Have you wondered if it’s a legal requirement to have a horn on your motorcycle? It’s rare to hear a motorcycle horn unless you are in the city.
Yes, motorcycles have horns. They are subject to the same laws as car horns under UK laws. They are meant for warning other vehicles of your presence. You can’t beep your horn from 11.30 pm to 7 am in built-up areas to be antisocial.
Where is the horn on a motorcycle?
Your motorcycle horn is always located on the left-hand grip of your handlebars, provided it has not been retrofitted.
On all motorcycles, the left-hand grip controls the lights, indicators, horn, and clutch.
Interestingly back in the ’20s, some motorcycles had the throttle on the left-hand side of the handlebars!
The horn is mounted typically behind the headlight for maximum volume for oncoming traffic.
When should motorcycle riders use horns?
Strictly speaking, the horn is to let another vehicle know of your presence only. Still, they are used in various ways that would be considered safe and law-abiding by anyone reasonable.
Using a horn on a blind bend makes complete sense to warn oncoming traffic if there is a vehicle on the opposite side of the road approaching.
The highway code prohibits parked vehicles from using their horns to prevent a nuisance.
However, again the laws are not always the final word. Imagine you are parked, and a car is reversing very close to you. Do you ignore the situation and risk being hit to give a quick beep on your horn?
It is common sense not to use your horn and be the bane of the neighbourhood by walking the dogs and kids late at night. Common sense prevails in most applications of the law.
Do Harleys have horns?
Yes, Harley Davidson is a premium motorcycle and, as you would expect, has a premium horn to match. The Harley horn sounds at a whopping 130dB which is very loud.
Most car horns are 110dB, and the DB scale is not linear, so exponential increases in volume are experienced.
130 dB is a dangerous level for the human ear, but most horns are not sounded in a continuous blast, so the Harley horn stands out when it comes to getting your attention.
How does a motorcycle horn work?
Let’s discuss two different types of horns, starting with the basic motorcycle horn. When you sound your horn, the horn sound is instantaneous.
Inside the horn, there is a diaphragm and an electromagnet. When the magnet is energised, the diaphragm vibrates, sending a low-frequency blast of air, which sounds like the horn.
Conventional horns can sound woeful on many vehicles, not just on motorcycles.
Aftermarket horns can be air horns which don’t mean you need to have the big bulges attached to your motorcycle.
A small, powerful compressor is energised and creates the air pressure to circulate through the horn giving the sound.