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Motorcycle noise please HELP

Posted by murphy81 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 3, 06 at 12:59

My quiet cul de sac has been around for 20 years. I have been here 5 years. My neighbor is a retired govt. employee who has a hobby of fixing engines in his garage. He tests the motorcycles all day long up and down the street. My neighbors are not ones to complain. I am of course a born complainer. That being said I think I have been more than fair. I have never once complained to my neighbor. I would like to remain in good with him standing.

But the motorcycles are driving me nuts. he fixes the engines and then he has 4 - 5 friends that come by and then they go riding. I thought it was my imagination that the noise was increasing until I took note of the fact that it's not just him it's his buddies riding by too.

My town has 3 bars which I guess are biker bars. I noticed the bikes are everywhere. And better yet my town cops are friends with the bikers themselves.

Do I have to pack up and move or is there some happy medium that could be reached? Any suggestions?

As soon as he starts up his bike the rumble is felt in my house and we all dread it because we know he is going to either ride by once or ride by multiple times testing his bikes.

I should also note there is about 1/2 and acre between my property and my neighbor's if not more. He rides harleys.

thanks for the advice,
murph


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

I would move. These kind of things never get solved so everyone is happy. That said, the guy may not realize he is bothering you since the noise is during the day and you haven't said anything to him. In our town, there isn't much you can do about daytime noise. Only after 10:00 pm if the noise crosses your property line. Even then, you have the burden of proving the noise is happening and it's an all around headache.

The problem with selling is that you will have to disclose the noise issue in my state.

Gloria


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Aaaah yes. There is the rub. I speak to my neighbor, he becomes angry and does it more. I work with the police or selectman and then the problem is documented and I would have to disclose if I sell my home. And neither choice improves my problem.

He was outside my window this morning, 4th of July at 7:00 a.m. Feels like this problem is about to come to a head if my temper gets the best of me.

thanks for the advice,
murph


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Before you go to the trouble of putting your house on the market, shopping for a new house, packing up everything, why not try to remedy the situation first? Your town surely has some kind of noise ordinance? Drop by the town hall, ask for a copy of ordinances, and then approach the town code enforcer. If no one has never voiced their discontent, then biker neighbor figures everone's OK with it.

Google "motorcycle noise". Here's a blip from a Univ of Fla study: "In an informal survey of 33 motorcycles, UF audiologists at the College of Public Health and Health Professions have found nearly half produced sounds above 100 decibels when throttled up -- equivalent in intensity to a loud rock concert or a chainsaw."

No way would any town permit the noise level of a rock concert day in and day out or a chainsaw running non-stop, right?

Even the even the American Motorcyclists Assn takes a strong stance on it. They've had so much trouble with bikes getting banned by some municipalities, they are trying to get the likes of your neighbor to stop ruining it for everyone. So even bikers themselves don't appreciate the backlash your noisy neighbor brings to them.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

You could buy yourself a high reving Japanese sports bike and have the dealer add performance mufflers and head pipes. Harley guys hate those things and their sounds.

Or you might add acrylic or some otherwise plastic storm windows which will kill some of the sound and save you some heat/cool bucks. Heck I added heat control window film on a wall with too many windows and it has suprised me how bery quiet outside things are now.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

murphy,

There again is the prejudice that comes with inaction. You say that your neighborhood is not one to complain yet say you yourself are a natural complainer. You even say that you are afraid to mention there is a problem. Think about this...you are building to a boil and yet this neighbor who you have deemed the enemy doesn't even know you have a problem!

My town has 3 bars which I guess are biker bars. I noticed the bikes are everywhere. And better yet my town cops are friends with the bikers themselves.
Ok, this tells me the man and his bike are within your state noise level codes. Otherwise the cops would be arresting him- not having a beer with him.
Truthfully, is it really your neighbor that you are having problems with? Or is there something else in your life that might be causing stress and the bike noise the candle on the cake. You say you've lived there for 5 years, what has changed?
If he has suddenly decided to build his bike to make it louder you have EVER right to go speak with him. This man was a gov't worker not a Hell's Angel. If no one else is having problems with the noise but you, then give him the chance to make things right before you blow a gasket.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

I knew if I owned up to being a complainer that I would have the finger pointed at me. And actually he is a complainer too and if this were being done to him he would let the neighbor know about it. If I took to riding a harley in front of his doorstep making a boat load of noise and vibration he would be at my door immediately. I like that because I say I am a complainer you incorrectly assume I am creating the problem.

You have all given me quite a bit to think about. I am unsure what to do. As soon as I say something to my neighbor the problem escalates and probably won't get any better. He's not going to ride less or change his hobby for me. If I move I get a whole new set of neighbors with different problems. Or maybe they might find me a problem.

Going to the cops or town will do nothing. My town is filled with lazy employees who are hardened in their ways and will definitely not take any stance on a noise infraction. I will be seen as a whiner and my neighbor will just be angry.

