by Thomas Day
Even the AMA is on the Noise Bandwagon
As part of the American Motorcyclist Association’s long-term commitment to racer and fan safety, as well as improving the overall impression of the sport of motorcycle competition, the AMA is proposing a plan to reduce the sound levels at professional and amateur motorcycle racing events nationwide . . . Currently, motorcycles in closed-course AMA-sanctioned motorcycle competition must meet sound limits of 99 decibels (on the “A” scale), measured at a distance of 20 inches from motorcycle’s exhaust outlet. The proposed plan calls for reducing the allowable standard to 98 dB(A) for 2008, 97 dB(A) for 2009 and 96dB(A) for 2010 . . . The sound level is measured 20 inches from the exhaust outlet, with the sensor held parallel to the ground and at a 45-degree angle to the exhaust centerline.”
“Sound is every motorcyclist’s responsibility, because excessive sound impacts every motorcyclist, from competitor to street rider,” AMA Chief Executive Officer, Patricia DiPietro, said. “It’s important that we continue to move forward and improve in this important area.”
Ok, they’re not totally on the wagon. A 1dB(A) reduction in sound would be an inaudible change to all but an audio professional and A-weighting the noise measurement eliminates a substantial component of the output of a typical 4-stroke, large-bore motorcycle, but they’re at least pretending to be concerned about something that is likely to become a make or break issue for the future of motorcycling. By 2010, you might be able to tell that something was accomplished, noise-wise, assuming motorcycles haven’t been outlawed by then.
A Bigger, Faster Hayabusa?
Motorcycle News of England reports that Suzuki is about to release an all-new, 2008 Hayabusa in late 2007. The goal is to meet the Euro III emissions requirements, which means an all new motor for the Hayabusa. The new Hayabusa is supposed to be faster, more powerful, with better brakes and a “braced swing arm.” Looks like Suzuki is going after the Kawasaki ZX-14.
350cc Supercross Limit?
The FIM and AMA are floating limiting the “open” supercross/motocross classes to 350cc (currently 450cc) because “the riders can’t handle the 450s.” Excepting James Stewart and a few other star riders, the AMA’s Steve Whitelock says the 450s are “killing competition.” The argument is that only a few riders can hang on to the 450s, and they run away from the rest of the pack.
I’m pretty sure that James Stewart and Ricky C were pulling their vanishing act on two-strokes just a couple of years ago. Maybe the AMA should limit good riders to little bikes and put everyone else a lap ahead of the gate to “make things more fair.”
Speaking of James Stewart…
Champion, James Stewart (Kawasaki) wrapped up the last round of the AMA Supercross series in Las Vegas with 13 wins for the season. Chad Reed (Yamaha) finished second, and Kevin Windham (Honda) finished third. “I had a perfect 20 laps out there, no mistakes,” said Stewart. Carmichael ended his season in 9th place with 185 points to Steward’s 404.
A BMW Bash
If you happen to be in Garmisch, Partenkirchen this July, consider the BMW Motorrad Days 2007, which is free for visitors. Three days of test riding BMW’s new bikes, an Xchallenge hard enduro, a classic bike parade, tandem paragliding from Hausberg mountain, and enduro training by some of the best instructors in the business. You can also watch current Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Champion, Chris Pfeiffer abuse a BMW F 800, see a special night race, and test ride the G 650 Xchallenge and the G 650 Xcountry on a large X-Track. “With so much to see during the three-day festival, we hope that you have enough time to ride, relax, eat, drink and be merry at what will surely be one of the best biker parties of 2007.”
Eat your heart out, Wisconsin.