How to Make Stock Harley Exhaust Louder


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How To Make Stock Harley Exhaust Louder

Making stock Harley exhaust louder is quite easy and can be done in multiple different ways. For starters, you can re-tune the engine of your Harley-Davidson bike, drill out the baffles, replace the baffles, add aftermarket accessories, and more. You can select the option that suits you the best and turn your amazing motorcycle into an even better, roaring machine. With louder exhaust, all eyes will be on you as you’re speeding the roads and highways on your Harley-Davidson bike.

In this article, you will get to know all about making the most of your Harley exhausts, how to make stock Harley exhaust louder, how loud are default Harley-Davidson exhausts compared to other brands, are there any restrictions on how loud the exhaust can get, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Make the Most of your Harley-Davidson Exhausts

At times, most Harley-Davidson bikers think that making the Harley-Davidson stock exhausts louder will necessarily need them to spend huge amounts of money. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

One of the major aspects of overcoming this notion will be to get an in-depth understanding of the numerous options that are available to you. At the same time, you need to maintain constant communication with the exhaust system such that you’re aware of how different operational modes in the system work. 

Once you have a more profound understanding of your bike and different options, you’ll be able to make your exhausts or pipes louder seamlessly.

How to Make stock Harley Exhaust Louder?

Do you want your Harley-Davidson bike recognizable to other bikers on the road with its loud uproar and amazing performance? Maybe you’d like to make the exhaust of your bike loud enough such that it is heard by everyone as you’re parading across the roads.

Luckily for you, there are multiple ways you can transform your average Harley-Davidson bike into a customized, loud, roaring beast. There are a few simple additions that you can use to make a major impact on your bike.

Before you start with the different ways to make the Harley-Davidson exhausts louder, you must gather a few basic tools to help you with the process – 

  • A hole saw of 1-inch dimension
  • A screwdriver 
  • Cutting oil
  • Drill extension
  • Allen wrench 
  • Power drill
  • Needle-nose pliers 

Once you have gathered the necessary tools, you can head over to the different ways to make stock exhausts louder – 

1. Re-tune the engine of our Harley-Davidson bike

If you’re doubtful of this method, there’s no need to be. You could consider returning the engine of your bike to its peak performance. This will help make the Harley exhausts or pipes louder. Ultimately, this will help you achieve three results –

  • First, it’ll make the stock exhausts of your Harley-Davidson bike louder
  • It’ll add more power to the engine of your bike
  • Lastly, it’ll enhance the overall performance of your bike

Aside from these benefits, you will also get to look forward to improving the performance and functionality of your Harley’s engine. While you are making the exhaust louder, it isn’t implied that you’ll be creating a lot of noise, or you aren’t abiding by the emission standards. Therefore, you need to be aiming at ensuring that you’re reducing the noise while following the emission standards that are laid down by the government.

To achieve that, you should reorganize your motorcycle’s engine to fall in line with the standard out-of-factory specifications. Before you do the same, it’ll be imperative that you ensure that the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of the engine remains fired up for the purpose it serves

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2. Replace the baffles

If you want to make the pipes or exhaust system of your Harley-Davidson motorcycle louder, you can consider going for an alternative method. You can remove old baffles and install new pipes in their place.

Towards the end of the header pipes of your bike, you may come across slip-on pashminas that are joined. The presence of slip-on mufflers in the motorcycle will make the exhaust system louder while also improving the overall performance of the motorcycle without getting rid of the exhaust system entirely.

You’ll be able to make use of the cutting oil for coating the rear end of the muffler’s interior in the motorcycle. The coating will help in preventing sparks or smoke as you will be removing the baffle of the muffler. Further, this coating will also help minimize the debris flying around or getting into your motorcycle’s headers.

