Replacing your motorcycle exhaust is one of the best value ways to boost performance without touching the engine internals. While the specifics of removing your old exhaust and installing a new one will differ from bike to bike the overall process remains similar.
Tools you will need are:
- Breaker bar.
- Socket wrench.
- Torque wrench.
- Thread lock.
- Exhaust sealant.
When removing your old exhaust start from the heavier end first, which is the muffler. Doing so means there is no undue strain on the exhaust headers and manifold which connect to the exhaust ports. Using a breaker bar unscrew all the bolts holding the muffler to the bike. Usually the main bolt hangs off the rear foot peg bracket. With the exhaust can removed loosen any bolts holding the main section of the exhaust then completely unscrew the bolts holding the manifolds in place. Disconnect the exhaust from the bike and push the pipe forwards or towards the front of the bike so the head is smoothly exit the exhaust ports.
If you aren’t going to install your new exhaust system straight away always cover up the ports so no dirt or other particles get into the engine.
For installation we will install the reverse order of removal, it’s probably a good idea to do a practise dry run with your new system to ensure you know everything should be in position. There will be an order you need to put the headers in so don’t so don’t mix them up. Best practise is to put your crusher gaskets into the manifold whenever reconnecting the exhaust. If they are still in decent condition you can re-use them.
Connect the manifolds over the ports, at this stage place the bolts on but only tighten them by hand. You will want them loose to be able to adjust the position of the headers. Next get the main section of the exhaust and again loosely screw it into place on the appropriate bracket. Before connecting the headers to the pipe get some exhaust or muffler sealant and spread a good amount on the outside of the section that will be covered by the larger piece of pipe. This not only bonds the metal together but helps ensure you don’t get any air leaks. It’s best to hold the headers in place as best as possible and gently push on the main pipe until it won’t go any further.
Repeat when installing the muffler to the end of the tail pipe. With everything in place it is time to tighten. Because of the confined spaces we can’t fit our torque wrench up to tighten the bolts up on the manifold. Instead use a ratchet wrench combined with some thread lock to ensure the bolts don’t come loose. Put some plastic or other material down to stop any drips onto the bike.
Make sure whatever you do you do not over tighten manifold bolts. This is considered a cardinal sin. Tighten any other bolts connecting the exhaust system to the brackets on the bike and you’re ready to test.
Put your hand near any of the connections near the exhaust to feel for air leaks. KEEP IN MIND the pipes will get extremely hot almost immediately. If you feel air near the manifolds it probably means you have to put in new gaskets. If it is around the joints apply something like RTV silicone to create a seal.
Keep in mind also your bike now be running lean and it recommended before riding that you install an aftermarket fuel and air controller to correct this.