Best Exhausts for Harley Davidson’s Tri Glide Motorcycles

This article recommends the best exhausts for the Harley Davidson Tri-Glide. 

Our review will focus on the real-world performance, the quality of construction, and the sound characteristics of each aftermarket Tri-Glide exhaust. We also factor in other exhaust features, such as the design and cost. 

For the best overall experience, Vance & Hines Big Radius reigns supreme. It features V&H’s revered build quality, a throaty exhaust note, and massive performance gains for your heavy Harley Davidson Tri-Glide. 

After riding for over twenty years and reviewing motorcycle accessories for ten, we can confidently recommend motorcycle exhausts. Our recommendations are backed up by real-world testing and evaluation, so you don’t have to worry about any surprises when you buy the exhaust! 

Keep reading for more of our thoughts on the best exhausts for the Harley Davidson Tri-Glide.


Best Full System

Vance & Hines Big Radius Exhaust For Tri Glide

Vance & Hines’ flagship exhaust for Harley-Davidsons is also one of their best exhausts for the Tri-Glide. These pipes offer a sleek design, loud and beefy sound, and undeniably the most robust construction of any aftermarket Tri-Glide exhaust.

Let’s talk about that robust construction. V&H pipes have long been our top pick for best-built exhausts, owing to their use of premium stainless steel and durable design. Stainless steel is a lightweight material, so it makes for some functional weight savings on the gargantuan Tri-Glide.

Stainless steel can also withstand the highest exhaust temperatures and pressure. This results in optimal exhaust performance, even beyond the life of the Tri-Glide! That premium stainless is also adorned with TIG welds, which help improve structural integrity and just look downright artistic.

Speaking of, the Big Radius exhaust is an absolute stunner, at least, in our opinion. The curved styling and slash-cut ends evoke classic Harley Tri-Glide design with a modern twist. You can get the exhausts in chrome, though we prefer the blacked outlook.

Furthermore, the unique mounting position on the bike means you get a couple more inches of ground clearance. Not once did we scrape the exhaust on bumps in the road. And where lesser exhausts start to blue after a couple heat cycles, V&H’s ‘non-bluing’ design keeps your chrome sparkling like brand new. That said, design is subjective, and some folks don’t think these pipes are that hot.

Then again, that might just be because of the integrated, full-coverage heat shields. These heat shields work pretty well, keeping exhaust heat off both rider and passenger.

You’ll definitely need every bit of heat shielding you can get. The free-flowing exhaust architecture of these pipes makes for some healthy performance benefits but also produces tons of heat. Speaking of performance, you can expect to add a good couple horsepower to your Tri-Glide with these exhausts installed.

In fact, you get both power and torque upgrades. Day-to-day, our Tri-Glide felt faster, more responsive, and less bogged down on the highway. Passing vehicles on the road is easier. The bike is quicker to accelerate, and you get more ‘oomph!’ for around-town riding.

Moreover, the bike feels even more powerful thanks to the louder, beefier exhaust note. Again, the free-flowing exhaust is to thank for the higher volume. But the unique exhaust design gives it that deep, rumbly characteristic that we just can’t get enough of.

Even on startup, the exhausts have a fluttery, thumping sound as air rushes into the intake. This is another V&H exclusive that you don’t see in many other places.

Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Noticeable increase in power
  • Enhanced performance throughout the rev range
  • Integrated heat shields
  • Pipes don’t discolor over time
  • Louder exhaust
  • Deeper sound character
  • Lightweight build
  • Most well put together option
  • Premium stainless steel
  • Free-flowing exhaust architecture
  • Cool fluttering sound on cold starts
Cons
  • Some folks might not like the styling

Best Slip On Exhaust

Vance & Hines Power Dual Headers

Vance & Hines’ Power Duals are a set of headers purpose-built for Harley’s Touring line of bikes. On the Tri-Glide, these headers bring a substantial bump in power. In fact, they are some of the most powerful Tri-Glide exhausts around. The fantastic build and features are just the cherry on top.

It is evident that the designers put some long nights into designing these header pipes. They sport a classic look that fits right in with the Tri-Glide, and even adds to the look. You can get classic chrome or a matte black that fits right in with the new blacked-out engines Harley offers.

Of course, you can fit your own choice of mufflers to these pipes, so feel free to mix and match whatever style you like. That also brings us to one of these pipe’s drawbacks: they require an additional adapter to bolt onto the Tri-Glide because of its trike design.

