Why Are ATVs So Noisy?

In ATV Setups by Kevin

Why are ATVs so Noisy?

Last weekend, I was riding my quads with my sons on our quiet backyards, and I was just watching them ride when I thought: why are ATVs so noisy? most ATVs are louder than a lawnmower and that has been the case for a long time. not sure why if I think technology has greatly improved over the years in all aspects regarding ATVs. anyways, the noise that an ATV makes can be super irritating, especially if you just want to chill for a bit and want to ride lightly. the sound might even be dangerous because you might not be able to hear other people talking or any other sounds because they might be too loud. anyways, I decided to do some research on as to why ATVs are so noisy and I found some answers for you guys!

The reason why ATVs are so noisy is that the engine doesn’t have much sound insulation installed. on most ATVs, the engine is left mostly uncovered and so when the engine revs you can really hear it, especially if you are the one riding it. you can compare this to a car which has an engine cover which helps with some sound deadening. one of the other reasons that I think that ATVs are so noisy is because ATV manufacturers do not bother with more effective mufflers for the machines. why they do that is something that I honestly do not understand.

I honestly think that by 2018 ATV manufacturers should have got us, consumers, some solutions for the noise dilemma. some people hate the noisiness and decibel levels while there are some other users that actually love it. I think I’m actually in the middle of the road. while I love hearing the engine roar when I rev the engine, sometimes like I said in the upper part of the article I would like to use the quad to cruise in comfort, and for me, that means reducing the noise associated with ATV engines. and I’m a bit puzzled as to why they haven’t dealt with the issue because they are a lot of ways technology can fix the problem. buuut, I guess you can’t have it all!

ATVs are louder than a lawnmower!

Like I said in the introduction paragraph, ATVs are noisy because of little sound deadening and because of what I think is an unwillingness from ATV manufacturers to properly muffle the ATVs. because of the ATVs nature, they are simply pretty hard to deaden properly because obviously, ATVs are not cars, they do not have doors, engine bays, and so obviously you are going to hear everything a little bit more!  including the road, the engine, the exhaust sound, and more. there are a few solutions for this problem which I will talk in the next paragraph.

How to Make your ATV less noisy

Now, if you are tired of your screaming ATV and want to make the thing run a little bit quieter, then there are a few tips that I have for you! now obviously, there tips will depend a lot on which quad you have. some quads with bigger engines will always be louder than smaller quads and vise-versa, so in short, the effectiveness of these tips may vary.

  1. Check for noise reducing tips on an ATV website: This is one that I recommend because as you probably already know, there are several forums dedicated to specific ATV models. in these forums, there are generally a few folks that do not like noisy Quads and so they provide ways to silence that specific quad. this is the first thing that I would try. they might recommend installing a few mods to deaden the silence. I also recently made an article on various ways on how to reduce exhaust noise.
  2. Make sure that you are using the right gas: this is something that might surprise some people but yes: having the wrong ATV fuel might make the engine run a little bit more loudly. sometimes the owner’s manual explicitly says which gas should be used on the quad, so try checking it out to see what is the correct octane rating.
  3. Look for aftermarket mufflers and exhausts: one of the main reason why ATV are so noisy is the muffler, or maybe the lack of thereof. the muffler is a part of the ATV that “muffles” the sound generated when the fuel is burned. it acts as kind of a silencer. the problem is that most stock mufflers do not really do that good of a job silencing the quad. you might want to look for an aftermarket solution. I recommend that you check in an ATV forum like ATVconnection.com so that you can get informed on which muffler your serve your needs best. while this options can be a little bit more expensive, it’s also the most effective option to quiet the noise that the ATV makes.

Quietest ATVs on the market

while quiet isn’t exactly the word that I would use to describe an ATV, there are still some choices in the market that aren’t as loud and raspy as most quads. these quads are mostly going to be 400cc and under, and they might generally have weaker engines. some of the quietest quads in the business include:

Suzuki KingQuad:

The quadsport older brother, the king quad is a more complete quad when compared to the quadsport. it’s supposed to be used as a quad that can do everything and go everywhere. and Suzuki certainly made a quad that fits whose definitions. the newer Kingquads are quite quiet and hushed when in normal operations. you can expect to get less than 90 Decibels in normal operations. The KingQuad is the quietest ATV over 400cc in the market today, so if you really care about quads that aren’t as loud, but are also looking for something more powerful than most ATVs, then this is a good choice for you!

Honda TRX250:

The classic TRX is a classic choice for anybody looking to learn the ropes when it comes to ATVs. it has everything that you might want in a beginner quad and more, and also, there’s a detail that 99% of people miss: it’s not that loud compared to the competition. in normal operations, the quad produces less than 85 decibels which is pretty good compared to other quads in it’s class. this is only generally when short shifting, because if you start to rev higher then the decibels are going to increase.

Decibel level of ATVs

I did some research to see what is the average decibels that a quad produces when it is being used. I used an app in my phone to check the decibel level and I also looked for some information over the internet to get you guys the average decibel level that riding an ATV can produce and what I got is:

Honda TRX250: 80-85 Decibels

Honda Rancher: 85-93 Decibels

Suzuki KingQuad: 85-90 Decibels

Yamaha Raptor: 95-100 Decibels

Can-Am Outlander: 90-95 Decibels

Polaris Sportsman: 85-90 Decibels

I couldn’t really measure other quads because these were the ones that I had available. I also tried to look for information regarding decibel levels of other quads that didn’t appear on this list but I couldn’t find anything really. lastly, the app that I used to check the decibels of the quads is called Decibel X and I used it on my iPhone 6.