Does a Slip-On Exhaust Add More Horsepower?

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Does a Slip-On Exhaust Add More Horsepower?

Replacing a motorcycle's existing exhaust with a different one is a fairly common occurrence. While this change may seem trivial, it can have a considerable effect on different aspects of the motorcycle, such as its fuel consumption, acceleration, ability to handle heat, as well as overall performance. In addition, changing a motorcycle's exhaust system also has an effect on how it sounds and the fact that upgraded exhaust adds to a motorcycle's aesthetic appeal is not lost on anyone. Good slip-on exhausts are known to add horsepower to motorcycles with which they are used, although upgrading a motorcycle's full exhaust system delivers better results.

Finding slip-on exhaust systems is not difficult. One option buyers have is to look for these exhausts by getting in touch with shops that deal in motorcycle parts, accessories, and local mechanics. The other option is to turn online and search through sites like eBay. In either case, it is best that buyers equip themselves with some basic knowledge about slip-on exhausts. Learning what slip-on exhausts are and why people look for them is a good starting point, and this can be followed by understanding how they differ from full exhaust systems.

What Are Slip-On Exhausts?

A slip-on exhaust makes use of a motorcycle's existing exhaust pipe and cylinder head, and simply replaces the end can that holds the muffler. A slip-on exhaust typically attaches to a motorcycle's stock exhaust pipe by simply clamping over it. When looking to upgrade to a better alternative, buyers should ideally look for slip-on exhausts that offer better flow and are lighter than the original. Slip-on exhausts give motorcycle owners a good alternative to hang onto their stock exhaust pipes while adding better sound and performance. They offer increased flow in comparison to stock mufflers, and since the stock pipes are retained, there is no adverse effect on the lower end torque and velocity.

People looking for slip-on exhausts should know that replacing mufflers can vary from bike to bike. If an exhaust can comes welded to an exhaust system's mid-pipe, it requires that the stock can  be cut off before the replacement is slipped on. With some motorcycles, exhaust cans are simply bolted in place, and in such instances, buyers have the option to turn to bolt-on exhausts.

Why Do People Look for Slip-On Exhausts?

Not everyone looking for slip-on exhausts is doing so for the same reason, and while some people look for exhausts in order to replace damaged or broken ones, there are other reasons as well. Knowing why a slip-on exhaust is needed helps buyers narrow in on suitable options.

Added Horsepower

A significant number of people cite enhanced performance as their reason for looking for slip-on exhausts. Getting a good slip-on exhaust working at optimum levels can increase a motorcycle's horsepower by up to 5 percent.

Better Sound

Many people look for slip-on exhausts to change the way their motorcycles sound. Stock exhaust systems are designed to limit the noise they produce in accordance to country and region specific regulations, which can actually take away from the appeal that the sound of a finely tuned engine can produce. By choosing to install slip-on exhausts, motorcycle owners literally have scores of sound alternatives to browse through.

The Aesthetic Appeal

There is no disputing the fact that a number of motorcycles come with less than desirable looking exhaust systems, and some manufacturers, it appears, are taking special efforts to conceal their exhaust systems under seats or under the bikes. As a result, a number of motorcycle owners choose to get new exhausts to make their rides look better, although whether they wish to opt for slip-on exhausts and retain the original pipe or replace the entire exhaust system is their prerogative. People looking for slip-on exhausts to make their motorcycles look better should not only pay attention to the shape and style of the exhaust, but also to the material used to make it.

How Does a Slip-On Exhaust Compare With a Full Exhaust?

A full exhaust system comprises of the header pipe along with the muffler. While a slip-on exhaust does not offer too much in the form of increased horsepower, opting to replace a motorcycle's full exhaust gives users a broader range of increase in horsepower from which to choose. In addition, opting to go the full exhaust replacement route can help reduce a motorcycle's weight considerably, especially when compared with a slip-on exhaust being installed. When it comes to getting by restrictions that manufacturers of newer sports bikes have in place with their full titanium stock exhaust systems, simply opting for slip-ons can help override the restrictions in question.

