What is the Loudest Harley-Davidson? Discover the Most Powerful Bike on the Road


White Star Rides is your trusted Harley-Davidson companion, offering expert guidance and information to enhance your riding experience.

What Is The Loudest Harley Davidson

Are you ready to hit the open road on the loudest and most powerful Harley-Davidson? If so, you’ve come to the right place! As Harley-Davidson fanatics, we’ve done the research to find the loudest Harley-Davidson available today. From the classic Road King to the modern CVO Limited, we’ll explore the most powerful bikes on the road. Get ready to rev your engine and join us on the journey to discover the loudest Harley-Davidson!

What is a Harley-Davidson?

History of Harley-Davidson bikes

Harley-Davidson is an iconic American motorcycle brand that has become a cultural icon throughout its 120-year history. The brand was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903 by William W. Harley and Arthur Davidson and has since produced some of the most famous bikes in the market.

The early years of Harley-Davidson were marked by innovation and experimentation, as the founders and their team of employees worked tirelessly for developing their first motorcycles. The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle was essentially a bicycle with a small engine attached, but it was enough for launching the company on a path to success.

By the end of the decade, Harley-Davidson had already established itself as a leader in the motorcycle industry with a reputation for building reliable, high-quality motorcycles. During this time, the brand started developing its own engines, which helped set them apart from its competitors.

In the years that followed, Harley-Davidson continued growing and expanding exponentially. The company also opened new factories and developed new models. During WWII, the brand produced thousands of bikes for the military, further cementing the company’s reputation as a patriotic American brand.

In the post-war years, the company experienced a massive surge in popularity, with bikers around the world embracing the powerful, distinctive motorcycles. Some of the most iconic models from this era included the Hydra Glide, the Sportster, and Electra Glide.

What Is The Loudest Harley Davidson - Harley Riders On The Street

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Harley-Davidson continued innovating and evolving, introducing new technologies and designs to keep pace with the changing times and trends. In the 1980s, the brand introduced the Softail, a new type of motorcycle that managed to blend classic design elements with modern features.

After 120 years since the company started, Harley-Davidson still remains one of the most beloved and recognizable motorcycle brands. The brand continues producing a wide range of models that suit a wide variety of riding styles and preferences, from the classic Road King to the modern, cutting-edge LiveWire electric bike. Some of the most popular models released by Harley-Davidson include –

#1. Harley-Davidson Sportster

First introduced back in 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster still remains one of the most iconic Harley-Davidson bikes until now. Its classic design, powerful engine, and class make it a particular favorite among bikers around the world.

#2. Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Introduced in 1990, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy quickly become one of the most popular bikes by Harley. Its powerful engine and distinctive styling have made it a massive favorite among Harley enthusiasts.

#3. Harley-Davidson Road Glide

Introduced in 1998, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide is a touring bike that comes designed for long-distance rides. Its unique design, comfortable seating, and advanced features make it a favorite among bikers who wish to explore the open road in style.

#4. Harley-Davidson Softail

Introduced back in the 80s, the Harley-Davidson Softail is a classic Harley model. It has been updated over the years to include modern technology and features. Its distinctive styling and comfortable ride make it a particular favorite among bikers of all ages.

What makes a Harley-Davidson bike so loud?

When you think of a Harley-Davidson bike, one of the first things that come to mind is its distinctive, throaty roar of the engine. For many bikers, the loud sound is an important part of the Harley-Davidson experience and a major reason why bikers choose to ride their bikes. But what exactly makes these bikes so loud?

There are numerous factors that contribute to the distinctive sound of a Harley-Davidson engine. One of the main reasons for the sound of these bikes is the design of the engine itself. Harley-Davidson engines are V-Twin engines, which means that the bike has two cylinders that are arranged in a V-shape. This design allows for a larger engine displacement and more power. However, it also creates a unique sound that is significantly louder and more distinct than other types of engines.

