Motorcycle Exhaust Decibel Testing for Maine

Rogue-Sturgis Freedom Fighters –Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member

Maine has adopted a simple yet reliable testing procedure that allows motorcyclists to prove their bikes don’t violate Maine’s motor vehicle sound law, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

Under a new law that went into effect on May 26, motorcyclists ticketed for excessive sound emitting from their motorcycle exhausts can go to a certified inspection station for sound testing.

There, the exhaust system would be tested using the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2825 stationary sound testing procedure – "Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles" – which the SAE developed and adopted with support from the Motorcycle Industry Council in May 2009.

Under the SAE J2825 standard, which the AMA has endorsed, decibel limits range from 92 dBA at idle for all motorcycles, to 100 dBA at certain RPMs for various motorcycles, depending on the type of engine. If a motorcycle meets these limits during the certified testing, then it is evidence that t he motorcycle doesn’t violate the state’s sound law.

Imre Szauter (AMA Government Affairs Manager) says: "This new law is good news for responsible motorcyclists who ride in Maine because it provides an objective way to prove that a motorcycle doesn’t violate the state’s sound law, rather than relying on subjective judgments. We applaud the state of Maine — the first in the nation — for adopting the SAE J2825 standard."

The AMA has long maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle sound. The SAE J2825 standard is at the heart of model legislation developed by the AMA for use by jurisdictions seeking a simple, consistent a nd economical way to deal with sound complaints related to on-highway motorcycles within the larger context of excessive sound from all sources.

For information on the AMA’s model legislation, click here.

To see the AMA’s position on excessive motorcycle sound, click here.

4 thoughts on “Motorcycle Exhaust Decibel Testing for Maine

  1. Not to diminish the importance of discussing the AMA’s support the use of SAE J2825, but isn’t the real point here that it’s “motorcycle” exhaust decibel testing. If Cherry Bomb mufflers can still run adds as being 50-state legal, and you can strap a set of their “glass packs” on the back of your 550hp Shelby Cobra, then why are we willing to tolerate any motorcycle-only noise testing?

  2. As a Mainer and motorcyclist interested in proper noise controls by participating in public safety’s working group on noise, I am not in support of this revision. This revision is not good news for those citizens interested in being protected from modified motorcycles, that have noise volume increases protected by an option to remove a violation. The J2825 recommended sound limits are created by a subjective process, therefore any measurements of a mufflers sound with a meter are subjective determinations. This process has opened up the Pandora’s Box of louder after-market use. The federal standard equates to the vehicles noise level, and a static measurement has no direct correlation to determine if a muffler falls within the original performance parameters, because the muffler noise is what is measured not the vehicle noise. This is why the EPA has turned its back on support of this procedure. Now we have a subjective measurement procedure, that clouds the waters on which equipment is ok to use. If sound measurement is needed to objectively determine violations of “Amplification Prohibited”, statutes, I would suggest the SAE “comparison measurement” procedure be conducted. This procedure uses J2825, J1287, or J1169 instruments, at any same rpm between the modified and stock versions of the vehicle. If the modified version registers more decibel sound energy, then an Amplification Prohibited violation has occurred. This is fair, objective, and clearly understood by all, to remove the ability to amplify sound pressure energy and sound timbre over the original performance of the exhaust system. Comparison Measurement procedures should be performed on all peace officer personal motorcycles by department policy to insure, that the practice of personal policy does not effect roadside enforcement efforts, by removing known illegal equipment off police owned motorcycles. Efforts will be made to include, the SAE “Comparison Measurement” in a new revision.

  3. Thanks Mac.
    Though we post information on here from different groups about things that affect us as motorcyclist it is important to also explain to readers that these items is not really in their best interest.
    I too believe this law is illegal, that it can be challanged in court and won.
    Readers please remember once a law is sucessful in one state othere will try it So YES this does affect you.

  4. SAE J2825 violates Federal Standards for testing. Why would any biker want a new way of testing their pipes when the purpose is to make it easier for law enforcement and the courts?

    Unless the Federal Standards are changed (and not likely according the to EPA) The AMA solution and as practiced in Maine is illegal.

    SAE J2825 is yet another con on bikers where associations like the AMA are trying to look polictically correct.

    You can Google the Fed Standards. Make your local cop submit to those standards. SAE J2825 is a sellout.

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