3. Drilling out the baffles

When you’re looking to increase the overall airflow across the exhaust or pipes of your motorcycle, you can try drilling out the baffles of the engine using a power drill. At the same time, you can even consider making a few holes within the exhaust system or pipes in the bike. Once you have implemented that, you can be assured that the exhaust system or pipes of your Harley will become louder instantly.

You can also try twisting and pulling out the long cylinder towards the middle of your motorcycle’s muffler. You can use needle-nose pliers to check the pipes for the presence of any metal shavings. After that, you should remove the motorcycle’s muffler and pump air into it so that you can ensure that there aren’t any metal shavings left there.

When you’re trying to remove the baffles or create holes in the exhaust system or pipes, there will be a caveat. Over time, the overall performance of your Harley-Davidson bike will gradually decrease. This will imply that the process of the removal of baffles to increase the overall sound capacity of your motorcycle won’t actually enhance the overall performance of the engine.

Aftermarket accessories to make stock exhausts louder

If you want to improve the overall sound quality of your bike’s exhaust system, you can use aftermarket parts. There are numerous custom motorcycle accessories that will help you make a significant impact on the exhaust’s loudness. 

The aftermarket customized range of motorcycle parts that will be mentioned below falls within the $150-$500 range. Further, the utilization of these parts won’t require a specialized degree or expert knowledge to help you achieve the desired results.

4. Yost Power Tube

Another guaranteed way to obtain more ample power with customized motorcycle parts for an affordable amount will be with the help of Yost Power Tube. Once the combustion efficiency of your motorcycle’s engine increases, more power is subsequently obtained.

A Power Tube will be immensely helpful in achieving that. The kit that you will bring home from Yost comes with a space for delivering increased power and throttle.

The Yost Power Tube will work well with all the Harley-Davidson Series bikes including B, G, E, and S&S Harleys. It also ranks as one of the customized parts that most beginner Harley owners can look forward to installing in the motorcycle by themselves.

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5. Big growler exhausts

What even is a Harley-Davidson bike if it doesn’t rumble? The Big Growler Exhaust will certainly make the heads turn when you’re speeding down the road. Sometimes, even the passer-bys sitting inside the noise-insulated cars will get a piece of how loud your bike is. Moreover, the growling sound created makes them crave the freedom of riding a powerful beast like a Harley-Davidson bike.

Harley-Davidson Exhaust

The presence of the straighter, longer pipes in the exhaust system will help in making it sound “un-muffled”. This will help in amplifying every hum and grind of your motorcycle’s engine when you’re cruising and accelerating.

6. Aftermarket carburetors

In most situations, aftermarket carburetors are among the best and most popular aftermarket products that most Harley-Davidson bikers like to modify on their bikes.

The main job of a carburetor is to make sure that the bike is mixing the right amount of gas with air to produce the torque needed to fuel the motorcycle. The absence of ample air in the carburetor will make the engine lean.

At the same time, having too much gas in the carburetor will make the engine flood. If more air flows through the carburetor, it’ll imply that the engine can deliver more power to the motorcycle. 

How loud are Harley-Davidson exhausts compared to other brands?

When someone encounters a bike with an ear-splitting exhaust speeding away, more often than not, people assume that it is a Harley-Davidson bike.

With extremely loud engines, it can be easy to conclude that every roaring bike on the road or highway is a Harley-Davidson bike. However, just because Harley-Davidson bikes have noisy engines and loud exhausts doesn’t mean these bikes are automatically the loudest motorcycles on the planet.

Factory-produced Harley-Davidson bikes are loud, but other motorcycles can be just as loud. Cruisers manufactured by the likes of Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki come with a slightly lower or the same decibel rating as Harley-Davidson bikes.

Anyone who owns a bike, Harley-Davidson or not, has the capability to increase their motorcycle’s decibel rating. Since Harley-Davidson bikers will be more likely to mod their exhausts, this doesn’t mean that bikers who own other motorcycles won’t do the same.

Owners of other cruisers also tune the exhausts of their motorcycles to make them sound like Harley-Davidson bikes.

