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I recently put a set of Cobra slip-ons on my 1100 and while it's a little louder than I prefer, I have to admit that I do feel safer in multi lane traffic. Nice to know I can just burp the throttle if I'm not sure that car next to me knows I'm there. They may not always see me, but they can definitely hear me now.

On the down side, they can be quite loud, to the point of being very obnoxious if I come onto it. I try to idle quietly around my neighborhood though. My wife didn't hear me pull into the driveway the other night so I guess they're not too bad if used for good and not evil.

So I suppose I'm kinda on the fence.

Do they save lives?

Debateable.

Does it sound better?

Oh, hell yeah. :grin:
 

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my road burners were too loud even with the so called baffle in them, i put sink drain baskets in and now they sound better, they can get kinda loud at full throttle but i don't really do that in the city. without those drain cups it was like the noise was bouncing around in my helmet, who would want a bike that is so loud that you need ear plugs to be comfortable when riding more than a 1/2 hour. anyone that says they don't mind a loud bike blasting by their house when they are relaxing is lying that would be annoying to anything with ears. are loud pipes safer i would have to say yes at least up on the interstate i believe they are
 

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If you take the premise that loud pipes are safer than a quiet machine
then the logical conclusion is that all motor vehicles should be operated with no exhaust:

motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses... because its not just motorcycles that are getting into accidents.

35,000 people died in vehicle accidents in the US last year, and a couple hundred thousand were serious injured, and their vehicles destroyed.

If you need to alert someone to your presence blow your horn. If your horn is not loud enough get a better one.
If you want everyone to know you are there all the time, blow your horn all the time.

yeah... it sounds stupid when you take it to the logical conclusion. It is stupid.

what most riders with loud pipes actually want, is for everyone else to have quiet mufflers on their vehicles, and to get the hell out of their way.

why dont we split the difference: take the stock mufflers off your bike, and put a horn on the exhaust pipes, so the horn blows all the time when the bike is running. If you have 4 cylinders you can tune each horn to play a Emaj7 chord in harmony. The harder you are cranking the engine, the louder that Emaj7 will wail!
 

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I've got stock pipes on my 2012 Roadliner. They are a little quite. On my 2012 Stratoliner, I've got the D&D Slip-On muffler. I do prefer this muffler. It's a little louder but not too loud, like my son's 2009 Honda VTX1300R with Vane& Hines pipes.

As far as getting someone's attention, that is coming into my lane, these bikes have two loud horns, and they get others' attention when I lay it on them.
 

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I believe there was a study done that found that loud pipes really don't do much for you safety wise. Because they are typically low, bass-y sound, you can't easily tell the direction it's coming from. You may hear it, but you don't really know directionally where it is coming from which could actually do the opposite for your safety (say someone thinks you're on their left and you are on their right).

Personally, my pipes are fairly loud and I actually wish they were quieter. Stopped at a red light I feel bad, like I would if I had a loud stereo...except I can't turn my bike "down" like a stereo, heh. I ride with a friend pretty often and until I get some kind of communicator/intercom like a SENA, I have to just shout like crazy at stops and hope he hears me (which he usually can't).
 

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Thats funny Weise. I few times bikes with loud pipes have stopped right next to me at a red light, and I cannot hear my own (stock 650) engine running.

I either have to take off using muscle memory to slip the clutch without stalling the bike, rev it up a bit... or wait a few seconds for them to take off so I can hear my own engine.
 

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Thats funny Weise. I few times bikes with loud pipes have stopped right next to me at a red light, and I cannot hear my own (stock 650) engine running.

I either have to take off using muscle memory to slip the clutch without stalling the bike, rev it up a bit... or wait a few seconds for them to take off so I can hear my own engine.
Previous owner definitely changed out the pipes, haha. I think they are some kind of Vance & Hines pipes.
 

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I believe there was a study done that found that loud pipes really don't do much for you safety wise. Because they are typically low, bass-y sound, you can't easily tell the direction it's coming from. You may hear it, but you don't really know directionally where it is coming from which could actually do the opposite for your safety (say someone thinks you're on their left and you are on their right).

Personally, my pipes are fairly loud and I actually wish they were quieter. Stopped at a red light I feel bad, like I would if I had a loud stereo...except I can't turn my bike "down" like a stereo, heh. I ride with a friend pretty often and until I get some kind of communicator/intercom like a SENA, I have to just shout like crazy at stops and hope he hears me (which he usually can't).
I've got the cobra slip-ons for my 07 1300... Louder than stock for sure (hard not to be), but no problems hearing my bluetooth either riding or stopped. For me that's 'in the ballpark' of not -excessively- loud...
 

