Maine Legislator Heats Up Motorcycle Noise Debate

Many motorcyclists in Maine may be still hibernating with temperatures dipping below freezing at night and  a chance of snow forecast for later in the week but that isn't stopping Rep. Diane Russel from pushing her anti-motorcycle agenda in the State Senate.

Russell who admits her noise legislation is personal says motorcyclists who ride with modified exhaust are "stupid."   She has introduced two bills aimed at increasing the fine for non-EPA approved exhaust to $999 for a third offense.

Russell told the media, "If they want to drive a motorcyle and make a lot of noise and if they get zinged for it and have to pay $500 bucks, that's their problem and I don't feel sorry for them--if they're that stupid then they deserve to pay $500 bucks," he said. "But why should the rest of Maine suffer because some cowboy wants to put a great big thing and drive like anything?"

Motorcycle rights group oppose the bill on several grounds, one of which is that the fines exceed those of "life threatening injuries."

Eric Fuller of Jay, who chairs the Maine Motorcyclists Political Action Committee said, "While it may be nice to target certain actions or people we dislike, the judicial systems of this nation have held a system of equality for this country."

Senator Russel says that a group of motorcycle riders momentarily disrupted a party at her house and that is what gave her the incentive to try to punish those with loud pipes.

"The reason I got involved with this: I was having a family get together at my house and I had grandchildren there and great grandchildren there. Four motorcycles came by--boom, boom, boom," he told lawmakers. "All of us except one grabbed their ears. That's common sense and common knowledge--except the six-month-old in the stroller. For some reason he wasn't smart enough to do that. I'm asking you people here to protect us citizens of the state of Maine."


Web Staff


  1. Do all of you motorcycle riding noise polluters have any consideration? I live in a rural area where there is constant motorcycle and truck traffic. It's unnerving and completely unnecessary when they go roaring by. You made the choice to drive a motorcycle so you assume the risk that goes along with. Why should my right to peace and quiet suffer for your desire for thrills? Go bungee jumping or sky diving instead, much quieter.

  2. “All of us except one grabbed their ears. That’s common sense and common knowledge–except the six-month-old in the stroller. For some reason he wasn’t smart enough to do that. I’m asking you people here to protect us citizens of the state of Maine.”

    Apparently she wasn't smart enough either. Instead of getting a real job she became a mindless politician with nothing better to do than introduce worthless legislation.

  3. so your loud pipes help you be seen. Didn't work for my cousins son, twice in the last year his LOUD Harley has had to have a new frame. Once because he hit a deer, deer must not have heard the LOUD pipes and the other time was an elderly gentleman made a left turn in front of him. LOUD pipes didn't help that time either. So why does he need LOUD pipes other than to annoy people and say LOOK AT ME I'M A DORK

  4. Thank you Josh and Eric for watching out for us! As soon as Dianne Russel's seat comes up for election you know our support will be with anyone but her!

  5. if you want to be heard oin these issues support the people working hard to protect motorcycle rights !!!get involved go to augusta offer these men an women help with the decision making an getting the proper info out there to the public ..by the way i also ride and my bike sounds

  6. Part 3
    The party in question was part of testimony of a citizen who was at the hearing to voice his concern about the excessive noise in his neighborhood.
    Representative Russell is on a crusade to quiet down the motorcycles of the state but it did not start with a party interrupted by loud bikes. She lives in the southern part of the state where the population density is the greatest and the traffic volume is very high. There is also a group of citizens under the title of 'Maine Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles' that has her ear when it comes to legislation aimed at loud motorcycles.
    Please do a little better job of presenting a story like this. It is bad enough that the motorcyclist groups have to deal with debunking the articles of the main stream media. It is unbelievable that we have motorcycle publications that are so lazy they get a story like this so wrong.
    Joshua Herndon
    Maine state representative for
    Motorcycle Riders Foundation

  7. Part 2
    Mr. Fuller did indeed make the statement attributed to him in the article. Why was not other testimony against the bill such as the documented difficulty finding the EPA label on STOCK motorcycles on a showroom floor? Or the state police testimony against the bill that asserts the infeasibility of the labels as a law enforcement tool?
    The party that was disrupted was not at Russell’s house nor was she present at that party.

  8. Part 1
    Who is responsible for this article? The staff of U S Rider News? Whoever is responsible needs to do a better job than this totally inacurate attribution. This is purely lazy journalism. Every quote in the article is attributed to Representative Russell. WRONG! Rep. Russell would not be pushing this bill in the Senate but the House of Representatives for starters. Actually the bill was presented in the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation, which is represented by both houses of the legislature. Russell does admit that this is personal BUT, the comment about being stupid and zinged &500.00 for being a cowboy was NOT made by Russell. The comment was a rant by Representative Mazurek, a committee member, when he became frustrated during the public hear on the bill.
    Motorcycle Rights GROUPS do indeed oppose this bill for SEVERAL reasons. Why was only one reason given?

  9. Poor baby, your party got ruined. What about people driving by my house daily blasting their music so loud my windows shake? How about the 3 incidents where my boyfriend and I have been on our bike and have been almost hit from stupid drivers texting or too busy on their phones. People don't pay attention like they should and don't see us. How about next time it happens and I guarentee it will, we give them a ticket or better yet have them arrested for almost killing us. We need the pipes to be heard because people like you miss politician are are too stupid and so high on your horse to pay attention.

  10. If they are going to try and punish those motorcycles with loud pipes than they should do the same to cars and trucks.

  11. This is a prime example of an overprivleged egomaniac politician thinking that the world should revolve around herself. I ride a big, loud, american made victory motorcycle, and my big, loud pipes in my experience are very effective at attracting attention. THIS IS A GOOD THING. The more people that see and hear me coming, the less likely they are to pull out in front of me ( the #1 killer of motorcyclists, {there have been 3 fatalitys in my town of Nacogdoches, TX in the past 60 days due to drivers not paying attention and pulling out in front of an oncoming bike.})
    Rep. Russel, climb down from your ivory lighthouse and take your local MSF course. Inform yourself on the issues of motorcyclists, and the hazards caused by every single driver on the road, then consider introducing the foolish and deadly legislation you are pushing for. That, or continue in your blissful ignorance and remain comfortable pushing for laws that can cause the deaths of those who would not normally vote for you, a political strategy popularized by despotic dictators.

  12. OK do you know why there are loud pipes? No? Because People like you aren't looking for us. Why do I say that? Because of your lousy attitude. O so your party got disrupted..what about the lives disrupted because people like you don't bother to look for us and seriously injure or kill us?
    And you wonder why we have loud pipes?
    You want to do something constructive? First off the people you call stupid are your constituents and YOU and as well as every other person in government are OUR employees. We are not your serfs. So I would have a change of attitude.
    Second, why don't you guys put the penalties where it matters…like harsh penalties for killing a biker? Or expanded drivers ed so people will be aware of us , instead of this biased, hateful , discriminatory load of crap you spewed…

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