Indianapolis Loves MotoGP, Hates Noisy Motorcycles

The news that MotoGP would be going to Indianapolis, bringing the return of motorcycle racing to this historic track, was met with interest and acclaim all around the world. The Brickyard at Indy is one of the world's legendary tracks, a name recognized by both race fans and non-race fans alike.

But not everyone is enthusiastic. And we're not talking about riders worrying about problems with grip or the final turn back onto the front straight. No, it seems that the town elders of Speedway, Indiana - the town which is home to the track - are afraid that the arrival of thousands of MotoGP fans on their noisy motorcycles could keep the upstanding citizens of their town awake at night.

Perhaps fearing scenes from The Wild One, the Town Council are attempting to pass a special ordinance banning "unnecessary noises made by certain motor vehicles". The ordinance is specifically aimed at motorcycles revving their engines noisily, and will give police the power to impose fines on anyone they believe are causing a nuisance by making a lot of noise with their bikes.

While a concern for the well-being of their citizens is an admirable thing in a politician, it doesn't look like the elders of the Town of Speedway have really though this through. Although it is quite clear what they are afraid of - even the most perfunctory browse through Youtube will turn up aural assaults from many European MotoGP rounds - the wording of the ordinance seems a little strange. After all, a case can be made that bouncing your sports bike off the rev limiter or doing long and noisy burnouts are an integral part of the weekend's entertainment, and an important factor in keeping the atmosphere going at a MotoGP weekend. Unnecessary, like so many adjectives, is very much in the eye, or the ear, of the beholder.

Watch the WISH TV news report on the  Town Of Speedway's civil ordinance banning excessive motorcycle noise.


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what stupid shite.  the brickyard is 99 years old.  i doubt there are any elders who didn't know they were living in a town known chiefly for its racetrack when they settled there.  and it's just another opening for the LEOs to take advantage and bust bikers.


so typically american !!! arrange a world-wide event at a facility celebrating a milestone anniversary and THEN write laws against the very people who will form the core of those attending. a new definition of entrapment. gotta wonder what would the world do without being able to laugh at americans. if it isn't bad enough that we are in the shape we are in, yet another reason to hang one's head in shame for being american.


This is a bit peculiar...  The Indy 500 has an "atmosphere" rivaling Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or Carnival in Brazil - or, at least, that's what the 500 used to be like.  It seems odd that the city would accept such a raucous level of attendee on the one hand, but reject them on the other.  There must be more to this...

As far as I understand it, MotoGP isn't exactly the preferred entertainment of, nor a magnet for, Harley-riding biker gangs, urban sport-bike-riding gangs, nor any potential clashes among them.  It would seem, though, that the city fathers believe just such a gathering call has gone out, and that they suspect ticket sales are not as brisk in their preferred target markets.

To our European readership, welcome to a typically small-town American tactic:  Set up an event that brings in lots of tourists, then equip the local police with some small time garbage law that enable them to stop individuals at will to the tune of $50-100.00 per violation.

Now, pick on bikes with out of state plates to minimize the attempts to appeal the arrest, have a Visa/Mastercard machine available for immediate process, keep the number of arrests low enough (say 200-300) in proportion to the race viewing population so the complaint level doesn't get too large, and you're suddenly raking in $20,000-30,000.00 in one weekend - free money to the municipal coffers!

That money sure buys lots of donuts.  Or radar guns, or other enforcement traps to keep the money flowing in.  And it all comes from non-voters who are only around for three days out of the year, so their complaints don't matter.

Yep, that's American motor vehicle law enforcement.


I have to agree with sykerocker, this isn't actually a response to concerns about loud or outrageous behavior - the NASCAR crowd has the MotoGP crowd beat on that one - it is just a fundraising effort. In the US, aftermarket mufflers are mostly illegal but the law is not enforced unless a cop is just looking for a reason to bust you. Knowing this, it becomes very easy to "decide" to enforce the law when it is beneficial to you.

 If they were actually concerned about noise and disruptive behavior, they only need to look at Laguna Seca to realize that MotoGP tends to attract the more upstanding element among the motocycle community.


Thanks Jules, I got the news yesterday.  I'm glad they have come to their senses, and realized that it wouldn't be good for them to allow the local law enforcement to ticket just about anyone on a motorcycle.  Hope to see you there! Cheers!

I live in Indianapolis, and yes, I hate motorcycles. Bikers who illegally remove or alter their mufflers are ALWAYS driving around this town. They want other people to think they have big d***s, so they have to wake us up at 2am? F*** THEM. Motorcycle noise should be illegal everywhere and those laws should be enforced.

although my ducati is very loud i am very aware of the noise during early or late hours and try not to rev the bike high. most of the folks who you are talking are probably removing the muffler completely - straight open pipes - and there's no reason for that at all.

it's about respect and those F***ckers who open the throttle to the max on the boulevard at 2am have none.

but other than that, good luck finding sympathy on a motorcycle website. loud pipes save lives.