For a lot of motorcycle riders, the mantra “loud pipes saves lives” is still prevalent. The idea is, a loud motorcycle exhaust note helps them get noticed by other drivers on the road, making cars aware of their presence.

Unfortunately, as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) begins to roll out the new Motor Vehicle Inspection System, or MVIS, the loud pipes adage could cost your repeat visits to the MVIS center.

Loud pipe? 99 decibels is the new limit – LTO image


Under the new motor vehicle inspection guidelines, Section 5.4.3.7 Sound Level Meter (Exhaust Outlet), “the sound level of the motor vehicle for exhaust or muffler shall not exceed 99 dB (decibels), taken at an engine speed of 2,000 to 2,500 rpm.”

This means, a Motor Vehicle Inspection Technician (MVIT) from the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) will rev your motorcycle up to 2,500 rpm taking sound readings with a decibel meter. The exhaust noise should be 99 dB or less.

If you exhaust is louder than this, you fail the test. A Motor Vehicle Inspection System Report (MVISR) will still be issued by the MVIT as a guide for the needed repairs/ corrections to be done on the motorcycle. After the repairs or corrections are done, the motorcycle can be brought back to the PMVIC for re-inspection. A PhP300 re-inspection fee will be collected.

Loud pipe? 99 decibels is the new limit – LTO image

The new guidelines may have the best intentions to rid the roads of those of exceptionally loud exhaust pipes, but some motorcycles, especially those with bigger displacements, come out from the factory with mufflers that emit noise levels that may go beyond 99 dB but still below 115 dB (the old standard).

Though there may be more questions than answers at this point, the LTO is very cooperative in answering our queries with regards to some of the nitty gritty that needs clarification. We’ll keep you posted in the next coming days.

lto mvis