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Loud Pipes in France?


Richard

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Hi Folks,

Well, we've begun our research and due diligence on our move to France.  We currently live just outside Portsmouth, and would like to concentrate in the areas of 29, 56, 44, and 85 (SW Brittany, Western Loire, etc.).   First, and foremost question we have is about our Harley's.   We both have V&H Big Shots on our bikes; which some consider to be loud....  not us, of course  :-)

What's the overall opinion of loud pipes in France?   Are we going to have difficulties getting them registered?   Will people complain bitterly to the point where we might have to make drastic changes to the bikes?   We are NOT members of an MC, and are bikers for the shear enjoyment of the open road.  A chief constable lives across the street from us currently, and he has yet to complain.

Thanks in advance!

Richard

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Hiya,

We really like 53 semi rural but some nice roads round our way...Le Mans 1 hr , Mont St Michel 1hr, Bangnoles de lo 20 mins, Sees 1hr, Alencon I hr, Paris about 2 hours I think, Portsmouth Cherbourg Ferry 1.5 hrs,  Les Alpes Mancelles / Sarthe about 1 hr, Normandy beaches 1.5 hrs.........and so on.....Middle of nowhere is the new middle of everything lol.....

We have plenty of shops in Mayenne, Laval, La Ferte Mace or even Alencon

Plenty of medical care around

Some decent pubs

Some nice little byways ideal for bike 'exploration' ....ahem.

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  • 2 months later...
My husband registered his Harley here with screaming eagle exhausts and we had no problems. However he has since changed to regular pipes as we attract far less attention when out on rides round the quiet countryside! Also he has been stopped a couple of times by the Gendarmes (once to tell him his number plate did not comply with French regs - it is smaller than it should be so that it fits the Harley plate holder). The loud pipes would have been one more thing for the police to complain about - needless to say my husband misses his screaming eagles. Our chapter (Limoges Country Chapter) has over 100 members and only a handful have loud pipes.
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The question really is how loud is loud.

I've had after-market pipes on my last three bikes here and never had, to date LOL, a problem.

They really do need to be loud enough that errant pedestrians can hear you but not so loud as to be offensive.

Find the balance and everyones happy.

Ride safe.

.
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We both have V&H Big Shots; still with baffles. But, we've been known to set off car alarms and activate bike-to-bike Bluetooth helmet systems... I love the sound, but just wanted to check before we take them in to have them registered in France.
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Southsea to Normandy. I changed the exhausts on my Yamaha TDM, too quiet (MTC cans at the moment). Now my wife can hear me coming home over a KM or two away. Never had any problems, a friend is a Gendarme and he never mentioned the volume; just the nice noise.
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I prefer the bike to be quiet; I must be the odd one out here. The standard can is fine for me. If the manufacturer thought it needed something different I'm sure that's what they would have fitted. I've got a horn for errant pedestrians, headlight on, and I keep my eyes peeled.

Back in the UK I used to be wakened by a guy 5 houses away who went to work at 6am on his bike and it had the noisiest exhaust for a 250cc I've ever heard!

 

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[quote user="Richard"]We both have V&H Big Shots; still with baffles. But, we've been known to set off car alarms and activate bike-to-bike Bluetooth helmet systems... I love the sound, but just wanted to check before we take them in to have them registered in France.[/quote]

Why not keep your noise pollution in the UK and let us have peace and quiet? What a complete waste of effort replacing something a company has spent time and money developing.

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[quote user="Bugsy"]They really do need to be loud enough that errant pedestrians can hear you but not so loud as to be offensive.[/quote]

What utter rubbish! Would you replace the exhaust on a Mercedes or Roller because they are too quiet? Do you not have a horn on your bike?

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That comment is hardly worthy of a reply Jay and just shows a total ignorance of the reality of riding on two wheels today. Modern bikes are too quiet and pedestrians do step out in front of them. Not a problem cosseted in your 50 airbaged metal box, quite different on a wet, greasy road when on two wheels, no matter how good your observation skills.

As to a Mercedes and Rollers well no I wouldn't, mainly because I'd rather walk than own one.

.
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Folks!!! Hold on here..... My original question was an honest one. Not one to create all of this hostility and hatred. For goodness sakes, I thought I was conversing with pleasant folks in France... Not the angry population of England!

Sorry I asked anything.... Bye!
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My twopenneth.... there's loud pipes and there's loud pipes.

I think there is some goodness in a bike being heard (the safety/being heard arguement) and IMO a nice mellow noted sounds rather niceand  isn't particularly intrusive. Making other drivers aware of your presence isn't going to happen because of a loud paintjob.....  sorry, that's not reality. I've seen cars pullout across riders with all the hi-viz gear on.  Having said that I think some bikes are OTT and are bound to offend a lot of people. 

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I haven't had an accident on a bike since I was 19. I ride on a daily basis, in Naples, on a R1200RT. BMW tourers are not renowned for being loud, I enjoy my bikes power output, I find Neopolitan drivers challenging (for last 30 months) but I do not believe loud pipes would help. I do start to laugh when loud pipes are associated with enhanced safety! Bike safety is the rider appreciating that all car drivers (and Neopolitan scooter riders) are "not bike aware" and ride accordingly ... if there is a car waiting to pull out then position yourself further out, if there is a traffic jam then expect cars to jump the queue without indicating, cars can normally stop quicker than bikes in the wet and so it goes on ...
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Perfectly put Derek and confirms what I said, or tried to say initially.

.

On the question of wearing 'high-vis' Birmingham University did some trials a few years ago that went from a rider in total black to a rider completely dressed in flouresent yellow.

Their interesting conclusions were that the only thing that had any effect whatsoever on car drivers waiting to pull out was the word 'POLICE' written across the front of the bike.

.
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I don't think there's much point in hammering this; you either love 'em or hate 'em.

I don't accept the "heard on approach" argument too much, it just marks you down as a poser, and most of the sound is projected out the back, so you only hear it after the bike has passed.

I wouldn't own a Roller either; but that's from lack of funds rather than by choice. [:D]

Let's keep this light guys. My only other comment for a newcomer arriving in France with a loud exhaust would be that in my village it would certainly cause a stir of disapproval if he were to make a racket every time he went out on his bike.

 

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Is there not a Law that states exhaust noise must not exceed a maximum db level? As an example I'm pretty sure there's a sort of UK law on exhaust noise levels, but definately know a rider can get done by the rozzers for having loud pipes as the noise can be seen as being in breach of the Anti Social Behavior Act - as happened to a friend. He wasn't mucking about, just had loud pipes on his R1.
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