LEWISTON — Along with the first robin or pothole of the season comes another perennial tradition: Police warn bikers with loud exhausts to keep it down.

In response to common citizen complaints, Lewiston police want the public to be aware of some changes in the laws.

LD 477 was signed into law in May 2011 by Gov. Paul LePage in an effort to curb motorcycle noise. Maine’s muffler law states that if a motorcycle is loud, an officer can stop it and issue a citation to the driver for having loud exhaust.

Any replacement muffler on a motorcycle can be no louder than the factory original. Under the law, visible inspection stickers are also required on motorcycles beginning in January. The sticker will have to be affixed to the license plate of the motorcycle.

“We are basically urging motorcycle owners and operators to use common sense and regard for others when operating their motorcycles,” Sgt. David St. Pierre said. “If driving in a residential area, where the population is dense or late at night, a motorcycle operator should practice restraint and tailor their driving accordingly or expect a citation from the police.”

Year after year, police say they start getting complaints when the weather turns warmer. The bikes come out and some of their riders are tempted to gun their engine in areas where people are trying to sleep, relax or otherwise enjoy the peace.

“Spring and summertime are when people’s windows are open,” St. Pierre said. “The sounds of motorcycles can be heard from quite a distance. It is one of our most common complaints in the spring and summer months when the weather is nice.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.