The best motorcycle exhausts

There’s a variety of reasons why you might want a new exhaust for your motorcycle, if it’s either the performance and fuel benefits, or your bike is too loud or too quiet. Maybe you want to adjust the way it sounds? No matter the reason this buying will cover everything you need to know when purchasing a motorcycle exhaust and the best motorcycle exhausts available.  

Our choices for the best motorcycle exhausts came down to our testing and research. If you’re wondering how we chose the best motorcycle exhausts? We cover our entire criteria for choosing a motorcycle exhaust and some points you should consider if you’re on the hunt for a new exhaust. 

Since there are so many different motorcycles and variations, look at our more specific buying guides that recommend the best exhausts depending on motorcycle type. 

Our criteria for the best motorcycle exhausts

There are so many different configurations and types of motorcycle exhaust that it’s impossible to cover everything in one article. This guide you’re reading was written for the most common needs when choosing a new motorcycle exhaust. Right below, we’ve listed more specific buying guides.
 
So read on to find out our criteria for the best motorcycle exhausts. 
 

How does the exhaust sound?

Most riders when looking for a new exhaust will prefer something a little louder and beefier. A stock exhausts sound is usually poor and is just some pitiful putter that can even be high pitched at times. Generally a rider will want their motorcycle to have a deep purr. Because of this, the sound was an important factor when writing up this guide and all our buying guides on motorcycle exhausts.

Remember that louder exhausts don’t equal more power and there are ways to manipulate the sound of the exhaust without it bringing any added performance or fuel efficiency.  

More torque or a higher top speed?

Pipe Diameter

When choosing exhausts, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from, you can either choose an exhaust that will maximise high revs, which will translate into your motorcycle having a higher top speed.
 
Or you can choose more torque and faster off the mark, but at the expense of a lower top speed.
 
This will depend on the rider and personal preference. Since I’m a city rider, I prefer high torque and being faster off the mark as I rarely reach the higher rev ranges. 
 
All this works because pipes smaller in diameter will increase the throttle at low revs but be reduced at high revs. This means you’ll be faster off the mark but have slightly reduced revs and subsequently marginally slower top speed.
 
On the other hand, exhausts with large diameter pipes allow for higher power at maximum ranges but will gas at low revs. This means you’ll be slower off the mark but quicker at high speeds. 
 
No exhaust system can maximize performance on the entire RPM spectrum. If the exhaust is excellent at one area, it will be at the expense of another. So always consider what’s most important to you when choosing an exhaust, high or low RPM?  

Pipe length

Another consideration, while we’re on the topic of rpm and pipes, is the length of the pipe and how it will affect your personal preference. Generally, longer pipes will produce more horsepower and will have a significant advantage at higher revs. Conversely, shorter pipes produce less horsepower, but more torque and are great for city riders who want to be faster off the mark. 
 

Best Slip-on exhausts 

When choosing a slip on exhaust, remember while there will be added performance at high revs or more horsepower, it won’t be maximized the same way it would be with a full system exhaust. Although you absolutely can still get decent performance benefits with a slip-on, it won’t compare to what a full system exhaust is capable of. 
 
Overall Best Slip-On Exhaust

Two Brothers M2 Black Series slip on the exhaust is the best choice if you’re after something that is top of the line with almost no faults. The only problem we could find with this exhaust is that it’s a touch expensive.

The M2’s pipes are significantly shorter in length compared to other exhausts allowing it to maximize high revs. However, since it’s a slip on, the benefits of its short length will vary depending on your motorcycle’s piping that’s separate from the actual exhaust. 

One benefit is that the diameter of the pipe is also narrow, allowing your motorcycle to reach higher speeds. Again if the rest of your bike’s piping is quite broad, these high speed benefits will be negated. 

Two Brothers started off as a race team before realizing they were pretty darn good at squeezing in extra performance with their custom exhausts. Because of this, if you’re a racer or just want to maximize your bike’s top speed, Two Brothers M2 is the way to go.

The M2 comes in a few different choices for materials, and each type has its strengths and weaknesses. Without knowing your specific situation, it’s hard for us to tell what’s best for you. If you aren’t racing but more a general rider, we recommend picking up the M2 made of aluminum. While it is the heaviest choice, it’s also the most durable and if your bike falls or even crashes, the aluminium version will still perform well, and you might be able to even out any dents.

