11 Royal Enfield motorcycles were seized by a special squad of the Bangalore police for having ‘modified, defective silencers’. After seizing the motorcycles, the cops removed the exhausts of the motorcycles, and have also fined the owners of these bikes.
One of the most popular modifications on the Royal Enfield motorcycle range is the replacement of the stock exhaust with aftermarket units. This is done by owners to increase the ‘thump’ as the factory fitted silencers – in response to government regulations – have muted thumps.
Authorities around India are coming down heavily on modified exhausts, especially on Royal Enfields. In the past, there have been such drives against these motorcycles with loud exhausts in Kerala and Maharashtra. With the Bangalore’s police latest action, more Royal Enfield owners may just abandon their modified exhausts. Prospective owners may also be deterred from installing modified exhausts due to the threat of police action.
Notably, most modifications to vehicles in India – if not endorsed by the RTO – are illegal, and this includes modified exhausts. However, most Royal Enfield dealers sell after market exhausts, and even offer dealer-level fitment of these accessories. Why, even Royal Enfield sells an aftermarket exhaust, clearly specifying that it’s for ‘off-road use only’. However, since most Enfield motorcycles seldom go ‘off public roads’, these exhausts are clearly illegal.
Royal Enfield and superbike owners running modified exhausts are up in arms against police action. Many note that the cops do not have decibel meters to actually check whether the exhaust produces more noise than what is permissible, and say that the cops harass them.
However, as the law states, any modification to a vehicle without the explicit endorsement on the Registration Certificate (RC) by the RTO, is illegal. So, cops are well within their right to stop and fine a motorcycle that has a non-factory fitted exhaust.