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Best Motorcycle Exhaust: Boost Your Bike’s Sound and Style

Get that classic rumbling sound with these top motorcycle exhausts

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BYMike Knott, Noelle Talmon/ LAST UPDATED ON March 7, 2021

All motorcycles include an exhaust system, which are pipes that release gas from the engine. The exhaust includes a muffler that helps reduce noise. A high-quality motorcycle exhaust can boost your engine's performance and help you ride faster. But which one is best for your bike? We've done the research to find some of the best motorcycle exhausts on the market.

Best Overall

Ransoto Motorcycle Slip-On Exhaust System With Muffler

Summary

This motorcycle slip-on exhaust system is compatible with Kawasaki Ninja 250R, 300, Z300, and Z250. It’s lighter than stock exhaust systems.

Pros

Easy to install and uninstall and is made using aluminum and stainless steel. Comes with a six-month warranty. It also comes with a removable baffle.

Cons

Doesn’t come with the bolt needed to install it, so you’ll have to buy it. Manufacturer doesn’t provide installation instructions.

Best Value

ISTUNT Universal 51-Millimeter Slip-On Modified Motorcycle Exhaust Pipe Muffler

Summary

This stainless steel exhaust fits dirt bikes, street bikes, scooters, and ATVs. It's a 2-inch slip-on exhaust that is easy to install but does not feature a DB killer.

Pros

Very well-built for the price, has a very deep sound, and looks great. Feels sturdy, can withstand high temperatures, and is quite loud.

Cons

Supplied adapter may not reach your exhaust hanger, and some welding may be required. May be too loud for some riders.

Honorable Mention

Emgo Turn-Out Style Universal Muffler

Summary

This exhaust fits 1-3/4 and 1-½ inch pipes. It produces a louder and deeper tune than a stock muffler. Exhaust flows pretty freely, so it’s fairly loud.

Pros

Installation is straightforward and simple. Three reducers are included, so it can match most header pipes. Has enough baffles to cut high-pitch sounds and ear splitting backfire.

Cons

May need to modify it to fit certain bikes, and it might not even fit with adapters. May be too loud for some riders.

Best Motorcycle Exhaust: Boost Your Bike’s Sound and Style

Benefits of a Motorcycle Exhaust

  • It muffles noise. An aftermarket motorcycle exhaust muffles the noise produced by your bike when you ride. The best models have mufflers that make your bike quieter. You can ride your bike in the neighborhood and in the city at any time.
  • Better performance. An aftermarket exhaust system improves both the horsepower and torque. It changes how your engine “breathes.” The motorcycle is able to breathe more air through the engine, and its fuel intake increases, creating more combustion. Bigger explosions equal more power.
  • It protects you from harmful gases. A good motorcycle exhaust system protects you from harmful gases that can be detrimental to your health. It directs all the gases your motorcycle produces away from you. The combustion process of your bike’s engine doesn't affect you or anyone on your bike.

Types of Motorcycle Exhausts

Slip-On Exhaust Systems

These are also referred to as bolt-on exhausts. They’re very easy to install because you keep the factory head pipes and change only the muffler. The power gains offered by slip-on exhaust systems aren’t comparable to what full exhaust systems offer—but the good thing is they’re much lighter than factory exhausts, which makes the trade-off worth it. Slip-on exhausts are cost-effective compared to full exhaust systems and don't require fuel-management measures for proper functionality.

Full Exhaust Systems

A full exhaust system requires you to replace everything—from the head pipes to the back of your bike. It also costs more than a slip-on exhaust system. However, if you're a serious rider, the benefits are worth the expense. A full exhaust system makes it easier for your bike to get rid of combustion gases and also increases the total horsepower. 

Most full exhaust systems do not have a catalytic converter or a resonator, and they allow gases to get out of your bike without restrictions. However, it should be noted that a full exhaust system will change your bike's air-fuel ratio. You'll have to install a fuel-management feature—like a jet kit or a fuel controller—so you can optimize the power gains from the increased airflow.

Top Brands

Yoshimura

Yoshimura was started by Hideo "Pops" Yoshimura in 1954 in Japan. Pops, a trained airplane mechanic, was very good at modifying the existing parts of Triumph and BSA cars to make more power. But bikes were his first love. Over the years, the company grew, and now it has branches in different parts of the world. Its head office in the U.S. is located in Chino, Calif. Yoshimura makes high-quality replacement parts for bikes, like the Yoshimura RS-2 Comp Series Full Exhaust System.