If you’re more concerned about speed but still want some level of durability, titanium is ideal. It’s going to be lighter than aluminum but still, maintain an adequate level of durability. 

For driders who want the absolute best performance and top speeds we highly recommend the carbon fiber version, it’s perfect for riders who are keen racers and want the highest speeds from their motorcycle. Naturally, its super light weight comes at the cost of durability. If you come off your bike with an M2 carbon fiber exhaust, expect you’ll need a replacement. For the best of both worlds, we recommend the titanium version. Otherwise stainless steel is also a popular choice. 

Something we really liked about the M2 exhaust is that it’s compatible with almost any motorcycle. The days of worrying if a certain exhaust will fit  isn’t something you’ll need to worry about with the M2 series.  

A stand out benefit that doesn’t have to do with speed is that the two brothers M2 Black series comes with a deep purr that a stock or cheaper exhaust can’t replicate. It’s super satisfying to hear it makes it all the more fun to rev when stopped at the lights. 

When talking about weight, I installed two brothers m2 series on my Kawasaki 300; compared to the stock exhaust, I could shred 10 pounds off. This was a tremendous weight advantage and a significant increase for my motorcycle’s performance. 

Overall the M2 series is an excellent exhaust if you’re aiming for top speeds and high revs. Since this is an expensive exhaust, we recommend you first consider your motorcycles pipes because the M2 Series excellent performance can easily be negated with poor piping. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Deep purr
  • High rust resistance
  • Produced in USA
  • Variety of material variations
  • Teflon coating
  • spiral-wound perforated core
  • Stainless steel pipes
  • Turns golden amber after a few cycles
  • Black Teflon coated magnesium end-cap
  • Military grade custom carbon fiber
  • Overwhelmingly positive customer reviews
  • Available for a wide variety of motorcycles 
Cons
  • In the higher price range 
  • Performance depends on internal pipes
Best Slip-On Exhaust For Torque

If you’re a rider who wants to shed some weight and be far faster off the mark, then Leo Vince’s GP Corsa will amp up the torque while also improving maximum speeds.

The Corsa Evo piping is narrow in diameter, perfect for funneling the increased power and subsequently, more torque. At the same time, this exhaust would indeed be better off longer in length for increased torque. Snce it’s a slip-on you can’t get around that problem unless you decide to install a full system exhaust instead.

This exhaust is predominantly made of Carbon Fiber, and the piping is produced from stainless steel. This means the Corsa EVO is lightweight and will shed a few pounds if it’s replacing a stock counterpart. 

Your motorcycle will be far lighter, translating in an increase in how quickly you are off the mark and maximum speed. Although the Corsa Evo excels at increasing torque, a high rev bonus is always nice. 

If it’s your goal to show off to your friends, the LeoVince’s GP Corsa is one of the better looking exhausts, but more importantly. Its sound is a strong purr, and it’s significantly louder than any stock exhaust. I’m not entirely sure if this exhaust is legal or not for those who live in California, but take a guess and say it’s not. 

LeoVince states the exhaust is legal in CA but hearing it myself, it comes off as pretty loud but not uncomfortable. The thing is, it’s similar sounding to most exhausts that are illegal in CA, so I’m at a loss on how LeoVince states that their GP Corsa Evo is legal. 

If you’re more concerned about aesthetics, the GP Corsa Evo comes with a matte black finish and a technopolymer end cap, which gives it a cool, less traditional look. Its straps are made of stainless steel, which contrasts the black, and those same straps come with vibration dampening rubber gaskets. These rubber gaskets prevent the exhaust rattling and screws from coming loose over time. 

The inner pipes are made of stainless steel. It’s pretty standard stuff and just means the exhaust will stand the test of time while also improving the funneling of gases from the engine out into the air. 

Stainless steel is highly resistant to high temperatures, further improving the exhaust’s longevity, making it a good choice that meets durability and weight reduction right in the middle. 

Pros
  • Technopolymer end cap
  • Large exhaust ducts
  • Stainless steel pipe
  • Matte finish
  • Carbon fibre sleeve
  • Vibration dampening rubber gasket
  • Lightweight
  • Greatly improves torque
  • Far better sounding than stock
  • Significantly reduces weight of bike
  • High temperature resistant
  • Especially effective at preventing vibrations and rattling
  • Road legal
  • Deep loud purr
Cons
  • Pricier option
  • Arguably illegal in CA
  • Minority of  2021 400CC Ninja owners complain of fitment problems
Best Budget Slip-On Exhaust

Emgo’s Turnout Universal slip on exhaust is a budget option that provides great bang for your buck. Although any budget choice will lack the aesthetics and sound of its more expensive counterparts, it brings many benefits that make it well worth the price.

