Bikers silenced

Noisy exhausts, legal or not?

Recent debate about motorcyclists in Rye has featured mixed views and opinions and it seems that, whilst visiting motorcyclists are not deemed to be a problem in general terms, what whips up hostile public opinion is not only the unnecessary speed some travel at, but more so, the excessive noise, particularly at weekends. The majority seem to show consideration, but a seemingly growing minority make life unnecessarily frustrating.

According to a recent BBC World News report it seems Paris has had the same problem as – since lockdown and with traffic numbers considerably reduced – the only noticeable noise other than the birdsong are the sirens of emergency vehicles and noisy motorbikes.

But the locals and the Parisian authorities have had enough, and the police have set up patrols to stop and test the decibel levels on scooters and motorbikes – with offenders being fined or their machines confiscated. In addition they have introduced an automated system, which seems to link into their street cameras, which not only tracks and records the bikers’ movements, but also records the level of noise they make, which is relayed back to a central point where fines and notices are automatically issued.

Perhaps much of this could be avoided as in France it appears it is commonplace for a silencer or baffle to be removed to make the machine sound ‘better’, and it is relatively inexpensive to do, and it only takes a few minutes to remove – and that same culture has spread to the UK.

If this is the origin of the problem, then perhaps the finger of blame should be pointed more at the exhaust manufacturers, and at garages who later modify the exhausts, rather than the bikers, so could noise levels be improved at source? It is a thought and a step in the right direction and the notion of linking in with street cameras is something to aim towards, assuming the cameras exist in the first place.

Persuading speeding bikers (and car drivers) to obey the set speed limits could be more of a challenge particularly with our police resources being overstretched as they are – but we live in hope.

Image Credits: Rye News library .


  1. Couldn’t the flood barriers at the Strand be closed, preventing the dozens of bikers from congregating there? Mind you, no doubt they’d find another spot…

  2. It’s Sunday morning, just past 11.00am. I’ve heard over 30 motorbikes with excessively loud exhaust pipes. I’m hidden behind trees, not directly on the road, yet the noise scares any wildlife in my garden. “Bikers Silenced” ? I don’t think so!

  3. Perhaps the noisy bikers could be invited to stay a couple of Sundays next to the routes they use as racetracks, then they might realise how awful their noise is. Quiet motorbikes are perfectly possible, being noisy is not impressive, or manly, it’s just really really irritating!


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