Like many of you, the less I ride because of disagreeable weather, the more I sit and think about upgrades to my bike. As I stare at my motorcycle, I realize one upgrade due is exhaust. As my career in the Motorcycle Industry deepens, I have learned a great deal what each type of exhaust will deliver and what it won’t. Since my bike, a 2004 H-D Electra-Glide Classic, is equipped with a Carburetor I don’t need to purchase an expensive EFI Tuner, therefore minimal tuning in the form of rejetting the Carb is what I will experience. My goal today is to look at the main 3 forms of exhaust upgrades available at K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) and determine which one will work best for me.
To begin with, lets take a look at “Slip-On Exhaust”. In reality you are replacing the motorcycles mufflers and nothing more. This is by far the simplest upgrade because because you do not need to install a High Flow Air Filter or modify the Fuel System. Now granted this type of upgrade will net you little performance gain, its main intent is to increase the volume and tone of the exhaust. Almost every exhaust manufacturer dabbles in Slip-Ons and there are some pretty impressive models out there. You don’t have to break the bank to get a great sounding motorcycle. Some of the bigger players in the Muffler Upgrade Market Are RUSH Racing Products, Vance and Hines, Samson, and Cobra, with up and comers Cycle Shack and Freedom Performance. Slip-Ons are mainly for those looking to add a little better sound without much focus on upgrading performance. Plus they rarely void the warranties on a new bike. Another feature of Slip-on mufflers for a new bike, all you will have to upgrade is the head pipe system when the factory coverage expires.
If you have installed a performance upgrade such as a Big Bore Kit, Over-sized Cams, High Flow Cylinder Heads, or anything else that creates more power, you will want an exhaust that can handle it. Slip-ons still use the same restrictive head pipes so you will want to change them to reap the benefits of the True Dual upgrade. Depending on the version you choose, your system may be complete front to rear (head pipes and mufflers) or may be just the head pipes. This is both good and bad. If you have already installed new mufflers and like the sound, you simply need new head pipes. If this is your first exhaust upgrade, you will need a whole system. Be advised when installing a new, unrestricted system, it is very common to have to install new jets in the carburetor or remap the fuel system. To ensure the best possible gain from your performance upgrade, any tuning should be done on a dyno.
In addition to typical True Duals, there is a large selection of custom exhaust systems available for whatever motorcycle you ride. One popular style seems to be the Dual Pipe Radius’d designs. These pipes offer a swept curve that generally dumps at the rear wheel after sweeping upward then falling down again. Not many are seen on the Touring bikes because it takes away the symmetry, or can be seen as too aggressive. Some opt for a dual long pipe look that carries the sound all the way out back on one side. This is more prevalent among the Softtail owners and produces a recognized sound.
Depending on who you talk to there is a style of exhaust that will exploit any performance upgrade you have. The 2 into 1 System. Often touted as the true performance exhaust for motorcycles, a 2 into 1 system is designed to exhaust the spent gasses quicker and more efficiently. This leads to reduced engine temperatures and increased performance. When you look at a 2 into 1 pipe, there is no mistaking the owner of that motorcycle meant business when performing the upgrade. When you install a 2 into 1 pipe. you also get a unique look that screams “I got the power!” and people know it.
Now, given the fact I have 510 Gear Drive Cams in my bike, plus a high-flow filter and a carb, I am going to shoot for at least True Duals, but will more than likely end up with a 2 into 1 System. The good thing is, no matter what system I choose, K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) has a great selection from the top manufacturers. Also almost every exhaust component is available in Chrome or Black. If you have any questions regarding an exhaust upgrade, or any other accessory upgrade, contact us and we will be happy to help you.