M4 Performance Exhaust Systems

M4 manufactures high-quality exhaust systems for all types of sport bikes. The company creates slip-on and full exhaust systems that are tuned with precision for the best performance and sound. M4 has always focused on creating high-quality performance exhausts. 

Over the years, the company has built a solid name because of its commitment to quality and customer service. It makes street performance exhausts, racing exhausts, and GP and Street Slayer exhausts. The company is based in Dallas, Texas. One of its bestselling products is the M4 GP Series Slip-On Exhaust for 13-19 Kawasaki.

Delkevic

Delkevic is a leading manufacturer and supplier of motorcycle road and race exhaust systems. The company has offices in the U.K., U.S., Australia, and Japan, and dedicated sales teams quickly offer assistance on any inquiries related to motorcycle exhausts. Its staff includes motorcycling enthusiasts with a racing or motorsports background who understand your needs and offer the best solutions. 

Delkevic exhaust systems are designed to fit directly on motorcycles with no remapping or carburation modifications. They’re made from high-quality materials to enhance the performance and look of your motorcycle. The company makes many products, like the Delkevic Aftermarket Slip-On Exhaust for Kawasaki Z900 ABS. It’s headquartered in Littleton, Colo.

Motorcycle Exhaust Pricing

  • $25-$100: These are mostly slip-on exhaust systems that are easy to install and uninstall. Some have mufflers and silencers that regulate the noise.
  • $100-$400: This range includes slip-on and full exhaust systems made by renowned brands like Kemimoto, Yoshimura, Delkevic, and VooDoo Industries. Some are specifically made for certain bike models.

Key Features

Material

There are a few common materials used to manufacture exhausts: titanium, carbon fiber, aluminum, stainless steel, and chromed steel. Each has different specifications in terms of cost, weight, durability, and style. For instance, carbon fiber and titanium are lightweight but expensive, while chromed steel is known for its beauty and longevity. Aluminum also has its benefits. It’s lightweight and less costly. Stainless steel is always popular because it’s inexpensive and durable. The material you choose should also be determined by how you want your bike to look and how well you maintain it.

Outlet Type

Maybe you want a big, carbon fiber exhaust system that looks like a can. Or maybe you like exhausts that look like cigar mufflers or old-timey cocktail shakers (which work well with Brit bikes). The good news is if you get an exhaust with the right outlet type, it will look like it came with your bike. Some aftermarket exhausts, especially those designed for cruisers, have tips that are easily swappable. They transform your bike and give it a different look. 

Configuration

This will depend on the type of bike you ride. Some motorbikes work only with certain types of exhaust systems. For example, V-twin engines usually offer great torque gains when two-into-one exhaust systems are used. It’s important to know your bike’s configuration because it’s the only way you can avoid making a costly mistake. Do some research beforehand to ensure you buy an exhaust with the right configuration. And if all the information seems a bit confusing, consult a professional. There are many online biking forums that offer quick answers to your questions.

Other Considerations

  • Slip-On or Full Exhaust. If you’re trying to keep costs down, you can get a slip-on system and replace only the muffler. It’s easy to install, and you don’t have to make any changes to the fuel delivery system. But if you want to boost your bike’s performance, consider a full exhaust system replacement. However, it’s a more expensive option, as you’ll have to replace the head pipes and the muffler. You’ll also have to make changes to the fuel system to ensure the engine gets enough juice. If you fail to do this, you’ll reduce your engine’s life span.
  • Purpose. Different exhaust systems offer very different performance results. Get one that will provide the desired outcome. The wrong system can lower efficiency and make your bike more expensive to run.

Best Motorcycle Exhaust Reviews & Recommendations 2020

There are many reasons you may be looking to buy an aftermarket exhaust system: to increase your bike's speed, to make it look better, or to reduce its weight. If you own a Kawasaki Ninja 250 or Ninja 300 (2008-2017), get the Ransoto motorcycle slip-on exhaust system. It’s made of aluminum and stainless steel and is lighter than stock exhausts. 


The unit is easy to install—you’ll be done in less than 10 minutes. It produces a low sound at high RPMs, but it's enough to let drivers and pedestrians know you’re coming. It comes with a removable baffle that regulates the noise level. 


If you're not satisfied with the motorcycle slip-on exhaust system, you can take advantage of the six-month warranty offered by the manufacturer. The springs holding the adapter pipe need some effort to connect; you must stretch them a few times to loosen them up. Also, the manufacturer doesn’t ship the bolt required for installation.

