Bikers Make Noise On Attempt To Quiet Motorcycles - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bikers Make Noise On Attempt To Quiet Motorcycles

CALABASAS, Calif. – The laid-back vibe of this affluent Los Angeles suburb gets a jarring wakeup on weekends when hundreds of motorcycles thunder through the Santa Monica Mountains, triggering car alarms, rattling windows and jolting alive barking dogs.

"They rev their engines with complete disregard for the people who live here," complained neighborhood resident Tonia Aery. "It's obnoxious."

Aery's wish for peace and quiet could come true after the state Senate passed a bill this month that would make it a motor vehicle violation to ride a roaring hog. The only catch is that the decision now falls to the state's biker-in-chief, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an avid motorcyclist.

Schwarzenegger's fellow riders — still bitter over an 18-year-old state law requiring helmets — are hoping he'll veto the law.

The bill targets motorcyclists who remove factory-installed emission control devices mandated by the U.S. government and replace them with custom, after-market parts that often make their bikes louder — and, consequently, dirtier. If passed, motorcycles would be required to bear the proper U.S. Environmental Protection Agency label certifying that the exhaust system is clean burning and does not exceed 80 decibels — about the same as a vacuum cleaner.

At least six cities, including Denver, Boston and the state of Oregon have passed similar noise-prevention laws, but muffling motorcycles here could have symbolic impact.

The Hells Angels started here, so did the raucous motorcycle rallies in Hollister that inspired "The Wild One," the 1953 Marlon Brando movie that cemented bikers' rebellious image in American pop culture.

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