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New Hampshire Becomes Second State to Adopt SAE J2825 Sound Test

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, the legislation will enforce on-highway motorcycle sound levels. The sound test procedure was developed with the support of MIC members, as well as motorcycle and aftermarket exhaust system manufacturers, to provide law enforcement authorities with a simple, quick, economical and science-based tool for accurately identifying motorcycles with excessively loud exhaust systems.

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Legislation has been enacted in New Hampshire, effective Jan. 1, 2013, to adopt the sound test procedures and standards in SAE J2825 (Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles) for enforcing on-highway motorcycle sound levels. Maine also adopted SAE J2825 in 2011.

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The SAE J2825 sound test procedure was developed with the support of Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) members, as well as motorcycle and aftermarket exhaust system manufacturers, to provide law enforcement authorities with a simple, quick, economical and science-based tool for accurately identifying motorcycles with excessively loud exhaust systems.

MIC initiated and executed the $250,000 project by conducting field testing, analyzing the data and providing the draft standard to the SAE Motorcycle Technical Steering Committee for review. The SAEJ2825 standard provides an alternative to outright bans, restrictions and sound test standards that vary state to state and city to city.

SAE J2825 is similar to J1287, the procedure that’s been widely used for off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles since the 1980s. The J2825 roadside test is conducted by holding a sound meter 20 inches behind the exhaust outlet, at the same height, and 45 degrees from the line of travel of the motorcycle.

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The fine for violating the following sound limits will be between $100 and $300:

  • For all motorcycles, 92 decibels while the engine is operating at idle speed; or
  • For motorcycles with less than three or more than four cylinders, 96 decibels while the engine is operating at 2,000 revolutions per minute or 75 percent of maximum engine speed, whichever is less; or
  • For three- and four-cylinder motorcycles, 100 decibels while the engine is operating at 5,000 revolutions per minute or 75 percent of maximum engine speed, whichever is less.

A copy of the New Hampshire law can be found here.

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The SAE J2825 standard, "Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles," can be downloaded and purchased here.

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