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Basem Wasef

Noisy Neighbor Update #2: The Confrontation

By January 19, 2011

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Many of you who commented on the first blog post and forum thread about my uninvited, twin-cylinder alarm clock suggested I confront bike's owner... which, deep down inside, I knew I had to do sooner or later.

So when the dude rumbled up the street late this afternoon, I darted downstairs in an attempt to catch him and hope for some degree of decibel mitigation. "Hey, how's it going" I asked, after he parked and began removing his helmet. "I'm a fellow rider," I went on to say, explaining the fact that I tend to work late and get up late-- except for the times he fires up his noisemaker.

The rider, a young moustachio'd fellow who listened carefully to my complaints, gave them a moment's thought while I added, "I know you need to warm your bike up since it has carbs, but maybe you could roll it down the street first?"

After asking if there were specific mornings that I need to sleep in (there aren't), he agreed to try rolling the bike down the street before starting it up. And with that, I added the fact that I was a motorcycle journalist, gave him my business card, and urged him not to be surprised when he finds a picture of his bike on this blog.

Will this end the case of the unruly exhaust pipes? I don't know for sure. But I certainly encourage those who find themselves in a similar situation to tackle it head on, with a friendly demeanor and calm approach. Your neighbor may not be as friendly or receptive as mine, but at least you'll be able to add a human face to the ruckus, and maybe even come away with a solution that works.


January 20, 2011 at 8:03 am
(1) Joe says:

Glad to hear you were able to talk to him. Hope the solution works for you.

January 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm
(2) Brent says:

I certainly agree with being non-confrontational. You don’t want to be the one that starts a fight. But my question to the “solution” of rolling it down the street is does that merely make it someone elses problem? What’s down your street? More houses for the noise to interrupt the sleep of others?

January 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm
(3) Basem Wasef - Motorcycles Guide, About.com says:


There are houses down the street, but not necessarily people who work late hours like I do.


January 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm
(4) Bob Terrill says:

I have one of those v-twin bikes with carbs. I never give it extra throttle when warming it up and when I leave I use as little throttle as possible quickly upshifting to keep the noise at it’s lowest level possible and have never had a neighbor complain. It still woke them up at 5:30 when I was going to work, but they were understanding about it. Everybody needs to give a little and we can arrive at workable solutions.

January 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm
(5) ryde4ever says:

I am woke up more often by a neighbor cutting his grass at some ridiculous hour. My neighbors motorcycles seldom bother me. Glad he was a reasonable guy.

January 26, 2011 at 11:27 am
(6) Dr. Love says:

Sounds like a real biker you had the pleasure of dealing with and not a poser.

January 26, 2011 at 11:48 am
(7) Arnold D. Herman says:

Dear Basem,

I have a reasonable loud Yamaha V-Star and I have to leave my home extremely early occasionally. Since I live in a mobil home park my neighbors are only about 25 feet from me. What I do is roll the bike out in the street and away from occupied mobil homes before starting it.
That has worked well for me, in fact the obly comment I have received is a request to take her for a ride from one of the neighbors,

January 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(8) Bill English says:

I live a street that has 8 or 10 bikes. I am on the uphill part, of course, where you have to apply power. The only extreme noise is when it snows and the atv’s have to show thier top speed. I know most of the riders in my area. Many are husband and wife. Maybe thats why we all tend to keep the rpm’s down. It is nice of your neighbor to listen. I have found most riders are caring. 500,000 miles plus I have meet a few.

February 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(9) MN Jim says:

The problem with rolling it down the street is that it just moves the issue to another neighbor, who might not be so motorcycle friendly (and you don’t know if they sleep late or not), and if the bike does not start, then you have to roll it back. My BMW sounds like a sewing machine, so the neighbors do not even know I am here. Our problem is with the 6 am garbage trucks.

February 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm
(10) Beanie Helmets says:

Its great to hear of two grown ups acting like grown ups.

April 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm
(11) Nathan says:

Most motorcycle riders in my neighborhood are rude and loud and are jerks. They do not care about their neighbors and have told me that there is nothing I can do about it as they have the right to have their motorcycle as loud as they want. They are driving me insane and I hate them. I wish we had legislators and law enforcement who were not such wussies and not afraid of bikers, who would make loud bikes illegal and then have the guts to enforce it. I think that bikes are cool as hell – until they make sitting in your own home reading – or sleeping – impossible.

June 8, 2011 at 12:44 am
(12) Motorheads Suck says:

Nice. I’m sure the neighbors down the street appreciate you dumping your problem onto them. About what i’d expect from you motorhead losers that try to compensate for small penises with loud engines.

June 8, 2011 at 3:47 am
(13) Basem Wasef - Motorcycles Guide, About.com says:

Hey #12,

Considering I go to sleep and get up later than most people, I wouldn’t exactly say I was simply “dumping my problem” onto the neighbors down the street.

And in case you missed my follow-up post, my neighbor Matt actually turned out to be a rather cool guy.


June 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm
(14) Motorheads Suck says:

So just because your neighbors might happen to be awake, that makes it ok to ruin their lives with obnoxiously loud motorcycles just because you want to go for a ride?

June 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(15) Basem Wasef - Motorcycles Guide, About.com says:

I don’t condone excessively loud pipes, but as a neighbor, there’s only so much I can do.

What I do encourage is communication. In my case, making my neighbor aware of something he didn’t even know was bothering me made all the difference; for what it’s worth, he now starts up his (new, quieter) bike in his garage, so everyone’s happy now.

May 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm
(16) lynnmarie says:

Same kind of issue for me, except this is a 60-year old, ex-militiary chaplain (total loser remf)…He looks like a fat clown on a mini-bike–nevermind that he is riding a full sized harley. Absolutely ludicrous. The noise from his bike far exceeds the 78dB in a residential neighborhood (possibly all of the stress on the motor) and I am forced into abstinence whenever I have the misfortune of glimpsing the shaking blubber, but what can you do about inconsiderate dumbasses? I am trying to take up some annoying habit–my deafening silence and respect for others just aren’t doing the trick. Ideas on offensive behavior are appreciated!!

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