Noisy is not necessarily safer

Editor of the Reformer:

In response a recent column about motorcycle stereotypes, specifically the question about the loudness of the tailpipes vs. accident rates ("Stereotpes," Oct. 3). I can answer that question — at least anecdotally. I've ridden noisy (unmodified) gas-powered motorcycles my entire life (more than 40-plus years). But, for most of the last decade I've been riding electric motorcycles (Vectrix, Zero), and so I feel I can give a pretty well informed opinion on the "loud pipes saves lives" stereotype.

It's nonsense.

The only accident I've ever been in was while riding a noisy gas bike — the driver of the car didn't see or hear me. I've had no accidents during the 40,000 miles or so that I've ridden on electric motorcycles. Either people see you, or they don't. The noise makes no difference. In any case, light travels faster than sound.

David Ewert, Stockton, Calif., Oct. 3