motorcycle

Police in Portsmouth say they are planning to crack down on loud motorcycles.

According to state law, an idling motorcycle should be no louder than 92 decibels. But knowing whether a motorcycle exceeds that limit requires police to have specialized gear and training.

Portsmouth Police Captain Frank Warchol says in the past, his department has relied on state police to catch offenders.

Now, in response to complaints from residents, Warchol says the Portsmouth PD is investing in the equipment and training it needs to enforce the law on its own.

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The annual Laconia Motorcycle Week kicks off Saturday.

The event's executive director Charlie St. Clair says it typically brings in hundreds of thousands of riders to the Granite State.

"Our best year was in 2004. We had 430,000 people that year, but everything's weather dependent, of course," he said.

While the Lakes Region is seen as bike week central, he says it’s become a statewide event.

   

Police officers and outlaw biker gangs often stand on common ground. Both attract the young and adventurous who value order and brotherhood. And tens of thousands of cops belong to legitimate motorcycle clubs.

But some within law enforcement worry that too many officers believe bikers are misunderstood and say that empathy can put police or the public at risk.

The motorcyclist killed Thursday morning in the Franconia Notch has been identified as Robin Staines, 47, of Pembroke, Massachusetts, according to state police.

Staines was traveling north on the two-lane section of I-93, failed to make the turn at the entrance of the former parking area for the Old Man of the Mountain.

He was thrown from his Harley-Davidson and was not wearing a helmet.

Passersby gave him CPR until an ambulance arrived but he died of his injuries at Littleton Regional Hospital.