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Police hammer noisy motorbike exhausts

Police hammer noisy motorbike exhausts
(Photosby Ajay Acharya of

Police have been known to hand out fines for noisy motorcycle exhausts, but in India you not only get a fine, the cops hammer the exhausts at the side of the road until they are useless.

The police crackdown follows noise complaints by Residents in Bangalore and Mysore, according to Indian motoring website That seems strange as they are already very noisy cities.

In fact, a recent World Health Organisation report found the sound of tyres on pavement is one of the biggest contributors to noise pollution. There was no mention of motorcycle exhaust noise.

However, that doesn’t stop police in many countries cracking down on loud motorcycle exhausts.

Every week we read of some country cracking down more on noisy motorcycle exhausts, introducing new laws or increasing fines. Even in Detroit Motor City they have introduced a law that bans exhausts that can be heard 50m away!


tyre noise
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Hammer time!

Motorcycle noise limits vary around the world. In Australia, the stationary noise level for a motorbike built after February 1985 is 94dB. In India, it’s 90dB.

Bangalore Police pulled over hundreds of riders recently and fined them, then made the riders watch as their exhausts were broken of the motorcycles and hit with a hammer.

Police hammer noisy motorbike exhausts
(Photos by Ajay Acharya of

The reports do not say whether police used a dB meter to determine the noise of the exhaust.

In Australia, police have been known to issue a fine based on their judgement rather than a calibrated scientific noise meter.

What usually happens is they will issue a show-cause notice as the roadside test may not be sufficient to issue a ticket.

Instead, you will be summoned to take your bike to a transport department facility for a proper noise test.

If you fail, you will not only pay a fine, but have to present the bike again with a compliant muffler fitted before the bike is deemed legal.

At least they don’t use a hammer!

(Read the articles below for more information on exhaust noise and how you can fight fines.)

  1. I’d like to see this happen to more than a few Harley-Davidson exhaust pipes in Australia – the noise from most Harleys is offensive.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, I live in a heavily used motorcycle area which I love but the noise from some is just plain offensive. If I go outside now and remove the exhaust of my car I wont last 5 minutes on the road.
      Yet no one is interested in these inadequate people on their attention seeking bikes.

        1. I own a Harley a really nice 2013 Ultra Classic that my partner and i spend many hours and days on here in SW WA. It sounds great but isn’t offensive and is subdued at cruising speed. We don’t hit the throttle in built up areas to make noise. We suffer the Harley bashers all the time even though they are the best selling road bikes in Australia. I don’t mind the loud exhausts a lot of Harley owners have. I do mind the wannabe’s who just open the throttle to annoy or get attention. They are dickheads. “look at me. Look at me. I’ve got a noisy Harley”.

          1. Bang on Dave. An article about exhausts will always attract derision from the HD bashing brigade. Like you, I have a Harley with a set of well mannered pipes and ride it with respect to others around me. Most of the naysayers have never ridden one and are just on the bashing bandwagon. Very comfortable and reliable touring or cruising bike.

  2. Let me see how this works? Police remove & destroy your exhaust because its to loud, say it was 95db – 5db over the limit, now your bike has a straight through exhaust probably well over 110db now & spits flames, pops & crackles, woohoo, full noise race machine now, noise output of the bike has just been quadrupled, you have to love a coppers mentality, seems they are made from the same mould world over

  3. I live in an inner Brisbane city suburb and the motorbike noise is ridiculous. There seems to be no enforcement by the police. Anything goes. Those that have a noisy exhaust, and it appears to be mostly a certain brand, are not fitting them for any other reason than to show off and be seen/heard. Bring out the hammers.

  4. I own a Harley tourer and have aftermarket slipons which are louder than standard but still quite subdued C/W many Harleys out there. I did this purely for performance and to get heat away from the engine better. The original mufflers were very restrictive. The really loud systems on many Harleys are only there for noise and I also find that offensive.

  5. Electric bikes are going to make the argument obsolete soon. Internal combustion engines are finished. The only place you’ll see them is in motoring / bike museums. Can’t wait.

  6. To Dancing Dave (6th July, 2017) who said “… noses bent out of shape about Harley’s? ” NO, it’s our EARS that offended by attention-seeking riders on Harleys (no apostrophe please) and the public ire attracted to all motorcyclists because of the deliberately determined and unnecessary loudness of most Harley exhaust systems combined with disrespectful use of throttle at close quarters – a rather cowardly form of bullying, the assaultative noise left behind the fleeing rider. Even racing bike exhausts have to be muffled to a standard (came in about 1974, I have a recording of the last race at Bathurst un-muffflered).

    1. “…disrespectful use of throttle at close quarters”

      Exactly. That’s the problem. I was at a country cafe the other day and we were all out on the front verandah at road level. An older gent had parked his beautiful Harley right near us so when he left he basically idled it away before giving it any gas. It was obvious he did that so as not to annoy anyone. That’s all it requires: sone thought for others.

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