDoc's Avatar
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    Sounds...

    I've found that some classic 70's rock music blasting from the stereo speakers of my K1200LT is just as good as loud pipes for getting the attention of cage drivers in traffic. It's also easier to turn off when I'm in a quiet neighborhood, or out cutting curves in the back country.

  5. #5
    robertgerena
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    performance mods

    Finally, someone who can agree that a little extra noise may help get you noticed when riding.

  6. #6
    dlearl476
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    Our wonderful European bikes have a little feature on the right hand switch grip. Most people in the USA use this feature to alert (annoy) people in the oncoming lanes who refuse to dip their high beams, but its' actually called the "passing light". It is intended to be used to signal a leading driver of your intent to pass. It's a tradition we should work to spread in our country.

    Second, staying OUT of people's blind spots also helps a lot. That way, if they ever bother to look in their rearview mirrors, you're there. Like the truckers say, "if you can't see me in my mirror, I can't see you". Words to live by.

    And lastly, counting on other drivers seeing you, hearing you, or giving you right of way as a "safety strategy" is dubious at best. When I'm riding, I count on NO ONE but MYSELF to get my butt home in one piece. Or, to paraphrase someone on the ADVrider list: "If you count on someone seeing (or hearing) you, you're screwed. If you count on someone seeing (or hearing you) and giving a sh*t, you're completely F***ED".

  7. #7
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    If they really were out to kill us, we'd all be dead. Think about it next time you're going down a two lane road and a vehicle is approaching from the other direction. Or the next time you're passing someone. Or...

  8. #8
    robertgerena
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    Performance Mods

    First, in case it hasn't been made absolutely clear, I do ride as though every driver is out to run me over. I understand that it iis my responsibilty to get me home. I also know the features of my bike, my Ducati had the same features. I do not ride in vehicle blind spots by choice, but you have to go through this blind spot to pass a vehicle, and this is typically at the exact moment that the driver attempts to change lanes. Having said all of that, if my bike is making some noise that grabs the car driver's attention, he may (and I chose this word carefully, so all of you, do not tell me that I cannot rely on a driver to hear my bike, thank you) hesitate before running me over. The fact that I am seeking an alternative to being seen by drivers should clue you in to the fact that I do not rely on the driver visually identifying my presence.

  9. #9
    mikea
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    Don't know how this would affect the oxygen sensor, but the simple answer is to remove the muffler and drill holes in the baffle until you're happy.

  10. #10
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mikea
    Don't know how this would affect the oxygen sensor, but the simple answer is to remove the muffler and drill holes in the baffle until you're happy.
    I've found mounting a fog horn running all the time works best.

  11. #11
    robertgerena
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    Noise

    Foghorn's not a bad idea, but it would be contrary to the "not p$%!#!ing off the neighbors" philosophy I have adopted at this stage in my life. No, all I need is a slightly elevated exhaust tone to increase my chances of being noticed by drivers around me.

  12. #12
    dlearl476
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    >Having said all of that, if my bike is making some noise that >grabs the car driver's attention, he may (and I chose this word >carefully, so all of you, do not tell me that I cannot rely on a >driver to hear my bike, thank you) hesitate before running me >over.

    IMHO, visually signalling your intention to pass is infinitely more effective than hoping a driver might hear your exhaust note. A modern car with the air conditioner on and the stereo at even moderate levels pretty much insulates a driver from any outside noise. I don't know how it is in Sandy Eggo, but here in Vegas a high percentage of drivers don't respond to emergency vehicles with lights AND siren blaring.

    Then again, here in the Good Ole USA, flashing your intention to pass is probably just as likely to initiate aggressive behavior from the "king of the road" chattin' on his cell phone up ahead of you.

    Personally, I haven't noticed any difference in the actions of fellow drivers between my Triumph (relatively loud with a CF race can), my F650 (OEM but with a staccato Thumper beat) and my K75 (the flying blender). FWIW, having ridden alongside my Triumph, and plenty of other loud bikes, that noise is behind my bike, after I've already passed the car.
    YMMV

  13. #13
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dlearl
    >Having said all of that, if my bike is making some noise that >grabs the car driver's attention, he may (and I chose this word >carefully, so all of you, do not tell me that I cannot rely on a >driver to hear my bike, thank you) hesitate before running me >over.

    IMHO, visually signalling your intention to pass is infinitely more effective than hoping a driver might hear your exhaust note. A modern car with the air conditioner on and the stereo at even moderate levels pretty much insulates a driver from any outside noise. I don't know how it is in Sandy Eggo, but here in Vegas a high percentage of drivers don't respond to emergency vehicles with lights AND siren blaring.

    Then again, here in the Good Ole USA, flashing your intention to pass is probably just as likely to initiate aggressive behavior from the "king of the road" chattin' on his cell phone up ahead of you.

    Personally, I haven't noticed any difference in the actions of fellow drivers between my Triumph (relatively loud with a CF race can), my F650 (OEM but with a staccato Thumper beat) and my K75 (the flying blender). FWIW, having ridden alongside my Triumph, and plenty of other loud bikes, that noise is behind my bike, after I've already passed the car.
    YMMV


    One state did a big study on why emergency vehicles were having such a hard time getting through traffic. It turns out that at highway speeds, a siren is very hard to hear until the vehicle is passing you. And those are sirens designed to emit loud noise in ALL directions.

    YMMV. All I ask is that the police fine owners of loud bikes.

  14. #14
    robertgerena
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    noise

    We could argue this all day (and probably continue tomorrow), but I don't see any reason to. I never said that a louder bike would alert every driver to my presence. What I do state is that it may alert one driver to my presence. Since I don't live next door to you, the noise my bike makes won't bother you, though I am not looking for unmuffled noise, just a more distinct sound from my bike. So, if a couple hundred bucks gives me a slight performance increase, and could possibly make me a little more conspicuous to the other drivers out there, it's worth it to me. And just for the record, the drivers out here are no better than anywhere else, in fact I think they may be among the worst in the nation (with the exception of Florida), so my defensive driving skills are tested daily. And as you stated, a blinker prior to lane change does often dent some people's pride (though I do use the blinkers when changing lanes or turning).

  15. #15
    robertgerena
    Guest

    noise

    And all I ask is that before the police start pulling over any loud bikes, they first solve all of the rapes, murders, robberies, assaults, etc, then concenetrate on the unsafe drivers, people going slower than, and impeding traffic, people making the insane, stupid and unsafe lane changes and turns, drunks, pedophiles, etc. Then if they want to turn their attention to the loud bikes, go for it.

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