Motorcyclists in the Philippines will have to start thinking twice before pulling the trigger on a new aftermarket exhaust system for their motorcycles. Although meant to reduce weight, and improve the sound and performance of motorcycles, many people find the excessively loud exhaust notes produced by open pipes fitted on scooters and mopeds to be extremely annoying.
That said, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), in line with the roll out of the new Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) is currently drafting the new rules and regulations in order for vehicles to pass the inspection and be granted renewed registration. Among the most controversial would be the proposed 99 dB sound limit for vehicle exhausts. Up until recently, the LTO had been implementing a 115 dB limit across the country. However, it would appear that this was still too loud, as we are now seeing the recommendation to bring it down to 99 dB. Now, to avoid confusion guidelines have been released as to how the volume will be checked.
The proposed guidelines are pretty clear cut. The sound level of a vehicle is to be measured at exactly 0.5 meters away from the tip of the exhaust pipe, at a 45-degree angle. When sound measurements are being taken, the sound level meter must be parallel with the ground. Also, the engine will only be revved up to 2,000 to 2,500 rpm when conducting the test.
As of this moment, no additional details have surfaced, so it's safe to assume that this new mandate will affect all motor vehicles—cars and motorcycles alike—irrespective of size and displacement. Now, this poses quite a challenge for big bike owners, whose engines linger precariously close to the 99 dB mark, even in stock form. To make things worse, if a motorcycle fails the inspection, the owner will need to pay a PHP 300 ($6 USD) reinspection fee after having the issue sorted by either reinstalling the stock system, or fitting a quieter aftermarket exhaust system.