How to Quiet Your Motorcycle's Exhaust

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How to Quiet Your MotorcycleEven the best motorcycle exhausts succumb to noise issues, which means owners must take measures to comply with noise ordinances.

Motorcycle owners can purchase new exhausts or buy motorcycle maintenance products at dealer shops or online from company ecommerce portals. The best strategy may be to go on eBay and search for sellers who exactly match a motorcycle owner's shopping criteria. Many eBay sellers include exhaust-related products as a part of a larger motorcycle parts and accessories purchase. Before taking the steps required to prevent motorcycle exhaust noise, owners should first learn about the three principal ways for quieting their bike exhaust systems, as well as understand how to prevent the ear rattling backfires that come out of nowhere.

Overview of a Motorcycle Exhaust

Manufacturers carefully design motorcycle exhausts to transfer toxic fumes away from the bike and into the atmosphere. Since the fumes released typically reach extremely high temperatures, motorcycle exhausts must be constructed with heat-resistant materials, such as steel, aluminium, titanium, or carbon fibre. Most countries have specific standards that motorcycle manufacturers must meet to ensure the safe transfer of the noxious gas. Manufacturers construct virtually every motorcycle exhaust system to be visible, and various types of chrome designs provide decorative appeal. Motorcycle exhausts vary in design depending on the type of engine used to power the motorcycle. EU noise and pollution regulations place restrictions on the production of single cylinder exhausts to enhance environmental impact of the toxic fumes disbursement.

Three Ways to Quiet a Motorcycle Exhaust

While the revving of a motorcycle engine may boost rider adrenaline levels, the fact remains that most European countries, including the United Kingdom, have passed laws to prohibit excessive exhaust noise. This means manufacturers design exhaust systems to comply with national and local regulations. However, due to natural obsolescence that leads to increased noise levels that exceed regulatory standards, bike owners need to know how to quiet motorcycle exhausts. Changing out exhaust pipes is a sure way to reduce or eliminate exhaust noise, but that represents the most costly option. Motorcycle owners can save a few pounds by performing one of three methods for quieting a motorcycle exhaust.

Repack the Exhaust

Repacking an exhaust involves purchasing a repack kit and following a few easy-to-implement steps. First, drill out the rivets that secure the exhaust cap. Remove the core inside of the exhaust and any packing material inserted by the manufacturer. The point of using this quieting method is to replace the packing material. Remove the new packing material located inside of the repack kit and wrap it around the inner core of the exhaust. Once the inner core repacks with the new material, insert the inner core back into the exhaust. Secure the cap to have a tight fit to ensure the new packing remains inside of the exhaust. Most motorcycle manufacturers recommend repacking a motorcycle exhaust in accordance with the bike's maintenance schedule displayed inside of the owner's manual. Maintenance schedules vary among motorcycle manufacturers and on the condition of the bike. For instance, a motorcycle owner who buys a new Yamaha bike does not need to repack the exhaust as often as a used Harley Davidson motorcycle owner does.

Replace the Baffle

Replacing the baffle requires some mechanical expertise. Measure the inside of the exhaust to ensure the purchase of the right sized slip-in baffle. Measurements off by just a few millimetres can exacerbate the noise problem. Clean the inner rim of the exhaust to eliminate any obstacles that prevent the replacement of the old baffle. Remove the screw that currently attaches to the baffle and insert the new baffle into the muffler. Make sure to avoid overly aggressive twists of the screwdriver to avoid breaking off a possibly rusted screw. Double-check the baffle to ensure stability. Line up the baffle and mounting hole on the exhaust. If there is not a mounting hole, drill a hole of a size that matches the hole on the baffle. Screw the baffle into place securely, using glue on the bolt section of the screw to provide additional stability. Some motorcycle enthusiasts believe it is more efficient to replace the exhaust instead of following this step, but the issue of cost often overrides the easier way to quiet a motorcycle exhaust.

Exhaust System Tuning

Many motorcycle companies offer exhaust system upgrades that require replacing the entire exhaust manifold or other exhaust system components. While expensive, the procedure significantly upgrades the exhaust system's performance, particularly by reducing noise. Motorcycle mechanics can either reduce the back pressure or the amount of heat lost into the underbonnet area. Mechanics reduce back pressure by replacing exhaust manifolds with headers that have much smoother blends and wider pipe diameters to alleviate the gas pressure.

