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Throw out unworkable exhaust laws: Barrister

Call to challenge exhaust noise fines sign noise cameras
Police conduct roadside noise test at Mt Tamborine

A Brisbane Barrister has called on the Queensland Government to throw out the current exhaust laws after two cases against riders were dismissed in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 14 September 2020.

Barrister Levente Jurth, who wrote an article for Motorbike Writer in 2016 saying aftermarket exhausts were not illegal, says the current rules are “unworkable”.

The Magistrates Court of Queensland at Brisbane recently found Levente’s clients, Craig Rowland and Jason Tziros, not guilty and dismissed charges against them relating to their motorcycle exhausts exceeding the relevant stationary noise level under section 5(1)(a)(vi) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads who ran the prosecution was also ordered to pay $1500 in legal costs.

Mr Rowland and Mr Tziros were charged in a police operation on Mt Tambourine in May 2018 after having their Harley Davidson motorcycle exhausts tested by Senior Constable Paul Hocken of the Road Policing Command, Road Policing Task Force, Boondall, the State’s most senior and most experienced exhaust noise tester.

The Court found that the mandated test procedure set out in the National Stationary Exhaust Noise Test Procedure for In-Service Motor Vehicles – September 2006 required strict compliance for a valid noise test to support a charge and Senior Constable Hocken had failed to comply with it in a number of respects.

His errors included failing to properly calibrate the sound level meter and failing to properly measure the position of the microphone of the sound level meter.

“When the requirements for obtaining a valid noise test are so complex that it involves lengthy legal argument in court and the State’s top cop with some three decade’s experience and one of only two police officers qualified to train other police officers in exhaust noise testing cannot get it right, it’s time to throw the current rules out and start again,” Mr Jurth said.

“This case has demonstrated that the current rules are simply unworkable, both from the point of view of riders attempting to comply with them as well as police officers attempting to enforce them.”


  1. Having lived on a busy street with hordes of Harley Davidsons making an absolutely horrible racket at all hours of the day and night. Make the rules stricter and easier to enforce. There are absolutely no valid reasons to have an exhaust so loud it shakes windows, it is just offensive and obscene.

    1. Actually its fairly common knowledge that most car drivers hear a bike before they see it. A loud exhaust is a safety thing, i would much rather be heard and subsequently seen than get tboned or worse because Karen “didn’t see me” ….

      1. Luke, that’s a very flimsy argument, the vast majority of motorcyclist that have loud exhaust don’t do it as a safety issue it’s more to do with ego and image. And your missing the point of the argument. There aren’t sufficient numbers of trained police to carry out exhaust noise testing. The work around could be, for officers to issue a certificate that mandates riders to have their machines tested at motor register office, within a set time limit, where you have qualified testers. No fines, no courts, if the machines passes fine, if not, de-register them.

        1. Mike … Your obviously not a rider and have no knowledge of how the motor vehicle laws are enforced … de-register??? … they would actually give the owner a ‘defect notice’ to fix the problem …

    2. Hi, I was recently defected for an aftermarket exhaust on a 2018 Yamaha xvs650 that was dealer fitted from new. By a very well known Brisbane motorcycle cop who (yes captain loud pipes!) who actually stated that brand of exhaust is illegal on Harley Davidsons. He called my bike a Harley. My Yamaha. And this is who can tell me my bike is too loud? Since complying I’ve been pushed off the road twice by motorists who just go ‘smidsy’ straight up. Which is why I had the loud pipes in the first place. This is dangerous,and just a plain old money grab. He’s ruined my bike, the $11k sewing machine I never would’ve bought with a stock exhaust! I’m so angry, sad, angry again. Some guys said to fight it in court, as the bike just came out of a current RWC, and the exhaust was dealer fitted new. Two people I know have won, nit I can’t afford to go that route….

  2. Quite interesting, I wonder how the situation stands in N.S.W. I’m currently building a custom 2stroke road bike and obviously there are no officially legal road pipes for it so I’m hoping I haven’t spent loads of $$$ for something I won’t be able to register I guess I’ll just have to wait and see/pray.

  3. I bought a 2nd hand bike from a dealer. Came with an aftermarket Yoshi exhaust, and a roadworthy/safety certificate. So is it legal?

    1. I’ve thought the same thing. I had a Harley Fatboy with 2 into 1 V&H pipes which registered 108db when the maximum is 100db for that bike. It’s had 2 roadworthys before I owned it including one from the dealer.

  4. I live on a main road, I’m in the process of building a 900 watt RMS amplifier and speakers so that I can outdo the motorist with modified exhaust systems. I record the sound level from passing motorists and then amplify the exhaust noise by around 9 DB. It makes me feel special.

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