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May 15, 2009 - City Passes Noise Control Ordinance Related to Motorcycles

Nothing adds more to the ambience of a summer evening on the patio than the tranquil sound of a motorcycle muffler on steroids.

Or maybe not.

In response to a growing number of complaints about excessive motorcycle noise, on April 20 the Arvada City Council amended the City’s noise control ordinance.  “The City Council finds that certain motorcycles that are not equipped with an exhaust muffler bearing a label required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) create or emit noise that is unusually loud, excessive, and detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare.” 

The ordinance now reads as follows:

No person shall…..operate a motorcycle manufactured after December 31, 1982, that is not equipped with an exhaust muffler bearing the federal Environmental Protection Agency required labeling applicable to the motorcycle's model year…….Said label shall be affixed to the exhaust muffler in such a manner as to be readily visible.  For purposes of enforcement……police officers may establish or determine reasonable suspicion to stop a motorcycle based on any relevant facts and circumstances concerning the unusually loud or excessive nature of the noise created or emitted by the vehicle.”

EPA Standards

The EPA recognized the problem of motorcycle noise pollution many years ago when it established motorcycle noise emission standards. 

Nearly all motorcycles manufactured or imported into the United States must carry a noise label or stamp on its muffler exhaust system to demonstrate that it meets Federal guidelines.  However, local governments must adopt these standards in order to make them enforceable at the local level. 

Many motorcycle owners purchase new muffler systems which do not adhere to Federal guidelines and which may cause excessive noise. 

With the recent amendment to the City’s noise control ordinance, any motorcycles operating in Arvada must have muffler systems that adhere to the Federal standards or be subject to a fine. 

EPA rules regarding motorcycle noise can be found here

You can also link to the amended City of Arvada ordinance listed to the right. 

Finally, you may contact the Arvada Police Department Patrol Division at 720-898-6900.