How To Make Your Stock Harley Exhaust Louder?

In this article, we’ll be covering the most effective methods for making your Harley Davidson’s stock exhaust louder.

Even from the factory, a Harley sounds pretty loud and beefy. But if you want even more volume and depth, some exhaust mods are in order. The problem is that full system exhausts tend to be on the pricey side, and you have to do some significant modifications to the bike for them to work.

So what can you do to the stock exhaust to make it louder? Well, you have a couple options, some of which require exhaust mods and some which focus on the engine.

Keep reading to find our top recommendations for making stock Harley exhausts louder.

1: Retune Your Harley’s Engine

One of the first things you should consider doing for extra ‘dBs’ is retuning your Harley’s engine. In their stock form, Harley engines are set up to comply with hundreds of sound and emissions regulations. That means the engine’s air-fuel ratio favors a quieter, less pollutant setting.

By changing up that air-fuel ratio with an ECU remap, you can make the stock exhaust louder. And the difference is actually quite noticeable in day-to-day riding. You should get a louder, fuller, more aggressive exhaust note thanks to the exhaust gasses, which will flow more freely.

Another plus point of this method is that it unlocks the bike’s true potential and gives it a decent power boost. You will notice better throttle response and slightly faster acceleration, in addition to the meatier exhaust note.

2: Drill Out the Baffles

This next method is a proper exhaust mod in that it makes physical modifications to the stock exhaust on your Harley Davidson. Baffles are a key component of most stock exhaust systems and help keep the noise down and meet emissions regulations.

A baffle functions by constricting exhaust gas flow so that the bike isn’t as loud. It also reduces the emission of gasses. By drilling into the baffles or removing them completely, you allow the gasses to flow more freely, thus improving the sound of your stock Harley exhaust.

Be advised that drilling into baffles can create a particular type of exhaust note that is definitely louder but may not be the same depth or quality as you are used to. For most cases, we recommend just axing the baffles altogether for a deeper, ‘growlier’ exhaust note.

3: Attach Slip-On Exhausts

If a full system exhaust seems too hard or cost-prohibitive, slip-on mufflers for the stock Harley exhaust are the next best thing. These attach to your motorcycle’s stock exhaust pipes and add tons of volume to the bike.

And the best part is that there is a vibrant aftermarket for Harley Davidson slip-on exhausts. That means you have a wide variety of options to choose from. In fact, you can find different slip-ons that make the exhaust note louder, higher-pitched, deeper, or whatever characteristic you’re going for.

Check out our review for the best slip-on Harley Davidson exhausts if you need a recommendation.

4. Add exhaust tips

As the name suggests, exhaust tips go on the very end of your Harley’s stock muffler. While most are purely for aesthetics, some exhaust tip options make a noticeable difference to your Harley exhaust’s volume and quality. In fact, you can get exhaust tips with integrated whistles that make your bike sound like it has a turbocharged engine.

Aftermarket Accessories to Make your stock Harley Exhaust Louder

Speaking of aftermarket accessories, there are a couple other add-ons and accessories that you can install on your stock Harley exhaust to make it louder. Below, we’ve outlined a couple different mods you can make to your Harley’s engine, as opposed to the exhaust, to give it a louder, meaner sound.

These engine mods are pretty easy to do. They should make your stock Harley exhaust louder while also giving you a decent bump in power and performance!

Aftermarket Carburetors

One of the first mods riders make to their Harleys is to swap out the stock carburetor for an aftermarket alternative. The carburetor’s job is to regulate the air-fuel ratio in your bike. By swapping out the stock carb, you can make drastic changes to this ratio, which results in a different sounding exhaust.

Moreover, a high-quality carb will also give you a decent power increase thanks to the new air-fuel mixture. It’s a win-win situation.

Power Tubes

A power tube is one of our favorite mods for Harleys. A power tube converts the fuel entering the engine from a spurting liquid to a fine mist. If you took 8th-grade chemistry, you’ll know that this makes the combustion process more efficient. The result? The most noticeable effect is a good 4-5 HP power increase and a more responsive throttle.

But for our purposes, the power tube also changes the exhaust’s characteristics. It isn’t necessarily the biggest difference in volume, but we’ll take it!


Ok, so maybe this isn’t the easiest or most cost-effective method of making your stock Harley exhaust louder. But it is definitely one of the most effective. Adding turbos to Harleys is becoming increasingly common. Adding a turbo to your Harley gives it a massive power boost and also changes the sound characteristics dramatically.

Not to mention, with turbos, you get lots of cool induction sounds, blow-off valves, and just a throatier exhaust note! Just be prepared to spend a bit more than all the other options on this list combined.

In Conclusion

So there you have just a few ways of making your stock Harley exhaust louder. You can even mix and match different methods for a more pronounced effect. And the best part? Almost all of these mods are pretty minimal and easy to do. Moreover, they don’t cost an arm and a leg like most full system exhausts.

The turbo option is an exception, but come on! Who doesn’t want the bragging rights of having a turbocharged Harley!?

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.