Here, we look at the best aftermarket exhaust brands for Harley Davidson motorcycles.
There are more options than ever before when it comes to aftermarket exhausts for Harleys. But which brands are worth spending a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars on? We consider each brand’s build quality, performance, and sound to answer this question.
For most Harleys, a Vance and Hines exhaust will give you the best balance of features. Vance and Hines have been in the game for a long time, and their exhausts are some of the most well built. Their signature exhaust note is our personal favorite and livens up any Harley.
After riding and working on motorcycles for over a decade, we think we can help answer just about any question you might have. So if you want an informed opinion, you came to the right place.
Keep reading for more details about the best exhaust brands for Harleys.
Vance and Hines Exhausts
Vance and Hines are the default aftermarket Harley exhaust brand. They make some of the sexiest-looking exhausts that add tons of power and performance to your bike.
Let’s start with the design and construction of Vance and Hines’ exhausts for Harleys. They use some of the best materials for their exhausts. You can find exhausts made of high-grade stainless steel or titanium.
Another plus point is the tight tolerances of Vance and Hines products. The parts are well put together and hold up quite well over time. Most of their Harley exhausts come with strong TIG welds that do not leak or deform when subjected to high exhaust temperatures and even higher pressure.
As for the styling, Vance and Hines don’t really do outlandish exhaust designs, opting instead for a restrained, classic look. This works to their advantage as Harleys tend to have classic styling.
But Vance and Hines exhausts are more than just a pretty face. They pack some serious performance as well. You can expect at least a 3 HP boost if you get a full exhaust system. In our experience, bikes outfitted with Vance and Hines pipes are quicker to accelerate and provide a noticeable power increase in the middle and top of the rev range.
That being said, Vance and Hines don’t chase dyno figures or quarter-mile times. You will still get a noticeable power upgrade if you go with one of their full exhaust systems. If you want all-out balls to the wall performance, maybe look at some of the other Harley Davidson exhaust brands on our list.
Moving on to the sound, we think you will like the unique sound of Vance and Hines exhausts. Much like their styling, the sound of their exhausts actually isn’t as flashy as other aftermarket exhausts for Harleys.
That’s not to say that they are quiet. In fact, Vance and Hines exhausts will provide a significantly louder exhaust note compared to stock. It’s just that these pipes are less ‘boy racer’ and more ‘seasoned veteran,’ if you catch our drift.
One thing we have to mention about Vance and Hines exhausts is the cool sound they make on cold starts as air rushes into the engine. It is something few other aftermarket Harley Davidson exhaust brands have been able to replicate and gives your bike a ton of character.
If you are looking for the tried and tested exhaust brand for Harley Davidson motorcycles, Vance and Hines is a no-brainer. They look stylish but not flashy, have decent performance boosts, and offer the most bang for buck of any Harley exhaust brand.
Bassani is another top-notch exhaust brand for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Instead of being the best ‘all rounder’ like Vance and Hines, Bassani focuses on one thing and one thing only: loud, meaty, raucous, deep, and gurgly exhaust notes!
But before we get into all that, we have to talk about the construction of these aftermarket Harley exhausts. Bassani’s exhausts for Harley-Davidsons use premium materials like stainless steel and titanium. You can find most models in classic chrome or a blacked-out powder coat version that looks a bit more modern.
As for the build quality, it is in line with other premium pipes. But it is not without its problems. Firstly, Bassani pipes have a weird ceramic coating on older models. This ceramic coating doesn’t hold up well to extremely high exhaust temperatures, especially in warm climates, and starts discoloring after a while.
However, that problem is only apparent on older models, and new ones have been updated to eliminate the issue.
Another pretty common problem with Bassani pipes is their low mounting. This varies depending on the model of the bike and exhaust. Still, generally speaking, Bassani pipes are mounted as low or even lower than stock pipes.
The result is less aggressive lean angles and the occasional scraping against large bumps in the road.
But Bassani’s exhausts aren’t really about all that. They are about one thing and one thing only.
If you want the loudest, most obnoxious, and most passionate exhaust for your Harley Davidson, Bassani leads the pack. Their pipes for Harley Davidson motorcycles are designed to generate as much volume as possible.
The exhaust note is also deeper and more guttural than others. It is the type of sound you can hear from 10 blocks away and shakes your very soul when you’re standing right next to it. But unlike other loud exhausts, Bassani’s pipes are not a one-trick pony. It is hard to put into words, but their exhausts just sound…right.
As for performance upgrades, Bassani exhausts provide pretty sizable power-ups. All that loud volume results from the free-flowing exhaust architecture, which also helps the engine produce more power. Bassani is one of those companies that not only make exhaust pipes for Harleys but also for high-performance cars.
All of that research and development is bound to spill over into their different departments, which means your Harley benefits from the same performance upgrades as Mustangs and Challengers.
However, even Bassani’s power upgrades are nothing compared to our next contender.
Two Brothers Exhaust Systems
Two Brothers are the race-inspired Harley Davidson exhaust brand. Their exhausts are designed to extract every morsel of power and torque from your bike’s engine. They don’t look too bad either.
Starting with the build, we see the usual high-quality materials such as stainless steel and titanium. Some exhaust models have featured poor welds and bad fitment, but those are few and far between.
Additionally, these exhausts are made to be as lightweight as possible. And when your Harley’s weight is closer to 1000 lbs than it is to 500 lbs, every bit of weight savings is a godsend.
We like the design of these exhausts. TBR basically put 2-into-1 style exhausts on the map and currently makes the best Harley Davidson pipes in this category. And subtlety isn’t one of the company’s strong suits.
Their exhausts for Harleys have radical styling, flashy paint jobs, and other unconventional styling cues like end caps made of carbon fiber. Almost the exact opposite of Vance and Hines, Two Brothers is ‘boy racer’ through and through.
They sound really cool. It is a robust, beefy sound that goes well with Harley’s bikes. The free-flowing design allows them to be louder and more throaty without annoying. In fact, Two Brothers exhausts are known to be louder at the top end. They are still quite loud down low but open up the throttle, and that’s where these pipes really shine.
Speaking of opening up the throttle, the Two Brothers exhausts are built with performance in mind. Everything else is an afterthought. With Two Brothers, you get higher power all throughout the rev range. It is also delivered differently, so expect to be thrown back in the saddle.
We find that Two Brothers exhausts for Harleys tend to deliver better torque. This makes the behemoth Harleys a little bit easier to maneuver and definitely makes them quicker from a standstill. Most of Two Brothers’ exhausts for Harleys are 2-into-1 anyway, so high performance is expected.
So there you have it, folks. The best exhaust brands for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Whatever brand you go with, you will get a pretty good exhaust for your money. However, different brands are bound to be better at different things.
To sum up, if you want to just get a set of loud pipes and ride the hell out of your bike without having to worry about anything, get a set of Vance and Hines.
If you want nothing but the loudest and coolest sounding exhaust pipes, then Bassani is the one to have.
If you want to extract some more power and performance from your Harley’s engine, opt for a Two Brothers.