Another factor that greatly contributes to the loud sound of a Harley-Davidson bike is the exhaust system. Harley-Davidson exhaust systems are designed in a way to be more free-flowing than the ones on other bikes, which allow for more air to flow through the engine and out of the exhaust pipes.

See also  What Kind Of Oil Goes In Harley Primary: The Best Options To Go For

The exhaust system on a Harley-Davidson bike is responsible for directing exhaust games away from the engine and out of the bike. These exhaust gases get created by the combustion of fuel and air in the engine and as they leave the engine, they create a pressure wave that travels through the exhaust system. This wave is responsible for creating the sound, which is what you hear as the engine runs.

Harley-Davidson bikes have a reputation for being extremely loud, as their exhaust systems are designed to be more free-flowing than those on their bikes. This means that more air will be able to flow through the engine and out of the exhaust pipes, creating a louder and more powerful sound in the process. Even with the stock exhaust system, a Harley-Davidson bike can still be quite loud compared to other bikes.

What Is The Loudest Harley Davidson - Harley Davidson Motorcycle

In addition to the design of the engine and exhaust system, the way bikers modify their Harley can also play a huge role in how loud they are. Many Harley-Davidson bikes prefer an even louder sound than stock components. This has led to a booming market for aftermarket exhaust systems. These systems are designed to increase performance by allowing more air to flow through the engine, which ends up creating a louder, more aggressive sound that bikers find appealing. These aftermarket systems make use of larger diameter pipes and less restrictive baffles, which allows for more air to flow through the engine and out of the exhaust.

Of course, not everyone is particularly fond of the loud sound that Harley-Davidson bikes produce. Some people find it to be quite annoying or even offensive, especially when they rev their engines in residential areas or other places where noise levels can be a concern.

Aftermarket exhaust systems can get quite loud, and in some cases, even exceed the legal noise limits. This can end up being a problem in areas where noise pollution is a concern, as loud bikes can be a major source of noise pollution. Lately, there have been efforts taken to regulate the noise levels of bikes to reduce the impact on communities. There have been laws laid out as law enforcement agencies look to punish bikers driving excessively loud motorcycles.

Despite the controversy surrounding the loud sound of Harley-Davidson bikes, it remains a defining characteristic of the iconic brand. For many bikers, the roar of their Harley-Davidson is a source of pride and a symbol of the freedom and independence that comes with riding a Harley. While the loud sound might not be for everyone, it is hard to deny that it is certainly a key part of what makes a Harley-Davidson bike so unique and iconic.

What is the loudest Harley-Davidson bike?

Harley-Davidson bikes are known for producing a distinctive, throaty sound. For many bikers, the louder, the better. There are many loud Harley-Davidson bikes that have earned a reputation for their loudness. But which Harley-Davidson bikes happen to be the loudest? Here are some of the loudest Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the market – 

Harley-Davidson Super Glide Custom

The Harley-Davidson Super Glide Custom is a classic cruiser that has become a popular choice among bikers since its introduction in the 70s. The bike comes powered by a Twin Cam 96 engine, which is known for its incredible power and reliability. However, it is actually the motorcycle’s exhaust system that really sets it apart from other cruisers in the market.

The Harley-Davidson Super Glide Custom comes with a Vance and Hines exhaust system, which comes designed to maximize airflow and increase power. This results in an extremely loud, aggressive exhaust that is bound to turn heads. The exhaust system comes with two staggered mufflers that are designed for providing an even sound and optimize power delivery.

Aside from the Vance and Hines exhaust system, the Harley-Davidson Super Glide Custom also comes with a heavy-breather air cleaner. This further helps improve airflow and enhances the motorcycle’s sound. The combination of the aftermarket modifications ultimately results in a bike that isn’t just powerful, but also incredibly loud.

Harley-Davidson Breakout

The Harley-Davidson Breakout is another popular Harley-Davidson bike that is known for its extremely loud exhaust system. The motorcycle comes powered by a 114 cubic inch Milwaukee-Eight engine, which is known for its torque and power. The motorcycle’s exhaust system comes designed for optimizing performance and sound, which results in a deep, rumbling exhaust note.

