When it comes to motorcycle customizations, a general rule of thumb is to either change everything or not at all. Motorcycles are fun as is and people usually keep their’s in stock. However, if you are curious, changing the exhaust is a good start.
A lot of owners buy after-market exhausts for their look and sound. Sound is an integral part of riding and its always better to have an exhaust note that fits your taste. These systems also add a healthy dose of power and torque by allowing smoother expulsion of gases, and at the same time reduce weight. Only downside- they cost a lot, both for buying and installing.
There are two kinds of exhaust:
Slip-on Exhaust system: Also known as Bolt-on exhaust, here only the muffler is changed while stock factory pipes are retained. It is cheap(er), easy to install and deliver good improvement in sound and aesthetics. However, power increase is low, negligible even.
Full-exhaust system– As its name suggests, the entire exhaust system is replaced. You will need to take the help of an expert, as installation is difficult and certain tinkering is required to prevent the bike from running lean. This pushes up the overall cost and is something that only pro riders (track goers) will ever need.
Full systems return significant improvements in power and performance.
Best Exhaust brands in 2019
I’ve tried a few great motorcycle exhausts over the years, some of which I use even now. However, I can only cramp so much in to an article titled the ‘best’. So here are some manufacturers who have consistently delivered great value over the years and is expected to do so in the years to come.
This list might see generic to people who have been riding for long but for the less-informed, it is a great way to weed out the best from the rest.
Akrapovic was started in 1990, when Igor Akrapovič noticed an unexploited market for affordable yet high quality exhausts in Europe. Their products are top notch and the brand itself has roots in all major motorcycling competitions.
Akrapovic has special relations with Kawasaki, Yamaha, BMW and KTM. Their exhausts usually don’t make the most noise but do provide a healthy improvement in peak power.
Leo Vince is a well-diversified exhaust manufacturer, having products for the lowest to the highest displacement classes. They don’t have an eventful racing history as some of the other in this list but are still very popular in lot of markets, including Asia and South-east Asia.
A stand-out feature of Leo Vince exhausts’ is that they are aesthetically pleasing. They also deliver strong exhaust note and are generally affordable.
Yoshimura, along with Arrow and Termignoni, produce performance-oriented exhausts mostly for track-going superbike and sports bikes. All three are priced relatively higher but are made of great quality materials and generally return high value.
Yoshimura in particular is one of the more recognizable after-market exhaust brands in the world. Created by Hideo ‘Pops’ Yoshimura, the brand became synonymous with Suzuki and it racing team in latter half of 20th century. Hideo also played an important part in the rise of Suzuki, especially in USA.
Yoshimura produces some of the best quality exhausts available in the market today, and you really can’t go wrong choosing one.
Arrow is one of the three big exhaust manufacturers based in Italy, and has a truly global presence. They make aftermarket-exhaust for a wide range of superbikes and sportbikes, with special consideration for top-end power and sound.
Temignoni is another Italian brand, and has rich history to boast abour. Their exhaust division took shape in the 70s during thier partnership with Bimoto, and then through the 80s, Ducati and Honda joined the roost. Infact, their association with Ducati is still going on with some fantastic mufflers to show.
Vance and Hines
Vance and Hines doesn’t have the global presence that some of the others in this list have but are very popular domestically. The company initially made twin exhaust and 2-1 systems for Harley Davidsons which were well received. Seeing strong demand, the company then expanded to cover HD’s entire line-up.
They have now diversified to other products as well which is not surprising considering their historical association with Japanese bigwigs like Yamaha.
Two Brothers Racing
Two Brothers is another popular after-market exhaust manufacturer from USA. They sell products throughout the world and have a wide portfolio.
TBR is a great option if you have a smaller displacement motorcycle. They make exhaust even for scooters, mini bikes and offroaders.
These are some of the top Exhaust manufacturers present in USA. There are few other brands that I wanted to add but decided against because they were either too new or had limited products (/availability). They will be introduced in subsequent articles.
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