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For the record, I put the stock pipes back on. The Cobras have no baffles and the bike felt sluggish (no back pressure?). Maybe it was just that they were so loud I was hesitant to really crack on the throttle, I dunno. I'll hang onto them and maybe put them on once in a while but I'll live with the stock pipes for my daily riding.
 

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the poll is flawed. despite it already being over and not giving me the chance to vote, it gives only 2 options and makes an assumption for why you're choosing either. i like loud pipes. i have loud pipes on my bike. i didn't do it for safety reasons and i cringe every time i hear someone say "loud pipes save lives". it's a myth with no tangible data or proof to back it up, and just an excuse some give themselves for why they really put loud pipes on their bike. because they like the loud sound. just admit it. nothing wrong with it.

as someone mentioned earlier, it's difficult to determine the direction of a loud sound when you're driving. it would be interesting if there were some test/study that had people in a car or simulator and had them guess which direction the sounds came from.
 

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I think the poll was always screwed up, when I tried to vote the radio-buttons did not change when you clicked on them - nothing happened. That was over a week ago.

I have a 60dB hearing loss in one ear. I cannot tell what direction sound is coming from anymore - you need both ears for that.
 

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...

as someone mentioned earlier, it's difficult to determine the direction of a loud sound when you're driving. it would be interesting if there were some test/study that had people in a car or simulator and had them guess which direction the sounds came from.
That was me that mentioned the direction of a loud deep bass sound. I haven't tried to find the study I was talking about (pretty damn sure it exists) but just look at it this way...

Your pipes put that sound behind you more than anything, however most motorcycle accidents are from what's in front of us not behind us.
The deep bass sound isn't something we can easily determine direction on, which is why sirens for emergency vehicles are higher pitches.

I mean, a little common sense says its not the sound that "saves lives," people just like loud bikes and that's totally fine, LOL.

Quick Google search (bad sources, but I didn't search too hard sorry, LOL):

- Car Forum post asking if our ears can determine direction of bass frequencies (I know, bad source, hehe).
- Wikipedia - Under "Other Cues for 3D Space Localization" then under "Monaural cues" near bottom of paragraph.
- Quora answer, last paragraph.
- Car Audio again, but discusses that you can place a subwoofer anywhere hidden because humans can't determine location/direction of those low freq sounds.

Those should give you a decent justification for figuring that we can hear loud pipes, but won't really know exactly where it's coming from. Therefore, it is indeed a myth, IMO, that loud pipes save lives.
 

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I think the car audio doesn't really apply here. It is true in that case, but more so cause the whole car frame is vibrating, and sound travels through solids better than it does through air.
 

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I think the car audio doesn't really apply here. It is true in that case, but more so cause the whole car frame is vibrating, and sound travels through solids better than it does through air.
It's the frequency of the sound that matters...

More sources since you made me :p

- Revzilla on this being a myth
- J&P Cycles article discussing there is no proof either way, but physics says the theory holds little weight.
- Huffington Post, myth 4.

Seriously though, just use common sense in that your exhaust is BEHIND you, and throwing sound BEHIND you. Accidents occur most often from what's in FRONT of you. Like one of those links I just posted state, there may be some instances where yeah, someone heard you and that helped a little, but to think that's going to save your life to any % worth even noting is a little ridiculous.

If you want to be noticed, wear hi-viz.

We have something like 40% of motorcycle accidents involving the rider being over the legal limit (which granted could be a single beer in most states), and people want to argue their pipes will save them. I think anything that can at all help you stay safe on the road is worth it, but people shouldn't quote "loud pipes save lives" like its some crazy huge safety measure.
 

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I like pipes on the quieter side of life. My jardines are nice but I feel they are a little obnoxious and I would pack them but the baffles are riveted in! GRRRRRR. However I do agree to loud pipes save lives. There has been more than one occasion that even with checking my mirrors/ blind spots I only knew the bike was there because of exhaust note.
 

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I think if a person likes the sound of obnoxiously loud pipes, they should place an amped mic in their exhaust with headphones in their ear.
That way they can listen to it all day, but no one else has to.

I feel the same way about perfume.
If you like the smell of it, put some on your finger, and run it up your nose.
 
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