Power and Performance

With slip-on exhausts are designed to maximise the flow of exhaust, users can expect a little change in how their motorcycles perform, with there being a 1 to 5 percent increase in horsepower. When it comes to full exhaust replacements, users can expect an increase of 10 percent or more in horsepower, although this requires that the engine be tuned and the flow of fuel and air be regulated in accordance. People looking at increasing their motorcycles' horsepower by replacing exhaust systems should also consider installing carburettor jet kits or aftermarket fuel-injection controllers along with high-flow air filters, which helps to balance the fuel and air mixture, helping to create additional power. The intake of fuel and air should be increased in order to make up for the increase in exhaust, and overheating can occur if this is not done.

The weight of an exhaust system has a bearing on a motorcycle's performance, and buyers can expect to find aftermarket full exhaust systems that are considerably lighter than their existing stock alternatives. Certain materials are lighter than others, with exhausts made using carbon fibre offering some of the lightest alternatives. People looking at optimum performance, therefore, should pay attention to the weight of any given exhaust.

Other Factors

The price difference between a slip-on exhaust and a full exhaust replacement is considerable, which is something that deters many people from opting for a full exhaust overhaul. In addition, a certain section opines that the increase in power in which full exhaust replacements can result are not worth the additional performance they have to offer. Value-wise, while people who intend to get the best out of their motorcycles or race frequently should opt for aftermarket full exhausts, slip-on exhausts are best suited for those who wish to change how their motorcycles' sound whilst also adding to their aesthetic appeal. Importantly, people who wish to modify their motorcycles' exhausts only because of the appearance or sound factor should know that slip-on exhausts can serve just that purpose, albeit, at a much lower cost.

Quality and Compatibility

Basing the decision to buy a slip-on exhaust entirely on the cost factor is definitely not suggested, with quality playing an important role as well. After all, buyers can expect to find some rather cheap slip-on exhaust alternatives, but just how well they perform can leave a lot to be desired. In addition, not all slip-on exhausts can be used with all kinds of motorcycles, and any given slip-on exhaust can only be used with a limited number of motorcycles. As a result, paying attention to the compatibility factor is highly recommended.

Buying Slip-On Exhausts on eBay

Anyone looking for slip-on exhausts should explore the options that are available on eBay, given that this platform is used by a number of different motorcycle parts and accessories sellers. In addition to slip-on exhausts, eBay users can also use this site to look for full exhausts as well as exhaust studs, headers, gaskets, seals, and clamps. The choice also extends to being able to find slip-on exhausts to work with motorcycles made by different manufacturers, be it Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Yamaha, and more.

A definite advantage when it comes to shopping on eBay is that buyers can expect to find a number of used slip-on exhausts to browse through, which is a good way to save some money. When choosing to deal with local sellers, not only can buyers inspect what is on offer before making payments, they can also get by the postage and packaging costs by choosing their purchases in person. In other instances, given that slip-on exhausts are not particularly lightweight, sellers charging postage and packaging costs on the expensive side should not come as a surprise.


Among the most common motorcycle upgrades, adding slip-on exhausts gives people the ability to change the way their motorcycles sound, look, and behave, without having to spend too much money. When compared to how much a full exhaust system costs, the cost of a slip-on exhaust is significantly lower, thereby drawing more attention. Slip-on exhausts are typically easy to install because the stock pipes and headers remain in place with only the old muffler left to remove. Unlike full exhaust replacements, slip-on exhausts don't require the addition of a fuel and air controller.

Exactly how much a slip-on exhaust can increase a motorcycle's horsepower depends upon various factors such as how efficient it is, how regulated the motorcycle's fuel and air flow is, as well as the tuning of the motorcycle's engine. Those looking at getting the most out of their motorcycle engine's capabilities, or those with the racing bent of mind are best off looking at full exhaust replacement alternatives, as these can add much more horsepower than slip-on alternatives.

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