See also  How to Easily Install Ape Hangers on a Street Glide: Step-by-Step Guide

The bike comes with a factory-installed two-into-two exhaust system, which is designed for providing an even sound and optimized power delivery. However, many bikers choose to install aftermarket exhaust systems for further enhancing the motorcycle’s sound and performance.

A particularly popular aftermarket exhaust system for the Harley-Davidson Breakout is the Vance and Hines Big Radius 2-into-2 exhaust system. This exhaust system comes designed to offer a deep, aggressive exhaust note that will definitely make you the star attraction on the road. The system also features full-length heat shields, which will not only protect the biker from heat, but it’ll also provide a sleek and stylish look.

In addition to the exhaust system, many bikers also choose to install aftermarket air intake systems on their Breakout. This further improves airflow while enhancing the sound of the bike. These modifications can result in the bike being incredibly loud and impressive.

Some of the other extremely loud Harley-Davidson bikes include –

#1. Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is among the most iconic Harley-Davidson bikes ever made, and it also happens to be one of the loudest. The motorcycle’s V-twin engine combined with the free-flowing exhaust system helps it produce a deep, rumbling sound.

#2. Harley-Davidson Softail

The Harley-Davidson Softail is another popular bike that is known for its loud exhaust. The motorcycle’s exhaust system is designed for maximizing airflow, which results in a louder and more aggressive sound compared to most other bikes.

#3. Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob

The Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob is a classic cruiser that is loved by bikers for its style and performance. Its V-twin engine and aftermarket exhaust system produce a deep, throaty sound that is almost impossible to ignore.

#4. Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 is an incredibly popular entry-level bike that is known for its performance and affordability. Despite a relatively small engine size, the bike’s exhaust system still produces a loud, aggressive sound that many bikers love.

#5. Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle

 The Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle is a high-performance Harley-Davidson bike known for its power and speed. The motorcycle’s exhaust system has been designed to maximize performance, which results in a loud, aggressive sound that will definitely get you noticed.

It is worth remembering that the loudness of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be subjective, and it can depend on numerous factors, including the biker’s choice of aftermarket modifications and conditions under which you’re riding your bike. Nevertheless, these Harley-Davidson bikes are among the loudest and most impressive bikes manufactured by the American motorcycle brand. Whether you are a die-hard Harley-Davidson enthusiast or simply appreciate the sound of a powerful engine, these loud motorcycles are bound to impress.

Why do Harley-Davidson bikers love loud bikes?

People love riding loud Harley-Davidson bikes for various reasons. Some people like the loud bikes as they make them look cool while allowing them to enforce the macho image that they’re trying to project. Other bikers claim that they prefer louder exhaust, as they help improve motorcycle performance. However, mechanics seem to have debunked this belief. Louder exhaust pipes don’t actually increase the performance. In certain situations, they might even reduce the performance of the bikes.

The “Loud Pipes Saves Lives” theory seems to be another major reason why Harley-Davidson bikers love loud bikes and modify their motorcycles for increased sound levels. According to the theory, louder pipes make you more noticeable when you are driving on the road. Therefore, car drivers will know of your presence and have a greater chance of avoiding hitting you. Unfortunately, louder pipes do not help your chances of being noticed by drivers as they used to in the past.

Despite that, more and more Harley-Davidson bikers continue to increase the noise levels of their motorcycles. Recognizing the negative effect of loud Harley-Davidson bikes on its reputation and the overall unhappiness among the general crowd concerning noise pollution, the brand advises users against tampering with the exhaust system on their bikes.

Local laws and regulations on Harley-Davidson bike’s loudness

Contrary to common beliefs, there exist laws that regulate the noise levels of Harley-Davidson bikes. For example, the U.S. EPA Code limits bikes to a total noise emission level of 80 decibels. Motorcycle companies like Harley-Davidson have to test the noise level of their bikes to make sure that they comply with EPA standards.

