Best Exhausts for Harley Davidson’s Road Glide

Here, you will find our picks for the best Harley Davidson Road Glide exhausts.

We tested over a dozen different exhausts for the Road Glide motorcycle and narrowed down our Top 3. These exhausts are the most durable, best performing, and best-sounding options the market has to offer.

Cobra’s True Dual Headpipes take the top spot, owing to their incredible performance, bassy exhaust note, and terrific construction. And thanks to the clean, understated design, these are also our top pick for aftermarket Road Glide headers.

After riding for over 20 years, we’ve become something of an authority on high-quality exhausts. And with 10 years of experience testing exhausts professionally, we can help you make the most worthwhile purchase.

Keep reading for more of our thoughts on the best exhausts for the Harley Road Glide.

Overall Best

Cobra True Dual Header Harley Exhausts

Thanks to their loud, bass-heavy sound, Cobra’s exhausts are some of our favorites. With these headers, you get even beefier acoustics and extra power for your Road Glide. Pair these puppies with some nice slip-ons, and you’re off to the races! 

Any Cobra exhaust review has to start with the sound. And these headpipes are no joke in that department. Sure, they offer a louder sound, but it’s also a more pleasing sound. It is a thumpy, rumbly exhaust note that is classic Harley. And when you get going on the highway, the pipes let out an aggressive, menacing roar. 

Suffice to say, these are some of our absolute favorite exhausts for the Road Glide. The sound is loud and throaty, but it doesn’t become annoying on longer journeys if you get a quieter slip-on. 

Next up, we have the fantastic performance of these pipes. If you want more power and torque from your Road Glide, these exhausts have tons to offer. The free-flowing exhaust design generates a good 5-7 extra HP, which is really noticeable in day-to-day riding. 

For one, the bike felt a lot more agile. This is thanks to the added torque, which improves the Road Glide’s acceleration. The torque also comes on lower in the rev range, making low-speed maneuvering a breeze. In fact, you get better performance throughout the rev range, so passing other vehicles and switching lanes is easier (and more fun!).

The pipes also come with plenty of useful features. You get 2.5″ one-piece heat shields, which mitigate most of the heat coming from the exhaust. This is great for the Road Glide owner who goes on longer journeys. 

Cobra put O2 sensor bungs on the pipes, so you don’t have to mess around with aftermarket sensors. Speaking of, installing these pipes is pretty straightforward. You get all of the necessary equipment in the box, and the process is easy, even if the instructions aren’t the best. 

Lastly, the design of these pipes is nothing to write home about, which is exactly how it should be with aftermarket head pipes. You can get your choice of chrome or matte black, and that’s pretty much it. But feel free to customize the look with any compatible slip-on.

  • Louder sound
  • The beefier, deeper exhaust note
  • It can be paired with a quieter slip-on
  • Increased torque
  • Better performance throughout the rev range
  • Bike accelerates faster
  • Easier maneuvering at low speed
  • 2.5″ one-piece heat shields
  • Mitigate most of the heat coming from the exhaust
  • O2 sensor bungs provided
  • Easy to install
  • Available in chrome or black
  • Instructions aren’t the best

Best Budget

S&S Grand National Slip-On Muffler For Harley Touring

S&S’s Grand National is a loud and powerful exhaust for the Harley Davidson Road Glide. It uses premium materials for sturdy construction and has a slick, modern design. It also doesn’t break the bank, which is always a plus.

This pipe is one solid hunk o’ metal. The high-grade stainless steel construction is designed to withstand the most extreme exhaust pressure and the hottest temperatures. S&S even uses a special surface coating for this slip-on that keeps scratches at bay. This is great for the chrome and all but absolutely necessary for the matte black version.

As for the design, it is a modern, aggressive look. Personally, we think it looks a little out of place on the classic Harley Road Glide, but to each their own. Still, it’s a clean look that doesn’t attract too much attention.

