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Vo Knows

The Death of Sound is Coming!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I know. I know. I myself wrote a column embracing technology a couple magazines ago. But I‘ve come to the realization not all technology is a good thing – at least the way I see it. In the current world we live in, new technology is (for the most part), great. But with government regulations strangling emissions and the world running out of crude oil, the future is starting to look bleak – very bleak. What am I rambling about here? Mainly the advent of electric vehicles – motorcycles and automobiles alike. In fact, in the automotive industry, it is the hot topic right now. Just about everyone still in business is developing hybrid gas/electric cars and trucks at a rapid rate and are designing for full-electric vehicles as you read this.
2010 Ducati Streetfighter
Could you imagine this new Ducati Streetfighter not making its trademark rumbling noise? Lame!

Yes, the world will be a better place and tree-huggers all over shall embrace in glee. But for us petrol-heads, it’s not looking good. While I hope I am not alive to see it (I’m sure I will be, though), some day motorcycles and cars may hum along with no more than a bit of road noise with a little chain whining and a slight buzz. Yeah, maybe they will fit sub-woofers in the vehicles to simulate sound for the driver/rider, but it just won’t be the same. In fact, Babus (well-known for high-performance Mercedes tuning) already has a prototype electric Tesla Roadster in the works with such a system.

But what will those around us hear? Will Kawasaki's ZX-6R give off that intoxicating scream of an echo when tapped out through a tunnel or a BMW M3 power off the line with a deep-throated rumble? No. And what about the driver's feel? So much for that trademarked Inline-Four vibration from your sportbike at triple-digit speeds or the rumbling of 450-horsepower V-8 out of your sports car - it's just not going to happen.

Let's face it, who doesn’t like the sound of a Ducati 1098 or Ferrari F430 passing by them, shifting through the gears at 100mph? If we don't figure something out soon, all we will hear is a bit of tire sequel and some driveline lash. Man, sounds awesome, right? You've got to be kidding.

Having just taken a drive to grab dinner in my BMW I was reminded of the bleak future we are currently aiming for. Who needs a radio when you have 4-liters and 450 hp singing to you from quad-exit rear exhausts Let’s hope they find some other musically-intoxicating way or propelling our speeds, because the electric one just isn’t doing it for me. On the other hand, maybe one day cars and motorcycle will hover or fly – at least that could be fun…
Post Tags: eletric cars, eletric motorcucle
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Comments
Bonkertoo -Willis April 1, 2009 06:51 PM
Maybe Willis you should try sailing or golf if you want to hear birds and wind. How does silence allow you to “push your limits”? Why do you even visit smoker/shaker website like MUSA anyways if you don't like’em? You’re like a vegetarian shopping at the butcher’s market.
Willis -Don't know what you've been missing March 30, 2009 09:58 AM
I live near San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Marin As such this is motorcycle country, some of the best on the continent. What I've learned so far is that on an electric you get to hear the wind, listen to the tires, birds, more. If you're pushing hard the relative silence of an electric allows you to push your limits far more than a smoker/shaker That and riding these gas toys has given me asthma. Electric for me, make it a gazillion HP please, but no more gas, ever. slacksci@gmail.com
Steve Atlas -RE: Delta425 - Atlas March 28, 2009 04:29 PM
Only the most ludicrous derogatory comments get deleted, thus yours was one. Like I said before, as much as you want it to be, this isn't about manhood or who's cooler. Read the title. It's about sound, and no doubt the sound of 450hp coming from a V8 BMW at 8000rpm is great, no matter who owns it. Unless you have something productive to say, take your childish jealousy else ware.
Delta425 -Atlas March 27, 2009 05:02 AM
Like I said before (my post was deleted): OOOHHH Atlas has a BMW! Must have to announce that to cover up his manhood shortfall. Anyways, once again I'm going to get in my ENZO and go to Waffle House for breakfast. Bet mine's faster than yours SteveO (and BIGGER!) (and more EXPENSIVE!).
Dingerjunkie -Prep for Silly Sounds March 27, 2009 02:21 AM
I know what you mean...I really miss the din of two-strokes (hence my handle). The noise will be taken away, followed by forcing of mandatory traction control, anti-lock/skid systems, auto-levelers to stop wheelies...and eventually speed/acceleration limiters. How boring will "sport bike" shootouts be when nothing vibrates, everything is silent, power is linear for all contestants, and systems are capped to specific performance rates? Some groups, like lobbyists for blind citizens, worry about pedestrian accidents and vehicle impact upticks when nobody hears a car coming at an intersection...ever. So...get ready...you'll hear stupid, non-comforting alert sounds or silly beeps made by our rides whenever we get close to anything...or all the time. Go from sounding like a good motor to sounding like an old Atari game...
Steve Atlas -RE: Ray Niccolls - Embrace the Future March 26, 2009 03:19 PM
You just don't understand my friend. None of this has to anything to do with being manly, insecure, or immature. It's about liking the noises well-tuned petrol engines produce. It’s about being a Motorsports enthusiast. Plain and simple.
Ray Niccolls -Embrace the Future March 26, 2009 11:53 AM
I actully could care less about the sound. I would love a silent bike so I could hear the nature around me. Get over the badboy, gotta make a big noise to be somebody insecurity. It's immature.
Tim B -Look at the bigger picture March 26, 2009 09:05 AM
You think the death of sound is bad...the death of FUN is coming. I'm dead serious. The goverment has already started and is regulating everything to death in order to make it "safer" (read BORING). Plus, with all the emission laws and land restrictions we soon won't have a place to ride bikes - on or off-road. And since when are BMWs not manly?
Steve Atlas -RE: Superlight - Sounds March 25, 2009 10:13 AM
Unfortunately, Superlight, you are correct. The masses will not agree with us. But, hopefully, the government will still allow those small-volume makers to cater to us and not restrict all of our fun. As for Danny, sounds like someone is a little jealous that they can't grab dinner in their BMW?
DannyZ -What? March 25, 2009 09:42 AM
The article was making sense until I got to this sentence. "Having just taken a drive to grab dinner in my BMW I was reminded of the bleak future we are currently aiming for." LOL..Grow up.
Superlight -Sounds March 25, 2009 06:54 AM
I'm with you, Steve, but I think we're outside the mainstream buyer sentiment here. You assume most people have an emotional relationship with their cars, but the sales of such appliances as Camrys, Corollas, Accents, et al, suggest most folks just want transportation, not excitement. I think small-volume makers will still cater to us enthusiasts as long as we spend our money on "toys", but the bulk of consumer goods will follow mainstream tastes, which does not bode well for us.
The Canadian Dan -Petrol & Electric March 25, 2009 05:01 AM
Maybe they could combine a petrol engine with the electric one, just for the sound of it????????????