Who doesn’t love a loud motorcycle exhaust?
If you raised your hand, welcome to the club. Loud exhausts on motorcycles can be fun but also annoying. This is especially true if you’re used to riding for long stretches and find that the loud sound gets tiring after a while.
In this article, we’ll tell you how you can decrease the decibels on your motorcycle exhaust and make it easier to live with day to day. We have been working on motorcycles for the better part of a decade and have been riding even longer, so leave it to us to answer all of your motorcycle queries.
Before we begin, we should mention that all of the methods below will have their own benefits and drawbacks. While we get into some of them, the ultimate goal of this article is to help you reduce the volume of your motorcycle exhaust, power losses, and other drawbacks notwithstanding.
Keep reading to figure out how to make a motorcycle exhaust quieter.
Replace the mufflers
One of the most common methods of making a motorcycle exhaust quieter is to change out the mufflers. The type of muffler your motorcycle’s exhaust system uses makes a huge difference in terms of the volume and sound characteristics.
Opt for a muffler that is specifically designed to reduce exhaust volume. If you bought your motorcycle used, chances are the previous owner changed out the mufflers for a louder exhaust. Usually, the quietest mufflers are the ones that come on your bike from the factory. This is so that the bike can comply with noise regulations.
That said, the aftermarket is full of mufflers that can make your motorcycle’s exhaust quieter. Specifically, longer exhaust mufflers tend to be quieter and more subdued than short ones.
As for drawbacks of installing a quieter muffler, the exhaust system won’t be as free-flowing as before. This does reduce power output, though not nearly enough to be noticeable.
Wrap the pipes
Another method for minimizing exhaust sound is to wrap the pipes. We are referring, of course, to exhaust wraps such as the ones reviewed here. Besides mitigating heat coming off the exhaust pipes, an exhaust wrap can also reduce the volume of your exhaust.
This is because the materials used in exhaust wraps, such as fiberglass and stainless steel, have some sound deadening properties. Add to that the fact that many exhaust wraps cover almost the entirety of the header pipes, and you’ve got a setup that inadvertently makes a motorcycle exhaust quieter.
This method won’t be as effective as others on this list, but it’s worth a shot. And worst-case scenario: your bike won’t give off as much heat from the exhaust!
Get a Motorcycle Exhaust Silencer
A motorcycle exhaust silencer is an aftermarket component similar to a muffler. It is specifically designed to make your bike’s exhaust as quiet as possible. It achieves this by having more sound deadening material installed in it than regular pipes. This material soaks up the sound while still inside the exhaust and prevents it from exiting the system.
The result is a quieter, less aggressive-sounding motorcycle exhaust.
Replace Your Exhaust Pipes
If the muffler didn’t make your exhaust as quiet as you would have liked, maybe step up to a full exhaust system. While installing a full system is usually synonymous with louder bikes and higher performance, we are assuming that your motorcycle already has a full system aftermarket exhaust on it.
If that’s the case, installing a different setup rated for less volume or going back to the stock exhaust system your bike came with could be just what you need to make it quieter and more manageable.
The biggest drawback here is the dramatically lower power output of your bike after installing the new system. But again, such are the tradeoffs for a quiet motorcycle.
Holes Within Your Motorcycle Exhaust
If you noticed that your motorcycle has been a bit louder recently, without you having made any significant modifications to the exhaust, the exhaust may be damaged.
Debris and small rocks from the road can strike the exhaust when your bike is moving at high speed and cause small cracks or even larger holes to form in the exhaust. This is even more likely if you ride your motorcycle off-road or on uneven terrain.
The result is an exhaust leak that makes the exhaust louder and more obnoxious. Check your motorcycle’s exhaust for a leak and get it patched up, or just swap out the exhaust for a new one altogether, and you should be good.
Get earplugs/listen to music
Ok, so this tip is more of a workaround than an actual fix. But don’t knock it till you try it.
The fact is that you can reduce any loud and obnoxious motorcycle exhaust to little more than a dull background drone with earplugs. Earplugs come in all shapes and sizes, and some will even conform to the unique shape of your ear canals. And just like that, you have an exhaust that makes just as much noise, none of which makes it to your ears!
Another idea is to listen to music while you ride. Most in-ear earbuds or headphones can drown out an exhaust note, no problem. And with modern active noise-canceling headphones that are small enough to be worn inside a helmet, you can drown out most of the frequencies that contribute to annoying exhaust noise.
If you aren’t accustomed to listening to music while you ride, you are missing out on one of life’s simple pleasures. Sure, it takes a day or two to get used to the feeling, but once you do, you won’t be able to ride without the music ever again!
So there you have a couple ways of minimizing exhaust noise. Some are a bit more effective than others, but they all work pretty well. It might be a good idea to try different methods and see which one works best for you. Ride safe!