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Hi,


I just bought my first Harley (2001 x883) and I am looking for some advice on exhaust systems.... The current stock system is to quite. I am looking for the "ain't no doubt about it" Harley sound. I had no idea that they came for the factory this quiet.... heck if I wanted quiet I would have bought something else!

The salesman said that in order to alter the sound I would have to bring it back and have the carb reset to match the pipes that I chose and I was looking at possibly $800 dollars! Dudes, is there any way I can get that classic Harley sound without dropping that much coin?


Any advice on how to remedy this without breaking the bank would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks in advance!
Forest
 

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forest,

Welcome to the party. A big chunk of that $800 is labor. How mechanically inclined are you? You can cut that in half, AT LEAST, if you do the installation yourself. Start by looking at a good catalog like J&P or Custom Chrome. Go back to the dealer, walk past the salesman to the service department and start asking questions about the pipes you like. How loud are they? Do they have baffles and are they removeable? Chances are, they'll start up a few bikes there with aftermarket pipes and let you hear them. Ask them what number jets to go with. Even if you plan on doing the work yourself, the guys in the back will probably be real helpful. Then go for it. Good luck

Dean
 

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And remember, doing the "wrenching" yourself will save you quite a bit, even if you just install the pipes and have the shop install/tweak your carb!

I have a friend who installs his parts, and then brings the bike down to the shop to hook up to the Dyno and get "tweaked".

The hardest thing about doing your own work on your bike is the tools, obviously more expensive if you need certain pieces of test equipment, but for simple pipe installs, try it yourself!

Happy Wrenching!
 

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Find the right Cycle Shack slips ons for your model, but them on yourself (slip ons are a lot easier than complete pipes to do yourself, especially if its your first time.. And their half the cost of a complete exhaust replacement)..
Cycle Shacks are nice and loud, but not going to get you a ticket or sacrifice performance on a stock motor.

I bought them for my 01 Deuce. They were $125 and took me (who has never wrenched on a bike before) about 1 hour to take the stock mufflers off and add the slipons.
Then take 'er down to the local HD dealership and have them rejet the carb (that's the cheaper part)..

I would guess if you bought the Cycle Shack slipons, removed the stock mufflers and installed the slipons yourself and had the dealership rejet and tune 'er, you could get it said and done for about $250-300.

Good luck. nickp.
 

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Hi,
I am about to put slipons on my Softail standard ('02).
Unfortunately I will not be able to get the bike to the dealer for another week to get it jetted.

Apart from possibly not the best performance would the engine get damaged in any way if I run it with slipon pipes (screamin' eagle shorty bal cut) without tuning the carbs?

Thanks for your help.


Antonio
 

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:) To save yourself big bucks, just take the stock mufflers off and find a pipe that will fit down the center and drive the plug out. It will sound a lot better and wont cost a thing.
I've rode sporties for years, since 1975, had a pan before that. And never have had to rejet from just playing with the mufflers. If its not poping back at the carb its not hurting a thing.
Dont go drag pipes you'll lose your lowend power and just add noise.
 

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I like FLHT's idea about knocking out the baffle plug in the stock exhaust. I'd like to raise the rumble quotient on my TSport, but not to the extent of some of the aftermarket exhausts. I had a few questions: a) is it a big deal to remove the plug, b) how much louder is the result, c) do I need to rejet, d) if so, what adjustment is recommended.

Appreciate the advice. Cheers.
 

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Drag Pipes

FLHT,
I read your post and was wondering if you could tell me what you mean by "drag pipes". Are Vance & Hines "longshots" considered a drag pipe?
 

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I also have a few questions. What are slip-ons? How do they differ from a complete exhaust set? If anyone has a pict., what does a stock exhaust look like with the mufflers removed? Sorry for the stupidity, but I am new to the forum. Thanks in advance. J.T.
 

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fearnot69,
Sounds like you are about right where I'm at. They should make a new catagory on this forum for people like us. I know there are people out there willing to help (they've helped me) while others have fun making a fool out of us. I'd like to answer your questions and I think I could because I've been doing a lot of reading on other websites about pipes. But I'm no expert, it would be better to leave it to someone that knows for sure.
 

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I also have a few questions. What are slip-ons? How do they differ from a complete exhaust set? If anyone has a pict., what does a stock exhaust look like with the mufflers removed? Sorry for the stupidity, but I am new to the forum. Thanks in advance. J.T.

slip on are basically that, the last 22" or so of your exhast is a muffler. just like a car by changeing this out you get different flow rates and sounds. on a stock HD this will be where the exhaust looks to bubble to a larger diameter. a complete system has a replacement for the entire exhaust pipe, sometimes changeing it to 1 pipe per cylinder(straight/drag pipes) or a self explanatory 2 into 1. a stock pipe without the muffler attached will basicall look like a very short drag pipe (DO NOT RUN THAT WAY) hope this helps, jay
 

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Let's see if I can supplement the above advice. First of all, it's great that you're asking. There is no such thing as a stupid question and I confess to learning most of the probably little that I know from looking over someone's shoulder (either literally or figuratively). And I invite others to correct any misinformation that I pass along here....

First out of the box, get a good shop manual for your bike. They aren't cheap but they're worth their weight in gold. I prefer The Motor Company's shop manual but there are aftermarket versions as well. You can get a copy at your dealer. Just tell them that you want a shop manual for [whatever year and model you have]. Then read it -- it's actually a fairly good read. And you'll learn tons -- not just where things are and how they come apart, but how they work as well.

