Stock exhaust mufflers on a motorcycle can often be an uninspiring piece of kit. They are frequently not as good as they could be as they sadly all too often fall to the sword of an accountant’s pen.
Switching out your original muffler can give you so much more, in terms of performance, sound, and looks, for relatively little expenditure. The best motorcycle exhaust systems can quickly and easily upgrade your ride to something much more satisfying altogether.
Therefore, we decided to compile a review of just five potential replacements. So, let’s get straight to it and find the perfect option for your bike…
- 0.1 What does an aftermarket exhaust do for a motorcycle?
- 0.2 Is dual exhaust better than a single on a motorcycle?
- 1 Top 5 Best Motorcycle Exhaust Systems On The Market In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Annpee Exhaust Muffler 1.5-2 “Inlet Exhaust Muffler with Removable DB Killer – Best Motorcycle Exhaust System for Small Motorcycle and Scooter
- 1.2 2 Yoshimura TRC-D Slip-On Exhaust – Best Slip On Motorcycle Exhaust for Aggressive Sound
- 1.3 3 Akrapovic muffler slip online (titanium) YZF-R6 – Best Motorcycle Exhaust System for Yamaha YZF-R6
- 1.4 4 JFG RACING Motorcycle Slip-On Exhaust Muffler Pipe Full System – Best Complete Exhaust System for Honda CRF Motorcycle
- 1.5 5 KTM Duke 125 250 390 RC390 Exhaust Pipe and Link Pipe Full System (E) – Best Slip On Exhaust System for KTM Duke Motorbike
- 2 Best Motorcycle Exhaust Systems Buying Guide
- 3 Do you Love Tweaking your Motorbike?
- 4 So, what are the Best Motorcycle Exhaust Systems?
What does an aftermarket exhaust do for a motorcycle?
An aftermarket exhaust can improve your motorcycle in several ways.
Firstly, it will improve the performance of your engine by more efficiently expelling the exhaust gases. This allows the engine to unleash increased horsepower and un-tap its true potential. You can expect to improve your engine by between two to four horsepower, even on a slip-on exhaust muffler. However, on a full system and a larger motorcycle, the gains can be substantially greater.
The second thing an aftermarket exhaust will do is decrease the weight of your motorcycle. Aftermarket exhaust systems are almost always lighter than the original. This means that with less weight to carry, you should also experience better performance and handling. This is particularly the case as far as acceleration is concerned.
A third thing you can expect is a better engine note. This is very subjective, but it’s more than likely that it will be an improvement over the sound of the stock exhaust.
Finally, aftermarket exhaust systems look super cool, and we’re sure you’ll agree can do a lot to elevate the look of your bike. Since there are generally so many to choose from, it’s easy to get one that goes with the type of look you’re trying to get for your bike.
Is dual exhaust better than a single on a motorcycle?
A dual exhaust system will generally be better than a single alternative. However, this will depend, to a certain extent, on the exact criteria you’re working with when deciding on a new system.
If you are looking for out-and-out performance on your bike, then a dual exhaust system will always win out over a single one. This is because a dual exhaust can more efficiently expel the exhaust gasses from your engine. This allows your engine to better use its power and frees up extra horsepower that would otherwise be spent on trying to expel gas.
The benefits of a complete system…
For the very best improvement in performance, a dual exhaust works most efficiently as a complete rather than a slip-on system. This is because a complete dual exhaust gives more opportunity for the exhaust gases to be expelled.
Slip-on exhaust mufflers can still increase your motorcycle’s performance but just not to the same extent as a full system. However, if you opt for a slip-on dual exhaust, you still get the extra benefits of improving the sound, shedding weight, and looking cool.
And what’s not to like about that?
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Exhaust Systems On The Market In 2021 Reviews
1 Annpee Exhaust Muffler 1.5-2 “Inlet Exhaust Muffler with Removable DB Killer – Best Motorcycle Exhaust System for Small Motorcycle and Scooter
The Annpee exhaust muffler is designed to be compatible with the majority of small motorcycles and scooters. It utilizes a universal fit system that will work with both domestic and imported motorcycles. It will fit bikes with exhaust pipes measuring 51mm. However, it comes complete with an adaptor that enables it to work with exhausts down to 38mm.
It’s constructed from aluminum and features a solid stainless steel welded connector. It has a carbon fiber style finish that looks sleek, is visually appealing, and likely to suit the overall aesthetic of just about any motorcycle.
