Two recent letters have discussed motorcycle noise, with one reader defending the need for loud pipes (Readers Write, March 20).

This is the biggest myth about road safety that has ever been forwarded. The arguments that "it has saved my life" are complete fantasy. While driving, the noise from an upcoming motorcycle is negligible (Doppler effect), and only until the bike is beside you or in front can the full effect of the intolerable noise be appreciated.

A vast majority of these cyclists are just overaged middle-school boys with the annoying habit of alerting anyone in the area that they are present, while at the same time wearing ear plugs so they don't have to partake in the joy.

And what percentage of these "loud pipe" riders are wearing helmets, the very thing that would ensure their safety? A very small minority. Kudos to the real riders who have respect for the general public, obey the noise laws and ride responsibly.