Last year Eastern Illinois ABATE member Alan Z. successfully applied for and was awarded a grant from the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Government Relations Department allowing Eastern Illinois ABATE to purchase a portable decibel meter. With this meter we are able to measure sound decibel levels emitted by the exhaust on motorcycles. The AMA's intent in awarding these grants was to assist motorcyclists in being proactive in response to issues related to motorcycles and noise levels.
Every year across this great nation of ours municipalities attempt to pass highly restrictive noise ordinances in an effort to curtail and restrict motorcycle usage. In the State of Illinois motorcycle exhaust noise levels are governed by the state vehicle code. In Illinois local governments may not pass noise levels ordinances that are more restrictive than state statute. Even so, every year ABATE of Illinois Legal is involved in helping overturn too restrictive ordinances. If you are aware of any town or city in Illinois attempting to pass restrictive noise regulations let an ABATE member know. There is much we can do to help resolve the issue. Also, if you ever receive a noise violation ABATE of Illinois Legal should be one of your first calls.
Another thing you can do is be proactive. Know your motorcycle's noise level and know the law. Here is the law for motorcycle mufflers in Illinois. "Every motor vehicle driven or operated upon the highways of this State shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler or exhaust system in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise. No such muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device. No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle, and such original muffler shall comply with all the requirements of this Section." So what is excessive or unusual? Do you know the noise level of your OEM exhaust? Confusing isn't it? Aren't you glad ABATE of Illinois Legal is on our side?
We can never have too much information. If you'd like to know how many decibels your motorcycle is emitting come out to one of Eastern's runs. Allan is usually around with his decibel meter. Check out the video below of Alan measuring a motorcycle exhaust decibel level.