Slip on motorcycle exhaust systems; just how good are they?
Slip on Exhausts: A Beginners guide...
Choosing a slip on motorcycle exhaust can be a daunting, some might say
impossible prospect due to the sheer number of slip on cans
available. But why do so many motorcyclists want to go through
the hassle of finding suitable slip on motorcycle exhausts in the first
place? After all the original is deemed to be suitable for the
bike in question, right? And you can bet your bottom dollar that the can
fitted to the bike will meet all the necessary noise and
emissions requirements, no matter where the bike is being sold.
So why put yourself through all the pain?
Well without putting too fine a point on it, we are
power mad! We are obsessed with squeezing every
little horsepower out from our bikes, and the slip on motorcycle exhaust is
one surefire way for anyone with even the bare minimum of
mechanical know-how to achieve a small power gain and
also boost the sound and the look (lets not forget the look) of
To get a full power increase right through
the power range of the bike (any bike) you would have to go
through a full system installation, then follow
that up with some careful re jetting of the
carburetor or re- mapping the fuel injections
control unit. However the addition of an aftermarket slip on motorcycle
exhaust will almost definitely add a few bhp at peak power, while
smoothing out those power dips in the lower to mid range of
the bikes performance.
Now, as regulations get stricter and stricter, they are
starting to affect the designs of a number of slip on exhaust
manufacturers. Many of them now offer slip on cans with
removeable baffles. Leave the baffles in and you've got a street
legal, quiet good looking slip on with a modest power gain. Take
them out, and you've got a reasonable copy of Valentino Rossis
exhaust! (well maybe not quite that good, but you get the
But how good are these slip ons? How easy is it to install a
slip on motorcycle exhaust? What is the noise gain, and more importantly,
what is the improvement in performance with an aftermarket slip
Well let me enlighten you. In a recent test conducted by a
UK motorcyclist magazine, several top exhaust
manufacturers submitted their slip on exhausts for a test to
determine just that. Some of the top makes were included, like
, Micron, Laser, Devil, to
name just a few. All the exhausts were tested on different bike
models; the Honda Fireblade, Suzuki GSX 600 and the Honda CB
The results were nothing short of amazing. Every slip
on exhaust tested on every bike was able to show between
1 and 8bhp power gain at full output, depending
on the bike (the bigggest gains were seen on the CB1300) Don't
forget, the gain will depend on the bike and the quality of the
OEM exhaust originally fitted, but its nice to know that these
exhausts do what the makers claim! As you would expect, along
with the power gain comes an increase in noise from the slip
The other interesting point was that the slip on exhausts with
removeable baffles that were included in this test actually
showed a power decrease with the baffles in. It was only with the
baffles removed that the cans showed an increase in power (quite
considerable in some cases)
What about fitting? well the time taken to
remove the OEM can and fit the new slip on exhaust was on
average 20 minutes. Not bad! Well actually there is one
minor problem when fitting a new slip on exhaust, but only if
your bike has an underseat exhaust like the Fireblade: the time
taken for fitting in this situation stretches to close to
an hour and a half!
Which slip on exhausts came out best? Well this is only my
interpretation of someone elses results but Akrapovic and
Yoshimura scored very well on all the bikes. Mind you
the other models tested weren't very far behind, and with those
two names you get perfromance but you are definitely going to pay
for the privilege!
There are some great places online to buy slip on exhausts. Here are my top three outlets....
Oh and if slip on motorcycle exhausts for street bikes aren't your thing, try
for an easy cruiser add on from a range of suppliers including Vance and hines, Cobra, Jardine and many more!
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Copyright Motorcycle parts accessories and more, Michael Holmes 2004