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Author Topic: Riding “Myths”  (Read 1909 times)
Five of Five
Doctor of Scooterology

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Location: South K-Town, TN
Bikes Owned: Current - Kwang Yang X-500, GL1100/Vetter sidecar
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« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2018, 11:12:29 AM »

I am way late responding to this thread not because I didn't follow it rather that formulating a response took some thought. While I do not intend to defend the "Loud pipes save lives" philosophy, I believe the article's reasoning flawed. The writer states he discovered much research on benefits of bright clothing but no research concerning loud pipes therefore there was no indication loud pipes contributed to safety. By the same reasoning of lack of research there is also no indication loud pipes do not contribute to safety. While it is inarguable that the majority of sound follows an object the implication that I or others can not or are unlikely to hear a loud motorbike or any loud sound approaching and distinguish direction is ludicrous. While distinguishing direction could be difficult in some urban areas where sound is echoing off buildings in most instances direction is readily distinguishable. Otherwise, let's save some money for safety research by removing sirens from police, emergency vehicles and that horn button on motorbikes. The writer provides an example of a motorbike riders stating he revved the engine and a car about to pull out stopped and goes on to point out there was no evidence the revved engine was the reason the driver stopped. I agree but by the same reasoning there is no evidence the revved engine is not what got the drivers attention. Again, I am not a defender, I readily admit any propensity toward loud pipes (not straight) is because I like to hear my engine, motorbike, car or truck chances are I am running or intending to install an aftermarket exhaust, not straight pipes, my preference is a mellow rumble. I just find the writer's conclusion that lack of research indicates loud pipes are not a safety benefit is flawed. What I read was it is impossible to prove or disprove loud pipes are beneficial until a micro-chip that analyzes, differentiates and records response to every stimuli is available and embedded in every driver's brain. AC-DC and jet aircraft took away my high tone reception long ago. Other than those renting an apartment over the H-D shop where are you being exposed to loud pipes enough to cause hearing loss?
   Concerning motorbike safety research vs hard evidence, daytime headlights have been required for motorbikes in the U.S. for more than half a century following research, show me the evidence accidents involving motorbikes and another vehicle decreased following implementation. There has been much research into visibility, show me the accident investigation reports showing that those wearing safety yellow/orange helmets and/or vests, flashing and/or multiple lights are involved in less multi-vehicle accidents. Show me an accident investigation agency that even specifies half, 3/4, modular or full face helmet rather than just helmet or no helmet. While research indicates these items should contribute to motorcycle safety I have yet to discover any documented accident investigation evidence that those with multiple or modulating lights and those wearing bright colors are involved in fewer multi-vehicle accidents. Of course the failure of accident investigative agencies to document any factor rather than helmet/no helmet is the cause of the lack of evidence but until such factors are documented in accident investigations and large enough database is available the actual safety benefits of multiple/modulating lights and bright colors are just as much a myth as 'loud pipes save lives'.  
   Despite any definitive proof I'm sure at various times some observant drivers, not engaged in toe nail painting or texting, at the last moment spotted a  modulating light or day glow green helmet and avoided an accident and hypothetically the percentage should be higher than those wearing bland clothing or with single headlight though supporting evidence is lacking. How with no more or no less evidence can I deny the possibility among that vast horde of vehicles a loud exhaust caused some similar percentage of drivers to hesitate just long enough to spot and avoid a potential accident. You find loud exhaust annoying, irritating, obnoxious,, unlawful understandable. You know a large percentage of drivers find modulating lights annoying, irritating, obnoxious. Loud pipes saves lives / don't save lives no definitive proof, only conjecture supported by bias on both sides. I don't know which side I fall toward, I don't believe there are thousands of riders still this side of the river Styx just because they have loud exhaust. I think the whole 'Loud Pipes Save Lives' campaign is an attempt to prevent or limit government regulation by those who like loud pipes. Still, is it far fetched that among that vast horde 1 driver a year might avoid running over a motorbike, even if he just hesitated a split second attempting to determine which direction the sound of a loud exhaust came and would one a year be enough. All the evidence indicates I shouldn't be writing this time of morning and should have continued not responding to this thread.

If you stand for anything, you have fallen for something.
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