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RSPENNACHIO
02-12-2010, 08:47 PM
Last year I updated my cycle by replacing the pancake horn with the dual horn stlye from 2005. I think the dual is louder or at least it does a better job of getting attention.

Lots of people here have done this. Lots of others use the Stebel or another loud brand. I see merits for both (but not the pancake, it sucks)


The question is this: If use my horn to warn or notify stupid cage'r, are they going to get overly pissed and retaliate because my loud horn scared the crap out of them? (No, most won't but some might)

The reason why I say this is because last year "loud pipes larry" rode even with my rolled down window in traffic and then decided to roll on the thunder.:bluduh I know he thought it was funny because he did it to another car a mile later. I wanted to run him down for being an a$$ with those pipes! I know there is almost no comparison between pipes that scream non-stop and a rarely used loud horn but think about it...

Can a loud horn be too loud?

BUBBAZANETTI
02-12-2010, 08:59 PM
one second burst vs every second the bike's engine is running. maybe your fog horn will annoy some but better to have an annoyed cager you can get away from than one who hits you. if you sit in front of my appt holding the horn down cause the city bus didn't jump off the stop line like a drag car when the light changed, then we'll have words.:laugh

henzilla
02-12-2010, 09:22 PM
I'd rather take a chance that I have a horn most CAN hear,than worry about the few who will be pissed...if they were paying attention in the first place,I wouldn't have had to honk...that's after I evaded the honking situation first . Brake-swerve if needed-analyze-honk if needed. At least I try that!:laugh

I could save myself the high blood pressure and ask myself is a honk even warranted...sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's an honest mistake by the driver,sometimes I caused it by being where I shouldn't have been:bolt

then there's just the bonehead that needs a wake up HONK! :stick

MAYLETT
02-12-2010, 09:52 PM
Loud horns are devices to be used in rare instances by those who are concerned about safety.

Loud pipes are obnoxious, always-on noise-making devices used by those who mistake the ridicule, rolled eyes and avoidance of others for respect.

I think the two things have very little in common.

widebmw
02-12-2010, 10:11 PM
Got me thinken, 2 stage horn.
1st stage, push the button lightly - beep. (hi buddy)
2nd stage, push the button hard - BLAST (hay i'm riding here)

r11rs94
02-12-2010, 10:44 PM
Are loud horns like loud pipes ?

:ear NO :lol

35634
02-12-2010, 11:06 PM
Got me thinken, 2 stage horn.
1st stage, push the button lightly - beep. (hi buddy)
2nd stage, push the button hard - BLAST (hay i'm riding here)


My '68 Citroen DS had a 2 stage horn, they called it city and country. That car had lots of features that were way ahead of it's time.

motorradmike
02-12-2010, 11:35 PM
Got me thinken, 2 stage horn.
1st stage, push the button lightly - beep. (hi buddy)
2nd stage, push the button hard - BLAST (hay i'm riding here)

It would be pretty cool if you could have a delay. Press quick to beep or hold the button down longer to bring on the Stebel.

I wonder how one might go about doing that?

beemermyke
02-13-2010, 12:06 AM
It would be pretty cool if you could have a delay. Press quick to beep or hold the button down longer to bring on the Stebel.

I wonder how one might go about doing that?

The February issue of BMW ON (page 52) has a good article on that. The author built in a delay that uses the original horn, then a Stebel. Looks like a pretty good setup.

35634
02-13-2010, 12:07 AM
It would be pretty cool if you could have a delay. Press quick to beep or hold the button down longer to bring on the Stebel.


If you really needed the loud horn, a delay would be counterproductive, wouldn't it?

Paul_F
02-13-2010, 12:28 AM
My '68 Citroen DS had a 2 stage horn, they called it city and country. That car had lots of features that were way ahead of it's time.

I was only thinking about this just a few days ago. With my K, I seldom use my horns because they are so loud. However, with the R, the horn is an inoffensive beep, so I frequently use the R beep horn as I am passing vehicles to let them know what I am doing. I wouldn't do this with the K's horns as it would really startle drivers. I like the idea of your '68 Citroen's 2 stage horn. Makes sense to me.

