The Best Motorcycle Exhaust Brands

Today, we take a look at the best motorcycle exhaust brands. 

We tested a wide variety of motorcycle exhausts with a variety of motorcycles. For this list, we chose the absolute best ones that offer the most durable construction, highest performance, and best sounding exhaust notes. 

While pretty expensive, Akrapovic offers the best exhausts for sportbikes.

Vance & Hines still leads the pack for Harley Davidson exhausts.

Two Brothers Racing also managed to carve out a piece of the market with their high-performance slip-ons and full systems for various motorcycle models. 

We’ve been riding motorcycles for over two decades. And for the last 10 years, we have been testing and reviewing motorcycle accessories professionally.

We have plenty of experience with motorcycle exhausts and the manufacturers that make them, so you can count on us to steer you in the right direction.

Keep reading for more of our thoughts on the best motorcycle exhaust brands.

Best Sportbike Exhaust Brand

Akrapovic Exhausts 

When it comes to sportbike exhausts, Akrapovic is the Holy Grail. Their exhaust systems offer the best combination of build quality, sound, and performance. We love their use of premium materials and race-proven exhaust designs. 

Let’s talk about those premium materials. Akrapovic may be one of the most expensive exhaust brands out there, but the cost is well worth it. Go to get an Akrapovic exhaust for your sportbike, and you’ll find pipes made of stainless steel and aluminum, but also ones that use carbon fiber and even titanium for the build. 

These materials make Akra exhausts very lightweight but also sturdier and longer-lasting. Of all the Akrapovic exhausts we’ve tested over the years, not one showed signs of leaking or cracking, even under high exhaust pressure and heat. 

Akrapovic pipes and cans also have a pretty unique design language. It is modern and angular, with sharp lines and aggressive styling that fits right in with the sportbike aesthetic. 

Moving on to performance, Akrapovic continues their trend of wowing us. Akrapovic pipes routinely outperform the competition, offering the biggest boosts in power and torque figures. Their exhaust systems are backed up by decades of testing and experience building exhausts for the racetrack. The lightweight build also helps improve the power-weight ratio. 

Slap an Akra on your supersport, and you can expect faster acceleration, enhanced engine response, and improved lap times on the track. 

But even on the street, the bike feels much faster and more responsive. Day-to-day riding is a lot more involved and fun, thanks in no small part to the fantastic sound of Akrapovic exhausts. 

Speaking of which, boy do we love the sound Akra exhausts make. At idle, the sound is deep and imposing. At redline, it sounds like a bat out of hell! It is louder and deeper than stock without losing quality, as with so many loud aftermarket sportbike exhausts. 

Akrapovic makes both slip-ons, and full system exhausts for a wide range of sportbikes. And suppose you can’t find an exhaust made specifically for your bike. In that case, you can probably find a universally compatible option that should fit. 

But Akrapovic superbike exhausts aren’t without their flaws. For one, they aren’t what you would call ‘budget-friendly.’ In fact, they are on the higher end of the spectrum as far as price is concerned. Still, few other exhaust brands offer the same features or quality.

  • Premium build quality
  • Premium materials used
  • Titanium and carbon fiber exhausts offered
  • Modern, angular design
  • Lightweight
  • Loud and aggressive exhaust note
  • Race-inspired
  • Free-flowing exhaust architecture
  • Adds a lot of power and performance
  • Unique hexagonal design for mufflers
  • Ideal for sportbikes
  • Most expensive exhausts

Best Harley Davidson Exhaust Brand

Vance & Hines Exhausts

Harley Davidson owners will be familiar with the rock-solid durability, and unbeatable reliability of Vance & Hines exhausts. For the uninitiated, V&H is an American company that makes the absolute best Harley Davidson exhausts. Their pipes offer a balanced package with plenty of power and a loud, thumpy sound that is classic Harley.

Kicking things off with V&H’s signature, we have the impressive build of their exhausts. Vance & Hines pipes are by far the best-built exhausts for Harley-Davidsons, owing to the use of premium materials and durable construction techniques such as TIG welding.

We push all of the exhausts we test to the absolute limit in a number of different scenarios. V&H exhausts always hold up extremely well to abuse, maintaining their performance throughout.

