New OHV Noise Regulations To be Strictly Enforced

Paige

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This is on state land only, this pertains to parks like Oceano. The BLM lands are not the same.

Effective July 15, 2003
New OHV Noise Regulations To be Strictly Enforced

SACRAMENTO -- Effective July 15, 2003, new noise regulations will be strictly enforced for all off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles that are operated at all State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs), state officials announced today.

The new regulations brings California’s off-road noise emissions levels down from one of the worst in the nation to one of the best, reducing the maximum decibel level standard from 101 decibels to 96 decibels.

"The importance of this can't be underscored enough. Noise is the most threatening aspect to California's Off-Highway Vehicle program," said Tony Perez, Chief of California State Parks' Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. "That is why the Division intends to be very aggressive in dealing with this issue."

He said, "We've already started testing and the results so far have been very positive. After 10 months of testing 3,190 off-highway vehicles at the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, the Division found that 84 percent of the vehicles tested passed."

The following noise requirements will be strictly enforced:

• If your OHV was manufactured before January 1, 1986, the noise limit is 101 decibels.
• If your OHV was manufactured after January 1, 1986, the noise limit is 96 decibels.
• If your "competition" OHV was manufactured before January 1, 1998, the noise limit is 101 decibels.
• If your "competition" OHV was manufactured after January 1, 1998, the noise limit is 96 decibels. According to the standards, "competition" off-highway vehicles are those that are not manufactured to comply with EPA noise or California emission standards. For information on the designation of your OHV, refer to your owner's manual or contact your local dealership.

The new noise law is a key element of AB 2274, signed into law by Governor Gray Davis in September 2002 and which went into effect January 1, 2003. AB 2274 represents the most sweeping reform of California’s off-highway vehicle program in its 30-year history. It drew bipartisan support in the Legislature, and won the support of both environmental organizations and off-road recreation groups.

State Parks' OHMVR Division manages the largest program of its type in the U.S. with the strictest environmental standards of any OHV program in the nation.

California’s OHV program was created in 1971 as part of a statewide effort to manage a vigorously growing recreational sport. Today, it’s estimated that 14.2 percent of all California households – about 3.5 million people – participate in OHV opportunities. There have been more than 100 laws related to California’s OHV program since 1971.

In addition to six main State Vehicular Recreation Areas, the OHV Division also manages a winter recreation program and an extensive grants and cooperative agreements program. More than $16 million was allocated in the 2002/2003-grant cycle to local and federal agencies for everything from local law enforcement to trail grooming, restrooms and paved parking.


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TRDshaunTRD

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That is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard! How does noise effect anyone or anything!
 

sirhk100

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Deserts it's not really much of an issue but up in the Mountains noise is our biggest enemy. The locals HATE us cause bikes like mine echo through the "peaceful" valleys. Also, we share the trails with hikers and mtn. bikers (tree huggers) and they don't like the rummbling of the 4 strokes over the sounds of nature. I can kinda see their point and respect it. Me personally though, I'd be glad if I was hiking or riding my mtn. bike that the MX bike hauling ass towards me was loud so that I could hear it and be ready to move...

This isn't really a issue for anything other then the newer 4 stroke MX bikes cause the XR line and 2 strokes stock tend to be under 96DB...
 

TRDshaunTRD

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I am a hiker, and i see that point, but there are 1,000 places to hike for every 1 place wher a guy can share the trail with a dirt bike. When I hike, I do prefer to be on the trial without bikes, so I choose to hike in areas where bikes arent allowed. Then, if I go ride a bike, I go to the other areas where bikes are allowed, and I don't expect it to be quiet.
 

martininsocal

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Guys- This came about because the OHV Clubs in California are taking their own destiny into their own hands as much as possible. Noise simply pisses people off, whether it is cool noise or not. Most hikers I know simply don't like bikes on "their" trails period. Many dislike mountain bikes more than dirt bikes because atleast they can hear a dirt bike coming. I know plenty of places where Mountain Bikes have been banned because of collisions with hikers. Most bikes don't violate the 96db rule from the factory. And while it pertains only to SVRA parks now, you better believe it will apply to BLM lands soon. They are already writing it up. Don't be too down on this, it is proof that we will compromise on some issues. Having something make more noise than it needs to is not something we ned to spend time and money on.
 

