June 1, 2017
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The Harley-Davidson company has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for attempting to turn Ryder, North Dakotainto a biker-friendly haven, similar to Sturgis, South Dakota—where hundreds of thousands of bikers blast away with their illegal bikes for days and party up a storm. Harley-Davidson is even asking city officials to change the name of the town to “Rider.”
At present, Ryder is a nice quiet town of 85 residents about 40 miles south of Minot, with no street lights, unpaved roads, a grain elevator, a café/ tavern, a gas station, “and a roustabout business” that provides workers for oil rigs.”
According to USA Today, Harley-Davidson officials were “smitten with the town’s name and its water tower that’s a dead ringer for one that Harley has at its Juneau Avenue headquarters in Milwaukee.” Harley’s goal is to make Ryder “the first town in America where everyone has a motorcycle license.”
Ryder Mayor Reinisch has been actively promoting the idea to the town residents, saying, “we are all fired up to give it a whirl” and “we’ve probably had more motorcycle traffic in the last two weeks than we’ve ever had.” He also stated, “Everybody’s pretty excited about this one. We had the boys paint some of the fire hydrants Harley-Davidson orange.”
Some of Ryder’s residents are concerned about making their small town into a mecca for bikers. They should be. Ryder could soon attract hordes of Harley-riding bikers indulging themselves with noise from their illegally-modified Harleys and other disruptive activities.
Larry Deal, a member of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, commented that “law enforcement will probably present no problem for Harley-Davidson and the bikers, for they’re confident that Mayor Reinisch and the city council will make sure the bikers won’t be bothered by the Ward county sheriff’s office. After all, if Harley-Davidson and Mayor Reinisch get their way, ‘Rider,’ North Dakota will be a ‘biker-friendly’ town and having the town’s police department enforcing noise ordinances and state muffler laws would be bad for biker business.”
Harley-Davidson has been marketing the distinctive “sound” of their motorcycles for years. Harley-Davidson may not admit to this, but it encourages their customers to make their Harleys louder by modifying them with its after-market engine modification kits and exhaust systems. That can make Harleys emit excessive air pollution as well. Harley-Davidson has recently been heavily fined by the EPA for manufacturing an emission control defeat device and selling it to customers—and even installing it.
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, commented that “Harley-Davidson also markets a line of after-market exhaust systems under its Screamin’ Eagle brand. Harley-Davidson claims that some of those products are EPA-compliant, meaning they meet federal exhaust noise suppression standards. But there is some question as to whether that claim is really true.
However, Harley-Davidson does not claim all of its after-market exhaust systems are EPA-compliant, so there is no question that Harley-Davidson should not be marketing those products. The reason Harley-Davidson has been marketing them is to satisfy their customers’ desire to render their Harleys louder–which is both illegal under federal law and harms the public.”
Ryder, North Dakota is a nice quiet town—for now. If city officials let Harley-Davidson and the bikers have their way, it will become motorcycle noise hell.
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to excessive noise. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and Bikers for Trump.