Capitola annoyed by, cracking down on loud motorcycles

     Capitolans are tired of not being able to hold a conversation with the person right next to them in their yard on sunny weekends because a motorcyclist is revving his engine as he cruises slowly by or sits in bottleneck traffic.

     So much so, they've been creating some noise of their own, bombarding the police department with complaints about the earsplitting vibrations belching out of the offending bikes' tailpipes.

     Police Chief Richard Ehle hears their pleas.

     Starting this spring, officers will be keeping their eyes peeled and ears open for motorcycles that are creating more noise than legal, he said.

     Besides toting noise meters, officers will keep a sharp eye for modified bikes with overly loud exhaust systems, as well as no muffler at all.

     The California Vehicle Code set the following standards for motorcycle noise based on the year they were made:

     * After 1969 and before 1973 – 88 decibels

     * After 1972 and before 1975 – 86 decibels      * After 1974 and before 1986 -- 83 decibels      * After 1985 – 80 decibels

     Speaking of annoyances, what about traffic and transportation get under your skin? Your answer may appear in a future Street Smarts column.

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