The Corsa Evo piping is narrow in diameter, perfect for funneling the increased power and subsequently, more torque. At the same time, this exhaust would indeed be better off longer in length for increased torque. Snce it’s a slip-on you can’t get around that problem unless you decide to install a full system exhaust instead.

One of Emgo’s greatest strengths is redirecting the fumes your motorcycle produces. It actually will do this better than most of the pricier options, that’s because it’s longer than the majority of slip on’s and has a curve in the pipe, directing the fumes in a direction that allows for the wind to more easily blow the fumes away. 

Since Emgo’s exhausts are generally quite long, it’s going to be more effective at squeezing out some extra power, translating into a higher top speed in the higher rev ranges. It’s also far lighter than standard stock exhausts, coming in at 4.1 pounds. This weight reduction can result in an added speed boost, but it depends on the exhaust you’ll be replacing. 

We didn’t expect this at all, but this budget slip-on exhaust is quite loud, now it’s not an uncomfortable noise when wearing your helmet, although pedestrians and drivers will be aware you’re on the road. The most common compliment this budget exhaust receives from ridersI’ve met and reading reviews online, is how loud an exhaust Emgo’s Turnout muffler is. It’s got m deep roar and will give some premium Harley exhausts a real run for their money. 

An annoyance is that Emgo’s universal exhaust will require some modifications depending on the motorcycle. You’ll need to research your specific model, but don’t be alarmed at minor changes. It can be pretty simple, depending on what’s required. 

Pros
  • Universal hanger
  • Universal exhaust
  • Fits all types of bikes
  • Louder and deeper tune than stock
  • Very affordable
  • Excels at redirecting exhaust fumes
  • Can be used on either side of bike
  • Surprisingly good quality sound
Cons
  • Requires modifications for some bikes

Best Full System Exhausts

No motorcycle part will give a rider more return for their money than a full system exhaust. Where slip on exhausts falls short, full systems pick up the pieces and carry the immense benefits all the way home. 

We’ve compiled three of what we think are the best full system exhausts on the market. Be aware that full system exhausts are significantly more complex to install than slip-on exhausts and require some mechanical knowledge. You’ll need to be careful that a new full system exhaust is installed correctly. Remember you can always purchase the exhaust and bring it to a mechanic who can install it for you relatively cheap. 

Overall Best Full System Exhaust

When it comes to top speeds and squeezing every little bit of horsepower out of your motorcycle, nothing will beat a full system. We chose Akrapovic because they produce some of the best racing exhausts, known for ripping away any unnecessary weight and superior designs.

We found the build quality of Akrapovic systems to be second to none. They use this hydroforming technique that uses high pressure water to perfectly shape the pipes to maximize the flow of your engine’s sound and fumes. 

In terms of how the bike handles,. We found the ride was noticeably smoother, which was a nice plus but nothing significant. The most prominent part was increased speed at the top ranges and improved torque right off the mark, but the torque is secondary compared to the top speeds we managed to achieve.

For my Kawasaki, I ditched the stock exhaust, which made the bike a lot lighter, plus all the other improvements Akrapovic provided. Meant I was able to increase RPM by an entire 10 percent. Now I know this is a pretty massive improvement, but you’ve got to remember I was replacing my stock exhaust which was practically an anchor on my bike. If you visit Akrapovic’s site, they display results of tests they ran against stock exhausts, and they found almost a 10 percent improvement in their tests as well.

While this full system exhaust excels at higher speeds because of its design, the pipes’ length, and diameter, there was somewhat of an improvement off the mark. Probably because of the weight reduction, I noticed an improvement in the bike’s torque overall. 

Everything comes at a price, and the downside to full system exhausts is that they require installation that can potentially be complex at times and fuel mapping. However, Arapovic states their full system exhausts won’t require fuel mapping. So you can get away without fuel mapping, even though it’s recommended with a newly installed full system exhaust. 