TRDshaunTRD

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Be carefull, they want you to compromise. You will continue to compromise untill one day our land to offroad on is gone. They will slowly pull the land out from under us.
 

martininsocal

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Shaun- this was not something teh environmentalists wanted, asked for, or pushed. This was something the OHV community felt would make a difference for our future. If anything, this helps quash the environmentalists agenda about all thoise "noisy" offroaders. As I pointed out, I believe all new bikes already meet this regulation. It is not retroactive either, there are different sound levels for different years.
 

sirhk100

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I really have no problem with it. It's gonna make us look "nicer" in the general publics eyes. If they can't hears us and can't see us they can't complain too much...

I'm 99% sure my '03CRF450 and all they CRF and YZF lines stock are above 96DB. On the 4 stroke forums everyone is asking if there are systems out there that meet the requirements without power loss and it seems as if there's only a handfull to choose from.

Khris
 

TRDshaunTRD

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I see the light, but I'm just afraid that we are retreating with our tail between our legs. I have no problem with making our image to the public better, but I'm not sure that noise reduction is the solution. But hey, if thats what we decided on, I'm much more open to it. Hopefully it will give us loud and crazy offroaders a better image.
 

Driftin

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Martin that may not be completely correct. The greenies love this new bill because it takes the 21 million in fuel taxes for orv's and spits it up like this, 70 percent goes to conservation and management while 30 percent goes to restoring damaged areas. Parks and rec along with chp will develope safety programs by 2005. The greenies like this bill but as usual they dont think it goes far enough. Along the way they killed snowmobiles in Eldorado nat forest and are considering doing the same in all USFS in the future. Source- Dirt Bike Jan 2003 Roost article.
 

martininsocal

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Driftin- The useage for money changed 6 years ago when Davis took office and the OHV directors changed. At that time, the original Chappy act was suppose to be renewed, but ended up with a rewrite with the new emphasis on conservation, soil studies, increased enforcement, etc...
The battle over the fuel tax portion of the OHV fund has been waged for a long time. Many in the green and even offroad arena feel that too much of the fuel tax goes to the OHV fund( Cal4WD was one who voiced this during some WEMO planning sessions)
The loss of the snowmobiles was not part of this act, but rather an OHV Commissioners decission not to fund trail maintenance this year, it didn't ban snow mobiling, but it curtailed much of it in the snow play areas. What has happened is that some liberal democratic legislatures with appointing power to the OHMVR commission habe stacked the commission with pro-extreme green members who would like nothing more than to end the OHV program all together. nd no, this was not a Davis deal, he has actually helped us with his appointments, we just don't have a majority.
The funding for the OHV sticker fund is given out in grants to anyone who applies and is given a grant by the commission. There is no requirement of how much of what amount of money is spent for what purpose, what has changed is the ability to use the money for other activities that aren't neccessarily OHV friendly, like air, soil, and noise studies in OHV areas. When the rewrite occurred, many federal agencies that apply for OHV grants started to include items like soil rehab, trail reduction, law enforcement in non-ohv areas for illegal riding, etc...
 

CEORanger

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I went to Hungry Valley about a month ago and the rangers were checking the exhaust on all our bikes and quads. The rangers were polite and said we could still ride if the bikes didnt pass the decible test but he said they would really start enforcing it in about a month.

I am not sure who made this tester but it was an analog rpm guage that measured the vibration of the bike at a certain idle and then once the bike was at a certain idle the ranger would test it with a decible reader. the idle was determined by a book they had showing bike year and model. none of the bikes that had after market silencers passed. There were even brands that had a "quiet" and "forest approved" stampings on the silencer. however all the stock bikes passed with flying colors.

the test seemed really inaccurate though. the rangers would put the analog rpm guage on any part of the bike that vibrated and they would get different decible readings each time they tested. the rangers did say the rpm guage had to be on a solid metal to metal mount to be accurate. in other words if you had handlebards that had the rubber bushing you couldnt measure the rpm from the bars. even the rangers wished they had the digital rpm guages but they were too much money. i think the analog ones cost about $1500.

the quads were all newer models ranging from polaris, yamaha raptor, warrior, and honda ex400.
 

billymanfroy

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I've attached a .pdf file that's a summary of the noise regs.

Click here to download the testing procedure they are supposed to follow.

Oh, and notice the part about how on/off vehicles will be issued street legal tags and that's good enough to get them into offroad areas.
 

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  • 63304-OHV_NoiseRegs.pdf
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