Failed sound test w/ Q Pipe

43 replies to this topic
  • Dan_from_HB

Posted November 02, 2002 - 05:44 AM


I don't want you to think I'm venting on you. On the contrary, we're on the same side of the issue for the most part.
My frustration in general is with the way we are way over-regulated in my opinion. I feel the noise issue is being dramatically over-emphasized by people who just don't want us there. As soon as we put 75 dB pipes on all our bikes, there will be yet another issue-du-jour our opponents will try to use to exclude us from public lands (or private lands if they can). They just don't like us being there, and the noise issue is merely a straw-man.
Having said that, yeah, I could go back re-do the tests and document each angle and each reading on each bike, but that wasn't really the point. We were merely observing how very slight changes in the way the tester performed the test yielded dramatically different results on the same bike in the same spot just a few seconds apart. If someone has the time to do such a study, I agree it might be helpful to someone who receives a ticket and wishes to fight it.
We all want to be good neighbors, keep the general public off our backs, and get their vote when it comes time for them to pick sides between off-road recreationists and enviro extremists. To that extent, we should all be thinking about quieter mufflers that are now available, and don't change the power output much (performance mufflers, not stock with extra baffling jammed inside). But to force us to meet an arbitrarily chosen standard that cannot accurately be measured under threat of citations, fines, and possibly vehicle confiscation is just not reasonable.
My 2 cents.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted November 02, 2002 - 06:05 AM


I dont see it mentioned here but CRD has a wr426 pipe at 91db advertised. I am told that the pipe adds decent power over stock down low through mid.

You can take a look at the pipe or order it through CRD one of our sponsors on TT.

The have a special discount program for TT members


  • xlr8

Posted November 03, 2002 - 01:12 PM


This is exactly why you guys out there in CA need to get out and vote republican on tuesday November 5, 2002. You people need to take your state back! YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT!!! NOT THE GOVERNMENT!!!! YOU GUYS HAVE GOT TO GET THE LIBERALS OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!! If you don't vote, you can't really bitch about it can you? Sorry to intrude, but this really erks me. This election Tuesday goes way further than the presidency. The people that we are putting into office are the ones that will either fight for us or against us, so GO TO THE FRIGGIN POLLS, AND MAKE THESE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT WE ARE THE ONES IN CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • xlr8

Posted November 03, 2002 - 01:20 PM


Go to This Site and see for your selves. California is has the sorriest incumbents in the nation.

  • SFO

Posted November 03, 2002 - 01:28 PM


I dont see it mentioned here but CRD has a wr426 pipe at 91db advertised. I am told that the pipe adds decent power over stock down low through mid.

You can take a look at the pipe or order it through CRD one of our sponsors on TT.

The have a special discount program for TT members



I have a CRD pipe and am trying to get them to have the time to send me an USFS sticker for it.
Otherwise it is still not a "legal offroad pipe"
I sure hope I don't have to get a "Q"....

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted November 03, 2002 - 06:14 PM


xlr8 is right on the money. I haven't missed ONE SINGLE ELECTION since I turned 18. That was 27 years ago. What about the rest of us in California? And I don't want any of this baloney that one vote doesn't really matter. Remember that in 2000, less than 5000 Florida votes determined who was President and who went home without a job. We have 12,000-odd TT members. Get out there and VOTE!

  • bhunt

Posted November 03, 2002 - 07:20 PM


In Socialist republic of Kalifornia we need to vote out "<font color="pink"> GAY " Davis! I've been telling everyone for 10 years to vote out the Socialist Barbara Boxer, but everyone thought I was X-treme for that stance. Now after SO much has been taken away, and more to come, maybe I'm in the mainstream again!
BTW for those in Kalifornia like me, I sent an E-mail about the Wilderness Bill, to every politician I could think of. I received plenty of " <font color="purple"> form letter " E-mails back, but only U.S. Congressman Elton Gallegly representing Ventura County and some of LA County actually responded. I received a personalized letter back that actually responded to my specific points, telling me that he is against and WILL VOTE against the wildnerness bill. He commented on some "very good points" I made and will continue in his fight. It was personally signed (not stamped). Guess who has my vote for anything else he ever runs for? :)


  • BRBill

Posted November 04, 2002 - 08:32 AM


There has been a lot of discusssion about sound levels, the new law, and increased enforcement, and whether this is just another way to make it more of a hassle to ride dirt bikes by anti groups.

