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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Senate Bill 435 (motorcycle exhaust) has been amended yet again.
Latest version would require stock exhaust/EPA stamp for all bikes built on or after January 1, 2011
Despite repeated failure to garner support for past versions, Senator Pavley (D-CA-23) continues to unfairly target motorcycle owners. The latest version of the bill (as of 6/22/2010) would require stock/OEM exhaust systems on all motorcycles constructed on or after January 1, 2011, and mandates a "fix it" ticket for any owner who is found to be in violation.

Riders throughout the state have already been contacting their legislators and letting them know that this is still simply unfair. While much improved the bill would still result in unwarranted ticketing of bikes that were in fact legal to operate simply because the stamp could not be located (there is no requirement specifying a location of the stamp when manufactured). Furthermore, the lack of a labeled exhaust system does not mean a motorcycle is out of compliance with the federal law.

Recently two New York City motorcyclists visited a number of motorcycle dealerships to determine if the required label on stock motorcycles was readily visible as specified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (40CFR,parts 205, subparts D & E). They conducted a visual survey on seventy-six (76) from the factory (stock) motorcycles from eight (8) different OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
Their findings showed that:

1) Thirty-two (32) had readily visible EPA stamps.
2) Forty-four (44) machines had labels that were extremely difficult to find under the best of conditions. This includes twenty-six (26) machines that had labels not visible without physically dismantling or removing part of the motorcycle.

A .pdf of their findings can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/2vfajeh

It should be emphasized that these motorcycles were indoors, clean, and quite easily inspected. It is highly unlikely those tasked with enforcement of Senate Bill 435, if it became law, would experience such ideal conditions in the field. Road film and dirt will quickly obscure any label on an exhaust system, something that makes a visual inspection and verification even more difficult or impossible.

Simply put, it is unfair to expect a motorcycle owner to display a 'readily visible' label if one is not delivered that way from the factory. Many EPA stamps are very difficult to locate on new motorcycles. It is unreasonable to expect a motorcycle owner to partially dismantle their motorcycle on the side of the road to prove the exhaust system is labeled.

If you want to know where federal and gubernatorial candidates stand on key on- and off-highway motorcycle-related issues, the AMA has recently unveiled its 2010 Voter Guide for its members. If you are an AMA member, log into the Members Area to find out how the candidates responded. If you are not yet a member, click here to join now or call (800) AMA-JOIN (800-262-5646) for details. To access election information and a list of candidates running for statewide or federal office, click here. To see our friends in Congress, click here. To view the AMA's press release on the 2010 Voter Guide, click here.

To find ways you can help protect the future of motorcycling, visit our Get Involved page at AmericanMotorcyclist.com/Rights and select Get Involved, or for direct access, click here. If you are on Facebook, become a fan of the AMA at Facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist.

Please write or call your Assemblymember today and urge them to oppose SB 435.
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UTC quote
#1 The onus should first have to be on the manufacturer or the dealer to make the bikes compliant (i.e., place the stamp visibly). It should not be the problem of the owner.

#2 If I am not mistaken, the point of the proposed legislation is to (finally) put an end to health-hazardous noise levels of aftermarket exhausts. If this is indeed the point, LEOs would very likely not insist on seeing the stamp on a reasonably quiet exhaust system, but more likely on the obnoxiously loud ones, which shouldn't have a stamp anyway, because they are illegal. So, #1 is pretty moot, IMHO.

It appears to me that opponents of this legislation are representatives of the aftermarket exhaust industry (and occasional proverbial "men with small penises").

