Seacoast H-D sues North Hampton over noise ordinance

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Seacoast Harley-Davidson has sued town of North Hampton in an effort to overturn a recently passed noise ordinance the dealership claims could put it out of business.

The ordinance requires motorcycles manufactured after Dec. 31, 1982, to carry an EPA exhaust system label if they are parked or operated in the city.

Seacoast’s lawsuit says the local noise ordinance is an effort to supersede state law, which sets a 106-decibel limit on noise. The lawsuit claims the ordinance outlaws most of the dealership's used motorcycle inventory.

"Since aftermarket exhaust system manufacturers do not place an EPA label on their mufflers, most of Seacoast's used vehicle inventory does not have an EPA label on the exhaust system," Gregory Holmes, a lawyer for Seacoast Harley-Davidson, wrote in the papers filed in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Pete Pitman, president of the Manchester Motorcylce Club, told the Union Leader 75 percent of the bikes in town couldn’t pass muster.

Seacoast claims in the suit that it would have to remove the motorcycles not only from its dealership, but also from the town, and that the law could prevent a buyer from driving a motorcycle off the dealership's lot. A response from the city is due by Sept. 7.

Posted by Holly Wagner