I'll have to read the horn article in the February ON issue. :ca

ted
02-13-2010, 12:31 AM
If you ride around my neighborhood every night at 3am with your horn blowing non-stop, then yes it is.

grafikfeat
02-13-2010, 12:39 AM
There are so many angles to this issue.

One, the horn isn't used the entire ride.
Pipes are.
Horns direct sound forward where it's needed.
Pipes don't.

A loud horn could startle a driver and they could react adversely.

Throttle and or brakes work for me.

Noise is just that.
Noise.

Anyname
02-13-2010, 12:46 AM
Loud pipes piss off everyone that has to hear them to indulge the owner's vanity.

Loud horns keep a few knuckleheads from running you over. It's worth noting that motorists almost never actually want to squash a motorcycle and, after they get over being startled by the horn, they are likely relieved that they don't have to watch you bleeding next to the road.

grafikfeat
02-13-2010, 12:49 AM
...they don't have to watch you bleeding next to the road.

As they drive off oblivious to the accident they just caused while on the cellphone and eating lunch and steering w/ their knees...

But that's a different thread. :type

Bud
02-13-2010, 12:52 AM
:ear NO :lol

:thumb

Though I thought your answer was too subtle.

motorradmike
02-13-2010, 01:26 AM
If you really needed the loud horn, a delay would be counterproductive, wouldn't it?

Good point. There's a trade-off.
The delay can be as short as you want it. If you never want the horn to be "polite" then you don't need a delay.

I think there are times you need to HONK and times you need to 'beep'.

Also, in general, I think as a motorcyclist, you really need to be far enough ahead of the situation to fix the problem yourself, without needing the horn to pull in other drivers to help. But it's nice to know, you can be HEARD if need be.

12907
02-13-2010, 02:58 AM
Years ago, the Great Police State of New Jersey failed my car for its yearly inspection. The reason why.......horn was too loud. Was a '68 TR250 with the wimpiest horn you ever heard. Replaced it with a run-of-the -mill air horn & when I went for inspection was told it was too loud, "FAIL". I left, went around the corner, hooked up the wimpy horn, returned for inspection and was told "thats better", "PASS"! Of course when I left I hooked up the air horn again. So in the Great Police State of New Jersey's eye your loud horns are like loud pipes.

Nocanpickem
02-13-2010, 03:39 PM
Drivers in cages fail to hear or see Ambulances, Fire Trucks and Police squad cars with lights and siren on.

What makes people think they will hear a horn on a bike or car.

There is a dropler effect for sound that tends to make sound more effective behind the moving rider. That doesn't help much in traffic situation.

Horns are good for greating buddies, keeping people in parking lots from backing over or walking into your bike. Not much else.

35634
02-13-2010, 04:44 PM
Horns are good for greating buddies, keeping people in parking lots from backing over or walking into your bike. Not much else.

Don't forget waking up the driver in front of you when the light turns green. Or scaring the bejesus out of the kids in the garage. That's about it.

83014
02-13-2010, 05:52 PM
Drivers in cages fail to hear or see Ambulances, Fire Trucks and Police squad cars with lights and siren on.

What makes people think they will hear a horn on a bike or car.

There is a dropler effect for sound that tends to make sound more effective behind the moving rider. That doesn't help much in traffic situation.

Horns are good for greating buddies, keeping people in parking lots from backing over or walking into your bike. Not much else.

