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Stricter motorcycle noise enforcement?

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Portsmouth is investing in training and equipment for its police officers to more aggressively enforce motorcycle noise limits.

State law requires all motorcycles to idle at 92 decibels or less. There are different limits when a motorcycle is moving, depending on how many cylinders the motorcycle has.

Portsmouth plans to set up a checkpoint in Market Square in the coming weeks. Police will be equipped to test decibels, wind speeds, and noise baffles in exhaust pipes.

Are motorcycles too loud?

Supporters of stricter enforcement argue that motorcycle noise limits are usually ignored by law enforcement, even though there is a law on the books. They argue motorcycle noise has a negative impact on quality of life.

Supporters of stricter enforcement also note that the federal Environment Protection Agency recommends an even lower noise limit than New Hampshire law, down to 80 decibels

Is noise a safety issue?

Opponents of stricter enforcement argue that a noisy motorcycle is a safe motorcycle, since it helps make car drivers more aware of two-wheeled vehicles.

Opponents also argue that the costs of equipment and time to enforce noise limits would be better spent elsewhere.

What do you think?

Last year we asked our community if law enforcement should do to more enforce motorcycle noise limits. Most commenters said "no."

Do you have an opinion on motorcycle noise limits? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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I live across the street form a motorcycle club. All these Harley's with loud exhausts are in and out all night long. It's not bad enough they are loud, but they also have to rev up as much as they can. Riders say they need to be loud to have motorist know they are near. I say that is just an excuse. You tell me why on this road, in the middle of the night, with no traffic that they need to be loud?? I think not! Also, on the roads, as long as they follow laws and don't try passing where they shouldn't then we know they are there. It's time things changed. If I had those straight pipes on my vehicle I would be fined.


Most towns already have noise ordinances. Noise is allowed between certain hours.
These ordinances should be enforced.
More laws/ordinances on top of existing ones don't do anything if no one enforces them.

Cars are so quiet now and good at drowning out outside noise. I don't see how a loud motorcycle is a safer one.
It seems more of a visibility issue than a sound issue. I am not against motorcycles . I have owned three quiet ones.

I just don't like noise when it is not necessary. Period.
What is more stressful, A quiet street or a loud noisy one?

I think it is just attention that these noisy bike riders want and it is not for safety reasons.

We have stop light cameras. Add a decibel meter that triggers the camera and the problem will work its way out of the city.


Yes! Add the decibel meter and when it exceeds the level allowed...have a photo citation sent to the owner of the offending vehicle.


We cannot enjoy an outdoor meal in downtown Nashua due to the motorcycle noise... impossible to carry on a conversation. Similarly when outdoors at my residence, I find obnoxious motorcycle noise unbearable. Motorcycles should not be allow to alter the factory settings just as you wouldn't remove a catalytic converter from a car.


I agree with restricting load exhaust noice, but it should be all vehicles not just motorcycles

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