Building Custom Motorcycle Exhausts: Welding

  • 2-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 75-250
What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
Paper and Pencil
Poster Board and Marker
Steel Pipe
Pipe Bender
Heat Source
Hardware and Attachments

Customizing your motorcycle exhausts will make your ride stand out from the crowd. The exhaust on a bike is one of its most noticeable features. A biker can change how their motorcycle sounds and looks by customizing the exhaust system. You will need certain tools in order to do the job right. Also, if you want chrome, you can take your pipes to a shop to get plated for a fee, or you can plate the pipes yourself. How you customize your exhaust system is up to you; this article will tell you how to build an exhaust.

Step 1 - Measure

The first thing you want to do is get measurements. Use a flexible tape measure. Start at the head pipe connection and measure down to the pegs, and then continue to the rear. Now, using the measurements, draw out a basic design for your exhaust.

Step 2 - Make a Model

Using a marker, draw a model of the exhaust system on poster board. Be very exact with the measurements. Make certain to match it up numerous times. It must be the actual size. Cut out your model. If you are building the exhaust on both sides, you will want to check it on both sides of your bike to make certain that it will fit. Attach the model to the bike to see how it will look.

Step 3 - Tubing

Work out the number of welds that are needed to be made. You will need to buy tubes for the length of the exhaust system. You have the measurements to figure out how much tube is needed. Add about a foot to the larger measurement to ensure you get enough.

Step 4 - Marking

Starting at the beginning of the bend in the pipe, with a dark marker, mark the position of each bend. Match it to the model and adjust markings if needed. At the head pipe section, be certain to leave room so that the tube can fit into the bender.

Step 5 - Heating and Bending

Once you begin heating the pipes, you have to accurately but very quickly bend the pipe at each mark. Accuracy is very important here, as you do not want the pipe over bent. You also do not want to heat and re-bend the pipe. Again, match it to the model.

Step 6 - Attach Muffler

When you have completed heating and bending the pipes, you want to attach the muffler. This should glide right onto your pipes with very little difficulty.

Step 7 - Attach Hardware and Accessories

All hardware and accessories may have to be customized prior to installation. You will now need to fasten the hardware to your motorcycle. You also want to be certain the exhaust fits the head pipes, rear braces, and attachments. Then, simply attach the new exhaust.