The doppler effect is a good argument for loud pipes as the sound is directional, and in the loud pipes case, is directed rearward. Horns, on the other hand are designed to aim the sound forward where its effect is needed. I want to keep a quieter horn for those "excuse me" beeps but I am adding a loud horn for those "Holy *#%@!, watch where you're going" blasts.

themayer
02-14-2010, 05:39 AM
Most of my riding in the city. I most often use my horn when seeing drivers on cross streets, or entering from the side, who are moving, but not looking in my direction. When I honk, want them to believe they are being run down by a Mack truck.

haughty
02-14-2010, 05:56 AM
I want the train horns and fit them up to look like missles...
Problem is AIr and a compressor

JoeDabbs
02-14-2010, 01:54 PM
The "beep" of the stock horn is perfectly adequate for cutting through road noise. The other horns may be loud, but when sounded, a cager looks for a car, not a bike. I want them to look out for something they are not used to. Stock horns sound wimpy, but do their job. My neighbor's Harley has one of those air horns. When he honks it, it sounds like a diesel rig a 'way off in the distance somewhere.

testinglogin
02-14-2010, 02:29 PM
I've found the "pancake" horn on my GSPD is adequate for MOST situations, but I'm still considering going with something a little louder, though not an air horn. The dual horns on my R80/7 are perfect. I only use the horn when people are changing lanes into me or sit at a green light for longer than a few seconds, and it seems good for that 95% of the time. Other than that, I've gotten away from honking at people for being general morons since it seems many take it as a challenge to a duel and try to run the other guy off the road or follow them to wherever they are going so they can try to prove something.

Anyhow, loud horn = good. Air horn? Maybe a bit of overkill, but still far better than loud pipes. My biggest concern with an air horn would be the higher likelyhood of something failing at a time I really need it, since it's a lot more complex with it's tiny compressor.

statdawg
02-14-2010, 03:46 PM
I am trying to remember if I ever used my horn.

Anyname
02-15-2010, 01:36 AM
I want the train horns and fit them up to look like missles...
Problem is AIr and a compressor

Funny, I was just thinking that missiles disguised as horns would be handy.

BCKRider
02-15-2010, 07:15 AM
I am trying to remember if I ever used my horn.

Me too, at least on my current bike which I've had for one full riding season. Can't remember ever intentionally using the very loud horn on my previous K75 either. On the few occasions I might have wanted to, my brain and hands were too busy getting me out of the way to find and activate that awkward horn button.

But I tested the horn regularly. Drill: pull into a campground, make a slow left turn, and the tankbag would unfailingly contact the button. And hold it down.

All heads would turn and I could see the mouths moving. I presume they were saying "Oh good, Doug is here!" but can't say for sure as I haven't yet mastered lip reading.

professor
02-15-2010, 10:22 AM
I like a loud horn, but it must be used with good judgement. My '07 RT had an anemic single-tone horn so I installed a Stebel air horn. My '03 LT has a nice strong dual-tone horn that needs no enhancement.

I was approaching an intersection on my RT when an older gentleman - I'm 65 and he was significantly older than me - made a left turn into my path or travel. Firm application of my brakes gave him time to complete the turn. However at the same time I hit the brakes, I hit the horn button - not so much to warn him of my presence because it was too late for that. I activated and sustained the Stebel's scream to show him my displeasure. He did what I should have anticipated. He froze like a deer in the headlights. He came to a total stop with his car sideways across my path blocking two lanes. Due to BMW's amazing suspension and braking system, I was still able to stop in time and as there were no cars coming behind me, I waved him on through the intersection.

I actually felt sorry for him on at least two counts: My horn had truly frightened him and his wife was yelling at him at decibels that my Stebel could only dream of.

Two lessons were learned: Hopefully he learned to watch for motorcycles and I learned to use my horn with discretion. :blush

I must admit to using my horn as retribution one time previously. I was in a left turn lane waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. There was a woman waiting at the stop sign on my right. When the traffic cleared, I began my turn, but saw she was coming across the intersection to make a left turn of her own as if I wasn't there. In fact, as far as she was concerned, I wasn't there. She was very busy chatting with (and looking at) her passenger. I honestly believe that if I had pulled in front of her, she still would not have seen me. She would have run over me and wondered what that big bump was.

As her open, driver's-side window passed literally two feet in front of me, I activated the Stebel's compressor. She almost jumped out of her car and if there is justice in the world, she lost control of her bladder.

I'll never do it again, but I must admit that I'm finding it difficult to feel guilty about that one.

greenwald
02-15-2010, 02:29 PM
Loud horns are devices to be used in rare instances by those who are concerned about safety.