Second, exhaust pipes consist of three basic parts (overly simplified). The header pipe (which comes out of the "engine" and wraps around the side of the bike), the muffler (which attaches to the rear of the header pipe) and the baffle (which is a perforated tube inside the muffler). The muffler and baffle serves two distinct purposes -- first to reduce the noise of combustion and second to create some backpressure in the header pipe which, in turn, allows the engine to expell exhaust more efficiently. There's a complex theory behind this last purpose (scavenging, etc.) that I won't even try to get into here. But if you're interested, go to the technical pages at J&P Cycles (www.jpcycles.com) where there is/was a good article on the whole thing. People replace their pipes for one (or both) of two reasons -- to improve the sound (louder and deeper) and to improve performance (factory pipes must meet EPA and other standards so they're pretty restrictive). They do this in one of three basic ways: by removing the whole exhaust assembly and replacing it (from the exhaust manifold on back), by removing the muffler (with the enclosed baffle) and replacing it with slip-ons, or by modifying the performance of the baffle (by removing or shortening it or by increasing the perforations) . I listed these in order of decreasing expense. But the engine is a connected whole -- a change in any one element means that you have to consider its impact on the remainder of the system. Usually any change to the exhaust is accompanied by the addition of a high-flow air intake system (aircleaner assembly) and the adjustment to or rejetting of the carb. This allows the air intake and air-fuel mixture to appropriately match the exhaust (again scavenging and all). If this isn't done, the engine won't run right -- it'll hiccup and burp/fart and it will suffer a potentially substantial drop in horsepower, etc. There are an almost infinite combination of pipes, aircleaner and rejetting options. In some respects choices are driven by economics, in other respects by appearence and sound and finally by the application (i.e., what will one be doing with their bike). You'll see people endlessly debating (what the hell, it's fun) these combinations. Drag pipes, by the way, are pipes lacking a baffle assembly. The exhaust flows out of the engine freely, without restriction. Since some backpressure is required, drag pipes are generally viewed as detrimental to performace in normal applications. But they sound great.... My advice is to get a shop manual, read the J&P article, order a J&P or Custom Chrome catalog (so that you can sense the multitude of options out there), check out the great tech site at www.nightrider.com/biketech and lurk in the background (I repeat, questions are OK) of the tech forums. You'll pick it up quick. Hope this helped....
 

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Wow! Thanks for taking the time to post "all" this good information. Some other guys here in the forum already told me about the websites you linked. I spend lot of time there reading and have learned a lot. I will take your advise and order the shop manual.
 

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Thanks Jay 21 and Oaktown! I appreciate the info. I know the question was elementary, but wanted to ask. So, since there are an infinite combination of jetting, air flow systems, and exhaust.....how do you choose? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the shop manual won't advice the correct combination. I assume you figure that out yourself. I have posted elsewhere on the forum, but am working on getting a 2002 RoadKing. I want to upgrade the exhaust(hince me looking in this forum). I want something loud, but doesn't rattle the windows and increased performance is VERY WELCOMED! I was advised on getting a stage I kit and exhaust. I know this isn't the forum, but if you could....what does that do and what does it involve? Rejetting the same carb., totally different air flow assembly, what? Didn't mean to retort with another dumb question again, but I can easily get on a roll. Thanks for the urls. I will check them out. Thanks again. J.T.
 

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Time for a question from me. Is an '02 RK carbed or EFI? I don't know anything about EFI since I ride a Dyna.

But generally a Stage one kit consists of Screaming Eagle parts (H-D's performance part line). Generally a high flow aircleaner kit, a carb rejet and freer flowing exhaust. I think the H-D kit uses slip-ons but I could be wrong. Some stage one kits include a high performance camshaft (which, in simple terms, governs the engine's intake-compression-combustion-exhaust cycling). What combination works best? Depends on a multitude of things ranging from application to altitude of use. I'd rely on the judgement of a good service technician. My own experience is that the H-D shops tend to be pretty cookie-cutter in their choices (volume=profit). But some service guys are great and will take the time to chat with you. I tend to lean towards independent shops. The traditional view is that 2 into 1 exhaust systems are the best performance producers but some people (including me) don't care for the looks. Drag pipes are frankly pretty useless but sound great. Shortie pipes (all the rage now) the same. Manufacturers that advertise bigger diameter pipes are just selling looks (the actual exhaust pipe inside the fancy chrome heat shield wrapped around it are usually the same old diameter). Some pipes that are quasi straight pipes (like my V&H Straightshots) don't provide great performance but do look and sound pretty good. A compromise choice. Some slipons are great, some crap. I haven't used them so I'll let others pass on their experiences. They are much cheaper than a full system. The nightrider site (and, from time to time, most bike rags like Easyrider) have articles on air intake and exhaust performance (look for dyno results where comparable bikes having different setups are measured for horsepower and torque). Some highflow aircleaner setups are junk but I like the Screaming Eagle setup and (my choice ) the Ness Big Sucker. I confess to being pretty dumb on carb jetting but the Tech section at J&P has a good article titled "To Jet or Not To Jet." Welcome to the world of indecision and second-guessing....
 

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I hear ya, Oaktown. The 2002 RK is carb.ed. The EFI system is another $600, if memory serves me right. I don't have the choice. The bike is already being built. I too don't like the two-to-one pipes. Performance isn't top priority. I just want some more 'seat pull' for my dollar. I don't plan to race/drag. Just want to arrive in style.(I do like the sound of drag pipes, but don't want to suffer that much performance for sound) I want something more than stock, with a 'I have arrived' sound! After all, it is a Harley. I've put the same question out to some of the other forum users. I know that it is all preference and connotated by the amount of money willing to be spent. I plan to break the bike in while stock and add on as I go along. I now know that upgrading the exhaust requires jetting and increase airflow. I've looked at bigger carb.s too. I hope I am assuming correctly, that if you go to a bigger carb., the jetting and increased airflow is solved? (S&S E and the like) I'm just trying to gather information, so I can make a somewhat educated decision. I'm sure you know what I mean. J.T.
 
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