How to Install a New Motorcycle Exhaust System

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Install a New Motorcycle Exhaust System

A new exhaust system can change the performance, look, and sound of a motorcycle. Systems can be lighter, with improved airflow, and come in a variety of looks and types. They are relatively easy to install and those with basic mechanical skills should be able to complete the task with ease. Know what to look for when buying the system to find the right one for the motorcycle and the rider. Gather the tools and accessories required and ensure that all of the components are present before getting started.

Installing a motorcycle exhaust system differs between motorcycle types, but the principles are the same. The fairing panels and components that fit over and around the existing system should be removed before taking off the old exhaust. Once this has been done the old system should be removed with care before the new one is fitted. Parts and panels removed initially should be replaced only once the new systems nuts and bolts have been fully fastened. Motorcycle exhaust systems are available from garages, car parts shops, and online from eBay.

Types of Motorcycle Exhaust System

Motorcycle exhaust systems fit into two main categories: full or slip-on. A full exhaust system connects to the head of the engine, while a slip-on system is installed where the existing muffler connects. A full exhaust system is best for medium to high-end power performance and is often found on cruisers and drag racing bikes. A slip-on exhaust system is more suitable for urban motorcycling and provides more low-end power. In addition, they are found on some sports bikes where the owners do not race. These systems provide more initial power. Consider the rider's needs carefully before deciding which exhaust system to buy.

Factors to Consider Before Installing a New Motorcycle Exhaust System

Several factors should be considered before installing a new motorcycle exhaust system. Three additional components should be added or replaced to avoid engine damage and poor performance. The table below lists and describes these parts.



Fuel management system

Power commander for fuel injection

Jet kit for carburettor

Adjusts the air-fuel ratio

Exhaust manifold gaskets

One per cylinder

Replace to prevent leaks

Leaks can cause bent valves

Air filter

Replace or upgrade

Improved air flow

As the installation of a new motorcycle exhaust system improves the flow of exhaust gas away from the engine, upgrade the engine components that deal with supplying air and maintaining the correct air-fuel ratio. In addition, this is the perfect time to replace exhaust manifold gaskets to prevent leaks.

Preparation for Installing a New Motorcycle Exhaust System

Once the new system and any additional items have been purchased, take the time to check the condition of the exhaust system for damage during transit. Small bumps can be removed with a round hammer. Lay the system out to check whether of all of the components and accessories are present, loosely assembling it; halfway through installation is not the right time to realise that something is missing. The following tools are handy when installing a motorcycle exhaust system:

* Rear paddock stand

* 8 to 17 mm socket set with long extension

* 8 to 19 mm combination spanners

* Screwdrivers

* 4 to 10 mm Allen keys

* Copper-based grease

Gather the tools required, as well as the exhaust installation accessories, such as nuts and bolts, and other components to be replaced, such as the manifold gaskets. Most exhaust systems come with an installation manual. Take the time to study this information before starting the installation.

Removing the Old Motorcycle Exhaust System

In order to remove the old motorcycle exhaust system it is necessary to remove all of the parts blocking access to it. Remove the fairing panels carefully to access the header pipes and mounts. It may be necessary to remove the tail panels, depending on the type of exhaust system. If the exhaust features a power valve unit, disconnect the control cables between the servo and power valve. Mark the cable positions and put the cables aside.

In some cases the radiator may be in the way of the nuts and bolts holding the header pipe clamps. Try moving the radiator forward by removing the lower mounts. If this is not possible, drain the coolant from the radiator and remove it. Next, remove the downpipe clamp fastening and under engine mounting brackets. Remove the silencer's mounting bolts, supporting the system at the same time. Push the exhaust forward to allow the header pipes to move away from the cylinder's exhaust ports. If the exhaust does not want to move, gently tap it with a plastic mallet. Remove the old exhaust carefully.

Installing the New Motorcycle Exhaust System

First, replace the exhaust manifold gaskets. Remove the old ones and fit the new ones in their place. A dab of grease can be used to keep them firmly secure. Fit the downpipes, using the nuts and bolts removed from the old system. Do not tighten them fully at this stage. Assemble the middle sections of the exhaust and fit them to the downpipes. The pipes should overlap at their connecting points. Fit the mounting bracket and silencer loosely. If the joints are held together with springs, fit them at this time.

Starting from the front, tighten the bolts. The manifold clamps should be tightened evenly to ensure a square fit of the downpipes against the manifold gaskets. Check the exhaust's manual for the correct torque settings and do not tighten the nuts beyond these. The exhaust pipes should not cause problems with cables, the motorcycle's frame, wiring, or the engine. The silencer should line up on its mounting point. If not, loosen the clamps forward of this point and realign the system.

Refill and replace the radiator or move it back into position and tighten the mountings. Replace the fairings and other parts that were removed to take the old exhaust out. Make sure that the exhaust is not touching any panels or other parts of the body where the heat of the gas can cause problems. Start the bike and allow it to warm to operating temperature. Remember to do this outside in a well-ventilated area. While the engine is warm, check the nuts and bolts carefully as these can loosen when they heat up.

Replacing a Slip-On Exhaust

If the motorcycle has a slip-on exhaust mid and headpipe, replacing this is easy. Remove the mounting hardware, loosen the clamp, and remove the old exhaust by sliding it off. Slip the new exhaust onto the mid pipe and fasten the clamp and mounting hardware.

Buying a New Motorcycle Exhaust System on eBay

eBay is the perfect place to shop for motorcycle spares and accessories, with sellers offering a wide variety of products at reasonable prices. To find the right exhaust system, type a phrase, for example " Suzuki GS exhaust system&", into the search field, which is accessible from every page, to see the listings available. Narrow your results by choosing the most suitable category and item specifications. For more control over your search, use the advanced search option.

Before Buying on eBay

Before you buy on eBay, take a moment to learn about the item and the seller. All of the information that you need to do this can be found on the item listing page, which is accessed by clicking on an individual listing. This includes details such as the full item description, images, buying choices, payment options, and the seller's feedback information. Always read the full item description to ensure that you are committing to buying the right item. If you have any questions about a listing, get in touch with the seller by clicking the "Ask a question&" link.

In addition to evaluating the item, take the time to get to know the seller. Click on the number next to the seller's username to view his or her feedback information.This shows you what other buyers think of a specific seller's products and customer service.


Fitting a new motorcycle exhaust system is relatively simple and can be done by most people that are comfortable with stripping bike panels, as well as loosening and fastening nuts and bolts. Choose between a full or slip-on system, taking the rider's needs and riding style into account. Consider changing the fuel management system, the air intake, and the exhaust manifold gaskets for the best performance.

Performance exhaust systems sound very different to standard exhausts. Take this into account when upgrading, as others may not appreciate the noise level. Ensure that the exhaust system chosen complies with local emission and noise laws and be considerate of others to avoid problems with neighbours.

The installation of a new exhaust system is easy. Simply remove the panels and components required to reach and remove the old exhaust. Loosen the mountings and remove it. Install the new system, paying close attention to wires, cables, and panels. It may be necessary to adjust and reposition the system for a perfect fit. Remember to check the bolts once they have warmed up as they tend to expand and loosen. Take care when doing this as the exhaust heats up and can cause burns. eBay sellers offer a range of full and slip-on exhaust systems for every type and model of motorcycle.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides