Motorcycles like this one in an Edmonton dealership cannot be louder than 96 decibles once a new bylaw comes into effect.

Edmonton has passed a bylaw to muffle motorcycles, making it illegal to drive a bike that is louder than 96 decibels.

Council voted Wednesday to make it illegal for a motorcycle to be louder than 92 decibels while idling and 96 decibels while in motion.

Riders with noisier bikes face a fine of $250. The vote passed 11-1.

"I've had an awful lot of complaints from people that are being woken up at 2 or 3 a.m. with mufflers that are way beyond the standards of what the federal regulations say should there be on a bike," said Ben Henderson, councillor for Ward 4.

Edmonton police have already purchased eight sound meters, Edmonton Insp. Brian Lobay told CBC News earlier this month. Officers are expected to start enforcing the change in July on Whyte Avenue, Jasper Avenue and Groat Road, he said.


A revving motorcycle registered a noise level of 120 decibels in an informal test performed in March by CBC. ((CBC))

"The instrument is placed at a certain distance behind the exhaust and it gives you a digital readout on your decibel level. …You either pass or you fail," Lobay said on June 3.

Last summer, the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council tested 200 bikes across Canada when developing the bylaw. The national agency represents major motorcycle distributors across Canada.

Seventeen per cent failed the sound meter test and all of those motorbikes had modified stock pipes. Motorcycles with regular pipes passed.

Coun. Dave Theile tried to expand the bylaw to include noisy cars and trucks, calling the bylaw discriminatory.

But Theile's motion was defeated. Police told councillors they don't have the tools to monitor the sound coming from vehicles other than motorcycles.