Speaking of performance, Vance & Hines are no stranger to the racing world. Their exhausts have adorned hundreds of race bikes and performance baggers.

All that research and development seems to have trickled down into their Harley Davidson exhausts, which offer improved power and torque and smoother throttle response. Thanks to the lightweight design, you can also expect better handling and easier maneuvering at low-speed.

Now, when it comes to sound quality, Vance & Hines blow stock Harley Davidson exhausts out of the water. The sound is louder and fuller. It has a deep, resonant character that fills the surrounding area and makes your Harley sound much more aggressive.

And Vance & Hines pipes make this unique fluttering sound on cold starts that sounds absolutely phenomenal. We can best describe it as a sharp, thumping sound. You really have to hear it to understand.

One huge advantage of V&H pipes is the awesome feature set. For example, most V&H pipes come with full coverage integrated heat shields. These are really effective and keep the rider comfortable on longer journeys. Moreover, most of V&H’s lineup sports their anti-bluing design, which keeps chrome parts looking pristine, even after a couple thousand heat cycles.

Compatibility is another plus point of V&H exhausts. While their sportbike catalog is a bit lacking, the opposite is true for their Harley Davidson catalog. You can find a V&H slip-on or full system for just about every Harley Davidson motorcycle. In our experience, the installation process is also pretty straightforward, thanks to all the hardware being included in the box. The instructions are also pretty concise and easy to follow.

  • Stainless steel build
  • Lightweight design
  • Available in chrome and black
  • TIG welds
  • Great backpressure
  • Added performance
  • Anti-bluing design
  • Integrated full-coverage heat shields
  • Loudest Vance & Hines slip-on exhaust
  • Deep and beefy sound profile
  • Better throttle response
  • The bike accelerates faster
  • Compatible with a wide variety of Harley models
  • Some older Harley models aren’t supported

Worthy Consideration

Two Brothers Racing Exhausts

Two Brothers Racing makes some really cool exhausts for Harleys, sportbikes, and anything else with an engine and two wheels! Their focus has always been more on performance rather than build quality or sound, but even still, their exhausts tend to offer a great overall package. 

The ‘racing’ in ‘Two Brothers Racing’ is well-earned. TBR has a rich history in motorsports, and it shows in their exhaust systems for street bikes. These exhausts generally add a ton of power and torque to your bike, but the real benefit is TBR’s special tuning which makes all of that performance usable throughout the rev range. 

Bikes outfitted with TBR pipes usually exhibit faster acceleration and better throttle response. We can attest to improved lap times, and just a more fun motorcycle in general with TBR exhausts installed. Not to mention, TBR offers a wide range of 2-into-1 style exhausts, which offer even more power and performance. 

Moving on to the build quality and design of TBR pipes, we have to admit we aren’t the biggest fans. TBR’s design language seems to be a bit restrained and basic. Their 2-into-1 style exhausts are unique, but the rest of their lineup is kind of just meh. But beauty is subjective, and you might be into the look of TBR exhausts. 

One thing that isn’t subjective, however, is build quality. TBR gives us little to be concerned about here. Their exhausts hold up exceptionally well to extreme heat and exhaust pressure. 

Some scattered reports suggest excessive discoloration on older models, but that problem seems to have been ironed out. Our testing showed nothing but high durability and sturdy TIG welds doing their job. 

Finally, we have the sound of Two Brothers Racing exhausts. We are glad to announce that these powerful exhausts have a ton of bark to match their bite. The sound is loud and aggressive. It’s just the kind of sound you would expect from a high-performance exhaust. 

That said, we aren’t sold on the 2-into-1 sound. TBR uses unique muffler designs and free-flow exhaust designs, but the sound isn’t quite to the level of a set of true dual exhausts. 

  • Stainless steel build
  • TIG welds
  • Hold up really well to extreme heat and pressure
  • Enhanced structural rigidity
  • High-performance exhaust
  • 2-into-1 style exhausts offered
  • Adds a lot of power and torque
  • Improved throttle response
  • Better performance throughout the rev range
  • Loud and powerful sound
  • TBR make exhausts for a lot of different makes and models
  • The design is a bit basic, in our opinion

Best Motorcycle Exhaust Brands FAQs

What should you look for in the best motorcycle exhaust brands?

