How to Change the Exhaust Pipes on a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

by Contributor

You finally joined the club--you bought a Harley. Now, to look like an old pro, it's time to customize your motorcycle. Changing out the exhaust pipes on your Harley-Davidson can be an easy way to add your own sense of style. Read on to learn more.

Assess the job. Look the exhaust system over to see where and how it's fastened to your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Since your exhaust system is air-cooled, you only have to remove the exhaust system itself and no other parts, like a radiator. Check the size of the fastening bolts with your tools to be sure the wrench sizes you need are handy.

Take off the old pipes. Start by loosening each bolt holding the exhaust pipes in place. Starting with the muffler, take off each component by first removing the bolts. If there are many miles on your Harley, the muffler may be difficult to remove. Try WD-40 and some elbow grease.

Plan ahead. If your cycle features a one-piece exhaust system, you're going to need some help. Get someone to work with you because the weight of the system can be dangerous to you or other parts of your Harley that you're working around.

Inspect what's left. Once you have the old exhaust system off your Harley-Davidson, take some time to clean and inspect the areas normally hidden by the exhaust pipes.

Remove the old gaskets if they're still in place. Clean the ports to help the new exhaust pipes seat properly. Use some anti-seize compound to hold the new gaskets in place.

Plant your pipes. Starting with the headpipes, assemble your new exhaust system, using a little antiseize at each connection. Tighten the bolts only enough to keep the pipes together at this point. If you have trouble fitting the pieces together, now is the time to make adjustments, before everything is tightened down. Once everything is assembled, gently tighten the bolts, starting at the cylinder head.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.