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Why are motorcycles so loud?

Why is that motorcycle engines are permitted to be so loud? If my car made anywhere near the noise levels of most motor bikes it would fail the MoT or I would get pulled by police. I have nothing against bikes. I just wondered if they are manufactured like that or do the owners adjust the exhausts?

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If motorcycles did not make so much noise there would be a lot more dead bikers as a result of dumb car drivers not realising they were being overtaken in traffic.
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