There are a ton of motorcycle exhaust brands out there. To separate the wheat from the chaff, we recommend looking for brands that have been around for a while. Not only does this give you the peace of mind that these brands know what they’re doing, but you also benefit from the years of research and development they have done for their exhausts. 

Another pertinent factor is the quality of materials. The best motorcycle exhaust brands will use the most premium materials for their products. These include high-grade stainless steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and in some cases, even titanium. These premium materials keep the whole exhaust lightweight but also allow it to perform better. Not to mention, the exhaust hardware will last longer if it is built using high-quality materials. 

What type of exhaust is best for my motorcycle?

The answer to this question isn’t so cut and dried. The exact type of exhaust you should put on your motorcycle will vary depending on the bike’s make and model, your priorities, and of course, your budget. 

However, as a rule of thumb, some exhaust types perform better than others, regardless of the type of motorcycle you install them on. 

A slip-on style exhaust is an excellent option if you want to add a bit of loudness to your exhaust and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg doing it. However, slip-ons don’t really offer the biggest power-up. 

A full system exhaust will be a bit more expensive, but it will also offer the best performance and sound quality. In fact, full system exhausts can add as much as 10 or more horsepower to your motorcycle. And the sound quality is improved, thanks to the full system being built specifically for your bike. 

Getting an exhaust explicitly built for your motorcycle is actually the best thing you can do for it. However, universal exhausts can be used in a pinch. These won’t have the best performance, and the sound is pretty hit or miss, but universal exhausts generally don’t cost that much, and for some older motorcycle models, they are the only option. 

How much do the best motorcycle exhaust brands cost?

Again, this will depend on the exact make and model of your bike and what your requirements are. However, generally speaking, the best motorcycle exhaust brands will definitely cost a bit more. 

Personally, we think the price is worth it when you consider the premium materials, incredible performance, and improved sound these exhausts offer. That doesn’t mean you have to take out a second mortgage on your house to pay for the best motorcycle exhaust. In fact, there are a lot of fantastic exhaust brands at reasonable price points. 

Still, if you want the absolute best of the best, be prepared to pay a little extra. If you’re looking at a slip-on from a top exhaust brand, it can easily cost a couple hundred dollars. Full systems will obviously cost even more, and some of the highest-performing models can have four-figure price tags. 

Why should I change my motorcycle’s exhaust?

There are a couple different reasons why you might want to change your motorcycle’s exhaust. Improved sound is one, enhanced performance is another, and aesthetics makes three. But there are even more reasons why changing your motorcycle exhaust might be a good idea. 

For one, some stock exhausts are mounted very low on the bike, so they can scrape on large bumps in the road. An aftermarket exhaust can solve this by mounting higher up on the bike. Similarly, some bikes tend to run very hot, and an aftermarket exhaust with heat shields could help you mitigate some of that heat. 

Another common complaint motorcycle riders have is that their stock exhaust is a bit bulky. That’s because manufacturers have to install a ton of extra hardware to comply with regulations. Aftermarket exhausts use lightweight materials and special designs to save as much weight and space as possible. These weight savings can help make your bike easier to maneuver, especially at low speed. Furthermore, they improve the power-weight ratio of your bike, which aids performance. 

Which exhaust brands are best for American/European/Japanese/(insert country of origin) motorcycles? 

When it comes to the best motorcycle exhaust brands, you can find options from all over the world. Generally, American bikes work best with American exhausts, European exhausts with European bikes, and so on. 

However, you can easily mix and match with so many available options and so much overlap. If we want a Harley exhaust, we immediately think of Vance & Hines, but other options also exist. If we want an exhaust for a Japanese sportbike, we might choose a European brand and vice versa. The possibilities are endless. 

Hugo Alais

Hi, I'm Hugo, I'm a motorcycle enthusiast who’s been riding for the last 10 years. I'm passionate about all things motorcycles and started Bikes Future to help other riders make the right motorcycle moves. I ride a white Kawasaki Ninja 400. You can find out more about me and my experience with motorcycling here.