Exhaust Upgrades

Your bike may sound great with new pipes, but are you really getting everything you wanted? An exhaust system is only one part of your engine’s breathing system. One of the most common tech questions we get asked is “Do I need to remap my exhaust if I add slip-on mufflers?” The honest answer, no matter what scare tactics your dealer tries to tell you, is no assuming you don’t make any other changes. The modern Delphi fuel injection system is a very advanced electronic device that can compensate for the slight change inflow as well as changes in altitude and temperature. Many people reading this would probably say the bike is lean from the factory, and while this is true, mufflers will not put your engine in danger. That only answers half of the question though. Consider this an engine is only an air pump. The more air you move through it, the more power you will make. Now, if all you do is add a less restrictive exhaust, you will still be limited on how much air the air pump can move as a result of the restrictive stock intake. That said, a set of slip-on mufflers on your new Harley-Davidson may sound like you are making a lot more power when in reality you are leaving a lot of untapped potential.

The question becomes, “How do I tap this hidden potential?” The single best way is a complete stage 1 kit. This includes a set of free-flowing exhaust pipes, a hi-flow air filter and a fuel management unit.

You can pick the exhaust that you choose whether it is a set of slip-on mufflers or a complete system including head pipes. In most instances, a stock head pipe will flow just fine for a stage 1 set up.


 Keep in mind; however, that after the 2010 model year Harley Touring bikes come with a catalyst in the head pipe. This catalyst will not only negatively affect the flow, but will diminish the sound level that your new slip-on mufflers would otherwise provide. There are many different styles and finishes of pipes to suit your personal preference. If you have a touring bike and would like to replace the head pipes, you can mix and match these with your choice of mufflers and get the style that appeals to you the most.

The next component after the exhaust is the hi-flow air filter. There are many different choices to suit your needs. Air filter range in price from $ 75.00 up to $400.00…Don’t be fooled by looks & hi price units. some basic air filter is just fine…


Finally to complete the system you will need a fuel management unit.  


This unit will allow the fuel injection system to compensate for the extra air that your engine now has the ability to pump through itself. There are many auto-tune systems out there that are worth the money, no need to put your bike on the Dyno, One of the best we have seen out there is Zipper’s Thunder Max

These suggestions are by no means a one size fits all solution. If you plan on increasing the displacement of your engine, adding cams or making other radical changes in the future, these upgrades should be taken into consideration when you plan your stage 1 kit accordingly.