How to Install a Motorcycle Muffler

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-125
What You'll Need
Muffler specific to your motorcycle
Set of various sizes of wrenches
Matching socket sets
Rust-busting lubricant
Grease or anti-seize
Wooden block and hammer

All motorcycles have exhaust pipes to let the combustion exhaust out and motorcycle mufflers on them to keep the noise down. Most of the modern motorcycles have an exhaust pipe made of two parts, namely the header pipe and the muffler. The muffler can either be of welded or removable type. If the exhaust noise is too loud (or not loud enough), remove the old/damaged muffler and replace it with a new one.

Step by Step Procedure

Step 1 – Choose a Muffler

The muffler has to be selected by taking in to considerations many factors like length and diameter of the header pipe, length of the intake track, carburetor size and cam timing and lift. After analyzing all these factors, buy a muffler that matches the specifications of your motorcycle. Only correct mufflers will help to reduce/increase the noise level of exhausts. Remember the old motorcycling adage: Loud pipes save lives. (Just be aware of local noise ordinances and/or vehicle code.)

Step 2 – Check Materials

Before you start to remove the old muffler from the head pipe, find out the availability of all required tools and their matching fasteners of the exhaust pipe of your motorcycle. You must also find out whether the radiator has to be removed or not (it depends on the model of your motorcycle).

Step 3 – Remove the Old Muffler

Using the wrenches and sockets, loosen all the bolts and fasteners and keep them aside. Pull the muffler backwards; however, it may not budge immediately. If it is hot or rusted, you might have to spray little amount of rust-busting lubricant. Leave it for some time and then try again. Still if it does not budge, try to give blows on it with a wooden block hammer or a rubber mallet.

Step 4 – Remove the Head Pipe

Next, remove the head pipe unit. It may be more time consuming than the removal of the muffler. Again you may need to apply rust-busting lubricant and blows to remove the head pipe.

Step 5 – Fix the New Unit

Check and remove the old gaskets. Place the new gaskets in place. Place the head pipe by tightening the bolts of the retaining collar. Apply grease lightly at the other end of the head pipe and insert or slip the muffler into it. Loosely screw them together and check if everything is fine and fits snugly. Do not use force to slip the muffler into the head pipe or to fit them together. In case of improper fit, you may have to do a bit of trimming or filing for a nice fit.

Step 6 – Finishing Touches

Tighten the bolts and screws, but do not apply more pressure as the gasket might get damaged. Start your motorcycle and check the exhaust from it. You will notice a change in the noise of exhaust due to change of muffler.