Controlling motorcycle noise

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.


Regulations to set permissible noise levels for most replacement motorcycle exhaust systems were introduced in August 1996 by The Motorcycle Silencer Regulations 1995.

This means that replacement silencers and exhaust systems have to be manufactured to meet specific British, European, or International noise reduction Standards.

Under the controls, exhaust systems have to be indelibly marked with the approval mark or the appropriate Standard of compliance.

Examples are shown below: 

  • e 9
  • BS AU 193/T2
  • 007

In addition, the packaging in which exhausts are sold must be marked with: 

  • the manufacturer’s name or trade mark and address
  • fitting instructions
  • instructions, where necessary, for regular maintenance

The regulations do not apply to the following six categories of exhausts: 

  • silencers and exhaust systems for off-road bikes and which are indelibly marked “NOT FOR ROAD USE”
  • silencers and exhaust systems for older machines and which are indelibly marked “PRE 1985 MC ONLY”
  • second-hand exhausts
  • exhausts sold fitted to a motorcycle
  • silencers and exhaust systems sold for export
  • exhausts sold as scrap

Supplying exhausts which do not meet those requirements may amount to a criminal offence. The penalty can be fine of up to £5,000 and/or a 3 months jail sentence.