How to Eliminate Motorcycle Backfire

The loud, constant revving sound that comes from a motorcycle exhaust is only one noise concern. A more startling noise emanates from motorcycles while starting the engine or shifting gears to increase speed. Motorcycle backfires are explosions that develop inside of motorcycle exhausts and with the proper knowledge and tools, riders can eliminate and prevent future backfires from occurring.

Cause of Motorcycle Exhaust Backfires

Motorcycle backfires typically occur when there is an exhaust leak, although the system can also create backfires when it runs rich or lean. Running rich means the exhaust system has more fuel than air present, while running lean means there is more air than fuel. The incomplete combustion causes the loud, popping noise that startles both riders and neighbours. Besides cost, another reason to avoid changing exhaust pipes is the unbalanced fuel to air ratio caused by the new pipes. The imbalance can create backfire in the exhaust, as can weak fuel pumps, low fuel pressure, and clogged fuel filters.

How to Prevent Motorcycle Exhaust Backfire

Motorcycle owners do not have to possess world class mechanical skills to eliminate and prevent exhaust backfire, nor do they require a substantial amount of money to get the job done. The following chart lists four ways to prevent motorcycle backfire, with each way recommended as part of a bike's regular maintenance schedule as described in the owner's manual.

Backfire Prevention Method


Check carburretor

Fuel cannot flow through a clogged carburretor

Dirty carburettors cause a lean running engine that adds gas pressure to the exhaust system

Clean with high-grade carburretor cleaner

Check jets

Clogged jets prevents improper fuel circulation within the engine

Engine runs lean and causes pressure to build inside of exhaust

Add fuel injector cleaner

Use high-grade cleaner to remove dirt within a fuel injection system

Consult with owner's manual to purchase the correct type of cleaner

Change fuel grade

Low-rated fuel can clog fuel lines and force more gas pressure into the exhaust system

High-grade fuel ensures clean fuel tank and lines

While motorcycle owners have four methods for preventing exhaust backfire, the method chosen often depends on the make and model of the bike. The major motorcycle manufacturers, such as Kawasaki and Suzuki, add nuanced features to their exhaust systems that favour the use of a specific backfire prevention method. Consult with the local dealer to confirm which backfire prevention method works for a specific bike model.

Buying Motorcycle Exhausts on eBay

How do you find the right seller on eBay? The leading ecommerce shop has provided buyers with a powerful search engine to target sellers who match their shopping criteria. Type specific keywords into the search engine to reduce the number of search results, and thus, reduce the time you spend on an eBay search. For motorcycle exhausts, you can shop by condition. For instance, type "new motorcycle exhaust" or "used motorcycle exhaust systems" to narrow your search to a few qualified sellers. After the search, the next step involves vetting the finalists.

Analyse the product photographs that sellers prominently display on their sales pages. Check for imperfections on the exhaust exterior or the condition of exhaust parts offered by sellers. Then, review seller accepted payment methods and delivery terms. Ordering from a UK seller usually ensures a faster delivery time. You should also review the customer feedback that eBay posts on seller product pages. Only consider sellers who have established strong resumes for garnering positive customer feedback. You can also vet eBay sellers by purchasing motorcycle exhaust related products from a seller's eBay Store.


Motorcycle enthusiasts take immense pride in the upkeep and maintenance of their bikes. They constantly enhance their bikes' appearance and ensure every part seamlessly integrates to provide superior performance. Many bikers prefer the do-it-yourself approach to motorcycle maintenance, especially if it means saving a few pounds in the process. This is especially the case for quieting motorcycle exhausts, as taking a bike in for noise reduction can put a huge dent in a biker's maintenance budget. The impetus to quiet motorcycle exhausts has taken on more meaning ever since British towns and the national government have mandated stringent motorcycle anti-noise ordinances.

Do-it-yourselfers have three main methods for reducing or eliminating motorcycle exhaust noise. They can repack the exhaust with new materials, replace the baffle, or tune the entire exhaust system. While expensive, tuning an exhaust system does a better job of providing riders with long-term, noise-free motorcycle rides. Another source of motorcycle noise comes from the sudden explosion called backfire. The premise for implementing each method is to unclog the motorcycle parts that influence gas pressure inside of the exhaust. No matter how motorcycle owners choose to prevent exhaust noise, they can find all of the products they need to perform the job by shopping on eBay.

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