Is the sound of your motorcycle still allowed?
30 Mar '23 Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde | News

Is the sound of your motorcycle still allowed?

Inspiration, Blogs, News, Press, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Indian, Triumph

For many people, the sound of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is synonymous with the freedom and thrill of the open road. The deep rumble of a Harley engine can be exhilarating and captivating and for many motorcycle enthusiasts, the roar of a Harley-Davidson engine is music to their ears. However, what for some is the sound of freedom, is becoming an increasing nuisance to others. With the law cracking down on loud pipes, can you still enjoy the rumble of your V-Twin without constantly checking for Johnny Law?

Freedom or irritation?
When you live in the Midwest of the USA and ride your bike with open pipes trough the country you might disturb a local farmer and a few cows, but that’s about it. Here in Europe things are a bit different. While our cities getting more and more crowded, we tend to find irritation in many things our fellow humans do. Whether it’s the neighbour’s love for singing loudly in the shower, the lawnmower on Sunday morning, or that moment that you start your Harley and you wake up the neighbourhood. For those who don’t ride a bike themselves, the roar of a rumbling V-Twin is something that makes not everyone happy to say the least.

The price of noise: fines and more
Those who see the sound of the motorcycle sound as a disturbance of their peace and quiet, have the law on their side. Increasing law and legislation makes it for riders more and more difficult to ride their bikes with pipes that do not have an EU type approval. Even though the law and legislation are identical within Europe, there are surely differences to find when it comes to enforcing the law. Where in Germany it seems like there is a cop waiting behind every tree to stop you and to give your bike a more than proper examination. While in other countries, the local sheriff mostly seemed to admire your beautiful chrome steed instead of checking whether everything complies with the law and legislation. But like everything, this attitude is also subject to change. More countries that had a more lenient stance when it comes to exhaust noise, start to enforce the law. The fines are not cheap to say the least. So, what can you do as a rider?

Stock or outlaw?
The first option is to keep the original stock pipes on your bike, which are of course fully legal. But let’s be real here; that’s usually the first part that gets changed on a bike. You can of course embrace your inner outlaw and ride with your loud pipes because you simply don’t care. Sure, that is something you can do. But when you like to travel with your bike and have your whole holiday planned, the fun is over quite fast when you get to a halt in say Germany and you haven’t even made it close to for example Greece. The holiday is over, the fine is given, and your bike is on a trailer back home (for you to pay of course).

Adjust your sound to the moment
If you want your outlaw feeling, but actually ride carefree, you might consider an electronically adjustable exhaust system. Aftermarket suppliers like The Jekill and Hyde Company provide riders with exhaust systems that give the rider the sound they crave, but also makes sure that their ride is compliant with the law. Exhaust systems that are equipped with a type approval and give the rider the possibility to switch between silent and rumbling. Next to that they have smart software that makes sure the system is regulated in a way you never end up the wrong side of the law.

A matter of respect

That being said, next to being always legal in whatever mode you ride, we need to respect each other and sometimes understand that not everyone wants to hear your bike roar. Pick your moment and enjoy it, just you can let others enjoy the silence by having your exhaust in silent mode when it’s appropriate. That way everyone can do what they love most and we don’t get irritated by each other all the time. It’s not that hard.

Share our story