Motorbikers are modifying their motorcycle exhausts leading to yet more noise pollution
For Naresh Patel, guessing the exact time at night is no big deal. The moment he hears ‘thud, thud, thud, thud,” he knows well it is 10.30 pm. It’s his neighbour returning home and deafening sound from his bike announces his arrival.
Patel may not be the lone person experiencing the noise pollution. Modified motorbikes with extra exhaust pipes or silencers are become nightmare for many in the city. Such vehicles not only make deafening noise, but also emit toxic chemicals into the air.
Even fellow commuters on the road do not feel safe when the bikers ridding such bikes zoom past them making thundering sound and making them go off-balance.
Sources say that youngsters who want to show off their mean machines are opting for bike modification. And thriving, but illegal, bike modification market in the city is acting as a catalyst for increasing the number of bikes facilitating the influx of with ‘loud silencers’ on the road.
Who are their customers? They are the youngsters wanting to show off their vehicles, says mechanics.
“Here, Enfield Bullet, Plusar and Yamaha bikes are a rage among youngsters. The modification includes new shapes to the outer body and changing the exhaust pipes of the bikes to provide a macho ‘thud,thud’ noise,” says Paresh, a bike modifier.
Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, any alteration to the factory model is illegal. “Any change that increases the weight of the vehicle by 10% can be done with the consent of the manufacturer and the regional transport office. Changes to exhaust pipe cannot be allowed,” said a regional transport officer.
Removing the catalytic converter, a component fitted to the exhaust pipe is the easiest, way to increase the thump.
“This type of silencer is called a free flow exhaust. It produces more sound but toxic gases, filtered by the catalytic converter are directly released into the air,” said an expert from SVNIT college.
The city police has already started a drive to catch the youngsters riding on the modified bikes with loud silencers and deafening horns.
“Every day around 15 to 20 youngsters are fined for riding haphazardly on the roads. We also check the modifications and issue them with separate challans. On weekends, we organize drives in the areas like Piplod, Vesu, Dumas road, etc, for drag racers,” said a senior police officer.