Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mad about Motorbikes

One day, when my son was about six months old, and we were travelling along in the mighty Holden Kingswood, I heard a distant thunder. Thirty seconds later, it became a raucous roar, right beside us, which frightened my son sufficiently to make him cry. It did not last long, thank God, but long enough to cause me to rue the invention of the Harley Davidson: the source of the noise pollution. 

Why is it that cars are not allowed to have noisy exhaust systems, but motorbikes are? Can't someone design a quieter muffler for motorbikes, or is the noise part of the attraction? Are they supposed to be annoying? Are they designed to attract attention?

I once got booked by police for undue noise because my tyres squealed a little (maybe it was a lot) when I did a U-turn. A tiny hole in the exhaust pipe can prevent the issuing of a road worthiness certificate for a car because of concerns over noise pollution. How come the noise pollution generated by motorbikes is acceptable? I mean, they are seriously loud, right?

Actually, I have nothing against motorbikes except that I don't like them. The comfort and convenience of a car has always held far greater appeal. You can't have a conversation on a motorbike, listen to your favourite tunes, eat a sandwich, turn on the heater or air conditioner, nor carry your family around or the 'truckloads' of associated equipment and supplies. And when it rains you get wet!

What do you think of motorbikes? Love them or hate them? Share your thoughts.


  1. I have long wondered why motorbikes are allowed to be as noisy as they are, and you’re right, they’re neither comfortable nor convenient. They’re also dangerous, both for the rider and for other vehicles on the road. I do enjoy the annual Witch Ride here. It’s a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Thousands of motorcyclists ride from Boston to Salem, many in costume. The noise is earth shattering, but at least it’s temporary.

    VR Barkowski

  2. Lovely to hear from you VR, but I wonder where all the motorcycle enthusiasts are? I expected a gang to rumble in and testify to the glories of motorcycling. I had hoped to stir a up a hornet's nest with this, and some of my other blogs, but I guess, I am too sedate and uncontroversial. Thanks for visiting, and taking the time to comment.

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