How to Remove the Exhaust Baffles on a Harley-Davidson

Written by greg blankenship
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How to Remove the Exhaust Baffles on a Harley-Davidson
Removing the baffles from a Harley-Davidson is a simple process. (bike exhaust image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from

For many riders, a louder Harley-Davidson is a safer Harley-Davidson because most accidents occur when drivers are unaware of the motorcycle's presence. And some riders just plain like it loud. Removing the exhaust baffles can be done in three easy steps. However, there are drawbacks to removing them. Over time, the changes in the way the exhaust moves through the pipe will result in some power losses. For some, this might not be noticeable or of marginal concern, but to the rider who is seeking optimal performance from his ride, doing a stage 1 modification may be a better alternative.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electric drill
  • 1-inch hole saw
  • Drill bit extension
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Cutting oil

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  1. 1

    Spray cutting oil into the rear of the muffler. The cutting oil will help ensure that metal shavings will not collect in the exhaust system. It will also help reduce friction and prevent sparking when the baffle is drilled out.

  2. 2

    Drill out the baffle. Attach a hole saw and extension to an electric drill. Drill into the rear of the first exhaust pipe around the baffle. The baffle is the cylindrical piece at the centre of the pipe. Place the hole saw blade around the baffle and drill it out. If smoke or sparks begin to fly, re-coat the inside of the exhaust pipe with oil.

  3. 3

    Reach into the rear exhaust with a pair of needle-nose pliers and attempt to grab then pry the baffle out of the muffler. It will take a little work to get a solid hold of it; but once that's accomplished, it will come out fairly easily.

  4. 4

    Repeat the process on the other exhaust pipe. Once both baffles are removed inspect both pipes closely to make sure no debris was left inside them. You may want to remove the muffler and use compressed air or some other method to blow out any metal shavings although the cutting oil should sufficiently prevent debris from flying around during the cutting process.

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