Pros
  • Partially hand crafted
  • Far lighter than stock exhausts 
  • Awesome sounding
  • Phenomenal build quality
  • Significantly improved power at high RPM
  • Improves engine performance
  • Stainless steel head pipes
  • Stainless steel mid pipes
  • Hydroformed pipes
  • Stainless steel
  • Significantly improved torque
  • Motorcycle feels smoother when riding
  • Doesn’t require fuel mapping (but it’s recommended)
  • High temperature resistant 
  • Air tight quality control
Cons
  • Requires installation
  • Might require modification of bike
  • Potentially less durable due to carbon fibre and aluminium
Best Full System Exhaust For Torque

If you’re a rider, who appreciates being quick off the mark and torque, that makes you feel like you’re flying. Two Brothers M2 exhaust system will be your best choice for significant gains in torque, dropping dead weight, and some excellent aesthetics.

We found the build quality of Akrapovic systems to be second to none. They use this hydroforming technique that uses high pressure water to perfectly shape the pipes to maximize the flow of your engine’s sound and fumes. 

While Two Brothers are predominantly known for racing, where torque isn’t the primary goal but a secondary objective, this full system is exceptionally strong at lower speeds and quickly gains speed from a standstill. If you’re aren’t racing but maybe a city rider who appreciates those quick burts between traffic and other obstacles on the road, we found the M2 full system exhaust to be perfect in this case. 

From a manufacturing standpoint, Two Brothers is known for excellent built quality,  holding this exhaust. You’ll feel it’s pretty light compared to stock but still weighty and robust, bringing some serious durability. It’s mostly made from stainless steel, which will turn a nice amber color after a few heat cycles, while some riders dislike the coloring of their pipes. This is a great sign because only very high quality aluminum turns an amber color. 

Stainless steel is also our preferred material for exhausts, used by city riders or those who wish to cut down their bikes’ weight while maintaining longevity and durability. This full system is lightweight and will cut away a few pounds compared to your stock exhaust. 

We chose this full system exhaust as the best for torque because its piping is short in length and narrow in diameter. While it’s true this will come at the cost of top high speeds, you can’t have both, and an exhaust that’s strong in one area will come at the cost of another. 

In terms of the design of the piping. It’s tightly produced to create a vacuum effect, funneling gases more effectively, translating in fuel efficiency and engine power. The piping is also fully serviceable, so in the case of a crash or just routine maintenance, you’ll still be able to apply fixes and any adjustments needed. Aluminum is more malleable and lighter than titanium or carbon fiber, which is why it’s our pick for the best motorcycle exhaust material. 

One of the chief reasons why any motorcyclist purchases an exhaust in the first place is getting your bike to sound as cool as possible. The M2 series full system exhaust system comes with a resounding roar. I can’t emphasize enough the depth of sound from this exhaust system, and it’s something no slip-on will be able to replicate. 

For a premium full system exhaust such as the M2 series, it’s honestly difficult to find any problems with. It’s’s just the nature of premium motorcycle products where finding a fault can get difficult. 

Pros
  • Potential for two exhausts
  • Pipes colouring turns an amber color with time
  • Great aesthetic
  • Light weight 
  • Pipe design produces a vacuum affect
  • Large increases in torque
  • Stainless steel headers and mid pipes
  • Premium stainless steel
  • Spiral-wound perforated core
  • Teflon coated end cap
  • Rubber protected exhaust clamp 
  • Increases in RPM
  • Leak free connection of piping
  • Pipes are fully serviceable 
  • Good sound and a deep roar
  • Overwhelmingly positive customer reviews
Cons
  • Pricer option 
  • It isn’t available for wide variety of of bikes
  • Requires installation

Best budget full system exhausts

At Bikes Future we always ensure full transparency with our readers, and for full system exhausts, it’s unfortunately very difficult to find anything of real quality on a budget. You’ll be hard pressed to find a decent full system exhaust for anything less than 300 dollars USD. 

Furthermore, budget exhausts we were considering were not widely adaptable to a variety of motorcycles. Only a small number of readers would own the motorcycle that the exhaust would be compatible for. A large number of cheaper exhausts are only available on Amazon, and we’re skeptical of these types of exhausts in terms of both their longevity and quality 

Another problem with the exhaust market is that there aren’t many manufacturers out there compared to helmets. You’ll soon realize there’s only a select number of brands that offer quality exhaust systems. We don’t recommend a reasonable budget full system exhaust because we honestly couldn’t find one. 

Hopefully, you found this buying guide helpful. We hope it helped you get one step closer to choosing the best motorcycle exhaust for you. We have specific buying guides depending on bike type and rider preference, so have a look to see if something will suit your needs and riding style.