Anyone who has been following this topic should have quickly found the common denominator to all the people who are having trouble passing the tests.

They all ride newer high performance 4 stroke competition motorcycles, usually a Yamaha YZF or WR 250, 400, 426, or 450, or a Honda CRF 450R. It is no coincidence that the new concern with sound levels corresponds exactly with the introduction of these particular machines.

Prior to the introduction of these models, the biggest sellers were 2 stroke 250 MX bikes. When water cooling became the norm in the arly eighties, all of these bikes dropped sound levels dramatically over older air cooled models. Stock sound levels ran in the 90-94 db range, an they still do today. Aftermarket spark arrestor/mufflers are commonly available that easily pass the new standards

But the new 4 strokes are a different matter. Stock, the YZF and CRF models are right about 100 db, but they do not have a spark arrestor, so you either have to replace the entire muffler, or add a spark arrestor. The Spark arrestor alone knocks off a couple of db at best, still not enough. The vast majority of aftermarket muffler/spark arrestors available today for 4 stroke bikes won't even come close to hitting 101 db, much less 96 db, and most run over 105 db, and some exceed 110 db. This is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!

Some seem to think that this is an issue only to extreme anti groups. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Most of the issues the anti's use against us are surrogate issues, and we can generally disprove these allegations eventually. We can deal with water qaulity, air quality, soils, and wildlife issues. But noise is an issue that pisses off EVERYBODY. And I don't want to hear that tired excuse that nobody hears me because I ride in the desert/woods/remote areas/anywhere. You can literally hear a 105 db bike for miles. This means you can hear one of these bikes for at least 5 minutes, if not longer. While 2-strokes have a higher frequency sound that may be more annoying, the lower frequency 4-stroke sound carries much farther, and while a thumper running through the gears may be music to some, any motorcycle related sound can be a huge irritant to others. Rather than getting used to loud sounds over time, peope react just the opposite, losing their tolerance for sounds they do not like, and actually increasing their sensitivity to objectionable sounds.

The Bottom Line is that sound is a REAL issue to EVERBODY. It is the ONLY issue that gets the general public upset about dirt bikes. Rather than quibble about a couple of db in a test, we need to make sure we have a reasonably quiet muffler. If you own one of the above mentioned bikes, you need to buy the quietest product you can find. The current enforcement focus is because of bikes like yours, bikes that are typically over 105 db, and are GROSS OFFENDERS. These bikes annoy other riders. These bikes can be heard for miles, and are heard by people you never even know are there.

Rather than whine about harrassment, put your energy into getting the quietest muffler you can find. We will all be better off because of it


  • tctrailrider

Posted November 04, 2002 - 11:34 AM


Well said.

  • GPS Dual Sport

Posted November 04, 2002 - 12:38 PM


Since we're on the subject of passing sound tests there is one point overlooked in this discussion. The airbox cover on the WR is noise reduction item that gets removed quickly in the tuning process.
Since this is a four screw cover that comes off real quick why not leave it on when your heading to a riding area you know has noise enforcement.
If you don't think this makes any difference perform a quick test yourself. Ride without it then put it back on and ride again. You don't have to measure noise for a living to hear the difference.
The sound level meters just measure pressure changes at the microphone. The microphone doesn't know if the pressure source is the exhaust or intake. The microphone takes it all in and spits out a number.
Yamaha wouldn't spend the money on the part if it doesn't make a measurable difference noise level.
If you're not passing by 1 dB or less put the cover back on and measure again.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Merfman

Posted November 04, 2002 - 02:35 PM


> The Bottom Line is that sound is a REAL issue to EVERBODY

I must disagree. To a certain extent, this may be true, but do you really think that it'll all be OK if we're riding
bikes that are even, let's exaggerate, at 70db?

The don't like us. They don't want us in "their" woods. It's sound today but I guarantee that as soon as that battle is won, it'll be something else.

That said: My bike tested 98db last time I had it tested.
I try my best to keep it quiet, I just don't think it's the
end-all problem that's being pitched.

IMO, the big problem is lack of coordination by OHV'ers. We only seem to fight when something is taken away, not before.


  • motojason

Posted November 04, 2002 - 04:34 PM


I agree loud bikes are irritating to everyone other riders included. However, I would consider most mechanical internal combustion engine exhaust sound “music”, not noise, but to each his own. If you have ever ridden the trails you ride your MC on by mountain bike you would know how cool it is to hear the sounds of the environment around you, you can actually hear changes in the ground beneath your wheels…motorcycles are just a different experience.
The problem is bigger than the noise issues related to the high performance 4-strokes that you suggest. These bikes exist because 2-strokes are believed to pollute the air. Sound is just the latest issue raised by the “antis” that we are trying to deal with.

