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California has new law governing motorcycle sound

October 1, 2010
Filed under Features

A new California law requires street motorcycles registered in the state and built on or after Jan. 1, 2013, to have an exhaust system label certifying the motorcycles meet federal sound limits, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

The law, recently signed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, makes it a crime to operate any motorcycle registered in the state that was built on or after Jan. 1, 2013, that doesn’t have a federal Environmental Protection Agency exhaust system sound emissions label. In addition, the law requires aftermarket exhaust systems made on or after Jan. 1, 2013, to display the EPA sound emissions label, and therefore applies to individuals who seek to replace the exhaust system on affected streetbikes.

To view the legislation, see http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0401-0450/sb_435_bill_20100928_chaptered.html.

Violators face fines of up to $100 for a first offense and up to $250 for subsequent offenses. Judges have the discretion to dismiss the fine for first-time offenders if the violation is corrected. Also, a violation is considered a secondary offense, meaning a police officer can’t stop a motorcyclist solely because the officer believes the motorcyclist is breaking the sound emissions label law.

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