I wish to address some of Ruth Meyers’ opinions.
Firstly I wish that the editor had chosen a photo of a motorcycle with loud or straight pipes and not one with legal mufflers. I am not opposed to motorcycle riders with functioning mufflers and feel this photo unfairly pointed a finger at all riders, even those with mufflers.
I have many years riding motorcycles under my belt. When I was younger I too enjoyed loud exhaust — but then I liked cards in my bicycle spokes too. I now know excessive noise is physically damaging to one’s hearing and can cause stress leading to other medical conditions. I agree that motorcycles shouldn’t be singled out and they are not. There are laws governing the amount of exhaust noise that is legal and for the most part these regulations are enforced. Try driving a Toyota car or a Honda or Yamaha motorcycle with open exhaust and see how long you get away with that.
But for some reason Harleys are allowed to get away with this; some say it is because many police officers have ridden Harley Davidson motorcycles in the force or now ride themselves. As a pedestrian and bicyclist I can say that an approaching loud motorcycle isn’t very loud until it has passed — then it hurts! If loud vehicles made the roads safer then why not eliminate mufflers from all vehicles? Horns were invented to inform others where you are. When I was riding a motorcycle I found my horn to be very effective.
I have met folks from Ontario who were considering selling their property because it is on a motorcycle tour route. I know many more from across the country and in the US too who are totally fed up with loud motorcycles. When tourists come to visit our area and they find loud motorcycles distasteful, they should have the right to say so. In Nelson I witnessed an incident in front of a well known coffee shop.
A lady was walking by with her little girl when a guy started his loud Harley and then revved up the engine. The little one cringed and held her ears at which point he revved it again and burned rubber leaving the scene laughing! I tried to get his license number but was unsuccessful. This isn’t a laughing matter. Allowing this lawless behaviour can lead to further disregard for authority and public well being.
The economic argument for loud motorcycles isn’t valid either. Most of the motorcycles passing through our area have functioning mufflers and are driven by law-abiding citizens. They will continue to come and be welcomed.
Terry Lowrey, Nelson