“Some seem to think that this is an issue only to extreme anti groups. Most of the issues the anti's use against us are surrogate issues, and we can generally disprove these allegations eventually. We can deal with water quality, air quality, soils, and wildlife issues.”

Not so, many public riding areas in California are closed to 2-strokes for most of the year because of CARB. Obviously we have not dealt successfully with the “extreme anti-groups” on the air quality issue…

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted November 05, 2002 - 12:33 PM


Sorry you feel this way, Bill. With all due respect (because I know you are heavily involved with land use issues) I have to disagree with a few of your points.
You make it sound as though if we all just go out and buy quieter mufflers, our problems will be over. When we all buy our Q series mufflers and bring the dB level down to the new legal limit, then the greenies begin screaming for a 92 dB limit, are you going to give them a compromise, or are you going to draw a line? At what dB level do we realize that it is a political game and the sound issue is only one means to an end?
If Joe Taxpayer can hear my bike from 5 miles away this week, then next week he can only hear it from 3-1/2 miles away, will it make a difference? How far away can you hear a stock DRZ400 at full throttle? A XR200R? A moped? If my bike from 1 mile away irritates someone, it is clear that there is another underlying issue.
The sound issue was resurrected at a time when not only were there newer high-performance 4 strokes available, but when the greens began to run out of reasons for us to be locked out. They finally began to be challenged to back up their claims, and could not legitimize most of them. So what do they do? They dredge up old issues.
I feel the more important issue is our behavior. If we choose to blast around right next to someone's home or place of business, or campground, it doesn't matter how quiet our bikes are. They will oppose us.
If you and I ride into Randsburg, California (a relatively dirt-bike friendly town) and I ride at 1/4 throttle (perhaps 89dB)on my WR400F (let's say 101dB at full throttle) and you wheelie down the main street on your 92dB XR400, guess who's actions will get us the boot?
So, sound is not the only issue that pisses off otherwise uninterested bystanders. It is one of several, and depends heavily on the behavior of everyone in our interest group. A bunch of 101dB bikes with well-behaved riders will be better received by the general public than self-centered rowdy boneheads on quiet bikes.
Sorry, but I am not prepared to accept the blame for losing open riding land just because I ride a newer performance 4-stroke that's louder than a typical performance two stroke. I think all of our energies would be better spent learning a thing or two from the NRA when they oppose firearms legislation. They go to war with their opponents. They don't compromise. To them, any regulation is a restriction on freedoms long-established in our Constitution. For sure, we don't have a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right to ride off-road. But neither does the general public have a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing that every square mile of land in the US must be below 96dB, either. Our complaints of freedom to use public land must at least equal their claim to the right to a silent lifestyle.
I hope you don't think I'm just banging on you. I just saw all this baloney happen over the last 30 years with gun-control issues. The greenies are using the very same tactics that gun-control advocates have used. It's a multi-faceted approach that really has one large goal in mind. The individual issues are merely smaller steps to the larger goal. Compromises without guarantees merely ensure the demise of our freedoms.


Posted November 05, 2002 - 01:18 PM


When I was a kid my town's population was about 5000, we used to ride in the local riverbed, and we could play and travel all around in the countryside. Now the town is 36000 people strong just in the city and the river is off-limits and everyone in the country has a fence around their property. If you want freedom to do what you want, quit breeding - eeehaaa, we're over 6 billion strong and crawling on this old planet like ants on a wet sugar cube. THAT'S the problem! You folks in remote states just enjoy it while you can...

  • BRBill

Posted November 05, 2002 - 01:47 PM


I appreciate hearing everyones thoughts on the sound issue. My point is that we need to recognize that there are two completly seperate categories of critics. For the hard core anti-OHV folks, we will never be quiet enough. Just look at mtn bikes, which are just about silent, but still they are attacked by the hard core anti folks. Noise is just one of many surrogate issues that are used to support their philosophical opposition to motorized recreation in general.

But to the general public, noise is the main thing they don't like about dirt bikes. Sure, stupid behavior will justifiably upset the general public too, but more people are impacted by loud bikes than stupid behavior. You don't even have to see a loud bike to be annoyed.

