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My gut feeling is that it lowers the pitch of the exhaust note. So you get a more "darker" sound.

Pitch is inversely proportional to the length of the resonance chamber.
 

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Adds weight and reduces power.

There are reasons to change pipe diameter immediately after the exhaust port and for a short distance downstream. But you need a dyno to track actual results to see what works and what does not.

But adding a length of pipe in a circle would go against anything I have learned about gaining exhaust flow/velocity.........
 

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You need to put one of those as seen on TV air box vortex generators to realize the pull potential of the swirly exhaust.
 

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But adding a length of pipe in a circle would go against anything I have learned about gaining exhaust flow/velocity.........
Agree. It won't help flow rate, but at best diminish it only slightly. Also, it alters the total volume of the pipe before the muffler, so it may alter the backpressure characteristics of the exhaust as well. In order to compensate for that, you may need to alter the mixture, timing and even the exhaust cam profile.

I'm just speculating on why somebody would go through all the trouble. Because the standard of workmanship is pretty high, so either it's a very skilled owner, or a very wealthy owner who paid for very skilled labour.
 
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