The cool thing about this exhaust muffler, quite literally, is that it’s nicely insulated to reduce the heat from the outside. A very useful feature and one that could potentially save you from a burnt leg.
Removable dB killer…
Another great feature is the removable dB killer. If you want to give your neighbors a break, then you can leave it on. If you want to go for a louder, more noticeable exhaust note, it can be taken off in a couple of minutes. Either way, the Annpee exhaust muffler creates a satisfying sound and one you’re sure to be pleased with.
Installation is a straightforward and easy process. This is helped by the fact that all the hardware is included, and there are some easy-to-follow instructions to go with it. You can expect to take no more than half an hour to complete the job.
- Removable dB killer.
- Creates a satisfying sound.
- Reduces heat on the exterior.
- Easy to install.
- Only suitable for smaller bikes.
2 Yoshimura TRC-D Slip-On Exhaust – Best Slip On Motorcycle Exhaust for Aggressive Sound
Next up in our best motorcycle exhaust systems reviews, we have a dual taper slip-on exhaust. Whilst it won’t deliver the outright performance gains of a complete system, it can still boost power. Additionally, you’ll get to shed some excess weight whilst changing up the sound of your ride.
A fine-looking exhaust…
Yoshimura has an excellent reputation for quality, and this exhaust undoubtedly lives up to their name. It has a well-crafted body made from 304 stainless steel and features MIG welds. It’s a fine-looking exhaust that delivers excellent durability to complement those killer looks.
The exhaust has a tri-oval main body with stainless steel baffles and a carbon tip. Plus, the newly designed end cap helps to vent and dissipate heat from the tip. This translates to improved performance and also helps to improve the exhaust note. The dual taper also comes to the party and further adds to enhancing the sound when the power is down.
The overall sound is mean and aggressive…
Before purchase, you should check the omissions and noise restrictions in either the county or state you live in. This is because the Yoshimura TRC-D Slip-On Exhaust may not fully comply with all requirements. This is the case in California, but it’s still well worth checking if you live elsewhere.
Like all slip-on exhaust mufflers, it’s a relatively easy job to fit. For most motorcyclists with basic skills, it’s a simple enough job to tackle on your own. This is still the case with limited tools.
- Looks amazing.
- Increases power.
- Reduces heat.
- Mean and aggressive sounding.
- High build quality and welds.
- Not legal in all states or countries.
3 Akrapovic muffler slip online (titanium) YZF-R6 – Best Motorcycle Exhaust System for Yamaha YZF-R6
Akrapovic specializes in racing exhausts and is very much about the performance. However, despite the sporting focus, we are still impressed with this exhaust’s sporting looks. It has an almost stealthy appearance that we can get into.
Akrapovic is a Slovenian company that has been around for over thirty years. Therefore, it stands to reason that they know a thing or two about exhausts and are a brand you can trust. Even more so as far as sports exhausts are concerned.
This exhaust muffler is designed to be paired up with the iconic Yamaha YZF-R6. And what a bike that is!
Akrapovic designed this particular slip-on exhaust to offer you a balance between price and performance. It’s specifically made to fit all Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycles built from 2006 to 2015. We’re sure you’ll agree that a pretty good spread of years for an exhaust.
The Akrapovic exhaust muffler is made from titanium, which gives it the dual qualities of strength and durability. Additionally, it keeps the weight right down and helps you shed unnecessary pounds, which is a massive plus for any sports motorcycle enthusiast.
Once installed, it will help your engine breathe more efficiently and help to convert the engine’s efforts into more usable power. This is across the entire power range of your engine. It will do all of this whilst looking super cool and sounding like a real MotoGP should.
You get all of this for a great price too.
- Titanium main exhaust body.
- Strong and durable.
- Increases power across the engine’s full power range.
- Reduces the weight of your bike.
- Creates a genuine MotoGP kind of sound.
- Suitable for all Yamaha R6s from 2006 to 2015.
- May not be road-legal in all states or countries.
4 JFG RACING Motorcycle Slip-On Exhaust Muffler Pipe Full System – Best Complete Exhaust System for Honda CRF Motorcycle
Unlike other exhausts we’ve looked at, this differs since you get a complete system.
So, precisely what do you’re getting for your money?
You get an exhaust pipe that’s made from quality 304 stainless steel and a muffler made from lightweight and durable 6061-T6 aluminum. The connection diameter measures 38mm. This is a suitable system for a Honda CRF 150F, or 230F made between 2003 to 2013.