I also understand very clearly the discussion on "compromise" Compromise is the norm in politics, and it is pretty damn hard to swallow most times. But a compromise on noise is not the same as a compromise that gives up riding areas. What are you really giving up by agreeing to lower noise levels? Few riders today can fully use the power of the modern competition motorcycle,and a difference of a couple of horsepower one way or another won't make or break most riders quality of experience. Bikes get more powerful every year, and if everyone had to meet the same rule, there is no competitive advantage for anybody. Performance still is mostly a rider skill issue, not a horsepower issue. And if your wrf 400 isn't fast enough with a 96 db exhaust, your local dealer will be only too happy to upgrade you to the new 450WR, with more beans than ever.

I don't mean to pick on the riders as much as criticize the industry. Riders just want the best performiong bike they can buy. But the industry, both OEM and aftermarket, need to put more emphasis on quiet products. We know that you can have it all, as KTM has demonstrated. Their bikes are reasonably quiet out of the box, as well as meeting California emissions standards, and nobody contests the fact that they perform pretty damn well, and the stock muffler even looks pretty good too.

For a contrast, look at Yamaha WR's, and how they get them to pass the EPA sound test (KTM DOES NOT pass the EPA 50 foot drive by noise test, by the way, but easily passes the 20" test). Yamaha puts a plug in the exhaust that does compromise performance pretty badly. They close off the airbox. They put a throttle stop screw on the carb. They re-configure the ignition map, and on the 400's, they change the ignition additionally when the bike is in neutral, all to pass sound. But NOBODY rides a Yamaha WR in stock form, and in practice, they are usually right around 100 db, with the stock uncorked pipe.

And then there is the whole can of worms about "Competition" bikes used on public lands. The OEM's don't want to admit that any of their competition product may be used off of a track, so none of them have a spark arrestor. The customer buys the competition model to get the performance, weight, suspension, etc that he wants, while intending to use the bike at least some of the time, if not all of the time, on public lands for recreational riding. Now he has to buy an add-on spark arrestor, or a whole new muffler/spark arrestor. And the VAST MAJORITY of aftermarket muffler/spark arrestors for 4-strokes won't meet any legal standard in the country. They won't meet the current 101 db limit in California, and they won't meet the AMA rule for Motocross or off-road competion, which is 99 db. Just where is the customer supposed to legally use these 105 db plus products?

There is a lot of money being made with these irresponsible products. Anyone out there noticed that 4-stroke systems are almost double the price of 2-stroke systems, for a very simple head pipe, and a basic "can" muffler. The costs to build a 2-stroke pipe is clearly much higher, but the advent of high performance 4-strokes has given the aftermarket an opportunity to "re-price" this product segment, and they have.

I think it is time the aftermarket takes some of the money they have made building irresponsible products and put it into Research and Development of quiet, performance exhaust systems. It isn't rocket science either. In europe, the universal standard is 98 db, and all the bikes sold there meet that standard. Look at the pictures of a MX Grand Prix and notice the bikes all have larger mufflers than the US models. Check out european aftermaket products from CRD and Arrow that easily meet the 96 db standard.

I don't mean to pick on all the owners of YZF's and CRF's. But when these folks are looking at accessories for their bikes, thay need to buy the quietest product that perfoms that they can find. A quiet pipe is just as much fun, less stressful to your own hearing, and will help all of us in the long run. Don't make the mistake of falling on your own sword to defend your right to make as much noise as you want. lowering sound levels is one "compromise" that I can support. Some of this discussion focused on Hollister Hills. because of noise, a "compromise" was made there that created mostly buffer zones out of the 3,000 acres that was added to the park 12 years ago, and that still isn't open. Noise was the reason for the buffer. And in 98, the neighbors began complaining in earnest over noise, saying it had gotten worse. Perceptive crtics made statements like "There is a new kind of noise coming our of the park", referring to the high rpm 4 stroke sound that they had never heard before.

I would rather compromise on noise levels than on acres of land to ride.

Happy Quiet Trails

  • BRBill

Posted November 05, 2002 - 01:57 PM



I would beg to differ that we have not be successful in dealing with air quality issues. You may not have known it, but in 1994 CARB BANNED all 2-strokes completely from public lands, and most of the new 4-strokes as well. This rule was to be effective on 1-1-97

I worked with CARB, along with other OHV groups in California, for three years. At the end, we got CARB to overturn the total ban, and create a new Red Sticker for non-complying bikes. While it is true that in a couple of areas, these bike sare still only allowed to operate for a few months of the year, in most of California, these Red Sticker bikes can be operated at least 8 months of the year, except for June through September, and in most of northern California, where air quality is better, they can be ridden year around.

