Monday, July 9, 2007

Colorados Noisy Pipes Problem

Can this happen in TN? You can bet your straight pipes! Ride responsibly, including resisting the urge to blast 'em. I love the sound of a HD motor as much as anyone but you can believe that this ordinance is not an isolated incident. They'll come for
YOUR pipes soon!

Priorities in Order?

I'm almost amazed at the amount of energy preferred up by motorcyclists as of late concerning the new Denver noise ordinance – you know, the one that requires EPA labeling on a motorcycle’s exhaust so as to be compliant with the federal standards – and if you don't have that compliant exhaust on your bike, you could be subject to a $500.00 fine in the City and County of Denver.

I'm seeing and hearing this ordinance being argued on TV, radio, the press, and as topics of conversation among motorcyclists. And hear and read about how motorcyclists are going to be stopped and ticketed for their pipes. And the sniping about it being BS. And I say “In comparison to other issues, So What?”

I'll outline a few points for you:

1) Motorcyclists brought this down on themselves – for years they've been advised to “cool your pipes” – the noise issues in Colorado Springs, Golden, Glenwood Springs, Denver (previously, just two years ago) and more that received media attention must have gone unnoticed or ignored. In the meantime, a certain percentage of the ignorant and stupid “bikers” continued to push the envelope, crapping in our own yard and then bitching about the mess (of which those offenders ain't likely to step-up to clean.) All that had to be done was to be considerate and the pipe labeling ordinance wouldn't have come about.

2) The majority of aftermarket motorcycle exhausts are not dB or EPA compliant with either federal or state law – you need to understand this. Colorado statutes controlling dB levels go back to 1973; federal laws have been on the books for 25 years. Just because you have different pipes on your bike doesn't entitle you to them – you have just been getting away with it for years. If you didn't know this, it wasn't because the information wasn't available or not put in front of you. You made your choice to be educated and informed, or not. Ever view the “Excessive Motorcycle Sound Management” document on the ABATE of Colorado website under ‘Position Papers’?

3) The timing of the bill was/is a tactical maneuver on the part of the City and County of Denver; City council served notice on the motorcyclists (as well as other vehicle operators) this season that disruptive exhaust notes in neighborhoods and urban areas was not going to be tolerated for another Summer, and I don’t blame the residents for their complaints. Ultimately, it is likely there will be negotiation in the matter but it will take some time to develop.

4) What I think is pathetic is that more biker attention and activity has been given over to exhaust pipes on a machine than helmets and mandates on your body. Having been involved in the entire process of opposing & testifying against the recently passed minor’s helmet bill in Colorado and being duly aware of the small contingent active at the capitol and among their legislators in comparison to the number of motorcyclists in Colorado, I have to question exactly what kind of friggin’ priorities the Colorado “biker” has. I guess it must be OK for so many bikers to be MIA as your state legislators shove Nanny legislation on the bodies of our children (and YOU next) but somehow your pipes are a big deal. What is evident is that today’s “biker” seems to have no sense of history of the work that their predecessors laid down so you could “ride free” today, nor do they have a sense of obligation to maintain the legacy. Nope, seems like its’ about all the good times and fun with no commitment to any “work.”

5) One of the other area biker newspapers reports that some out-of-staters won't be attending the Veterans Rally in Winter Park this August due to their concerns and complaints about the “pipe law” in Denver. I read two of these letters and noted from which states they originated – California and Nebraska, both of which are adult mandatory helmet law. To those folks I say this: “I'm sorry you won't be coming to Colorado this Summer because of an exhaust ordinance in Denver. Please enjoy your helmeted rides in your own states in the meantime.”

“On July 4, 1776 a nation was born based upon an idea: the fundamental right of human beings to be free. It was a radical idea for the time, recognizing that individuals are not vassals of the state, a king--or a Congress--but, in fact, that each person owns him or herself, by right and without question; a right that is prior to and above any government or social organization.” -- Donald Beezley

One can only hope that more Colorado bikers will dispense with the “cranial-rectum inversion syndrome” so as to reclaim their numbers in power as an active, involved political bloc. Complaining without acting is the same as doing nothing. If you as a biker aren't willing to be active, don't bitch when you lose – and don't forget to look in the mirror.

Dave Christy

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