How To Make Your Bike Quieter

If your bike isn't brand new, chances are it has developed some unwanted noises. Parts have worn, become weak with wear and started to rattle.In this article I'll show you what you can do to eliminate or minimize these unwanted noises and bring back some of that tight, new-bike quietness.The first thing to inspect is the exhaust system. The packing in a silencer is meant to be replaced about every 10 hours of ride time. Proper silencer packing is important for engine performance as well as for noise reduction. Check every square inch of the body of the silencer and head pipe for cracks or dents. Vibration can cause fatigue in welds and in the metal next to a weld. Tiny cracks can develop in these stressed areas and become air leaks. An air leak in the exhaust system, of course, will be a source of noise. Re-weld and repair to eliminate any air leaks. If your bike has springs on the exhaust pipe, check these too. Make sure they still have tension and are hooked on properly. You can put short pieces of rubber tubing over the spring to keep the it from vibrating like a snake's rattle. Make sure the rubber is a suitable type to use next to the heat of an exhaust system. To enhance the snug fit that the springs are keeping together, you can use a "high temperature" silicone RTV gasket sealer. Make sure you clean the area, and let the stuff dry and cure properly.Now check all nuts and bolts on the exhaust system. Check also the rest of the bike. You will be surprised at how much noise vibrating parts make. In addition to noise, vibration and parts banging into each other can cause serious problems. Use properly fitting nuts and bolts. Use lock washers when appropriate, and even blue label LockTite. Blue Label is used when you need to get the bolts apart; it is secure, but can be undone. I like also to use nylon locking nuts. They are secure, but easily taken off. One place that can really make some noise when vibrating is the foot pegs. These relatively small parts can really jump around if the spring is not on properly and in good tension. Replace the spring if necessary.A lesser known place to look for noise is the gearbox. If your gearbox is not filled to the proper level with the right viscosity oil, it could be complaining with strange noises. Check your manufacturer's recommendations, and then invest in a good oil, and change it often.Now your bike is clean and tight. The silencer is repacked. You have taken important steps to get your bike nice and quiet. If you want to go one step further, look into the Q Series of pipes from FMF. Danny LaPorte from FMF speaks about the need for off-roaders to be quieter when we are out in open land. Noise is perhaps the biggest problem when it comes to land use. Local residents won't always put up with super-loud race bikes screaming past their fences. They vote too, and they meet with State officials to get land closures. Think about how hard it is to get land re-opened after a closure. So, in the spirit of everybody getting along, let's ride with quiet silencers when out on public lands. If your bike is quiet, great. If not, look into the Q Series from FMF. This is a patented system of noise reduction, that reflects years of research. The Q has been designed to reduce sound output, yet still provide super power.I hope this info has helped you achieve your goal of a making your bike quiet. There is something really satisfying about a tight machine that doesn't rattle like a covered wagon. These steps I've described are not complicated or expensive, and shouldn't take much time either. Your bike will be more fun to ride, last longer, and have better resale value.See you at the track.