But you don’t buy this slip-on for the design. You buy it for the unexpected boost in power it brings to the Road Glide. The free-flowing exhaust architecture makes the throttle response that much better. Not to mention, the lightweight build helps improve the power-weight ratio. Sure, you’ll get more power out of a full system, but no other slip-on is as powerful at this price point.

Moving on to the exhaust note, we have a louder, meatier sound that can be heard from a mile away! If you want more loudness and better sound quality, this is the slip-on for you. Crack open the throttle, and these cans will sing! In fact, you should get some earplugs if you want to use these exhausts for everyday riding.

But it’s not just the loudness that impressed us. The awesome tuning makes this sound more pleasing to the ear. Moreover, this exhaust has an ever-changing sound that is heavy and imposing at idle but a bit higher and thumpy on the road.

And the cool part is that If the sound becomes too much, you can install the optional dB killers, which will quiet the exhaust down quite a bit. These slip-ons are ideal for the Road Glide owner who wants two exhausts but doesn’t even want to spend the money for one!

  • High-grade stainless steel
  • Available in either chrome or black
  • Large, rounded slip-on design
  • The biggest boost in power of any Road Glide slip-on
  • Smoother throttle response
  • Deeper sound at idle
  • dB killer can reduce volume for longer journeys
  • Easy installation
  • Also compatible with Softails
  • Better performance with a full system

Premium Choice

Bassani Road Rage Mega Power Exhaust For Harley

Bassani’s Road Rage line of exhausts is one of our favorites. This ‘Mega Power’ version was made with the Road Glide in mind and features one of the deepest, most exquisite exhaust notes. And as the name suggests, it packs some serious performance gains that help move the massive Road Glide.

Before we get into performance figures, though, let’s talk about the design. This Harley Davidson Road Glide exhaust sports a 2-into-1 design, constructed from 16-gauge steel. This lightweight material is actually a lot more durable than stock, and the high-quality welds only add to that durability.

The pipe didn’t even flinch when subjected to extreme exhaust temperature and pressure in our testing. Expect this exhaust to last well over the life of your bike.

As for the finishes, you have your choice of chrome and matte black, so you can mix and match.

Moving on to the performance, we were floored by the massive boost in power this Road Glide exhaust offers. The 2-into-1 design enables ‘scavenging,’ a phenomenon whereby the exhaust pulse generated in one cylinder helps the other suck in oxygen more efficiently and vice versa. The result is better backpressure and improved power.

In the real world, you get better throttle response, improved torque down-low in the rev range, and faster acceleration of the bike. The added torque is an absolute godsend in tight spots, where every bit of ‘oomph!’ is needed to maneuver the behemoth Road Glide.

Bassani also focused on improving the collector design for this Road Glide exhaust pipe. As such, the engine can work at peak efficiency and put out a ton more power than stock.

Finally, we have the exhaust note of these pipes. And boy, is it a special sound! The exhaust character is deeper, fuller, and more bass-heavy. But it also manages to be louder and more imposing than stock. Lesser exhausts might be able to achieve one and not the other, but Bassani offers both! In a nutshell, the Mega Power from Bassani is THE best sounding exhaust for the Road Glide.

But this incredible sound is a bit of a double-edged sword. We mean that the loud and rowdy sound may become uncomfortable on longer journeys. Still, we can’t help but smile every time this exhaust revs and belts out that aggressive howl. Not to mention, it gives your Road Glide that ‘performance bagger’ look and feel without having to do major engine mods.

Rounding up the feature set, we have full coverage heat shields that work well for cross-country hauls. You also get all the necessary mounting equipment in the box, and the contrasting end caps go a long way in making your bike stand out from the pack.

  • 16-gauge steel
  • High-quality welds
  • Comes in chrome and black, with a contrasting end cap
  • 2-into-1 style exhaust
  • Enables ‘scavenging’
  • Special collector design for improved performance
  • Noticeable boost in power
  • Improved torque
  • Faster acceleration
  • Loudest sounding Road Glide exhaust
  • Crisp and bass-heavy sound
  • Integrated full-coverage heat shields
  • Exhaust could become annoying on longer journeys
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.