How to Make Your Motorcycle's Exhaust Louder

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How to Make Your Motorcycle's Exhaust Louder

Motorcycle owners value the loud, revving noise produced by their engines; this noise is part of what completes the experience of riding the vehicle. It is also considered helpful when navigating the road. Louder motorcycles are recognised more easily by drivers, which can prevent accidents. Motorcycles come with mufflers designed to reduce the engine noise, but if a rider feels that this causes a potential problem, it is possible to increase the exhaust noise with a couple of changes. A new muffler for the bike can help to increase the noise and it is easy to install.

Owners with some mechanical knowledge can also modify the existing exhaust system to increase the noise. This requires a few hand tools, and possibly some safety gear for protection while working on the muffler. The components to make your motorcycle's exhaust louder, along with any tools required can be bought from a car parts shop, garage, motorcycle dealer, and online at eBay.

An Overview of the Exhaust System

A motorcycle exhaust system exists to help to funnel carbon monoxide away from the engine and to encourage the flow of fresh oxygen into the engine for combustion. The exhaust on a motorcycle is quite short due to the size of the vehicle. The engine is also relatively small. The rider should be aware of the level of noise of the engine through the exhaust and the high temperature that the exhaust pipes can reach during a long ride. He or she must know where the exhaust pipes are so that the legs can be kept away from them completely or at least the legs should be well protected.

Function of the Muffler

The muffler is a part of the exhaust system that is designed to help to cancel out some of the noise from the motorcycle engine. However, not all riders want their bikes to be quiet. In fact, some look for ways to make them louder. As a motorcycle engine produces unwanted carbon monoxide, the muffler is lined with materials that help to convert some of the carbon monoxide into more environmentally friendly carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere.

Noise Legislation

The UK government has enacted laws around how much noise motorcycles can produce. This is partly to keep noise pollution down, but also to help to protect the ears of the rider. This noise legislation can keep a bike with a modified muffler off the road, so be aware of the rules before making your motorcycle's exhaust louder. The rules vary depending on the first date of use of the motorcycle, rather than the year of production, so if a buyer purchases an older motorcycle, the model year is not taken into account, only the date that the rider first rode the motorcycle. The relevant dates are presented in the table below, where cubic centimetres (cc) indicate how much water the engine would displace if immersed in a tank of water. The noise is measured in decibels (dB).

First Use Date

To 80 cc (dB)

81 cc - 125 cc (dB)

126 cc - 350 cc (dB)

351 cc - 500 cc (dB)

Over 500 cc (dB)

Before 1 April 1983

No limit

No limit

No limit

No limit

No limit

1 April 1983

79

81

84

86

87

1 April 1991

78

80

80 (to 175 cc)

83 (over 175 cc)

83

83

17 June 2003 onwards

75

77

77 (to 175 cc)

80 (over 175 cc)

80

80

UK noise law varies depending on the size of the motorcycle engine. When making changes to the exhaust to make it louder, remember that the bike still needs to be able to pass its MOT to stay legal on the road. Inspectors do take the noise laws seriously.

Techniques to Make the Motorcycle's Exhaust Louder

Motorcycle owners have a few options to make their exhaust systems louder. These options range from replacing the muffler to modifying the original exhaust to increase the engine noise. Modifying the engine exhaust may leave the motorcycle unable to pass an MOT, even if it is within the limits of the noise law.

Install a Slip-On Exhaust

One of the easiest and legal methods of increasing the engine noise is to replace the muffler with a slip-on exhaust that has a noise silencing insert, which can help to keep the sound down when needed. The slip-on exhaust is larger in diameter when compared to an original muffler and has less sound proofing, which increases the engine noise dramatically. This is different from replacing the full exhaust system because it only replaces the muffler. The slip-on exhaust attaches to the existing exhaust at the place where the muffler would be. First remove the original muffler, then attach the slip-on exhaust. These systems are also meant to increase the low end power of the motorcycle, which is defined as the power that gets the bike to high speeds more quickly when accelerating. This can be better for city riding because it helps a motorcycle to keep up with car traffic.

A socket spanner set and an adjustable spanner are needed to install the slip-on exhaust. Use the spanner to remove the bolts that hold the muffler to the exhaust system. Slide the slip-on exhaust over the exhaust pipes and use the spanner to tighten the bolts to secure it in place. After installing the slip-on exhaust, switch on the motorcycle and test drive it to check the new sound.

Removing the Baffles

Another option to make your motorcycle's exhaust louder is to remove the baffles from the muffler on the existing exhaust system. This requires more mechanical skill and time. However, it does increase the sound from the engine dramatically. A hacksaw and a large metal cutting drill are needed to remove the baffles from the muffler. For additional safety, wear goggles and leather gloves to protect the eyes and skin.

Remove the muffler from the exhaust system. Next, remove the metal cover on the muffler to reveal the baffles inside; these look like three metal tubes. Use the hacksaw to cut through the pipes. Take the drill and bore through the metal plates inside the remaining exhaust system pipes. Replace the muffler cover, and secure the muffler back onto the exhaust system. When removing the baffles, the engine efficiency may decrease. This can be countered by removing the baffles a small section at a time until there is an acceptable balance between noise and torque. Note that this is a modification that cannot be reversed.

Buying Components to Make Your Motorcycle's Exhaust Louder on eBay

Components to make your motorcycle's exhaust louder, and the tools required to install them, can be bought on eBay. You can search through hundreds of listings to find items that match your requirements. To make the process more efficient, use the features of the eBay search engine. This is available from any page of the website. Enter the relevant keywords in the search box, which can be broad or narrow, and eBay looks through the listings for matching results. For instance, you can search for a " Yamaha muffler" or any preferred brand. There are additional refinement options that allow buyers to narrow down the results even further by price and condition. If you know precisely which component is required, then used these details in the advanced search feature.

Seller History

When buying motorcycle parts on eBay, you need to make sure that you purchase from a reliable seller. Look at the seller history to determine if previous customers have had satisfactory experiences with the seller. To check the seller's history, click on his or her name in the listing. This takes you to another page with information about previous sales in the form of customer feedback and a star rating. The stars are awarded according to factors, such as prompt dispatch of the item and the quality of packaging.

Conclusion

Most motorcycle owners feel that having a louder exhaust is a safer way to ride. It can alert other road users to your presence, especially those in cars, trucks, and lorries. Motorcycle owners have a few options for increasing the exhaust noise: installing a slip-on exhaust or removing the baffles. Buying a slip-on muffler is a good way to increase the sound levels, and it is reversible because you can always reinstall original components. Removing the baffles requires some technical expertise, and it is permanent.

There are strict noise laws in the UK regarding the decibel level allowed for a motorcycle, ranging around an 80 dB limit. This legislation takes into account the first time that the motorcycle was ridden by the owner, rather than the age of the bike. The laws are designed to help to keep noise pollution down and to protect the ears of the motorcycle rider. Modifications to increase the noise level of your motorcycle can stop it from passing an MOT, so bear this in mind before performing any work. Components to make your motorcycle's exhaust louder can be found on eBay.

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