LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES
Bullshit. Any decent motorcycle rider knows to drive defensively because everybody else is out to get you. The loud motorcycles tend to cause (at least some) motorists to get surprised and swerve dangerously when confronted with one. I have a Honda Goldwing - it's quieter than most cars. It's big, so that helps for visibility, but I've driven many, many miles without incident because I've been vigilant. I've had several other smaller bikes as well. Not to say there haven't been any close calls, but I get through them by always having an exit strategy wherever I am. The MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) is a great place to learn to actually be safe while riding.
For those folks that wonder how the loud cycles can get away with it, it's because motorcycles are currently exempt from noise/emission regulations, for some dumb reason. Today, those reasons really no longer exist. It should be fixed, IMO.