No More After Market Pipes in California in 2013; We Did it To Ourselves.

No More Non EPA Approved Pipes in 2013
No More Non EPA Approved Pipes in 2013

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 435 into law which will require all motorcycles built after January 2013 to have EPA approved exhaust systems on their motorcycles.

Riders found without an EPA label certifying sound emission compliance will be issued fix it tickets, with additional infractions having fines up to $250.00.

Therefore, any motorcycle aftermarket exhausts or pipes that are not EPA certified will be illegal in California.

Many aftermarket motorcycle exhaust manufacturers will probably not have the money or inclination to get such a certification, so for all intents and purposes, after market pipes will no longer be legal in California.

If other States follow California with similar statutes then it may force manufacturers to comply with EPA regulations.

California will now basically enforce a 25 year Federal regulation which requires that all motorcycle exhausts be EPA certified.

I have been riding motorcycles for many years. I try to have exhaust systems that have some bark, but that are not too loud.

However, there are guys out there running open exhausts that are so loud that you cannot actually hear yourself talk as they drive by.

The State has now taken action to quiet our motorcycles down since we were unable to police ourselves.

What can be done to avoid SB 435? Keep your old motorcycles and do not buy anything new after 2013. Replace the engines, transmissions, and frames as needed.

Whatever you do, keep your stock exhaust systems just in case you do get a fix it ticket. Even if your motorcycle is not a 2013 or newer biker, we are still subject to noise laws here in California.

This bill will probably have an ominous effect on motorcycle sales in California. So again, we have do gooders enacting laws here that screw our economy.

What can we expect next, a motorcycle smog bill. I recommend that every motorcycle rider in the State of California join ABATE, so that we will have a voice in Sacramento.

By California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 2010

7 Responses to No More After Market Pipes in California in 2013; We Did it To Ourselves.

  1. Too bad for you folks in California. It is a shame that folks can’t police themselves. You hit the nail on the head! I bet this new law is to control noise more than the environment.
    I do not know too many folks right now who are looking to buy new anything.

  2. Yea, well, we were seriously contiplating moving out of CA. anyway. This state has poor poor political ability and the laws that come up are so stupid without even the concern of what is really happening with issues, that are more important.
    Next, they will have us dealing with a frigen seatbelt issue eh? What about THAT? Sometimes we are safer if we DON’T fly off our bikes, right?

  3. This calls for a Buford T. Justice quote: “That ain’t nuthin but pure and simple ol’fashion COMMUNISM”.

    Why do you put up with it?

  4. Hey Norm,
    This is messed up to say the least. Excuse my ignorance but, I’m going to have to ask you to explain something to me. It seems like you’ve rolled over on this one and resigned yourself to it. It seems out of character for you.
    Isn’t this discrimination against a single group of motor vehicle users? We all know of, hear and or have modified exhust on our cages. What about cars, pick ups and trucks?? Isn’t that reason to have it struck down? I’ve heard of similar things happening. Know what I’m saying?
    Let me know your take on it.
    thanks, walt “in the wind”

    • Well Walter the said fact is that sometimes you have to eat something that you do not like. I have been involved with fighting this law for a long time. We got it from what was a mandatory smog bill, down to what it is now. It is now the law. There are obviously ways around the law, I have one of the legal ways.

      With respect to cars, and trucks, I have to disagree with you my friend. The same EPA regulations that pertain to motorcycles, also pertain to cars. Here in California all cars have to pass a mandatory smog test every 2 years. We are talking a major inspection of the emissions systems. You may have heard that California has the most stringent requirements for emissions systems on cars and motorcycles, than anywhere else in the country.

      There are California cars and motorcycles, and non-California cars and motorcycles. We cannot buy a new car in another State and bring it here, unless it meets California’s requirements.

      Another issue is that there is no way law enforcement would allow cars, pickups, or SUV’s to run open headers, or at a sound that is close to some of the motorcycles I have heard. The sad truth is that we have been getting away with it for a long time. Heck when I was 17, I remember getting stopped for having open headers.

      In closing, this law will be perfectly legal. So I am resigned to the fact that we will have to live within it, just like we did with helmet laws.

      Now if a manufacturer comes out with an EPA certified muffler that happens to have removable or interchangeable baffles, or if someone in Hollywood starts to sell EPA stickers like they do with the beanie helmets well…………………………………..


  5. What starts in California will most certainly make its way east. We have pockets of similar laws enacted by the tourist towns and cities in New England. We have managed to defeat them but the writing is on the wall.

    I am interested in knowing if this law is going to be challenged and if so, who the driving forces are going to be. I’d like to monitor their progress and possibly assist if needed.

    Best regards.

    Excellent reading always here!

    Paul Lancia

  6. I replaced perfectly good factory ( quieter) pipes on my motorcycle for one reason only , safety!!! I don’t like the loader noise but the fact is ,the noise saves lives….. mine included. The problem is that many people do not give the mototrcyclist the proper respect out on the highways….and then there are those idiots who text and think that their car is a phone booth for cell phones. Put some money into developing cars that won’t run when texting or talking on the cell phone ,and I will put my factory exhausts back on tomorrow.

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