*donning his flame-proof suit*
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UTC quote
The after market see's this coming BUB just came out with a set that are more quit then stock.
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UTC quote
windbreaker wrote:
#2 If I am not mistaken, the point of the proposed legislation is to (finally) put an end to health-hazardous noise levels of aftermarket exhausts. If this is indeed the point, LEOs would very likely not insist on seeing the stamp on a reasonably quiet exhaust system, but more likely on the obnoxiously loud ones, which shouldn't have a stamp anyway, because they are illegal. So, #1 is pretty moot, IMHO.
This is correct. It's no longer about gaseous emissions or smog checking motorcycles. Here's a summary:
Quote:
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SB 435, as amended, Pavley. Vehicles: pollution control devices.
(1) Existing federal regulations require a motorcycle manufactured
on and after January 1, 1983, and exhaust emission systems for those
motorcycles, to meet specified noise emissions standards and require
that a label be affixed onto the motorcycle or exhaust emission
system indicating that the motorcycle or exhaust emission system
meets the noise emissions standards.
This bill would make it a crime for a person to park, use, or
operate a motorcycle, registered in the state, that is manufactured
on and after January 1, 2011 or a motorcycle, registered in the
state, with aftermarket exhaust system equipment that is manufactured
on or after January 1, 2011, that does not have the above label, and
would make a violation of this provision punishable by a specified
fine, thereby imposing a state mandated local program by creating a
new crime. The bill would require the person to whom a notice to
appear is issued, or against whom a complaint is filed, for the above
violation, to provide proof of correction. The bill would
authorize a court to dismiss the penalty imposed for a first
violation if the person produces proof of correction to the
satisfaction of the court.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
I'm not defending the law or saying it's fair, but this statement from the OP is completely inaccurate:
Quote:
The latest version of the bill (as of 6/22/2010) would require stock/OEM exhaust systems on all motorcycles constructed on or after January 1, 2011, and mandates a "fix it" ticket for any owner who is found to be in violation.
The bill does not require stock/OEM exhausts. It creates a fine for bikes which have exhausts (OEM or aftermarket) that do not have the EPA label stating they meet noise pollution regulations. Aftermarket pipes are capable of meeting this mark and carrying the sticker. If they don't, then they're already in violation of federal (and possibly state) regulations.
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Your state is 100% completely bankrupt and this is the shit they are worried about? Please take action to stop it.


I'd love to see how Harley Riders will handle this.
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UTC quote
We'll just stick with our stock exhaust - no issue.
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This post was not quite
What we were hoping to see
Try again, perhaps?
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Such a rule has been tried here in Aussie (in some states anyway) and all the problems pointed out came to pass- people were issued tickets just because the sticker could not be located, and there was talk of "counterfeit" stickers being used.

It has since been quitely forgotten about, and replaced with a simple acceptable decibel level, that is the Australian Standard that already existed!

It never ceases to amaze me what some politicians think is "important", presumably some line about cracking down on offensive bikers is being fed to the public. Cynical me thinks a crackdown is a poor substitute for policy.

We are having our own fight here at the moment with a desperate and morally bankrupt state government over massive increases to compulsory third-party insurance premiums for 250cc machines (try 80%). Protests are planned.

Get organised and fight on peoples!!
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Why the hell don't they just set a decibel level limit??
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UTC quote
windbreaker wrote:
#1 The onus should first have to be on the manufacturer or the dealer to make the bikes compliant (i.e., place the stamp visibly). It should not be the problem of the owner.
The way things should be and they way they actually are don't match.

This isn't very likely to be much of an issue with new bikes, since manufacturers can fairly easily ensure there's an appropriate marking that's readily visible.

The bigger problem will be with the zillions of existing bikes that are, in fact, in compliance but which can't easily be shown to meet the law. Not only shouldn't that be the owner's problem, but it also shouldn't be the manufacturer's problem. The only way a law like this would make sense is if it applies only prospectively - i.e., to bikes sold after the law takes effect. However, how does one know what model year a bike is when sometimes nothing visible changes for several years? How about a 3 year-old leftover bike sold as new?

As noted by others, if the goal is to limit noise (a goal with which I'm in agreement) the proper solution is to enforce noise limits, not stickers.
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I'm no expert on SB 435, but I frankly have no problem with a crackdown on uber-load mufflers on motorcycles. While I appreciate "slippery slope" concerns of any law limiting personal freedoms, the noise level from some of these bikes is deafening. Opponents of SB 435 assert that California already has statutes restricting loud mufflers (Cal Vehicle Code 27150-151), and that those statutes are both sufficient and regularly enforced. The problem, however, is that the statutes are absurdly vague and full of all kinds of loopholes and exceptions.

