I bought a Harley in my twenties... Greatest thrill was taking my best friend on the back and showing up for events. Talk about a grand entrance... Nothing like two long haired descent looking girls getting off of a purple Harley. I had a really pretty female dragon painted on my gas tank. I bet that was why they kept staring... We never paid to get into a club. NEVER.
Anyway... I tried first not buying a loud exhaust. Yes, I thought it was obnoxious too. People kept swerving into me on the road. Then... I gave up, put in loud exhaust and magic happened. A whole lot less close calls.
So... I totally get the safety aspect. Especially with a bike that doesn't split lanes easily to get away.
Now, I lost that bike years ago when I tried to avoid hitting a dog and ended up laying it down, sliding into a guard rail. The car behind me hit the dog anyway. I'm still upset over that. I still feel bad about that poor dog. I rebuilt it, repainted the gas tank, lost the dragon and rode it for a month afterwards before selling it... I simply lost the good feeling and knew my time was up.