Do People Hate on Your Loud Harley? Our Forum Members Respond…

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Does your Harley peeve-off the locals, or is this simply a matter of common sense and neighborly respect?

Noise is part of the allure of Harley motorcycles, a signature piece of what makes an American legend. That’s why the first thing most Harley owners do when they acquire a new bike is axe the factory exhaust. We want to hear that rumble, and we want others to hear it, too. But not everyone shares our love of noise, of course. Plenty of folks become pretty peeved when they have to listen to an uncorked V-twin, and sometimes they’re not afraid to speak up about it.

It’s a problem that H-D Forums member BabaHarley has experienced, at least. And he was curious to see if other members had faced the same problem. So he headed to the forums for some answers. Which, of course, he received in throes!

“I have experienced constant harassment by my drunk old neighbor. He’s so ridiculously annoying. Comes drunk in the middle of the street and started yelling. It was a big problem, so now I have to drive past his house with almost no gas. Another problem was a ****ing coffee shop that I drive past once per week. The owner came out with two other people and started harassing me. One of the guys had a baseball bat. Is this normal? Tell me your stories, and what to do here…..beat them up or what?”


The answer to this problem, as it turns out, might actually be simple. You see, the OP lives in Germany. So Bartender offers up some quick advice – “Move to America.”

Which is funny and a bit sarcastic, but also kinda true, as Ron750 expounds on.

“In Wisconsin, home of Harley, nobody bothers you about a loud Harley if you’re not obnoxious. You would have to be pretty inconsiderate before anybody would complain.”

And of course, not being obnoxious goes hand in hand with that little thing called common sense, as SPRINGER points out.

“Where I live, I’ve never had any issues about how loud my bike is. But then again, I use what seems to be a rare commodity in this day and age. It’s called common sense, which tells me when and where is a bad time to cause a problem with my neighbors. In other words, I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me.”

The overwhelming consensus appears to pin the blame on the OP. Few other members have had similar problems, leading many to believe that maybe they just need to tone it down a touch.

“Maybe you need to think about how you ride past your neighbors,” said Bubba Zanetti. “A little respect goes a long way. If you know your bike is loud, and judging from the amount of negative complaints you get I think it is, you should take it easy until you get away from your neighborhood. If you went blasting by my house every day with loud pipes screaming I would be pissed too. I have had a bunch of bikes and almost all of them had modified exhaust. The few times I remember anyone bitching about my bike’s noise was when I was acting like an ***. Now when I leave my neighborhood I try to keep it low until I get out of my development.”


Yet others have experienced a bit of reverse harassment, if you will.

“I’ve been harassed by fellow Harley owners that complained that my slip-ons weren’t loud enough,” admits Tony P.

One thing’s for sure – this is a question that has prompted an incredible response so far. And it doesn’t appear that anyone else has experienced the same problem as the OP. Could this be a geographical issue, or just an instance where the OP needs to take it a little easier around residential areas? We want to hear your opinion on the matter, so head over here and let us know what you think!

Join the H-D Forums now!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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