Are there any restrictions on the loudness of a Harley-Davidson bike?

Contrary to popular belief, there are laws regulating the noise level of bikes that exists. For instance, the U.S. EPA Code limits bikes to a total noise emission level of their motorcycles to make sure they are complying with EPA standards.

Further, federal law requires the manufacturers to use only EPA-approved mufflers on their motorcycles. Such mufflers come embossed with a U.S. EPA muffler label, which law enforcement can recognize easily.

You cannot tamper with, modify, or replace the EPA-approved muffler on your bike during its life. The only possible exception is if the replacement muffler happens to be an EPA-approved muffler. Removing your bike’s muffler or using a non-EPA-approved muffler will be a punishable offense under the law.

In fact, law enforcement officials will arrest you if your motorcycle’s sound level is above the limit specified under the EPA code. Police officers use the SAE J331a full-throttle drive-by testing procedure for determining the sound levels of bikes. Usually, it involves using a sound level meter for monitoring the decibel rating of your motorcycle’s noise.

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States have ordinances and local laws regulating the noise level of bikes. For instance, California limits pre-1986 bikes to 83 decibels and post-1986 motorcycles to 80 decibels.

Punishment for not obeying the motorcycle noise laws can vary according to state. Police in some states only issues fines or tickets to offending bikers. Meanwhile, other states are much more stringent and could force the biker to remove the modifications or even have the bike impounded.

Under what circumstances, law enforcement ignores loud motorcycles?

Given the freedom bikers driving noisy bikes enjoy on public roads, it can be hard to believe that there are actually laws that restrict sound levels. People often question the effectiveness of noise laws, especially as bikers rarely get booked when driving excessively loud bikes.

The problem isn’t that the laws are inadequate, the police department doesn’t actually have ample resources to fully enforce these rules. Catching noise law offenders will involve using sound meters for determining the sound level of motorcycles on the road.

Most police departments are unwilling to spend resources on purchasing sound meters or training officers to actually use them. Even when they do, they often train very few officers, who then struggle to cover large areas.

For instance, individual counties previously had full-time officers patrolling streets searching for bikers who are riding noisy bikes. The program ended up being quite successful and eventually led to a significant reduction in the number of loud bikes on country roads. However, most full-time police officers got laid off after budget cuts ended up forcing police departments to downsize.

Such cases underscore the need for increased resources and manpower for fighting the scourge of extra-noisy Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Until states start treating noise law offenses how speed rule violations are handled, bikers will continue to drive ultra-loud motorcycles that exceed the limits set by state laws.  

Just like how states give officers speed radars and training to use them, they must provide officers with the needed sound meters and train them to use the equipment properly. 


How loud is a stock Harley-Davidson exhaust?

Stock Harley-Davidson exhausts are quite loud, but they aren’t very loud at all. These exhausts are as loud as any other motorcycle brand. Aftermarket exhausts will be much louder, while there are also quieter exhausts available. In fact, stock motorcycle exhausts are largely made in a way that when you’re riding them around, they won’t sound exceedingly loud and annoying.

Do Harley-Davidson bikes have to be tuned after exhaust?

If you only change the mufflers, you won’t have to tune your motorcycle. However, if you are changing the entire exhaust system, including the head pipes, you’ll require a tuner and a high-flow air intake that is recommended to accommodate the increased airflow after exhibiting the combustion chamber.

Why do people like loud Harley-Davidson bikes?

People like making their bikes louder as they think it makes them come across as more manly, macho, tough, faster, and powerful. Some people even believe that it makes them safer on the road, as other vehicles can hear them coming from far.

Are there any benefits of a loud exhaust other than sound?

Bikers who make their Harley exhaust louder often city improved performance as another benefit. Further, it can also improve the vehicle’s horsepower, as it’ll allow greater levels of exhaust fumes to leave the motorcycle engine in a free-flow style

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