How to Quiet a Motorcycle Exhaust

Contrary to popular belief, not all motorcyclists enjoy the sound of a loud exhaust system. In fact, many riders prefer a mild roar over the obscenely loud rumble of an open-pipe exhaust. However, as the muffler's sound-dampening baffles and packing material wear over time, stock exhaust systems can become just as loud. While total replacement of the muffler is warranted by obvious damage, installing an external baffle or replacing the muffler's fibreglass packing can help to silence the exhaust. Some familiarity with your motorcycle's exhaust system will help the task move along smoothly.

Remove the muffler from the motorcycle, using a socket wrench to unscrew the muffler's mounting bolt. Loosen the muffler clamp with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the muffler off the exhaust pipes.

Remove the rivets from the outlet end of the muffler, using an electric drill. Pull the outlet cap off of the muffler.

Pull out the muffler's core tube and its remaining fibreglass packing material. Unwrap the packing material and remove the core.

Wrap the core in a sheet of new packing material. Insert the wrapped core into the muffler.

Reattach the outlet cap to the muffler, using a rivet gun.

Reinstall the muffler onto the exhaust pipe.

Measure the inner diameter of the muffler's outlet pipe, using a tape measure. Select a slip-in baffle that is small enough to fit snugly within the muffler's outlet.

Insert the baffle into the muffler's outlet pipe, using a rubber mallet if needed to tap the baffle into place.

Drill a small hole through the bottom of the muffler's outlet pipe and the baffle, using an electric drill.

Insert a metal screw through the holes to secure the baffle to the muffler. Tighten the screw with a Phillips screwdriver.


Some stock mufflers use a series of plates or tubes to reduce the noise of the exhaust. Use a slip-in baffle or replace the entire muffler to quiet the motorcycle. Have the work performed at a motorcycle repair facility if you do not feel that you can finish the task.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Electric drill
  • Fibreglass packing material
  • Rivet gun
  • Tape measure
  • Slip-in baffle
  • Metal screw
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About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.