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Do loud pipes actually save lives?

Prue Mottram

"Loud Pipes Saves Lives."

"They can hear me coming."

"They get out of my way."

Is that really true?

Yes, loud exhausts attract attention. Sometimes is good attention. Often it's not so good attention.

Back in the day, motorcycles were associated with rebels and law breakers. They were looked down upon by general society, and a lady would never think to jump on the back of one! If you're attracting attention anyway, you may as well make the most of it! So the bigger and louder the bike, the bigger and badder you were...and everyone knew about it!

However, times change. Motorcycles now days are becoming more and more accepted by the general public. The amount of women riding increases every day. Kids are out there tearing it up on their dirt bikes. Motorcycles are cool, accepted and understood to be a great form of transportation, getting hundreds of cars off the roads on a day to day basis.

Oh and yes, there are still some rebels and law breakers riding motorcycles...old habits die hard, and to each their own! (I'm looking at you Sons of Anarchy)

I digress.

Is a loud pipe the only way to be seen on the roads?

No.

If you think about it, some motorcycles will never be super loud. Smaller 125cc/250cc/300cc motorcycles are never going to be super loud...they don't have the power or the capabilities to be as loud as a 1200cc Harley. I mean you could just take the muffler off...but that a) sounds TERRIBLE, and b) is illegal.
Scooters are quiet too, as are electric motorcycles!

Let's look at some ways to stay see.

Don't dress like a ninja.
I love black. My favourite bands as a teen all wore black. Some of my favourite bands now wear all black. I still love my black jeans and my favourite band tees are still black. (Although I shake up my dress style more nowadays) I love painting my nails matte black. (Yup, I'm a metal head) Black is slimming and goes with everything.
It also makes you invisible.

Especially a night, wearing all black makes you very hard to see. Splash some colour in there. A fluro vest is great, you'll be very visible. I mean who can miss a highlighter yellow, reflective vest?

Personally, my helmet is bright green and bright orange with white and sparkles! (It look waaay cooler than it sounds).

There are jackets like the Macna Equator that are highly reflective, but you wouldn't know it. It has what's called Night Eye. Basically, it’s coated with lots of microscopic beads. They act as satellite dishes, reflecting light back to its source, even from long distances. Indeed, just like a traffic sign!

Dri Rider also has a similar function called L.I.T (Luminous Integrated Textile) which is shown in their Vision Jacket.

Have a bright headlight.
A lot of motorcycles have good headlights now days. The new 2020 Yamaha MT03 even has a LED headlight as stock!

For those motorcycles with just a standard headlight globe, there are options.

Brighter and whiter head light globes are available, and this will help you be seen. A light beam in a cars rear vision mirror or side mirror will be seen if it's brighter. Now I'm not saying ride with your high beams on all day and night, that's just rude. Just think about replacing your headlight bulb. A quick flash of a high beam never hurt anyone.

Use your horn.
It's old school, but it works. Horns are directed to the front of the bike, and whatever is in front of you, so it makes sense. I know I've said in the past that some people tune out horns, and they do. Have you thought of changing your horn? Upgrade it to a newer, maybe louder one? No not a truck horn...you still need your own eardrums!

How about honking a short tune? Instead of just laying on the horn, use a couple of short and long blasts. Mix it up and keep it interesting, and then the people will listen.

The amount of times I've heard people say that only once they started riding a motorcycle, did they realise how little they looked out for motorcycles before, and how much more aware they are now.

So don't get so cranky, it won't solve anything. Some people are just in La La Land when they drive, they're distracted by their kids in the back or they're just a little stupid. Let's help them out by making ourselves more visable.

Ride safe and have a good one!

Got questions? Send me an email at [email protected]