Louder isn’t always safer
There are those who still argue that loud pipes save lives. “If they hear me, they’ll know I’m there,” say some. Quite often riders see this as a rationale for having louder aftermarket (or illegally shortened stock) pipes.
Both cruiser bike and sport bike owners are guilty. But think about which way all motorcycle pipes are pointed — backwards — so the exhaust noise comes out behind you. This angers and hurts the ears of people and drivers behind you. Your loud pipes are not going to be heard by the drivers you’re coming up behind or alongside of. To accomplish this, your pipes would have to be pointed forward — much the same way police cars, fire trucks and ambulances have their sirens pointed forward to alert oncoming traffic and drivers next to and ahead of them that they are coming. Once past, notice how a siren’s sound lessens as the vehicle gets further away? Not so with loud pipes — they drone on and on and on.
This is not to say that drivers never notice loud motorcycles. Of course they do — loud bikes are obnoxious. But that’s not the way to make your presence known. That’s what your (stock or upgraded) horn and headlamps are for. So please use them to alert drivers that you’re there, instead of using safety as a misguided reason for having loud pipes.