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Monday, August 17, 2015

Crackdown - Loud superbikes

Riding superbikes in Bengaluru gets riskier; transport dept cracking them down for noise pollution. Joint Commissioner of Transport (Enforcement) Narendra Holkar has begun a drive targeting premium bikes such as Harley-Davidson.

The Harleys , Triumphs and Ducatis revving up on the streets of Bengaluru beware. Transport authorities are cracking down on super bikes for causing noise pollution, after having allowed their sales.

Joint Commissioner of Transport (Enforcement) Narendra Holkar has begun a drive targeting premium bikes such as Harley-Davidson that are iconic as much for their distinctive sounds as their looks.

According to city regulations, the permissible decibel limit for bikes is 80, but super bikes produce noise over 200 decibels.

Bike owners will be fined in the first instance, and the second time they are caught, their two-wheelers will be seized. Expectedly, they are miffed.

"Authorities allow registration of such vehicles and collect taxes. But once we ride them on roads, we are caught for noise pollution," said Murthaza Junaid, who owns a Triumph Tiger 800 XC that costs about Rs 12 lakh. "The silencers for these bikes are fixed by the company in tune with its cubic capacity ."

Bengaluru is a major hub for superbikes, with nearly all major brands that sell in India present in the city . The showrooms have been taken unawares.

A spokesperson for the Tusker Harley-Davidson showroom on Lavelle Road said: "We don't know why the transport department is booking our bikes for noise pollution. It is not clear as to what they are trying to promote, because no bike is sold without statutory approvals."

Any attempt to reduce the noise produced by powerful bikes may impact its performance. Junaid pointed out that Royal Enfield, makers of the 350cc - 500cc Bullet motorcycles, modified the silencers to reduce the noise, which resulted in the silencers that are too long and heavy. "This alteration causes problems such as vibrations and sometimes the silencer breaks as it stands on just two bolts," he said.

Holkar, however, is not moved by the arguments. "We will intensify the drives after the civic polls. Issuing notices to bike manufacturers is not on our agenda, because we do not have time for legal battles. We have a strong weapon called enforcement (and) that is enough," he said.

Supreme Court advocate KV Dhananjay said that under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules two - wheelers generating sound of more than 80 dB cannot be registered. But if these are already registered, the RTO should revoke the registration and not scare the bike owners with fines and penalties.
Source: ET Auto
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