Loud motorcycles in downtown St. John’s draw ire, defenders – Newfoundland & Labrador

Many people would say the issue has been exhausted over the years, but the problem of loud motorcycle mufflers keeps generating debate.

Maggie Burton, a candidate for St. John’s City Council, says loud noises from bikes frequently wake up her two children at night in her downtown home.

She thinks the city should regulate noise levels for the vehicles.

“I ride bikes, I am a regular passenger on bikes and I have never been on a bike louder than a vacuum cleaner,” she said.

“It’s obviously a matter of personal preference but your personal preference can disturb and unnerve a lot of people in the city. And we need to see what of those two things are more important.”

Maggie Burton, an avid motorcylist herself, wants to see something done about loud motorcycle noises in the downtown St. John’s area. (Submitted)

But many avid motorcyclists don’t fully agree with Burton’s assessment or her focus on their vehicles.

Darrell Young of Avalon Motorsports has modified pipes but said he doesn’t ride the throttle like some choose to. 

“Some people say loud pipes save lives, I just like the way they sound… I like a little bit of a rumble when I downshift but it hasn’t got to be deafening,” he said, 

“When they try to single out motorcycles as the only source of the noise problem that we have here, that’s what I have more of an issue with. Crack down on everyone across the board.”​

Motorcycle instructor Darrin Dunphy says it’s common for bikers to modify their exhaust pipes. (CBC)

Craig Lockyer of Newfound Riders agrees. He said the loud pipes help him warn other vehicles that get too close to him, and says they also save money.

“I got after market pipes on my bike and the reason why I got them on there is that it’s better for fuel consumption and better on the road,” he said.

Not a new complaint

Safety Services N.L. motorcycle instructor Darrin Dunphy said the complaint isn’t anything new, but it keeps coming up for a few reasons, particularly in the downtown area.

“We have really tall buildings on either side of the street and if I go down there on my motorcycle and I’m on a loud exhaust motorcycle, it echoes something terrible,” said Dunphy.

Loud motorcycles are a constant topic of debate in downtown St. John’s. (Zach Goudie/ CBC)

He said the noise is exacerbated by riders who modify their bikes and install after market exhaust pipes.

“It’s absolutely a trendy thing to do. It’s always been a thing but now it’s more…

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