Police demonstrated Thursday how they will test noisy motorcycles once a new bylaw amendment comes into effect.

Edmonton police will use a sound meter and a measuring tape to enforce a new bylaw amendment recently passed by city council to crack down on excessively noisy motorcycles.

The amendment, which comes into effect on July 1, means police can issue $250 fines to anyone with a motorcycle louder than 92 decibels while idling and 96 decibels while the engine is revving. 

Police will rely on their ears to decide who to pull over for testing, said Edmonton Police Sgt. Eric Theuser.

"We have already tested about 100 bikes, in excess of 100 bikes, and we're starting to fine-tune our ears to what has been failing, what has been passing," Theuser said.

On Thursday, police demonstrated how they plan to enforce the bylaw.


Edmonton police officers tested one of their own motorcycles for the media. (CBC) ((CBC))

The sound meter will be set up 50 cm away at a 45 degree angle from the motorcycle's exhaust system.  They will take one reading when the driver idles the motorcycle, and then another when the engine is revved to benchmarks of 2000 and 5000 rpms.

So far, about 15 per cent of bikers have failed the sound tests. But police are assuring riders they aren't targeting all of them.

"We'll be focusing on the gross offender. Those that have done specific things to their bike to make them louder," Theuser said.

People with motorcycles can test their sound levels at the south NAIT campus parking lot on June 19 and 20.

Edmonton's noisy motorcycle bylaw is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.