TOAD TALKS: Is the hate that noisy motorcycles get unjust?

With the UK, Austria, France and Germany all looking at motorcycle noise, Visordown looks at ways we can all help

Triumph Rocket 3 1200

THIS week Austria announced that it was looking to ban bikes from riding in the Tyrol region of the Alps if they emit more than 95dB of noise.

Now, I could have handled that, had the ban also included cars and trucks, both of which in standard situations can produce vastly more than 95dB. But the sad news is, cars, trucks, and vans can all drive through the picturesque mountains of southwestern Austria making as much noise as they like; even Lamborghini drivers are more than welcome.

The problem is, folk hear the rasping exhaust note from a sportscar as it snakes up a mountain pass and they have no idea as to whether it’s car, bike or the Space X rocket coming into land. That's because the folk that moan about noise pollution generally aren’t into cars, bikes, or probably even space exploration.

But the mainstream media (and I’m not being a conspiracy theorist here) don’t really like bikes very much, especially not in the UK. Fair enough, a few of them have motorcycle columns written by some top-level bike journos, but many of the two-wheeled headlines that adorn the first few pages are focussed on bad news created by idiots that I don’t consider to be true motorcyclists.

And when the folk in middle England hear a loud engine coming their way and see a fast car with a prancing horse on the side, it’s not, ‘my goodness, what a nuisance’ they think as the £300k carbon wonder slides along the road. But that’s exactly what they think when a rider on a bike with a loud can comes barrelling through the Cotswold’s 'Best Presented Village' winner for three years on the trot.

While changing the tone of the media when it comes to reporting motorcycles is something that can change, it’s a long road. And something that is best left to groups like the BMF, the MCIA, and MAG. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t help.

Think about where you ride and how you ride. Popping and banging on the overrun through Rockingham village might make you smile like a Cheshire Cat, but to poor Nathanial who’s trying to get home-schooled during the lockdown, it’ll probably have him crawling for his ‘safe space’. I love a noisy bike as much as the next person, but in these times with this many eyes on every two-wheeled rider, let's not bring any undue heat on us all.