How to Install Custom Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes

Written by steve smith
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The most common customisation on any bike is the exhaust, and there is no secret why. If you want to really class up your cruiser, or get a different sound from your sport bike, putting on a new motorcycle exhaust is the way to go. Most stock exhausts on sport bikes like the Honda CBR and Suzuki 650 models are too big and clunky. A single side exhaust can get in the way, it gets hot and the sound isn't all that great.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wrench set
  • Screwdriver
  • Loctite
  • Mystery Oil or lubricant

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  1. 1

    Size up your new exhaust and fit it to your bike if you can, before installation, to see if it will fit around all the parts. You don't want to block off the oil pan or any other important parts you need access to every so often. It should also fit around your clutch and allow you to ride comfortably.

  2. 2

    Make sure there is enough clearance from other areas. Underseat exhausts give off a lot of heat and shouldn't touch the seat frame or be too close to the tires or wire harnesses.

  3. 3

    Loosen the head bolts that attach the exhaust to the motor. Use the proper size wrench and don't strip these; they are a pain to get off once stripped even slightly. Support the exhaust as you work on the other areas.

  4. 4

    Remove the muffler and other components, including any additional brackets. Once the muffler is off, most of the weight is off the pipes, so you can work on getting the head pipes off. Use any anti-seize compounds, like Mystery Oil or WD-40, to get the muffler off.

  5. 5

    Remove the head pipes and old exhaust gaskets, then inspect the rim for any defects, nicks and problems that you can repair now that the pipes are off.

  6. 6

    Review your installation diagram for the new exhaust and lay out all the attachment parts. Fit them onto your frame, and then fit the exhaust pipes onto your bike to test the fit.

  7. 7

    Slide the gaskets and head pipes into place, and hand-tighten the bolts for now.

  8. 8

    Slide on the muffler; it should go on fairly easily. When it is in place, tighten all the other attachments and braces to the exhaust, then tighten the head bolts securely, adding Loctite or another compound.

  9. 9

    Start your bike and listen to the new sweet sound of customisation.

Tips and warnings

  • Find the exhaust that fits your style and your bike. Don't try to fit a racing exhaust on a cruiser or even a sport cruiser. Exhausts won't affect performance of your engine for the most part, but they will affect how you ride and could affect the balance of your bike.

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