Friday, July 1, 2016

The joy of noise

There's something about making noise that seems to be synonymous with male-ness. Loud noises seem to be produced by many of the activities we participate in. Everything from firearms, to vehicles, to various tools makes some sort of raucous sound that might reasonably wake the dead were it just a touch louder.

So it is with the vehicle exhaust. I'm not by nature a person who wants to cause anyone else discomfort or annoyance though those who've known me long enough will readily tell you that I've been rather noisy my entire life, but as a man, I've found that I like a loud exhaust. My Jaguar S-Type has a nice throaty exhaust with a barritone character to it, and running along through the hills with it, the sound provides some feeling that the V-6 under the hood is more powerful than reality proves it to be, so I do appreciate a nice exhaust note.

On the other hand, I've never really had much use for a loud motorcycle exhaust. The "loud pipes save lives" crowd has never impressed me with the logic of their claims, since I found no logic in them. What I have discovered is the reality of what this group is all about. "Loud pipes save lives" is a cover. It's really about being juvenile and making noise while using the saving of lives as an excuse to validate the activity.

My question is; why do we need an excuse. We are men. We make noise. We like it! Deal! 

My epiphany was the purchase of my new Leo Vince Corsa Exhaust. When it arrived one week ago, I put it on the Honda PCX-150 and left the baffle out. I won't lie, it sounded good. I rode to work with it open like that, and found it was a bit much for my ears that first time out, so I stuck the baffle in when I got to work. Unfortunately, over the next few days I discovered something about having the baffle in. While it was still an interesting sound being produced, it was not nearly as fun.

See, the first day I rode the scoot to work with the baffle out, I realized about a mile down the road that I'd forgotten to fasten my chin strap, so I pulled to the side of the road with the scooter puttering beneath me and this groundhog was just sitting there looking at me from about ten feet behind the scoot. After my helmet was fastened, I blipped the throttle just a bit, and you should have seen that groundhog run. 

I have discovered that, like most other men, I like making noise. It is truly a blast and the little Leo Vince pipe makes it that much more fun since I can now "play music" while buzzing along. That's right, I took out the baffle and the exhaust is once again at full song. It is funny to see the reactions of people who look up to see what kind of motorcycle is making all the racket. The expressions of surprise and bemusement are priceless.

So, if you're a man, make a little noise, have a little fun, and live life all the fuller for it.

This is in no way intended as encouragement to break noise ordinances. If you modify your vehicle to make more noise or do anything else that gets you into any sort of trouble with the authorities, that's on you. (insert grin emoji here).

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