See also  How Did Harley-Davidson Get Its Name: Know The Story Behind The Harley-Davidson Brand

Further, federal laws require motorcycle manufacturers to use only EPA-approved mufflers on their motorcycles. Such muffles are embossed with a U.S. EPA muffler label, which law enforcement officials can recognize with ease.

You shouldn’t be tampering with, modifying, or replacing EPA-approved mufflers on your Harley. The only exception is if your replacement muffler is also an EPA-approved muffler. It is worth noting that non-EPA-approved mufflers or removing your bike’s muffler will be a punishable offense under the law.

What Is The Loudest Harley Davidson - Harley Davidson Mechanic

Law enforcement officials may end up penalizing you or arresting you if the sound levels of your bike are above the limit specified by the EPA code. Generally, police officers make use of the SAE J331a drive-by testing procedure for finding out the sound levels of bikes. Usually, this involves utilizing a sound level meter for monitoring the decibel rating of your motorcycle’s noise.

States have local laws and ordinances that regulate the noise level of bikes. For instance, there’s a limit in California as its 83 decibels for pre-1986 motorcycles and 80 decibels for post-1986 motorcycles.

Punishment for not adhering to motorcycle noise laws also varies from state to state. Police in some states only issue fines or tickets to offending riders. Meanwhile, other states might be more stringent and force the offenders to remove the modifications or have their bikes impounded.

Maintenance requirements for a loud Harley-Davidson bike

Harley-Davidson bikes are known for their power, performance, and unmistakable sound. However, owning a loud Harley-Davidson bike also means taking on extra maintenance responsibilities. Here are the maintenance requirements of a loud Harley-Davidson bike and what you can do to keep it running smoothly – 

#1. Check the exhaust system regularly

The exhaust system happens to be one of the most important components of a loud Harley-Davidson motorcycle. You must regularly inspect your bike’s exhaust system for signs of damage or wear, such as cracks or rust. Additionally, you should also ensure that the exhaust system is fastened securely and that there are no leaks.

#2. Keep the air filter clean

A clean air filter is important for maintaining the performance and sound of your Harley. Dirt and debris can easily clog the air filter, which can end up restricting airflow and reducing the power output. You should ensure that you’re cleaning or replacing the air filter regularly to keep your motorcycle running smoothly.

#3. Check the oil regularly

Harley-Davidson motorcycles require regular oil changes for keeping the engine running smoothly. The loud exhaust systems of Harley-Davidson bikes can create additional heat, which could cause the oil to break down more quickly. You should ensure that you’re checking the oil level regularly and changing the oil at recommended intervals.

#4. Inspect the tires

The loud exhaust systems of Harley-Davidson bikes can often put extra stress on the tires. You should make sure that you’re inspecting the tires regularly for signs of wear or damage. If needed, you should replace them. 

#5. Get regular maintenance from a qualified technician

Harley-Davidson motorcycles require regular maintenance to keep them running safely and smoothly. It is important that you should take your motorcycle to a qualified technician for regular maintenance and inspections, especially if you’ve got aftermarket modifications installed.


What is the loudest Harley-Davidson?

The loudest Harley-Davidson is the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special, which produces up to 95 decibels of sound. As a comparison, a rock concert typically produces between 100 and 120 decibels. The loudest Harley-Davidson can be modified to produce even louder sound levels.

What factors affect the sound level of a Harley-Davidson?

The sound level of a Harley-Davidson is affected by a variety of factors, including the type of exhaust system, the engine size, and the age of the bike. A larger engine and a more powerful exhaust system can increase the sound level, while an older bike may produce less sound due to wear and tear.

What are some ways to reduce the sound level of a Harley-Davidson?

There are several ways to reduce the sound level of a Harley-Davidson, including installing a quieter exhaust system, using sound-absorbing materials, and adjusting the engine timing. Additionally, some states have laws limiting the sound level of motorcycles, so it’s important to check with your local laws before making any modifications.

Photo of author
White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.