NYS V&T Laws Re: Motorcycle Noise Limits
Article 9 S 381

No person shall operate a motorcycle on any highway which is:

1. not equipped with a muffler to prevent excessive or unusual noise;
2. equipped with a muffler from which the baffle plates, screens or other original internal parts have been removed or altered;
3. equipped with an exhaust device without internal baffles, known as "straight pipes"; or
4. equipped with an exhaust system that has been modified in a manner that will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such vehicle above that emitted by the exhaust system originally installed on the vehicle.

Article 10 S 386. Motor vehicle sound level limits.

1. As used in this section;
1. A-weighted sound level shall mean the sound pressure level measured by the use of an instrument with the metering characteristics and A-weighting frequency response prescribed for sound level meters.
2. Combination of vehicles shall mean any device consisting of a motor vehicle and one or more trailers drawn by such motor vehicle.
3. Sound pressure level shall mean twenty times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the root mean squared pressure of a sound to a reference pressure of twenty micropascals. The unit applied to this measure shall be the decibel (dB).

2. This section shall apply to the total sound level emitted from a motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles.
3. Unlawful acts.
4. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or cause to be operated on a public highway any motorcycle, at any time, under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such a manner as to exceed the applicable A-weighted sound level set forth in table III. The maximum allowable sound levels in table III are based on a sound level measured at, or adjusted to, a distance of fifty feet from the center of the lane in which the motorcycle is traveling.

Table III

Maximum Allowable A-Weighted Sound Levels
Speed: 35 mph or less: 82 dB(A) over 35 mph: 86 dB(A)

4. a. These procedures shall allow, to the extent feasible, motor vehicle sound measurements to be accomplished in reasonably confined areas such as residential areas of urban cities, and may provide for sound measurement at distances other than fifty feet and in the vicinity of sound reflecting surfaces.

6. Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of equipment requirements or any other provisions of law relating to motor vehicle noise.

[Tip] Americaders generally agree that the point at which the police issue tickets here is more liberal than the strict wording of the NY law above, but if your bike has straight pipes or any excessively loud system which is evident, you should expect to be written up.


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