Let's face it, the legislation is targeting Harleys, and specifically, ridiculously loud Harleys. I love Harleys as much as the next guy. But enough is enough. It's time to go after these crazy loud bikes. I'm just not sure federalizing California's exhaust standards is the way to do it.
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Great let's add another law that will only be selectively enforced.
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ToppiSF wrote:
Let's face it, the legislation is targeting Harleys, and specifically, ridiculously loud Harleys. I love Harleys as much as the next guy. But enough is enough. It's time to go after these crazy loud bikes. I'm just not sure federalizing California's exhaust standards is the way to do it.
Yes, this bill is largely targeting Harley or "Harley like" motorcycles. Although any PTW could be caught up in the crossfire. I'm primarly a Harley guy and this problem (loud exhausts) has been discussed passionately on the Harley internet boards. Oppinions vary widely. I'm of the opinion that we (Harley riders) have brought this upon ourselves by refusing to put limits on ourselves. A loud exhaust is not a "right". It is also, in my opinion, not an effective safety item that so many claim it is. The Harely community is infected with "weekend badass warriors" who love to ruin the fun for all of us by rapping their pipes up to unbearable levels in the most in appropriate places. I love the sound of a Harley, I've been a fan since I was a little kid and it doesn't have to be painfully loud. When I'm enjoying breakfast with my wife on a beautiful spring morning at a sidewalk cafe and some leather clad self-proclaimed badass decides to break the quiet by purposely reving it up at the near by traffic light, I can see why the general public has become aggitated to the point of introducing legislation.

-Craig
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california as a state is concerned about everything except getting their own fiscal house in order, I figure their in line for the next great baleout along with NY and NJ for obvious political reasons which wont be discussed by me on this forum
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mstevens wrote:
The bigger problem will be with the zillions of existing bikes that are, in fact, in compliance but which can't easily be shown to meet the law. Not only shouldn't that be the owner's problem, but it also shouldn't be the manufacturer's problem. The only way a law like this would make sense is if it applies only prospectively - i.e., to bikes sold after the law takes effect. However, how does one know what model year a bike is when sometimes nothing visible changes for several years? How about a 3 year-old leftover bike sold as new?
This concerned me at first too because while my 1949 H-D is quiet, they never made an EPA stamped exhaust for it. But when I read more about the bill it appears that it would only apply to 2011 and later PTWs. Even if you buy a leftover 2008 model after January 1, 2011, it will be registered as a 2008 and should be exempt from the law. How do you know the year of a bike? Check the VIN #. The VIN will always have a coded year of manufacture portion. A police officer who is writing a ticket would need to call in the VIN to get the year of manufacture decoded before writing the ticket.

-Craig
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This would have bothered be about 15 to 20 years ago, but now I leave everything stock. As long as the manufactures stamp whatever they need to stamp, in an easy to see location, then there shouldn't be any problems. As for the aftermarket manufactures, keep the noise levels in check, and all will be good.
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UTC quote
mstevens wrote:
windbreaker wrote:
#1 The onus should first have to be on the manufacturer or the dealer to make the bikes compliant (i.e., place the stamp visibly). It should not be the problem of the owner.
The way things should be and they way they actually are don't match.

This isn't very likely to be much of an issue with new bikes, since manufacturers can fairly easily ensure there's an appropriate marking that's readily visible.

The bigger problem will be with the zillions of existing bikes that are, in fact, in compliance but which can't easily be shown to meet the law. Not only shouldn't that be the owner's problem, but it also shouldn't be the manufacturer's problem. The only way a law like this would make sense is if it applies only prospectively - i.e., to bikes sold after the law takes effect.
Copying from the OP's post, emphasizing the parts you may have missed:

"The latest version of the bill (as of 6/22/2010) would require stock/OEM exhaust systems on all motorcycles constructed on or after January 1, 2011, and mandates a "fix it" ticket for any owner who is found to be in violation."
mstevens wrote:
However, how does one know what model year a bike is when sometimes nothing visible changes for several years? How about a 3 year-old leftover bike sold as new?
Simple: look at the VIN and the production date. Both are on the mandatory plaque on each bike.
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caschnd1 wrote:
It is also, in my opinion, not an effective safety item that so many claim it is.
I have heard the safety argument before and I would be more likely to beleive it if all the riders with overloud pipes were also in hi-vis gear, a full-face helmet, armoured jacket, and had installed a headlight modulator. I live in an urban area and the overly loud pipes roaring through at 2am o the weekends is truly obnoxious. While I would totally support a law the way this one is written is dubious.
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StooterBoy wrote:
Why the hell don't they just set a decibel level limit??
We had a City ordinance to address loud "boom boxes" installed in autos...this was being enforced for awhile (using decibel meters)...but somehow it seemed to have gotten de-emphasized...perhaps related to the general attitude below.

