Fewer things in the world are more satisfying than a deep, throaty growl coming from a powerful motorcycle. Whether you’re dealing with a 450cc dirt bike or a 1100cc touring bike, putting the right exhaust on it can really enhance performance and improve that sound. That’s not to mention how much better a motorcycle looks with a shimmering stainless steel exhaust. However, aftermarket motocross and road bike manufacturers know how much you love a great exhaust. That’s why they try to charge as much as you might pay for the bike itself. Some straight-through systems, called drag pipes, can cost upwards of $1,000. That’s just for a straight length of metal tube. With a little bit of know-how and a perforated filter tube, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. Here’s how to do that.
1. Start With The Pipes
There are two kinds of pipe bends. Crush bends are, as the name implies, pipes that look crushed where they’re bent. Mandrel bends are smooth bends without ripples. Those ridges in the metal cause turbulence that increases shaking and robs your motorcycle of power. If you can, get some mandrel bent pipes. You won’t regret the added expense.
2. Build Your Muffler
Next, you can proceed to build your muffler. That might sound difficult, but it’s actually pretty simple. A muffler cuts the amount of noise coming out of your exhaust because it slows down the gas coming out of the pipe. You just need a place to send that gas and something to slow it down.
Your muffler is going to consist of a perforated filter tube, a larger steel pipe to go around it, and some ceramic insulation to fill the space. The perforated tube will allow gas to escape through the dozens of different holes instead of just the end of the tube. The gas will then shoot into the ceramic insulation where it will slow down considerably. The slowing of the exhaust should reduce the noise.
It’s probably easier to make your perforated filter tube a little bit smaller than your exhaust pipe, so it slips inside the exhaust and helps create a little back pressure.
3. Put It All Together
You then want to weld it all together. You might need to contract a professional to put it together for you. Wrap the perforated filter tube in ceramic wool then weld it inside the larger tube. There you go. Just that quickly, you have a muffler. You’ll want to then weld the homemade muffler on the end of your exhaust. You’re ready to ride.
The benefit of making your own muffler is not just monetary. You’ll probably save some money, but you’ll also be able to customize your riding experience. What you have just built is called a straight-through muffler as opposed to a chambered muffler. Chambered mufflers are filled with baffles that disrupt the gas flow. If you want to reduce the sound even more, you can choose a longer perforated filter tube as your muffler core.
Building your own muffler is a quick and easy way to control how your bike rides and how it sounds.