Current New York state law and Federal law prohibit motorcycles from emitting exhaust noise in excess of 80 decibels. In a move to enhance the enforceability of laws governing exhaust noise specific to motorcycles, the New York City city council has drafted a proposed law, No. 416-A, to aid various law enforcement agencies in what would effectively be elimination of many motorcycles from the City of New York.

Without the Federally mandated EPA tag that’s attached to all new motorcycle exhaust systems that either states the exhaust complies with laws allowing it to be used on the streets and highways, or as for “closed course competition only,” owners and operators will be subject to hefty fines and even impound. No matter what state of motion the bike is in.

The proposed draft is painfully clear and free of typical legalese in what it attempts to do, and the punishment(s) it will allow for violation.

From proposed introduction No. 416-A:

“… 416-A (the “Bill”) would amend Chapter One, Subchapter Two, of Title 19 of the administrative code by adding a new subsection 170.1 to prohibit the parking, stopping, or standing, of motorcycles equipped with straight pipes on the streets of New York City.”

The term “straight pipe” is used to loosely define any exhaust that doesn’t meet EPA code.

Proposed bill 416-A goes on further to list what agencies can enforce the new law and what the penalties for violation would be.

“…the Bill gives four different agencies – the departments of police, consumer affairs, environmental affairs, and transportation – enforcement capabilities. Second, adding the explicit offense of parking, standing, or stopping a motorcycle with a straight pipe will make it easier for agencies to catch violators.

… violators of the law would be liable for the following civil penalties: (1) at least $500 but not more than $1000 for a first violation; (2) at least $1000 but not more than $2500 for a second violation; and (3) at least $2500 but not more than $5000 for a third or subsequent violation.”

Find yourself a repeat offender? Look out!

“…the departments of police, environmental protection, consumer affairs, or transportation could, upon the issuance of a summons or notice of violation, seize the motorcycle or straight pipe in accordance with rules promulgated by the police commissioner and deliver the bike or pipe into police department custody.”

Naturally there’s plenty of opposition. A petition is available to sign at:

And a full read of the proposed law can be found here:

This law comes on the heels of what has been called “police harassment” against motorcycles in NYC during the past two years.

  • cascadeair

    I don’t mind this law. I am sick of Harley’s and straight pipes ruining the riding for everyone. Loud pipes save lives? Bull! Loud pipes frighten old people who make laws that screw it up for everyone. Less sound = more ground. Dude, keep it legal and the cops won’t bother you!

  • phoghat

    Suppose I have an older bike and it didn’t have the tag?

  • “phoghat–

    Suppose I have an older bike and it didn’t have the tag?”

    I’d read the proposed law for yourself, but as I understand, without the tag you would be in violation. Again, based upon my cursory read of the proposed law, the authorities will merely be conducting visual inspections for the tag, and not using a decibel meter to test noise emissions.

  • cut from the draft of the ordinance “Any motorcycle produced after 1986 that is sold in the United States for usage on the street is prohibited, under regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), from producing noise emissions in excess of 80 decibels”

  • orange02

    I prefer quiet,Wing. BUT I would never dictate my preference to anyone. We have some people that want to rule and those that want it their way only, thus if they are adamant they will pass laws to take away a freedom (of choice). Loud pipes once in a while is a small price for the fredom to ride a quiet bike. This is a fund raising, noise abating (?) law perpitrate by my way, rule people that will create more congestion. Stop it now befote Va. picks up on the idea.

  • Jamest

    its just a way for citys and states to raise money for them to waste.