The sound of a motorcycle is very recognizable, especially if you are a bike aficionado. No matter how much you like the steady roar of a motorcycle engine, there can come a time when that noise is just too loud to bear. There are laws in many states related to the number of decibels allowed for exhaust, including motorcycles. While it is unlikely that you will be pulled over for a mildly offensive exhaust, if the noise begins to increase, you could face a ticket.
So, how do you reduce exhaust noise without buying new pipes? Some ways to reduce the noise your motorcycle exhaust makes, without the expense of new pipes, includes:
- Inspect the exhaust pipes for damage
- Use a silencer
- Use a soundproof wrap
- Add an exhaust tip
These four things may not completely deaden the loud exhaust sound, but they will likely be able to quiet it significantly. In this article, you will learn how to inexpensively lessen your motorcycle exhaust noise and get a look at the products that may help.
Eliminate the Excessive Noise
Replacing the pipes when an exhaust becomes overly loud is the quickest way to fix it; however, it is not the least expensive way. If you are not in a financial position to replace pipes, there are some things you can do to help remedy the problem. The first thing you need to do is inspect your exhaust pipe. There is a good chance the pipe has a hole of another form of damage that is causing the increase in noise.
Inspect the Exhaust Pipe
The word inspect is not used lightly here. You may have glanced at the exhaust pipe and not noticed any problems, but that does not necessarily mean it is the case when you inspect your exhaust pipe.
Kyle Cannon, author of the article How to Tell If Your Motorcycle Has an Exhaust Leak, suggests that you should listen for unusual popping sounds as well as try to notice if there is a strong exhaust smell. One or both of these signs can indicate an exhaust leak is present.
What if There is a Leak?
If you find a leak, you need to determine where the leak is coming from. There is likely a hole somewhere on your exhaust, or you have a loose bolt on the exhaust.
- The first thing you should do is check and tighten the bolts.
- If you still notice the sound or smell, you need to begin looking for holes. If you find a hole, you will likely be able to repair it quite easily and inexpensively.
Repairing the hole: Depending on the size and location of the hole, you may be able to seal it with either epoxy or heat tape. Be sure that you are getting supplies specifically for motorcycle exhaust pipes.
If you have a large hole, repairing it may be a bit more complicated, and you may need to seek the advice of a repair specialist to ensure you are correctly doing the repair. You also want to consider the integrity of the repair if the hole is significant. While it may be able to be repaired, it may not be lasting.
Use A Silencer
The term silencer does not mean your motorcycle will suddenly become ultra-quiet; however, it will make the exhaust much quieter. A silencer is like a plug that fits into the exhaust pipe. The silencer allows the air to flow more slowly from the exhaust pipe, which in turn provides a quieter exhaust.
The good news about a silencer is that it is easy to install and can provide the quiet exhaust you are looking for with minimal effort and cost. When choosing a silencer, you will find different types to choose from, such as slip-on silencers and baffles.
Slip-on Silencer: This silencer will slip nicely over the motorcycle exhaust to help provide a quieter ride.
Insert Baffle: The baffle is inserted into the exhaust pipe and allows airflow; however, it slows the airflow down, which lowers the sound produced.
When preparing to install a silencer, you need to make sure you follow the correct procedures. Some silencers require a clamp to stay in place, while others may need to be welded in place. If at any point, you are uncertain about the installation process of the silencer, check out the vidoe below or reach out to a repair specialist.
If you are not interested in attaching a silencer and your motorcycle exhaust is in excellent condition, you may opt for using a soundproof wrap. The actual purpose of this wrap is to allow heat to stay in the exhaust pipe, which is why it is often used when small holes need to be repaired. However, because the tape takes on the hardness of the steel once it is applied, it also can dampen the sounds emitted from the exhaust.
When purchasing exhaust wrap, make sure it is suitable for motorcycles to ensure you do not cause damage to your exhaust pipe or motorcycle.
Another option that may help to quiet your exhaust is to add a tip to your already existing exhaust pipe. The tip will help add an extra layer to the end of your exhaust pipe, which will help to dampen the noise bring released.
By adding the exhaust tip, not only are you adding extra layers of material, but you are also able to direct the airflow coming from the exhaust. Many of the tips are slant tips, which means they will allow the air to come out of the exhaust in a downward motion.
Which is Best?
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to quieting your motorcycle exhaust without breaking the bank to install new pipes. While all these options will work to quiet your motorcycle, not all options may be right for you.
Depending on your comfort level of making additions to your bike, as well as your ability to do the work or hire someone personally, may also be a factor in your decision.[Related Article: How To Reduce Noise For Your Motorcycle Helmet In 8 Simple Steps]
If you are looking at a DIY fix, you are likely wondering how much it will be for each of these additions to help quiet your exhaust. The good news is that they are all quite cost-effective. You can plan to spend between $9-$60. The lower price comes with epoxy, while the higher price point matches the addition of tips.
It is also crucial that you factor in the cost of labor if you are not able to do the work yourself. Based on the article Labor Rates, published in Motorcycle Powersports News, the average rate of labor is around $100 per hour. When you factor this cost in, it may be better to do it yourself or find a mechanically savvy friend that can help you out.
Getting your motorcycle exhaust to run quietly doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor; however, you need to have an awareness of what is causing the noise as well as an idea of your ability when it comes to making additions to your bike. In a couple of hours, you can likely have a much quieter exhaust system without new pipes.