It's a loose loose for me the way I see it. I mind my own business and I get to listen to loud motorcycles. But hey loud pipes save lives so I guess I should just stuff it.

sorry to sound bitter but this stinks.
murph


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Before you second-guess yourself too much, (and don't overthink it) just ask him nicely, for ford's sake, if he could keep the noise down a bit or not start so early or whatever...

It may well be he's a little deaf or something or doesn't think. If this ticks him off (ask VERY nicely) then you still have the option to move. I don't understand this disclosure thingy if you sell, if complaining to the police means you have to disclose it, maybe then don't.

In places where I've lived, you complain to the council about noise also, or instead of the police, also, if he's fixing engines as a business, then that's probably not allowed by the zoning - and there may be limits as to how many you can own or fix....

Any place with an HOA with rules, like a gated community or whatever, may have a covenant on it, in fact I just live in a regular street but the developers when they did the street put a covenant on regarding RVs being parked in view and stuff like that...so you never know.

But, as said, going that route may not be the best for you. Either move, learn to live with it or ask him nicely to stop. I'd start in reverse order :)


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

First off, I am wondering why you would have moved to a town that has the appearance of being a biker town? 3 biker bars, bikes everywhere, would tell me I better like bikes if I am going to move there.

That said, I can not possibly see where it would hurt to ask this man politely. He might not realize it bothers you and as I said earlier, if you moved to a predominant biker town, he probably can't imagine that it would bother you. Maybe it's possible he can somehow baffle the noise while he is testing them on the street.

If he doesn't want to try and be a considerate neighbor then move. He has the right to exist there as much as you do and in reality it doesn't seem like he is doing anything wrong.

I can't imagine any place that you would have to disclose such a "problem" when you sell. The man is doing nothing wrong and noise is going to be a subjective issue - what is there to disclose?


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Murph, hey, I really hate the noise of motorcycles too. I put my fingers in my ears just to have a string of them pass my on the street (but love lookin' at the guys!).

I cherish the quiet in my little town and sleep well because of it. However I did not move to a town with ANY bars, let alone biker bars. I also did not buy a house near the airport, near a 'music' amphitheater, near a school, highway, nor God forbid a racetrack!

I can hear you're upset - and I would be too - in fact it won't be long and this will start to affect your health.

Look at it this way; your neighbor lives in paradise. Maybe 50-75% of the people in that town consider it paradise. You are the odd-man-out. Where does this leave you? Sell it to One Of Them and get yourself gone.

Think about what Murph likes and seek an environment that surrounds you with paradise whatever your proclivities. Some people yearn for the pulse of big city life, hey I have a marvelous time when I day-trip to Seattle, but I wouldn't want to live there. Some folks are drawn to the sea, some to the mountains, some of us feel at home in the desert. My area has the Pacific Ocean, vast virgin forests, and mountains all within less than an hour.

You didn't say if you'd hate to leave your house, did you become attached to it? I still have a tiny bit of grief for one house I had to leave on life's trip, and nostalgia for all of them but every move has brought good things that I did not - could not - foresee. There is a house somewhere that contains within it's four walls Murph's happiness, if you don't go and find it you will always wonder what might have been.

Kats gave you some good (and kind) advice, don't shoot the messenger. Don't let this problem (WHICH I SYMPATHIZE WITH) decide what kind of person you are. I don't wanna read about you in the paper!

I'm advising you to put the house up for sale, and I am advising you to keep your lip buttoned around town. Come here and unload on US. Leave in a blaze of glory not a trail of tears!
GH-


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Hi Gang,

Thanks again for all of the responses.

Yes, I should have noticed the biker bars. I usually notice every single thing. I truly didn't notice the mob of bikes in the parking lot but I also didn't think to drive by them at 6 p.m. on a Friday.

Anyway, I would like to move the trouble is I live in Massachusetts and nothing is selling right now.

I really do think my neighbor is running a business because he rides by with different bikes all the time. And the UPS truck is there 4-5 times a week. So when I go to talk to him he is going to be reeeeally upset because I am affecting his "business."

I was hoping if I waited my neighbors might say something. Nobody ever does.

The problem is the same not worse. I do plan on speaking to him I have just been procrastinating. I truly don't think he is going to make his bikes more quite when the point of his "business" is to make them load.

thanks for listening and sorry I haven't spoken to my neighbor yet.

-Terri

PS
My local police station has a bike mounted on a trailer outside the station as an ad or fundraiser or something. So I don't think helping me with motorcyle noise is going to be their cup of tea so to speak.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Yes, I should have noticed the biker bars
I would like to move the trouble is...
I really do think my neighbor is running a business
when I go to talk to him he is going to be reeeeally upset because I am affecting his "business."
I do plan on speaking to him I have just been procrastinating.
The problem is the same not worse
I don't think helping me with motorcyle noise is going to be their cup of tea so to speak.

