How to Remove the Baffles From a Softail Exhaust

by Justin Wash
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Most motorcycles do not ship with the sort of loud exhaust with which brands such as Harley-Davidson have become synonymous. Yet "loud pipes save lives" has become a common phrase used in the motorcycle community, where often the exhaust note of a motorcycle is louder and more attention-grabbing than the horn that comes standard with the bike. This loud exhaust tone is the result of a simple operation you can perform at home with some basic tools, making your ride louder and more worry-free as you attract the attention of motorists and other motorcyclists on the road.

Step 1

Use your owner's manual to locate the bolts that mount the exhaust to the frame and cylinder head of the motorcycle. Every bike is different in this regard.

Step 2

Set your motorcycle on its kickstand so it will not fall over while you are working on it.

Step 3

Remove the exhaust system from the motorcycle by removing the exhaust mounting bolts with a combination or socket wrench.

Step 4

Cover your vise or metalwork stand with shop rags, paper towels or another soft material to keep the chrome surface of the exhaust safe from scratches and dents. Clamp the exhaust in the vise or stand.

Step 5

Install a metal-cutting drill bit 3/8 or 1/2 inch in size onto your hand-held drill. Drill through the first baffle on the inside of the muffler then the second. Do not drill through all of the exhaust baffles or the compression of the engine will suffer, requiring a carburetor rejet.

Step 6

Remove any metal shavings or pieces from the end of the muffler. Use a combination or socket wrench to reattach the exhaust to the motorcycle frame and cylinder head. Be sure all bolts are tightened to the torque specifications found in your owner's manual, then start up the bike and listen to your new, low and loud exhaust.

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