Chopper motorcycles stand out because of their exhaust systems, which produce that beefy, deep-throated sound. There are a variety of aftermarket exhaust systems available for almost any motorcycle, but you can build your own by following these simple steps.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1.5" exhaust tubing
- Copper tubing
- Ratchet kit
- Shelving brackets
- Small metal screws
- Exhaust hangers and hardware
Remove your old exhaust. Use the ratchet kit to remove the header bolts holding the system onto the engine. Also remove any mounting bolts along the length of the exhaust pipe and pull the exhaust off the bike. Take the old exhaust, along with your new exhaust piping, to a speed shop and have it mandrel-bend your tubing to match the previous exhaust.
Replicate the bends you want in the new exhaust system with the copper tubing if you were not satisfied with the old system's location. Have a friend help you hold one end of the tubing in place at the motor mount and run the tubing to the location that you want the new exhaust to go to. Make the proper bends in the tubing to allow the exhaust technician to be able to replicate your "mold." Take the copper mould into the speed shop and have it mandrel-bend your exhaust tubing to imitate the copper tubing.
Mount the shelving brackets inside the exhaust tubing to replicate a baffle, which will give you a hearty tone, but keep a bit of back pressure in the tube so your performance doesn't suffer. Drill two holes 6 inches from the end of the exhaust tube, slide the shelving brackets into the exhaust tubing and then mount securely with the metal screws. Slide the header bracket onto the front of the exhaust tubing and reattach the exhaust to the engine. Attach the remainder of the exhaust tubing with the exhaust hangers and hardware and then start the bike up.
Tips and warnings
- You can get away with running straight pipes (without baffles) if you have more than three bends in the exhaust as this will provide enough back pressure to ward off performance drop.
- Check local and state laws regarding the modification of exhaust systems on vehicles as each state has separate emissions and sound regulations.
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