Murphy,
I really do sympathize with you, but please listen to yourself! Fear, prejudice, inaction and assumptions....it's not good for a person to live like that.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

And better yet my town cops are friends with the bikers themselves...
If I move I get a whole new set of neighbors with different problems...
Going to the cops or town will do nothing. My town is filled with lazy employees who are hardened in their ways ...
I would like to move the trouble is I live in Massachusetts and nothing is selling right now...
My local police station has a bike mounted on a trailer outside the station ... So I don't think helping me with motorcyle noise is going to be their cup of tea...

You also seem to take on the role of the victim and the whole world in in cahoots with the bad guy. Laws and rules are there so that people can live amicably side by side. Your local authorities are NOT going to coddle someone just because they like bikes.

I truly don't think he is going to make his bikes more quite when the point of his "business" is to make them loud.

His 'business' is to fix bikes, if anything, not to make them loud.
If he's half an acre away and living in a town of Harley fans, he probably doesn't know you're losing so much sleep over this. Talk to the guy already! Maybe he can work out some different hours for his testing.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

If you really like your neighborhood other than the bikes, buy some good windows. You would be amazed how much difference they can make. You dont have to ask him to stop working on his bikes or riding his bikes but just to wait till he is passed your house to get on it(REV)


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Hi Murph81
"I was hoping if I waited my neighbors might say something. Nobody ever does."

Try asking your neighbors if they are bothered by the noise? It is possible they have not said anything because they aren't confrontational either. I've lived on the same cul-de-sac all my life. (Hubby and I bought my parent's house) There is usually someone in the neighborhood who has the chutzpa and/or knows the neighbor better and will speak for the group. I'm usually the elected party on my court because all of these people know me very well and don't see me as threatening. So if I mention something about bad neighborly behavior its usually seen as just being good neighbor. They know me as the one who warns them of dangers to their home such as a gable vent is broken and that I've seen bees going in the attic. So when I have to mention a nieghborly faux pas it is seen more as an act of courtesy than a gripe session.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

There is strength in numbers. You say you live in a cul de sac, well are the other neighbors bothered by this noise? Talk to them. They may be as upset about it as you are. Call a meeting of your neighbors, ask them what they think the solution to the problem is. As for this man having a 'business' in his home, research the in home business regulations for your town. It may be illegal, which gives you at least one leg to stand on, in regards to solving the issue. As for your neighbors, really, go ask. It sure can't hurt, and may be really helpful. Good luck. I have a similar situation, only with two big diesel trucks. And an in-home business, that may be illegal. If you are not the only one to be upset by the noise, you may be able to "elect" one of the neighbors to speak to the noisemaker. In that way, the job gets done, and it isn't you who has to do the talking. Research and strength in numbers may be a way to resolve it.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

I find it interesting that your username ends with 81. Care to elaborate? LOL


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

I bought a newly built home in a small mountain town, surrounded by beautiful pine trees...it was supposed to be my retirement home. A month after moving in the neighbor began his repairing small engines. He brought everything and anything that was junk to his house and the "reving" drove me nuts. I couldn't enjoy gardening outside, not to mention the smell of burning gas/oil. He wasn't worth talking to, the type of person that doesn't get it regardless of the conversation.

I silently went to the city and filled out a report on noise, use of air tool equipment, etc ....acted stupid, "are we allowed to have businesses in garages?". Already knew the answer was no. They shut him down in a day.

Although the noise went away he was still doing something in his garage and had a stove that was being used to burn rubber, plastic, anything else including his trash and it would engulf my "new" home. Calling the fire department didn't work, he had a scanner and knew when they were on their way, by the time anyone showed up the smoke was shut down. Plus police/fire cannot go into a building without a warrant.

The problem with this neighbor really never went away, he started another business cutting down trees which were brought back and laying all over. Used a huge power log cutter which went on for hours on end. I did decide to move, there were other reasons for doing so which I reasoned with to make the move something I should do.

Persuing problems is a big issue if you want to sell. I could have continued documenting, calling, monitoring by the EPA, etc. But selling the house would have been a major problem if something showed up or illegal going on.

Moving was the best thing I did, am in a quiet, wonderfully kept neighborhood. I hated letting the guy win, but life hands us plans which we don't understand at the time. I'm glad I made the final decision.

"


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

having the same problem with neighbors that are renting. They've ruined my life. This was such a nice neighborhood until they showed up. I say sue the scum for disturbing the peace. If this keeps up i'll be contacting a lawyer. I'm not blowing 15K on realtor fees to sell my house because of these total scum. I'll sue them first.


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RE: Motorcycle noise please HELP

Emagineer's story reminded me of the 'small mountain town' I lived in back in the 90's. Pines, peace and quiet, etc. Got a letter from the county; the new neighbor across the street wanted to start up a new business, testing sirens. OMG. I wrote back and told them in no uncertain terms what I thought of that idea, and, thank goodness, they didn't approve his application. I can't believe someone would be dumb enough to think his neighbors would go along with that.


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