But once you get these bad boys installed, it’s worth every penny! The free-flowing exhaust architecture allows the engine to put out more power. We were treated to smoother throttle response and faster acceleration.

Vance & Hines didn’t just stumble upon a power-up, though. It’s all thanks to the unique ‘Power Chamber,’ deliberately integrated right into the design of the pipes. The chamber is cleverly hidden behind heat shields, so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb or generate too much heat.

Heat management is another plus point of these headers. All that high performance should mean more heat on the rider and pillion, but Vance & Hines thought of this. These header pipes use special exhaust routing to direct heat away from the rider.

This also mitigates excess exhaust heat on the left side of the passenger, which has been a common complaint about past models. The same design also safeguards certain sensitive engine components that are at risk of heat damage.

As for the sound profile, you get a deeper, more powerful sounding exhaust note. It’s also louder and more throaty, so be prepared for complaining neighbors. Really though, these pipes wake up when you crack the throttle. On the highway, you get a beefy, thumpy sound that instructs other vehicles to move out of the way.

We saw the best results when these pipes were paired with V&H slip-ons, but other brands also work well.

Lastly, you get the same ‘non-bluing’ design as the Big Radius pipes. All of the necessary O2 sensors are provided in the package, as is any other mounting equipment you might require.

Pros
  • Simple, straightforward design
  • Comes in chrome or matte black
  • Louder, throatier sounding exhaust
  • Power Chamber integrated into the design
  • Noticeable bump in power
  • Smoother, faster acceleration
  • Integrated heat shields
  • The rear passenger experiences less exhaust heat
  • Less chance of damage to sensitive engine parts
  • Comes with all necessary O2 sensors and adapters
  • Non-bluing design
Cons
  • Mufflers not included; headers only

Best Budget

Sharkroad Slip-on Exhausts for Harley

If you want more bang for your buck, Sharkroad’s slip-on exhausts for the Tri-Glide offer a rowdy exhaust note, durable build quality, and an aggressive design that is sure to scare…err…please.

Sharkroad took the path less traveled when designing their exhaust for the Harley Davidson Tri-Glide. Their slip-ons have a unique, modern look that not many other aftermarket exhausts dare to offer. The quality alloy steel used makes for high durability and a nice, robust look.

In addition to that, you can find plenty of color options for these slip-ons. Besides classic chrome and matte black, you can find models in a brushed metal look, glossy black, and even dull gray. The slip-on style exhausts also have really cool end caps that add to the look. These end caps are CNC-machined and sport a unique perforated design that looks aggressive.

And they have the sound to back up their aggressive looks. It is a meaty, guttural sound that wants to melt your face off! The loud and raucous tone is perfect for adding a bit of menace to the otherwise unimposing Tri-Glide. It’s not quite as refined as the V&H pipes, but we think this may have been by design to give the exhaust a meaner vibe. And rest assured, these exhausts make your bike sound more powerful.

Not that it needs any help. While a mere slip-on won’t produce the same power gains as a pair of aftermarket headers or a full system, Sharkroad’s high exhaust flow design holds its own. Expect slightly better throttle response and a bit more speed at the top end.

However, this budget slip-on can’t even hold a candle to the mighty full systems when it comes to performance.

In fact, this is where the budget status of Sharkroad’s exhausts for the Harley Davidson Tri-Glide starts to become apparent. Unlike the pricier options, you don’t get full coverage heat shields or an anti-bluing design. Really, the only extra features Sharkroad have to their credit is the removable baffles which can add a couple dBs to the exhaust note.

Even still, Sharkroad’s slip-on exhausts for the Harley Davidson Tri-Glide manage to cement themselves as the best budget option. They are a well-built and loud aftermarket exhaust option and one that can be paired with more expensive headers for higher performance and even better sound.

Pros
  • Alloy steel design
  • Durable and robust
  • Aggressive styling
  • Loud and throaty exhaust note
  • Deep and rumbly character
  • Improved throttle response
  • Removable baffles can make the exhaust louder or quieter
  • Various color options are available
  • CNC-machined end caps
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • No integrated heat shields

Author
Hugo Alais

Hi, I'm Hugo, I'm a motorcycle enthusiast who’s been riding for the last 10 years. I'm passionate about all things motorcycles and started Bikes Future to help other riders make the right motorcycle moves. I ride a white Kawasaki Ninja 400.