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Premium Member
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Group,

I had my dealer install VH big shots staggered on my 05 FLSTNI and they are awesome. Killer sound and great looks. HOWEVER, when viewed from an angle, you can see "bumps" or "waves" on the upper pipe. Turns out this is where VH tack welds the hose clamps onto the shields, which hold the chrome shields onto the header pipe. SInce noticing it, I've been sick.
Talked to VH and my dealer and they said this is par for the course. Both said if new shields were installed, the same thing will likely be seen. It's just the way VH does their welds, they wind up slightly deforming the heat shield!
Has anyone else seen this issue? Im at a loss as to what to do. I thought I was buying a top end system and now my eyes are constantly drawn to the "normal" imperfection.
 

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Premium Member
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3,122 Posts
Just went out and looked at the BSS I have in my garage.
There are no noticable bumps or waves on the heat sheilds.
 

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Vagrant
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3,063 Posts
I've got 'em on mine. Oddly, I have a very similar Stage 1 setup too! '05 FLSTNI with the V&H Bigshots (staggered, SE A/C, Stage 1 remap and RevTech DFO). Anyway, I noticed the imperfections as soon as I got them on. But I figure I can live with the little things, I ride the bike a lot so I've got my share of dings and it adds character. H3ll, I pinched a hose clamp putting on the shields and it popped through the middle gap and scratched the crap-ola out of the lower pipe. So nobody is going to notice the ripples on top with a huge scratch just below. Gotta add that to my list of Stupid Wrenching Tricks.
 

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Premium Member
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1,163 Posts
Had the V&H Big Radius(beautiful pipes) on my Low Rider for a whole week, before I scraped the bottom of the right heat shield making a corner. As soon as I heard the noise I knew what I had done. Ah great, you can't see it unless you look up at the heat shield. Ok, so in 3 years I will buy a new one, so now I scrape it just to do it, it's character for the bike, because of "my" character flaws...hehe. I have the Metzlers, came out of a rice bike, I'm GOING to lean it over. Still, I hated for it to happen...:crying:

Thorns
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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4,369 Posts
Haven't noticed it on my ProPipeHS, but there was one spot you could see on my Dresser Duals. Take a deep breath, you're the only one who sees it. Everyone else will like the looks of your bike. Heck, I can't see it from here..... looks good to me!! :D
 

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Premium Member
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3,624 Posts
The bumps and waves likely weren't there until the installer cranked down on the heatshield clamps a little too tight. I "waved" one of mine when I put them on. I saw it smooth, then tightened a little more and cause the ripple.
 

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BlueSkiesandTailwinds
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188 Posts
Just checked mine. There are no waves. I agree with tightening to much will distort the shield.

Later
 

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65 Posts
V&H does not do a good job of standing behind thier product. I have thier system on my Ultra, and the end caps pitted within 3 months of purchase. V&H's respones, "Hand claen them after each ride". Bottom line, look at better pipes next time. My third, and last, set of V&H products
 

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Premium Member
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies. I talked to alot of guys with VH BSS and got the opportunity to check out quite a few sets this weekend on various bikes and sadly, most of them had the imperfections to varying degrees. Python pipes had them too. VH has been very cool to me and offered to send a new set of shields, but warned that there is a high liklihood that the same issue will be noticed. I have chosen to live with them, as many others have chosen to do. Love the pipes and the look and especially the sound, so I'm not gonna bitch and moan anymore. The light has to be just right to see it anyway. Apparently, VH is mass producing now and not spending the extra time to ensure a perfect finish. I also checked out Longs and even a few Propipes on my buddies bikes and, sure enough, wherever the clamp is welded to the heatshield, a "wave" or "bump" is noticeable. Oh well.....
 

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Premium Member
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28 Posts
I have the Big Shot Staggered on my 04 Fatboy. I have no ripples they look perfect. Sorry about yours. I would demand replacement. Good luck.
 

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I'm gonna powder his nose
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537 Posts
I worked at SuperTrapp/Kerker this was one of the final manufacturing procedures for heatshields.

Weld pipe saddle to shield.
Shield to polishing to buff distortion from welding.
Ship to chrome.
MOST manufacturers do not add the step to polishing to remove the distortion from the weld, saves money but looks bad.

If it were me I would take some good digital pics showing the distortion and explain that "others" have commented on how bad they look and send an email to V&H. Mention that allot of people on the forums are waiting to see what V&H does to make the deal right.
Usually they will do the right thing.
 

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Banned
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871 Posts
Geezer-Glide said:
Haven't noticed it on my ProPipeHS, but there was one spot you could see on my Dresser Duals. Take a deep breath, you're the only one who sees it. Everyone else will like the looks of your bike. Heck, I can't see it from here..... looks good to me!! :D
Don't have them on my Pro-Pipe, either. But what the heck... if they aren't hurting performance, it's shouldn't be an issue... unless it's a non-rider show bike. :)
 

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Draggin' Floorboards!
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545 Posts
I cleaned my FLSTFI last night and inspected my V & H BS's and they are absolutely perfect. no waves, etc.. nothing.. did I just get lucky?



BTW: someone on here told me to use the "easy off" trick to get crap off of the pipes.. worked like a charm! I ran the bike around my house a few times to heat it pipes a little, then sprayed easy-off on the caked on rubber from my 4 year old's shoe (from riding infront of me on the tank through the neighborhood at speeds not exceeding 10-15 mph and he wears a helmet). It came right off after wiping it down with a wet towel!
 

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Speed
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105 Posts
I just wanted to add in that I saw this thread prior to receiving my BSS. Sure enoungh, when I got the pipes I removed them from the box and noticed the "waves" on both heat shields right away. :puke: Not delighted about that considering the hundreds of dollars that I spent.

BTW, did you stick with your original decision to keep the pipes and not worry about it? Or did you persue further with V&H? Just wondering if it will go anywhere if I take it up with V&H. (BTW, my lower heat shield also had a small scratch when they arrived.)

thanks,

KL
 

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Premium Member
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
VH BSS outcome

KL,

Not surprised to hear about your findings. I stopped worrying about it a few weeks after originally posting. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the sound, performance and even the fit and finish of the pipes. Yes, VH does a less than perfect job at making sure the welds are nice and flat before chroming.
And you have to see the pipes in just the right light to catch the imperfections.

Especially after talking to so many who own these pipes and have noticed the same thing, I decided to just let it go. In the end, it doesnt bother me that much.

I will say that both the dealership and VH were very nice and offered to replace. But both warned that this issue is pretty much par for the course with these pipes and the replacements may be even worse.

I have checkoed out many VH pipes since discovering this and I have found that many, even other types (i.e., Big Radius, Big Shots Long, etc) have the imperfections. Maybe to a very slight degree, but it is almost always there....

Just my observations. Liek I said, all things considered, I am thrilled with the pipes and have no regrets.
 
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