How to Drill Baffles on a Stock Harley Mufflerby Justin Wash
"Loud pipes save lives" is a common phrase heard in the motorcycling community, where oftentimes the exhaust on a motorcycle is louder and more ear-catching than the horn that comes standard with the bike. However, most of the time, this loud, low exhaust note is the result of aftermarket modifications as most production motorcycles are limited to a certain noise level during production. Make your motorcycle sound bigger and louder by removing the baffles from your stock Harley exhaust.
Refer to your owner's manual to determine how the exhaust pipes are attached to your Harley-Davidson. Most bikes will have two nuts holding each pipe at the cylinder and two bolts on each pipe holding the rear-to-frame mounts.
Set your motorcycle on its kickstand or center stand so that it will not fall over or tip while you are working.
Use an appropriately-sized socket wrench to remove the bolts that hold the exhaust to the motorcycle. Separate the exhaust system from the bike completely. Cover any exposed engine parts while you are working.
Clamp the exhaust in a vise covered with a shop rag to protect the chrome finish of the pipes.
Use a 3/8-inch metal cutting bit on your hand-held drill to drill through the first and second baffles on the inside of the exhaust. The exhaust system will usually have three or four baffles. Leave at least one in place so that you do not need to re-jet, or re-calibrate, the carburetor when you re-install the pipes.
Remove the exhaust system from the vise. Turn the pipes upside down and smack them with your hand or a soft rubber mallet to knock out any remaining metal shards.
Reattach the exhaust to the bike with the mounting bolts removed earlier. Be sure all bolts are tight and any metal gaskets or washers are in their correct places.
Start up your motorcycle and listen to the new rumble of the exhaust note.
Items you will need
- 1/2-inch metal cutting drill bit
- Hand-held drill
- Shop rags
- Socket wrench
- Rubber mallet (optional)
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