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Motorcycle Industry Council Urges New Hampshire To Postpone Motorcycle Sound Level Legislation

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IRVINE, Calif. January 26, 2009: The Motorcycle Industry Council has urged the New Hampshire House Transportation Committee to postpone pending loud pipe legislation until early spring when a new stationary sound test is available. The MIC and the Society of Automotive Engineers are finalizing this test, SAE J2825, which will provide a quick, easy, economical, and science-based tool for accurately identifying motorcycles with excessively noisy exhaust systems.

The House Transportation Committee held a hearing January 21 on the proposed legislation, HB 95. The bill would prohibit modification of exhaust systems in any manner, prohibit operation of motorcycles without stock mufflers, require that every bike has a functioning tachometer, and also lower the allowable sound limit.

“Our goal is to provide a consistent tool nationwide for identifying excessively loud exhaust systems without failing those that pass the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency federal sound limit,” said Pamela Amette, vice president of the MIC. “This sound test will effectively achieve the sound control goals of New Hampshire, and other states and municipalities, and more so than some of the proposed legislation currently being considered. On a national level, it will eliminate a lot of the confusion and frustration for motorcyclists when they ride through different jurisdictions.”

Amette said that California, numerous local jurisdictions, and Canada have expressed interest in the new test that was developed through extensive sound testing during 2007.

The MIC's comments, submitted to the House Transportation Committee in advance of the hearing on January 21, requested the following: that action on the legislation be postponed, that the legislation be amended to permit aftermarket systems, that there be no requirement for functioning tachometers, and that the sound test limits and procedures specified in the bill be revised.

The committee took no action on the legislation at the hearing on January 21, but did create a subcommittee to study the issues more closely and make recommendations.