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705 S Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-444-7000 (General)
Contact: Office of the Chief
Email: chiefoff@ci.colosp. . .
Hours: 24 Hours a Day

City of Colorado Springs / Police / Be INVOLVED / Ride Friendly Program / Mayor's Letter

December 8, 2004

Letter to the Editor:

In the summer of 2004, local motorcycle rights enthusiasts voiced concerns about the way the Colorado Springs Police Department was enforcing the law relating to loud/altered exhaust systems. On August 22 and 23, both sides presented their positions to the Colorado Springs City Council. I directed both sides to form a working group and explore possible compromises. In September, the Mayor's Task Force, comprised of local motorcycle advocates, motorcycle dealership representatives, and members of the police department began meeting and discussing a range of related topics.

The following points were determined:

  • The Task Force has agreed that citizen complaints of excessive noise are an important component that must be considered and addressed to prevent even more vigorous enforcement of existing laws.
  • The Task Force supports the American Motorcyclist Association, and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation stance that "Loud Pipes Risk Rights."
  • No one supports the installation or use of "straight pipe" or modified exhaust systems that dramatically amplify the exhaust noise. All parties understand that persons who choose to operate these types of systems on public roads, without appropriate baffles, should face aggressive enforcement.
  • The use of noise meters are not required under Colorado Springs City Ordinances and are not in anyone's best interest. Their use would lead to increased enforcement.
  • Local ordinances are consistent with State and Federal law. Federal law prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting a lower noise standard.
  • The Task Force encourages motorcycle owners and dealers not to alter the factory exhaust systems for the expressed intent of amplifying the noise from the exhaust.
  • Loud exhaust systems are very annoying to some people and special consideration should be shown when riding in congested areas and on residential streets.

As a result of the work of the task force, plans were made, and will be put into action, to address the issues of all parties. Task Force members, local dealers and police have agreed to work together to conduct sound tests on a number of systems to try and help consumers make informed, reasonable decisions from the limited choices for noise compliant, aftermarket exhaust systems.

A public education campaign will be developed by Task Force members to inform dealers and consumers of their legal responsibilities, and ask for voluntary compliance. Task Force members will also hold voluntary, noise testing sessions to give people the opportunity to check the noise output of their machines against legal standards and make corrections to avoid enforcement. The police department will continue to train officers each year, presenting the results of testing, and will focus street enforcement at the most obnoxious sources of noise.

I believe that when community members work together with law enforcement, a greater understanding brings greater solutions to the problems that frustrate our community. I appreciate the efforts of every member of this task force for coming together to work on a reasonable, acceptable resolution to this issue and I ask you to join them in working together for the benefit of all members of our community.


Lionel Rivera