Loud pipes are obnoxious, always-on noise-making devices used by those who mistake the ridicule, rolled eyes and avoidance of others for respect.

I think the two things have very little in common.

Couldn't have said it better. Apples and oranges.

Other than when idling at a traffic signal, loud pipes are a constant annoyance.

A loud horn is used more judiciously, and has saved me more than once from someone who was changing lanes without looking to see that I was already there.

When it comes to horn usage, there is no such thing as too loud...only too late.

Paul_F
02-15-2010, 02:43 PM
[QUOTE=Statdawg;549766]On the few occasions I might have wanted to, my brain and hands were too busy getting me out of the way to find and activate that awkward horn button. I bet many of us have been in that situation. :thumb :ca

amiles
02-15-2010, 05:39 PM
I have a Stebel and have used it from time to time to enhance my safety.

While many dangerous situations come out of the blue and grabbing a handful of brakes may be the only response, Some can be anticipated and treated with a sort of continuum. In many cases this can be as simple as letting off the throttle to let an illegally crossing vehicle in front of you to clear. Most of us probably do this on a regular basis. I like to use the horn in this type of situation so as to try to alert the unaware so that they will look and realized that they almost caused an accident.

If you want to salute your neighbors politely a very momentary touch on the button will release a reasonably inoffensive toot.

I also attached a manual bicycle bell to the handlebars & I find it works very well to alert bicyclists and pedestrians when operating in the 25 mph or less zones. It seems to get through to people without angering or scaring them. In fact it seems to get me many smiles & waves.

most likely the bell is illegal being I believe reserved to bicycles and emergency vehicles in the past.

MAYLETT
02-15-2010, 07:00 PM
As her open, driver's-side window passed literally two feet in front of me, I activated the Stebel's compressor. She almost jumped out of her car and if there is justice in the world, she lost control of her bladder.

Now that's just plain sadistic, but still awfully funny. :laugh

bubbagazoo
02-15-2010, 08:31 PM
I have used my horn a few times in the past 4 years to get the attention of the cager who was changing lanes into me. The funniest was the lady who was in the process of passing me and decided to pull over when I was even with the rear door of her mini-van. The stunned "where did you come from look" was quite amusing considering she came up from behind me.

Besides the horn, I use my high beams as a warning to potential "make the left turn in front of me" cagers. A quick flick of the high beams does a pretty good job of making them look at me rather than what ever else might be on the road with me.

haughty
02-15-2010, 10:58 PM
flicking the high beams here in Texas can be construed as "its OK to go here!"

I have had numerous cagers decide that is what is meant as well. Its a good- I AM HERE DANGIT.. but for some reason once it hits their cerebrum - the meaning has changed.. most likely in the same venue as having 10 people - say it to one as a whisper- by the time it gets back to you- the words are all messed up totally...:lurk

r11rs94
02-15-2010, 11:17 PM
flicking the high beams here in Texas can be construed as "its OK to go here!"

I have had numerous cagers decide that is what is meant as well. Its a good- I AM HERE DANGIT.. but for some reason once it hits their cerebrum - the meaning has changed.. most likely in the same venue as having 10 people - say it to one as a whisper- by the time it gets back to you- the words are all messed up totally...:lurk

Same here in little Rhody. That is why I would never use a modulating headlight, but thats another thread... :stick

Trickster
02-15-2010, 11:29 PM
When it comes to horn usage, there is no such thing as too loud...only too late.

Today I completed the "Stebel" install. I like it, very European sounding and
loud enough to be "heard".:ear

When I was a young driver with my new to me 1970 VW Beetle, I installed a air horn so I would be heard and not crushed by Kenworths and Macks...it worked
so if this saves my bacon just once, I figure it worth the $35.00.:thumb

Go :ca Go .......... Vancouver 2010

90288
02-15-2010, 11:44 PM
No. Loud horns are not like loud horns.

Loud pipes are on all the time and annoy everyone.

Loud pipes are simply used as an attention getting device by people who need the general public to pay attention to them all the time.