Because this is a full system, it can both maximize weight loss and horsepower. It’s designed to increase your bike’s performance in a way that a slip-on exhaust muffler is unable to do.
Performance gains of up to 15% can be reasonably expected. However, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. Since, sadly, things aren’t quite as straightforward in terms of installation as with a slip-on exhaust.
You may need to consider a professional installation…
Firstly, the installation process is much more complicated. What’s more, to make things even more complicated, there are no instructions to help you out. If you have more than a few basic mechanical skills, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, this might be one for a professional installation.
Once installed, the second issue is that you’ll need a jet kit and a fuel controller to get your bike running sweet and to its maximum potential. This may also make it a more suitable job for more experienced hands with a ready supply of tools.
Superb considering the cost…
Despite these complications, this is an excellent system that comes in at a very keen and competitive price.
- Solid build quality.
- Can boost performance by up to 15%.
- Fits both Honda CRF 150F and 230F models.
- Great value.
- May require a professional to install.
- Bike will require tuning after fitting the exhaust.
- No instructions included.
5 KTM Duke 125 250 390 RC390 Exhaust Pipe and Link Pipe Full System (E) – Best Slip On Exhaust System for KTM Duke Motorbike
This is a slip-on exhaust muffler that will fit on a range of small KTM Duke motorcycles. It’s suitable for most KTM Duke motorcycles built between 2017 to 2020 and with a capacity between 125cc to 390cc. A full list of suitable bikes is published online, so as ever, check before you buy.
This is a very well-made exhaust and is one of the best that you’re likely to find in this style and size. The finish and quality are excellent. Its price does reflect this, but despite the high price point, it still offers good value for money.
Once fitted, your bike will enjoy an increased power output of between two to five HP, and it will sound great too. Other advantages include that the design will decrease the heat on the outside casing.
We already think it looks great, in no small part due to the premium quality heat resistant Japanese imported paint. However, there’s no doubt that this KYN exhaust has a great trick up its sleeve. The fact is that KYN also offers a customized logo service.
How cool is that?
When you place your order, all you need to do is contact customer services and submit your design. Failure to do this at the point of order will lead to you being sent out a standard exhaust. Consequently, ensure you have your logo ready to send come check-out.
Fitting the exhaust is reasonably easy for anyone with a few basic skills and tools. Excellent instructions are provided, and you can realistically expect the job to take half an hour or so.
- Premium quality construction.
- Heat resistant Japanese imported paint.
- Increases your HP.
- Can be customized with your personal logo.
- Easy to install.
Best Motorcycle Exhaust Systems Buying Guide
One of the best things about replacing your existing exhaust system with an aftermarket one is that it’s a quick and straightforward way to boost your motorcycle’s performance. The result will be instantaneous.
On smaller bikes that use smaller exhausts, like the Annpee Exhaust Mufflers, the gains will be less than on larger complete systems. However, the gains can still be significant. Plus, even small HP gains on an already lightweight bike can make the switch worthwhile.
For Honda owners…
The best increase in HP gains and engine performance goes to the JFG RACING exhaust. This complete system undoubtedly offers a solid improvement in performance. It does require more tuning and technical know-how to fit, but we believe the result is well worth all the effort.
If you change a complete exhaust system, you can expect to shave off as much as 20lbs of weight. This can be even more in some circumstances. If you have a sports bike and are competing in races, this is a considerable amount.
For Yamaha R6 drivers…
The Akrapovic muffler is the best in our review for weight saving. Although it’s not a full system, it still gives a very significant weight reduction over the stock exhaust of any Yamaha R6. This is in no small part down to its mostly titanium construction.
Although the weight savings are not as great with slip-on systems, they are never the less still there and still help, even by a small measure, to the performance and handling of your bike.
Installing your new aftermarket exhaust system will be relatively easy if you have opted for a slip-on system. The Annpee Exhaust Muffler and the Yoshimura TRC-D Slip-On Exhaust are both a quick installation job. This is also helped by the excellent instructions supplied by both manufacturers.
Generally speaking, a slip-on exhaust can be installed yourself, together with a few simple tools, a little bit of know-how, and half an hour or so of your time.
On the other hand, fitting a complete system, like the JFG RACING muffler, will take a few more tools, more know-how, and quite a bit more time. Usually, once you’ve fitted a complete exhaust system, you will need to tune it, as well.
This is undoubtedly something to bear in mind since even if you fit it yourself, you may still require a visit to the shop for a professional tune-up.