Law Enforcement Union officials (@ City Council meeting) will say, "Difficult to enforce...hence no need for law"...City Council then opts to back down on passing law - Done.
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The aftermarket exhaust on my Supermoto is quieter than the stock exhaust. It would be a shame to my neighbors if I had to go back to stock.
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windbreaker wrote:
Copying from the OP's post, emphasizing the parts you may have missed
Either way, it's my belief that if the goal is to reduce noise, checking stuff stamped on bikes is not the solution. The solution is to measure sound levels. The problem is that meters and training cost the state money, while the proposed legislation costs manufacturers and riders money.
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Doesn't CA still inspect motorcycles?

Why don't the inspectors just check the exhaust during the inspection
and put a heat-proof stamp on it if it passes?

Then they can look for the stamp 2 weeks later,
when the motorcycle suddenly has loud pipes again
⚠️ Last edited by TurtleGT on UTC; edited 1 time
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UTC quote
tercesflow wrote:
caschnd1 wrote:
It is also, in my opinion, not an effective safety item that so many claim it is.
I have heard the safety argument before and I would be more likely to beleive it if all the riders with overloud pipes were also in hi-vis gear, a full-face helmet, armoured jacket, and had installed a headlight modulator. I live in an urban area and the overly loud pipes roaring through at 2am o the weekends is truly obnoxious. While I would totally support a law the way this one is written is dubious.
The AMA officially opposes "excessive motorcycle sound." Research has shown that excessively loud pipes do not, in fact, save lives-they're more of a danger and a nuisance.
http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/positions/sound.asp

On the other hand, the AMA consistently claims that the SB435 effectively bans aftermarket exhausts:
Quote:
The California State Assembly Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Assembly member Felipe Fuentes, is holding a hearing today at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) to receive testimony on Senate Bill 435, the motorcycle exhaust bill, introduced by Senator Fran Pavley, that would require stock exhaust on all model year 2011 and newer motorcycles.
As I noted earlier, this is 100% false. Here's the complete language of the bill, as amended:
http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0401-0450/sb_435_bill_20100630_amended_asm_v92.html

Despite their official policy, the AMA has consistently pushed for industry self-regulation and has opposed laws attempting to enforce existing noise limits. They're trying to walk a line between having a sensible noise policy and pleasing their members. This ambivalence is one reason I've never joined the AMA.

There's a history of the AMA and noise laws here:
http://www.noiseoff.org/motorcycles.php#legal

Anti-noise pollution statutes already exist in most cities. The state has established noise limits for motorcycles which pretty much mirror the federal EPA standards. Any aftermarket exhausts that violate the noise standards are sold for off-road or track use only and technically aren't street legal. Currently, enforcement of these laws is practically non-existant.

In practice it is likely that the law (if passed) will be used to crack down on the most obvious violators or as cause for LEOs to pull over a vehicle. Fix-it tickets for first violations are easily dismissed. I doubt it would be enforced any more than CA's cell phone laws, which is to say, hardly ever.

None of this means I necessarily support this law. Statutes that are written to be selectively enforced and that carry small penalties usually wind up having no effect whatsoever (e.g., CA cell phone law). If the true goal is enforcing existing noise standards, there may be better ways of accomplishing that.

This bill is politically problematic as well, because it's actually a smog-reduction law that's been amended down to a noise pollution law. The opposition to having motorcycles smog inspected was huge and there were sound, practical arguments against it. As amended, the bill is a workaround: I'm pretty sure the bill's author is assuming that exhausts that make the most noise are also those that (illegally) emit the most air pollution.
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TurtleGT wrote:
Doesn't CA still inspect motorcycles?
Nope. Never. Well... Sometimes if registering a bike from out of state or with no existing registration. But there's no annual inspection or anything like that.
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TurtleGT wrote:
Doesn't CA still inspect motorcycles?

Why don't the inspectors just check the exhaust during the inspection
and put a heat-proof stamp on it if it passes?