You'll also find that people who say "Loud pipes save lives" rarely wear helmets.

dadayama
02-16-2010, 03:48 AM
So where is the best place to buy a Stebel horn? Will it mess with the canabus electrical system...? Are they hard to install?

Thanks
Peter in OKC

amiles
02-16-2010, 04:46 AM
Flashing the high beam as a sort of "light horn" is too ambiguous to be trusted to convey your intentions to other drivers.

BUDDINGGEEZER
02-16-2010, 04:19 PM
flicking the high beams here in Texas can be construed as "its OK to go here!"

I have had numerous cagers decide that is what is meant as well. Its a good- I AM HERE DANGIT.. but for some reason once it hits their cerebrum - the meaning has changed.. most likely in the same venue as having 10 people - say it to one as a whisper- by the time it gets back to you- the words are all messed up totally...:lurk

Same thing in Arkansas. Flashing the bright lights means 3 things, 1. dim your lights,2. there's a cop down the road, 3. go ahead and pull out.

I weave the bike back and forth. A moving light will catch attention when a stationary light may not.

Sorry to get off topic.

Ralph Sims

bmwchromehead
02-16-2010, 04:36 PM
The best commentary on loud pipes ever...southpark episode the "F" word:
http://www.xepisodes.com/southpark/episodes/1312/The-F-Word.html

535IS
02-16-2010, 06:17 PM
My '68 Citroen DS had a 2 stage horn, they called it city and country. That car had lots of features that were way ahead of it's time.
My Dad's '67 Simca 1000 also had that (... until I flooded it in 1969 and we replaced it with the set out of a Pontiac Bonneville*). It wasn't progressive; it was just French. :huh

As for the horns on my RS, they're the stock FIAMMs that point down instead of forward; which is fine because they only reflect out of the fairing anyway. I can deafen myself with a blast from them. Still, I like their volume. So much so that I have an identical set installed behind the grille of my 535is. So, my bike and my car sound the same when angered.


* Hilarity ensued during this installation until we finally figured out that the horn body was intended to be completely insulated from the chassis. :scratch

RSPENNACHIO
02-18-2010, 01:18 AM
The best commentary on loud pipes ever...southpark episode the "F" word:
http://www.xepisodes.com/southpark/episodes/1312/The-F-Word.html

In 1993 a few of my buddies and I went to Dayton for spring break. I did not know that bike week was at this same time. Once I found out I thought "awsome, I love loud big twins!" After the second day I never wanted to see or hear one again! In fact I was totaly swayed away from bikes, squids and the brub brub brub types ruined me. Then years later BMW came into my life.

I still sort of like HD's but South Park really did say it best.

Trickster
02-18-2010, 02:21 AM
So where is the best place to buy a Stebel horn? Will it mess with the canabus electrical system...? Are they hard to install?

Thanks
Peter in OKC

Go to Wedge K bikes DIY thread here and Luis (aka SemperFi)
has posted a step by step procedure that even I could figure out.
Just did it this past weekend, with his guidance it was smooooth and
LOUD:evil

RSPENNACHIO
02-18-2010, 03:54 PM
with his guidance it was smooooth and
LOUD:evil


What?

E_Page
02-18-2010, 11:45 PM
Had to use my horn just last night on the way home. Sedan cage closely following a pickup on the highway, just tooling along for a mile or so with plenty of opportunity to go around either to the right or the left if the cager so chose.

Well, the sedan chose to go around just as I came up next to it. Could have gone either way, but decided to take the lane I was currently occupying. I don't know if the horn had any effect, but my throttle did. No loud pipes, just enough speed to get out of trouble.

Among the problems with loud pipes are that at highway speeds, due to doppler effect, one does not hear the bike until it's just about next to you, and then it's obnoxious. At lower speeds, it's just obnoxious for a longer period. And when I'm in my yard enjoying a nice spring day, their maddeningly (is that really a word?) obnoxious coming and going long enough to stop conversations for a minute or two.

Loud pipes have nothing to do with safety, it's all about "Hey, look at me! Ain't I a badass biker?"

