Thursday, April 24, 2008

Telling It Like It Is.

Just finished reading a most excellent editorial by Thomas Day, Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly's Geezer with a Grudge. Day's topic in this issue was freedom of choice for motorcyclists as it's being touted by the various motorcyclists' rights groups out there. I agree 100% with his conclusion: in the end, the general public (i.e. non-motorcyclists) are the ones who will decide our fate, and their decision will be based largely on perception.

So keep it up with the loud pipes and bad attitudes, and it won't be the EPA or helmet laws you'll have to worry about, but an outright ban on motorcycles. Sound too far fetched? Many cities and towns across Canada and the USA have already passed by-laws that prohibit motorcycles from certain neighbourhoods or from dusk 'til dawn. It's already started and with each new by-law its gaining momentum.

At least some organizations are speaking out against the problems that we may have to face one day due to public opinion. The AMA and MRF have a "Loud Pipes Risk Rights" campaign, and even motorcycle rallies like Americade have taken position against loud pipes. But will it be too little, too late?


irondad said...

I'm afraid we're going to end up legislated out of riding. That's based on the many riders I see. They are never going to get the message. It's so important to "belong" that they'll never be able to see down the road. Bloody shame.

Shawn King said...

"Many cities and towns across Canada and the USA have already passed by-laws that prohibit motorcycles from certain neighbourhoods or from dusk 'til dawn."

Any information to back that claim up? It seems unconstitutional to me and I haven't heard of any place that has successfully done the above.

Lucky said...

Hi Shawn,

You can read one of my previous posts on the motorcycle ban in certain sections of Qu├ębec City... and yes, this isn't just a noise ordinance, but a complete ban of all motorcycles over 50cc (to exclude smaller scooters).

Here's a link to NoiseFree's list of city ordinances within the U.S.A. that deal with motorcycle noise:

There are also numerous "Private Communities" and commercial development sites that ban motorcycles. A quick Google Search for "Loud Motorcycle Ban" yielded results from Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Greenwich Village, Chicago, and on...

Being licensed to ride a motorcycle (or any other vehicle) is a privilege, not a right. It's much easier to take away that privilege than many would believe.

I don't really mind the sound of a decent motorcycle exhaust, but the truth is that many motorcyclists go way above and beyond the limits of common sense.

For what it's worth, there are three seperate "Private Communities" in my city that have an outright ban on motorcycles... and I live in Moncton, NB, which only has a population of 65,000 people!


T.W. Day said...


Thanks for your kind comments on my article. I'm going through a little geezer-dom transition these days. Sort of along the same lines as my political realignment. For a good bit of my motorcycling life, I've worried that our hooligan behaviors would impinge on my own riding rights. My political and social involvement was, in large part, self-preservation.

Now that I'm solidly a geezer, I am beginning to care less. The fact is, at 61, the chances that any drastic motorcycle legislation will have an effect on me is minimal. Folks who arrogantly pretend that they can piss off 99.9% of the population without penalty are the majority of motorcycle owners, at least among the political involved. Any group that dumb is likely to self-terminate.

Thomas Day