I’ve had many an argument with internet Real Bikers who insist on saying “Loud Pipes Save Lives”. But let’s look at this realistically… Do they? Let’s get something out of the way right from the start. These Loud Pipe Live Savers are usually the guys that are riding certain American made V-Twin bikes with pipes that are seemingly designed to amplify the noise the engine makes so that everyone within a three mile radius hears them start up their bike and rev it for a quarter tank’s worth of fuel.
And for being so bloody concerned about Safety… They most often don’t wear any Safety Gear at all. The last guy I talked to about this, his safety fear was a thin cotton bandana with a motorcycle company brand on it… Logo front and center, so there’s no chance I might miss it and think he rode a Honda. I stood there, in my Motorcycle Jacket, Boots, Gloves, and Helmet in hand… And he’s wearing… I kid you not… Jeans Shorts, Flip Flop Sandals, T-Shirt, and black and orange bandana. … and he’s the one talking about Safety.
Last time I was down in Atlanta, I was driving on I-85 with the stereo off and enjoying the silence. When all the sudden this V-Twin Cruiser passes me. I saw the head light in the side mirror, this was no surprise. But I didn’t hear him coming. I had no auditory warning that he was approaching… And as he passed, I still didn’t hear him until he was at my 10 O’Clock. Oh, then I heard him. He was loud. He was painfully loud. In fact, I could still hear his stupid-ass loud bike well beyond visual range.
Of course, the rider on that loud bike wasn’t wearing a helmet. But that bandana sure looked butch. I’m guessing his boyfriend loves it.
Here’s the thing… If I thought that Loud Pipes really did Save Lives… I’d be an advocate. But most of the Motorcycle Fatalities I’ve seen, auditory enhancing hardware were not a factor. Dumbass riders who do not know what Counter Steering is, was a factor. Suicidal Wildlife, was a factor. Motorcycles with poor designs that allow for easy Death Wobble, was a factor. But the #1 Factor, was, is, Distracted Drivers. Specifically, Drivers that are too busy on their Cell Phones. These D.D.’s are too engrossed in their phone to pay attention to the big red brake lights right in front of them, to be bothered to look up and around for that Loud Pipe Bike that they won’t even hear until it passes them. Because when a Loud Pipe Bike does get run over, and not just run themselves into the barrier because they don’t know how to turn… the Driver of the Car always says, “I didn’t know he was there.” Because they didn’t hear the bike. Because they were too distracted. Instead of Loud Pipes, what you paunchy taint goblins need are Cellular Jammers and Helmets.
“You can save 15 Lives or more by switching to Loud Pipes!”
When the Loud Pipes Save Lives culture all starts to wear all their safety gear, on every ride… Then I’ll believe they really think they are all about safety. Because what I believe they are really all about, is being Obnoxious Shart Biscuits.
I know a lot of V-Twin riders, many of whom I call friends. They wear helmets and gloves and jackets and anything that will make them safer. Some of them have loud bikes… But at least they are fecking honest about it. “Because I love the Sound.” Okay, THAT I can understand. That I can even agree with because I can’t disagree with that. They are already safe…. and they are intellectually honest about it and not promoting dangerous bullshit that could poorly influence a less experienced newcomer to the Freedom Lifestyle.