Maybe it's because of the loud pipes that Harley (and faux harley) riders scowl the whole time their riding. Silly me, thinking that riding is supposed to be fun.

Trickster
02-19-2010, 12:11 AM
Unfortunately " less restrictive" usually means louder, and when wanting to improve exhaust flow for performance, the decibels increase. I do not doubt
that "some" HD riders are the "look at me type", as heard at any stoplight, when
revving the throttle for no apparent reason. But not all HD riders are this way, any more than a performance car/racing machine is with its noise, coming from its headers.:ear
I wish we could stop "painting" all HD riders as greaser wannabe Hell's Angels,:nono
because I have seen some pretty "hot" ladies on them, and they had no tattoos and all their teeth too.:nod

I tried the HD for a year, yup it was loud(stage 1 with V&H), fun bike the Nightster,
comfortable posture, fast, old school looks. 30 minutes on the highway tho and my right ear was going deaf, bugs in my teeth, lower back was the rear shock, no cruise, and zippo for storage. Different ride. Back to BMW;)

RIDERR1150GSADV
02-19-2010, 01:11 AM
Can a loud horn be too loud?

Not really. Loud pipes are for those who have small private issues....:laugh
A loud horn can save your life as it is an unexpected loud warning and not a constant annoyance that has in some municipalities changed local laws. In Florida there are ordinances for loud pipes in several cities, and they are enforced vigorously and rightfully so.
Where I live, there are a lot of motorcyclists who are against loud pipes as it makes certain 'bikers' look like a$$holes. It is a big issue and that discussion will rage on for quite some time...:deal

BCKRider
02-19-2010, 06:22 AM
Guess I just don't get it. Seems to me it is a NOISE issue, not a motorcycle or Harley issue. Cutting up your winter supply of wood with a chainsaw in the middle of a city should be equally illegal.

Clearly, there are many places where decibel level regulations are needed. No need though to single out motorcycles or Harleys which, I believe, come out of the factory as quiet as our BMWs and most cars.

motorradmike
02-19-2010, 11:56 AM
G
Clearly, there are many places where decibel level regulations are needed. No need though to single out motorcycles or Harleys which, I believe, come out of the factory as quiet as our BMWs and most cars.

A friend of mine bought a Harley and went back to the dealer the next day complaining it sounded like a Honda. The reply, "Don't worry it will fix itself".
Apparently, the baffles are there to pass regulations and are expected to rust away in short order.

greenwald
02-19-2010, 02:11 PM
Guess I just don't get it. Seems to me it is a NOISE issue, not a motorcycle or Harley issue. Cutting up your winter supply of wood with a chainsaw in the middle of a city should be equally illegal.

Clearly, there are many places where decibel level regulations are needed. No need though to single out motorcycles or Harleys which, I believe, come out of the factory as quiet as our BMWs and most cars.

Yeah .............. it's a NOISE issue, but on a motorcycle forum.

So discussing it within the parameters of recreational motorcycling seems logical.

Here in Sheboygan (WI), we do not have specific hours of aceptable noise or employ decibel meters. What we do is operate with the 'catch-all' Disorderly Conduct Ordinance.

During my years on the PD, mowing your lawn at 5 AM just wasn't going to happen, Charlie. But neither did I shut down someone chain sawing firewood at 8 PM.

With a specific exception written into the ordinance for the use of snowblowers at any time of the day or night, enforcement was based on reasonableness, i.e. are you significantly disturbing your neightbor?

Subjective law enforcement? You bet, but it has worked well for our community for the last four decades.

And you're right, BCKRIDER - Harleys coming off the assembly line (Milwaukee just 45 minutes south of me) are relatively quiet. I rode a brand new H-D RoadKing each year for seven years in a row as a Motor Officer.

Up and down my driveway at all hours of the day and night, and my neighbors never knew I had come and gone.

LOUD horns = NOISE = SAFETY is the equation we're trying to prove/disprove here.

While the use of a horn is never my first line of defensive driving, it is a tool in the toolbox that has its moments in traffic - the louder, the better! :thumb