In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the top exhausts for Harley Davidson motorcycles, giving you an up-close and personal look.
Riding a Harley Davidson is an experience like no other; it’s one of the most recognizable motorcycles on the planet. When I sit on one, each bike, though different, carries that same distinct Harley feel.
The exhaust is a big part of what gives a Harley that unique aura. From the design to the unmistakable roar, it’s one of the defining characteristics that makes a Harley, well, a Harley.
However, I’ve found that a lot of riders, myself included, often want to upgrade to aftermarket exhausts. It’s not just about customizing the look; it’s about enhancing the bike’s performance as well.
So come along with me as I dive into the best Harley Davidson exhausts out there, and find the perfect fit for your ride.
Best full-System Harley Exhausts
The Vance and Hines Shortshots Staggered Exhaust caught my eye as one of the most famous Harley exhausts out there. As I looked closer, I noticed these unique pipes were made specifically for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, carrying the same design spirit as the stock pipe but adding a fresh twist to my bike.
I measured the exhaust, and it’s shorter, going from 1 ¾’ at the headers to 2 ⅛’ at the mufflers. What impressed me were the 2 ½’, 220-degree coverage heat shields; they add to the bike’s look without stealing the show. If you’ve got a powder-coated engine like mine, you’ll be pleased to know these pipes come in both chrome and blacked-out versions, allowing me to keep the theme of my machine intact.
But let’s talk about what really matters: the sound. I revved the throttle, and the Shortshots delivered. The sound is distinctly raw, perfectly capturing that Harley spirit. It’s a deep, rumbly noise right from the first crack of the throttle and continues throughout the rev range. The exhaust note is aggressive, meaty, and every time I drop a gear and pass others on the highway, it’s a genuine thrill.
Now, if that sound ever feels like a bit too much, there are optional baffles I can install to quiet things down for a more relaxed ride. But honestly, these pipes are best enjoyed with that characteristic unbridled sound. Riding with them on my Harley, I feel an unmatched connection to the road.
- Clean, understated design
- Black and chrome versions offered
- Impressive, loud exhaust note
- Integrated heat shields
- Will need to check fitment
I came across Two Brothers, a brand renowned for creating performance-oriented products that not only enhance the aesthetics and sound of a bike’s exhaust but also give it a little extra kick. Eager to see if their ‘Comp-S 2-into-1’ lived up to the hype, I decided to give it a go on my Harley Davidson.
The first thing that struck me about the ‘Comp-S’ was its retro style. Inspired by the old-school bobber and cafe racer scene, it offers a well-balanced design that fits seamlessly with my bike. The two individual header pipes leading to an oversized, rounded muffler gave my Harley a stunning custom look. I couldn’t help but admire the attention to detail, the beautiful TIG welds, and handcrafted parts that oozed luxury. It felt unlike anything I had seen before in this segment.
Now, onto the sound—what a growl! The ‘Comp-S’ lets out a thick, confident noise that’s unmistakably Harley. And it’s not just about the sound; the quality stainless steel construction helped drop the weight of my bike, improving both handling and performance.
But what truly won me over was the noticeable boost in power. Rolling down the highway, I could feel the difference, with testing showing decent gains in horsepower and particularly in low-end torque. Riding with this exhaust on my bike, the thrill of power mixed with elegance was unmatched.
With the ‘Comp-S,’ I’ve found a tough hunk of metal that has made my ride more exciting and enjoyable than ever. It’s more than an accessory; it’s an essential part of my Harley experience.
- Premium stainless construction
- Free flowing design adds power and torque to your bike
- Loud sound that is a massive improvement over stock
- Trendy design with 2-into-1 style pipe
- Compatible with both forward and mid control configurations
- Can be quite expensive, even for a full system
Best slip-on Harley Exhausts
I was looking for a relatively inexpensive and straightforward way to give my bike a fresh look and sound, and slip-on exhausts caught my attention. They promised a louder sound and even a slight boost in performance, all while being simple to install and use. That’s when I came across the ‘3” Round Twin Slash’ from Vance and Hines for my Harley, and I knew I had to try it.
This slip-on is more than just an accessory; it’s a serious piece of hardware that transforms your bike. Once I installed it, my bike’s engine awakened with a fierce roar. Following the theme of stock Harley exhausts, the ‘Twin Slash’ slip-on built on a thicker, more satisfying sound. The look and sound were stunning, and the growl these puppies added to my bike was something I couldn’t help but grin at.
What also impressed me was the heat shields that made this muffler ‘blue-proof,’ ensuring that nothing would tarnish my bike’s look even after years of riding. The free-flowing design made my bike more responsive, adding to a more pleasurable riding experience. And the best part? The installation was a breeze.
Unlike other slip-ons that required me to remove or modify the saddlebags on my touring machine, these pipes quite literally slipped right on. No cutting, no welding—just a straightforward attachment.
Now that I’ve experienced the ‘Twin Slash’ myself, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. The quality, the ease of use, and the significant enhancement in my bike’s look and sound made this purchase a no-brainer for me. If you own a Harley and want to take it to the next level without overthinking, this is the slip-on to go for.
- Excellent build quality by an experienced manufacturer
- A significant improvement over the OEM sound and power figures
- Heat shields prevent the ‘blueing’ of exhaust
- Optional baffles available to reduce sound by 3-5 dB
- No additional tuning required
- The included user guide is not the easiest to follow
- Carbureted engines may face problems with this exhaust
Being a fan of motorsport and racing, I had always heard about Rinehart and their reputation for ultra-high-performing products. I knew I had to check out their slip-on pipes for my bike, and I was not disappointed.
As soon as I laid eyes on the Rinehart slip-on exhaust, I was struck by its straightforward, no-nonsense design. Here was a product that didn’t try to dazzle with unnecessary flair or over-stylized looks. The design of Rinehart’s 4″ Slip-ons for my Harley Davidson featured clean, uninterrupted lines that blended perfectly with my bike’s overall appearance. I appreciated the minimalist approach and was pleased to find two color options: chrome and black.
But don’t let the simple design fool you. Once I twisted the throttle, the sound these bad boys made was anything but understated. This exhaust turned my ride’s volume up to eleven. Thanks to a proprietary baffle design, these pipes emitted a rowdy sound, in stark contrast to their minimalistic look and design.
I could feel the racing heritage as I rode. A free-flowing design meant that not only did I get more horsepower, but I also enjoyed extra torque down low. These pipes transformed my testing ride into something so much more exhilarating and fun!
And for someone quality conscious like me, the Rineharts’ unmatched lifetime warranty was a massive plus. It’s rare to find companies so confident in their products. The black version even comes with a two-year warranty for the black finish coating, so I could ride without any worries.
The Rinehart slip-ons were more than a purchase; they were an investment in my riding experience. With their blend of simplicity, performance, and quality assurance, they’ve taken my Harley to the next level. If you’re looking for a serious upgrade, these pipes should be on your radar.
- Simple, clean design
- Robust sound from these pipes
- Free flowing exhaust that increases power and torque
- Lifetime warranty on the slip-on exhaust system
- Some riders may not like the straightforward design
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