Having a hard time choosing the best motorcycle exhaust for your lovely bike? You're not alone. Many bike owners struggle with the same decision. If you want an affordable motorcycle exhaust that offers bang for the buck, it's this one. It’s made of stainless steel and comes in two sizes: 51 millimeters and 60.5 millimeters. You can use it for a dirt bike, a scooter, a street bike, a quad, or an ATV—or any other bike with an inlet diameter of 51 millimeters. 

 

The ISTUNT motorcycle exhaust comes with a removable decibel killer. It’s very easy to install, and you can do it without referring to instructions. It will improve the sound of your bike compared to the stock muffler and ensure you're heard when you're riding around.

 

The motorcycle exhaust system feels sturdy and can withstand high temperatures because it’s made out of genuine steel. But some users have complained that it’s very loud, so you may need to order a baffle to decrease its noise output. The springs that secure it are also very long, so you may have to get new ones.

The best motorcycle exhaust looks good, produces that rumbling sound you love, reduces your bike’s weight, and improves its overall performance. The Emgo muffler is one such system. It’s lightweight and durable and will enhance your bike’s performance. 


The exhaust is not too loud, and you can cruise along at a respectable decibel level. It only growls when you hit the throttle. And thanks to the baffle, you’ll have no backfiring. It will announce your arrival long before you turn up. The exhaust won’t take you more than 30 minutes to install, and it’s unlikely that you’ll need professional help.


However, it should be noted that this slip-on exhaust is louder and deeper than stock mufflers. It may also affect your bike’s performance. The bike may lose power in low rpm and gain some in medium to high RPM ranges.

If you want an exhaust that offers a great balance between price and performance, this is it. It will change the nature of your bike by adding unique sound and boosting performance and power. Akrapovic takes design very seriously, which is why this GP-style slip-on exhaust system is beautifully crafted.


The exhaust offers power and torque increase over the whole rpm range while decreasing weight. The oval muffler is made of titanium to give your motorcycle a MotoGP touch. The exhaust offers good value for the money, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in throttle response—which is what you’re looking for.


However, there are two things we don’t like about this motorcycle exhaust. It does not adhere to emission compliance requirements for highway or street use. It’s also not compatible with some bikes.

This slip-on exhaust system is stylish, inexpensive, and very easy to install. It’s made to last, and because it’s lightweight (4.79 pounds), your bike will lose a significant amount of weight when you install it.


The manufacturer packs the brand sticker separately, so your bike doesn’t have to be a moving advertisement. You can decide whether to stick it on your exhaust or not. When you don’t use the dampener, the sound is slightly deeper but not very loud. 


However, it’s worth mentioning that the exhaust doesn’t come with a gasket, and it may fit sloppily at the exhaust clamp. You have to buy the gasket separately or the exhaust will leak. Also, the manufacturer doesn’t provide installation instructions.

Tips

  • Before purchasing an exhaust system, make sure you have information about your bike's engine as well as the year, model and make of your motorcycle. You will want to buy a compatible exhaust that fits properly on your bike.
  • When installing a new exhaust, you may have to make some modifications. For example, you may have to relocate the oxygen sensors, or you may need to buy additional bolts. Every bike is different, so be aware that you may need to do some alterations to get it to fit and perform properly.
  • Some riders wrap their motorcycle exhausts to prevent them from burning their legs. The process may also increase performance, and it also provides a custom look.

FAQs

Q: What’s the purpose of a motorcycle exhaust?

A: The exhaust discharges gases away from the rider and passenger. It also dampens noise and promotes performance. Most exhausts are made from aluminum and steel, but some are made from other materials, such as carbon fiber. 

Q: How do I get a deeper sound from my motorcycle exhaust?

A: One way is to remove the baffles from your pipes. You can eliminate the baffles by removing the nut that is typically placed on the bottom of the exhaust pipes.

Q: Why do some exhaust pipes turn blue?

A: It's typically due to the heat that the exhaust emits. If your system runs too hot, it can cause the pipes to turn a bluish color. You can wash, polish, and buff the pipes to clean them. However, if you do this too often, it can damage the finish on the pipes.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best motorcycle exhaust is the Ransoto Motorcycle Slip-On Exhaust System With Muffler. It’s easy to install and is a large improvement over your stock exhaust system. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the ISTUNT Universal 51-Millimeter Slip-On Modified Motorcycle Exhaust Pipe Muffler

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