Then they can look for the stamp 2 weeks later,
when the motorcycle suddenly has loud pipes again
Believe it or not, California doesn't have vehicle inspection programs like most states have. In many states, vehicles must display a current inspection sticker and/or have passed an inspection to remain operating in the state. In California, out-of-state motorcycles must be inspected upon registration in California, and there are smog inspection requirements for older vehicles. But that's about it. As a result, really loud Harleys (and Harley-like bikes) reign basically free through our towns and cities.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for passing another law, particularly one targeting the entire industry. Why not just go after the few creating this problem? Use road-side inspections, or checkpoints or even noise abatement task forces. Or as one of the other posters points out, why not just employ a more restrictive decibel-level law. There are a lot of different solutions law enforcement could use to tackle this problem.
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UTC quote
mstevens wrote:
windbreaker wrote:
Copying from the OP's post, emphasizing the parts you may have missed
Either way, it's my belief that if the goal is to reduce noise, checking stuff stamped on bikes is not the solution. The solution is to measure sound levels. The problem is that meters and training cost the state money, while the proposed legislation costs manufacturers and riders money.
Agreed, WRT the noise issue.

If the solution is either handling a measuring device (possibly complicated) or checking the existance of an authentic sticker, I feel the sticker is the easier way. The 5c it costs the mfg to place the sticker (visibly) sounds acceptable to me, and I don't see any option why it would cost the rider any.

That said, I also would prefer a measuring device, but obviously there are reasons why that is not the preferred method by legislation.
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ToppiSF wrote:
TurtleGT wrote:
Doesn't CA still inspect motorcycles?
Believe it or not, California doesn't have vehicle inspection programs like most states have. In many states, vehicles must display a current inspection sticker and/or have passed an inspection to remain operating in the state.
Wow! My mind is blown
That would make a lot of legislation unenforceable

(SC doesn't have inspections,
but basically they don't care)
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TurtleGT wrote:
ToppiSF wrote:
TurtleGT wrote:
Doesn't CA still inspect motorcycles?
Believe it or not, California doesn't have vehicle inspection programs like most states have. In many states, vehicles must display a current inspection sticker and/or have passed an inspection to remain operating in the state.
Wow! My mind is blown
That would make a lot of legislation unenforceable

(SC doesn't have inspections,
but basically they don't care)
I am shocked too. We have yearly car and motorcycle/scooter inspections in "freedom-loving" Texas. No wonder California has so many emissions problems. It's pretty much impossible to catch anyone, unless black, hideous smoke is obviously spewing from a vehicle.
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soniam wrote:
TurtleGT wrote:
ToppiSF wrote:
TurtleGT wrote:
Doesn't CA still inspect motorcycles?
Believe it or not, California doesn't have vehicle inspection programs like most states have. In many states, vehicles must display a current inspection sticker and/or have passed an inspection to remain operating in the state.
Wow! My mind is blown
That would make a lot of legislation unenforceable

(SC doesn't have inspections,
but basically they don't care)
I am shocked too. We have yearly car and motorcycle/scooter inspections in "freedom-loving" Texas. No wonder California has so many emissions problems. It's pretty much impossible to catch anyone, unless black, hideous smoke is obviously spewing from a vehicle.
Cars are required to have smog inspections every other year. Just not motorcycles.
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ericalm wrote:
Cars are required to have smog inspections every other year. Just not motorcycles.
That sounds more reasonable, but I am still surprised that it is not every year. I do not think motorcycles do not get tested for emissions here either. Car testing of emissions is done yearly on a county basis. If you are in a county that has exceeded their EPA allotment, then you have to do smog testing. I know Dallas and Houston do it. I can't remember if Austin does it yet or not. We are on the verge if not.
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EPA allotment? What is that?
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Location: Austin, TX, USA
 
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stickyfrog wrote:
EPA allotment? What is that?
Each county in Texas is given an EPA air quality number that they have to remain below. If they exceed this number, then there are penalties (lost highway/federal money). To help meet these numbers for counties that exceed the limit, Texas requires emissions testing. In Harris county (Houston), they actually lowered the maximum speed limit on the highways, because they weren't meeting the number even with emissions testing. It really sucked. They may have raised it back by now.
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noise
I think it is a excellent idea to enforce the loud noisy mufflers. It is about time.
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