And the industry is building clean bikes now, 4-strokes that will run with the 2-strokes. People don't buy these 4-strokes because they have to, they do because they are GREAT BIKES, no matter how many strokes they have. How many times have you heard a new 4-stroke owner exclaim how their new scoot is the best bike of any kind they they have ever ridden?

Happy QUIET Trails

  • neWRiver

Posted November 05, 2002 - 02:42 PM


Good discussion, lots of excellent points on both sides. In some ways we are all saying the same things.

-Noise is not the REAL issue when dealing with infringements of our rights by environmental extremists.

-Noise is a REAL issue in the public opinion whether we are talking about street traffic, airports, lawnmowers, barking dogs, crying babies or dirtbikes on public (or private) land.

-TOLERANCE and CONSIDERATION are the operative concepts when dealing with public issues. There is a middle ground somewhere when it comes to negotiating one persons right to an activity and another persons right to not be infringed upon by that activity.

-There is NO COMPROMISING with greenies. Either we win and they lose or they win and we lose. On one hand we cannot let them distort common public issues to suit their true agenda. On the other hand, we cannot let them win public support by "appearing" to the public as their advocate on an issue that is REAL TO THEM.

BTW, current 4-stroke competition bike technology is LOUD and the LOUD=FAST (or loud pipes save lives) mentality is not winning us friends in the non-riding public eye. New technology is needed to mitigate the noise problem which will only grow as trail riding becomes more popular. Yes, there will always be someone who insists that no noise level is acceptable. You might as well lump him in with the greenies because there is no win-win scenario with that person. However, for the majority of the public there is an attainable balance of TOLERANCE and CONSIDERATION.

The new CRD pipe sounds promising, I'm so pissed that I blew my money on a BG Quiet Core (are you kidding me?) system.

  • onyxxx

Posted November 05, 2002 - 05:44 PM


Just my opinion on the matter. For the people that live by a open riding area that do not like the noise, MOVE.
For the extreme enviromentalists, get a job, you have to much time on your hands.

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted November 05, 2002 - 05:45 PM


Fair enough. I think we can agree on most of that. I will concede that there are maybe two different approaches. One for the extreme enviro crowd and one for the general public. As for the EE bunch, it is a fight to the death as far as they are concerned. It should be for us, too (at least figuratively speaking). We should be demanding more than we expect to get, and using all political clout that is currently at our disposal.
As for the general public, I find myself riding near, and even into town in recent months. Because of that, I have been careful to keep the speed, rpm, and noise level down to a bare minimum. I have been pretty insistent that everyone I ride with do the same. To make that an easier task, I will be soon fitting a Q series and maybe a Powerbomb header (slightly quieter and a different power characteristic). The last thing we want is for these off-road friendly towns to change their welcome sign and start writing citations for dirt bikes. They have bent the rules in our favor off and on for a number of years, and are in a benevolent mood right now. They like the commerce we bring with us as well. It's kind of neat to ride into town on pavement and receive a wave from the local sheriff as you idle by.
The thing that torques me the most, though, is when the enviros want to renegotiate issues that were settled years ago. They get us to compromise further than we ever did the first time, and they seem to be able to make it stick. What ever happened to the meaning of "agreement". I have a pretty strong sense of right and wrong, and that's just plain wrong. It is not negotiating in good faith. Maybe that's why I don't like compromises with dishonorable people.

  • endurodog

Posted November 10, 2002 - 07:27 PM


Been on vacation hunting so sorry if this topic has been beat and I'm just getting back to it. Those that have stated that the hard core anti bike people don't care about how much noise we make but just want us gone are right. They will use any excuses.

Then there are those saying we don't want to make anti's out of the main stream. I state this, do you really think that because we get our bikes to 93 db's that it is going to make a difference?? There are truely obnoxious bikes out there that are not serviced properly and do hurt us with this people. But the bikes that are 103 db or 96 db are going to get the same reaction from people.

So we quite our bikes at a large expense to this 93 db, give up performance, and we change nothing. Lets do what we can to keep the bikes quite, with in reason. Lets encourge the company's to make quite bikes, but keep performance. Lets ride by people and give them respect not to rev our bikes to the moon. But lets not kid ourselves and think that the small change at a big price is going to change peoples minds


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