This is worth spending some time considering because when you change your exhaust, it will change the sound of your motorcycle. The good news is that usually, it will change things for the better, but this is not always the case.
Consequently, it’s worth doing a bit of extra research to ensure that the exhaust you buy will have an appealing noise compared to the one you’re replacing. Having to ride around with an exhaust that sounds either too weak or too aggressive can be a disappointing experience.
Why do bikers wrap their motorcycle exhausts?
Wrapped exhaust systems are increasingly popular. They are now frequently found on a range of motorcycle exhaust mufflers. This is also the case across a wide selection of price-points.
There are three main reasons for wrapping exhaust mufflers…
The first reason, and to many the most important, is that wrapping an exhaust helps keep all the heat inside the system. The benefit of this is that when the heat is maintained on the inside, it helps to improve the performance. Additionally, it can help improve the engine’s efficiency by improved fuel burning, which means lower bills at the gas station.
A second consequence of keeping more of the heat on the inside of your exhaust is that it reduces the temperature on the outside too. This then reduces the chance of you or your pillion burning their leg on an overheated muffler.
For anyone who has undergone this experience, they’ll know exactly how painful this can be!
The final benefit is the fact that they look super cool. Wrapping an exhaust leaves untold possibilities for customizing the look of your muffler and your bike.
If you’d like to take this a step further, you can even add a logo on the side if you opt for an aftermarket muffler from a company like KYN.
Now that’s cool!
How do I achieve more resonant sound from my bike’s exhaust?
If you’re not happy with the sound coming from your replacement exhaust muffler, there are a few things you can do to get a deeper and potentially louder sound. If you intend to modify your exhaust in any way, you should be aware that you may then fall foul of local or international law. Additionally, it may also potentially interfere with the overall performance and efficiency of your engine.
All that being said, if you still want to do it, here are a few possible solutions.
The first one is to take out the baffles. This is a relatively easy and quick job. Just remove the nut that’s situated at the bottom of your muffler. Just be sure to remove the nut from inside the muffler, and you’re done.
And don’t worry…
One of the primary advantages of this method is that it’s just as quick and easy to revert it to its original state if, for whatever reason, you later change your mind.
If your exhaust has a catalytic converter, then you could also switch it out to a high flow alternative. This will make a significant difference and will undoubtedly give it more of a growl. You could take out the catalytic converter completely, but we strongly advise against this. It’s illegal, and it’s environmentally unsound.
One final option for some…
Another method is to use a grinder to cut small holes in the tubing until you get the sound you want. This is all a bit of trial-and-error, and it’s not something we’d recommend. It could affect your motorcycle’s performance and very quickly land you with a ticket for excess noise.
Top Aftermarket Motorcycle Exhaust Brands
All of the exhaust systems on our list are from reputable companies with a solid track record in the industry. Plus, all of them offer very fair value at their respective price-points.
However, both Akrapovic and Yoshimura stand out from the pack for the length of time they have been in the industry, their level of design expertise, and their overall build quality. They make some of the best motorcycle exhaust systems you can buy and are always worth consideration.
Other companies not included on our list but also worth considering include Bassani, Arrow, and FMF Exhausts.
Do you Love Tweaking your Motorbike?
If so, we’ve got several great reviews for you! So check out the Best Motorcycle Radios, the Best Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers, the Best Motorcycle Seat Pads, and the Best Motorcycle GPS Trackers currently on the market.
For keeping your bike in tip-top shape, don’t miss our in-depth reviews of the Best Motorcycle Battery Chargers, the Best Motorcycle Tire Changers, the Best Motorcycle Chain Lubes, our Best Motorcycle Covers Review, the Best Motorcycle Cleaners, and the Best Rust Prevention for your money in 2021!
Ok, back to the best exhaust systems for motorcycles…
So, what are the Best Motorcycle Exhaust Systems?
There you have it. A small but never the less impressive collection of some of the top motorcycle exhaust systems currently on sale. They cover a broad range of muffler needs for mainly smaller motorcycles, and we hope that there is at least one that’s suitable for you and your bike.
We like them all, but if we were pressed to choose just one as our top pick, it would be the…
This is an exceptionally well-made clip-on exhaust that comes from one of the best manufacturers in the industry. It will also increase your bike’s power, reduce the heat of the exhaust on the outside, and give you a mean and aggressive sounding bike. As if all of that wasn’t enough, it’s also easy to install and looks pretty amazing too.
Enjoy your bikes and enjoy your rides.