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Snowmobilers warned about using modified snowmobile exhaust on trails

'Landowners and municipalities are being disturbed by the increase in snowmobile exhaust noise, which is resulting in trail closures'

OPP is warning snowmobilers about excessive noise and how it may cause problems for some communities and private property landowners.

The topic of snowmobile exhausts and the enforcement of modified exhausts has always been a hot topic in the snowmobile community.

The issue is some snowmobilers commonly replace the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) exhaust component, in exchange for an aftermarket product commonly referred to as a "pipe" or a "can". The original muffler that muffles the exhaust noise is then physically replaced by the "can". It is the resulting increase in noise that results in complaints.

See: Noisy sledders may lose key local trail

"The stock or OEM muffler on your snowmobile has been engineered by the manufacturer for that specific machine,".says Constable Phil Young  "It is meant to fit and perform properly as an extension of the specific motor in the snowmobile. Aftermarket manufacturers for 'pipes' or 'cans' claim to provide weight savings and minimal horsepower gains. But, with this comes increased noise. Also, some manufacturers require engine modifications because difference in exhaust flow. These modifications can affect the overall performance of the snowmobile."

However, there is a time and place for these aftermarket exhausts says Young.

"This exception is in a racing area. Aftermarket modifications are permitted if the snowmobile is driven in a racing area sanctioned as such by the council of the municipality within which the designated racing area."

Much of Ontario's trail system encompasses private property. The private property landowners allow the use of their land for snowmobile use via Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) trails. But, landowners and municipalities are being disturbed by the increase in snowmobile exhaust noise, which is resulting in trail closures. 

There are applicable charges under the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act for modifying, altering, or changing the exhaust or muffler on your snowmobile.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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