August 1, 2012
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally, to be held August 30 to September 3, 2012, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for bringing tens of thousands of obnoxiously loud motorcycles to Beer City. The event will be a five-day celebration of noise and debauchery.
The Milwaukee event advertises itself as “the Midwest’s largest free motorcycle rally.” In reality, it will be the Midwest’s largest gathering of ear-splitting, illegal motorcycle noise.
The noisefest will feature such high-quality, family-friendly entertainment as Lynyrd Skynard, the Ives Brothers Wall of Death, Ms. And Mr. Milwaukee Rally, a tattoo contest, and Playboy Playmate Crystal McCahill. There will be preview of the 2013 Harley-Davidson models. Sponsors of the noisemaking event include Miller Lite and a personal injury law firm.
In his career as a Houston police officer, Rick Holtsclaw emphasized strong enforcement of noise ordinances. He notes that the “great majority of motorcycles at the Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally will have illegal after-market exhausts. These after-market exhausts were designed to be used off-road or for racing. These motorcycles directly violate state and federal laws.”
Officer Holtsclaw notes that “the federal Noise Control Act of 1972 clearly prohibits altering motorcycle exhausts in order to make noise. The Act also restricts motorcycle noise to 80 decibels. The vast majority of motorcycles exceed this limit. In addition, the EPA has instituted a label match-up program, which requires motorcycles to have a stamp proving that the factory exhaust has not been changed.”
Larry Deal, a member of Noise Free America, stated that “the Milwaukee Motorcycle rally will attract a huge number of noise-making motorcycles. The noise is made much worse by motorcycles that have had their exhaust systems illegally modified by their owners. A 2008 survey by the California Air Resources Board indicated that 85 percent of motorcycles 280 cc and higher had modified exhaust systems. Most of them are illegal.”
Deal observes, “When an avalanche of motorcycles converge on a community, a large number of them have illegally modified exhaust systems—which are designed to be as loud as possible. The thunderous noise emissions from the Milwaukee motorcycle rally will dominate the soundscape of the entire area.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director (and a 13 year-resident of Wisconsin), noted that “the state of Wisconsin is a haven for motorcycle noise. In Wisconsin, loud motorcycles are indeed everywhere, blasting away without any fear of a police citation for a noise violation. Wisconsin is home to churches which ‘bless’ illegally loud motorcycles. Milwaukee is home to the Harley-Davidson Museum. Several years ago, the Wisconsin state legislature considered making the cult of Harley-Davidson—a symbol of disorder and noise—the state’s official motorcycle. In 2013, citizens of the Badger State can look forward to the arrival of thunderous, illegal noise from tens of thousands of motorcycles to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Harley Davidson. “
“The Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally,” Rueter concluded, “is just one more example of Wisconsin’s addiction to noise.”
Noise Free America is a national non-profit organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Wisconsin state legislature; Madison, Wisconsin; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin; and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.