Best Exhausts for Harley Davidson’s Road Glide

Here’s where I share my personal picks for the best Harley Davidson Road Glide exhausts. Having tested over a dozen different exhausts for the Road Glide motorcycle, I narrowed down my Top 3. These aren’t just any exhausts; they are the most durable, best performing, and best-sounding options I’ve ever encountered on the market.

Cobra’s True Dual Headpipes earned the top spot in my garage. I was blown away by their incredible performance, bassy exhaust note, and terrific construction. The clean, understated design had me at a glance, making these my top pick for aftermarket Road Glide headers.

Having ridden for over 20 years, I feel like I’ve become something of an authority on high-quality exhausts. And with a decade of hands-on experience testing exhausts professionally, I feel equipped to guide you in making the most worthwhile purchase.

Stick with me as I dive into more of my thoughts and hands-on experiences with the best exhausts for the Harley Road Glide. You’re in for a ride!

Overall Best

Cobra True Dual Header Harley Exhausts

Cobra’s exhausts have become some of my personal favorites, thanks to their loud, bass-heavy sound. These headers? They bring even beefier acoustics and extra power to my Road Glide. The moment I paired these puppies with some nice slip-ons, I felt like I was off to the races!

Let’s start this review with what hits you first: the sound. Trust me, these headpipes aren’t messing around. They don’t just give you a louder sound; they give you a sound that’s music to any biker’s ears. I’m talking about a thumpy, rumbly exhaust note that screams “classic Harley.” And when I open it up on the highway? An aggressive, menacing roar that turns heads.

These have quickly become my absolute favorite exhausts for the Road Glide. The sound is loud and throaty, sure, but it never grated on my nerves during long journeys, especially when paired with quieter slip-ons.

Now, let’s get into the fantastic performance of these pipes. If you’re looking to squeeze more power and torque out of your Road Glide, I found these exhausts to have tons to offer. The free-flowing exhaust design surprised me with a good 5-7 extra HP, something I noticed every time I swung a leg over the bike.

My bike felt more agile, more alive. That’s thanks to the added torque, which gave a noticeable kick to the Road Glide’s acceleration. I found the torque coming on lower in the rev range, making low-speed maneuvering a breeze. Better performance throughout the rev range meant passing other vehicles and switching lanes wasn’t just easier – it was a blast!

Cobra also packed these pipes with useful features. The 2.5″ one-piece heat shields they included made a real difference in mitigating most of the heat coming from the exhaust. That’s been a great plus for me on my longer journeys.

They even thought to put O2 sensor bungs on the pipes, saving me the hassle of messing around with aftermarket sensors. As for installation, everything I needed was right there in the box. Even though the instructions weren’t the best, I found the process pretty straightforward.

Lastly, let’s talk about the design. It’s nothing flashy, and that’s exactly how I like it with aftermarket head pipes. I had my choice of chrome or matte black, and I could further customize the look with any compatible slip-on.

In a nutshell, if you’re after performance, sound, and practicality, these Cobra exhausts have a lot to offer. I can’t recommend them enough!

  • 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

When I first got my hands on S&S’s Grand National, I was immediately struck by how loud and powerful it felt for my Harley Davidson Road Glide. It’s clear they’ve used premium materials in the construction, giving it a sturdy feel and a slick, modern design. Best of all, it didn’t break the bank, which always gets my thumbs up.

I mean, this pipe is a solid beast of metal. The high-grade stainless steel feels like it’s designed to withstand anything I could throw at it. And the special surface coating they’ve used on this slip-on? It keeps the scratches away like magic. It’s not just nice for the chrome version, but I found it absolutely necessary for the matte black one.

The design might not be for everyone. Honestly, I found it looking a little out of place on my classic Harley Road Glide, but hey, it grew on me. It’s got a clean, aggressive look that doesn’t scream for attention but definitely turns heads.

Now, let’s get down to why I really bought this slip-on: the unexpected boost in power it brought to my Road Glide. I was amazed at how the free-flowing exhaust architecture sharpened the throttle response. The lightweight build made my bike feel more lively, and for the price, I couldn’t find another slip-on that could match the power.

But the real showstopper? The exhaust note. It’s loud, meaty, and can be heard from a mile away. If you want to feel the roar and embrace the sound quality, this slip-on is your ticket. I remember the first time I cracked open the throttle and felt these cans sing; I knew I was hooked. Trust me, you might want to invest in some earplugs if you plan on using these exhausts daily.

What impressed me wasn’t just the loudness, though. The tuning here is something else. It’s got an ever-changing sound that feels heavy and imposing at idle but transforms into something higher and thumpier on the road. It’s a symphony of sounds that never gets old.

And if all that sound ever becomes too much? They’ve got optional dB killers that can quiet the exhaust down quite a bit. These slip-ons are perfect if you’re like me, a Road Glide owner who wants the feeling of two exhausts without having to shell out for both. It’s a bargain and a beast all in 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 has always caught my eye, but their ‘Mega Power’ version, made specifically for the Road Glide, has become a personal favorite of mine. Let me tell you, this thing delivers one of the deepest, most exquisite exhaust notes I’ve ever heard. And the performance gains? They’re a game-changer for moving the massive Road Glide.

First, let’s talk about the design. This Harley Davidson Road Glide exhaust has this 2-into-1 structure made from 16-gauge steel. I was initially surprised by how lightweight it felt, but trust me, this material is a lot more durable than the stock. Just feeling the high-quality welds, I knew it was built to last.

I put this pipe through the wringer with extreme exhaust temperature and pressure tests, and it didn’t even flinch. I’m convinced this exhaust will outlive the bike itself.

As for finishes, I had a choice between chrome and matte black. The ability to mix and match gave me that personal touch I was looking for.

But the real magic began when I tested the performance. The massive boost in power left me floored. Thanks to the 2-into-1 design, I experienced what’s called ‘scavenging,’ where the exhaust pulse in one cylinder actually helps the other with oxygen efficiency. The result? Better backpressure and a significant improvement in power.

On the road, it translated to better throttle response, more torque at lower revs, and faster acceleration. Maneuvering the bulky Road Glide, the added torque felt like a blessing. It provided that extra ‘oomph!’ I needed in tight spots.

What also impressed me was Bassani’s attention to the collector design, allowing the engine to work at peak efficiency. The power it unleashed was noticeably greater than the stock.

And then, there’s the exhaust note. Oh, that sound! It’s deeper, fuller, more bass-heavy, and yet louder and more imposing. Many exhausts promise one or the other, but this Bassani model offers both. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Mega Power is THE best sounding exhaust for the Road Glide in my experience.

The only caveat? That incredible sound can be a bit of a double-edged sword. The loudness may become uncomfortable on long rides, but I find myself grinning every time I rev it up, feeling that aggressive howl. Plus, it adds that ‘performance bagger’ look and feel to the Road Glide without needing major engine mods.

To wrap it all up, it comes with full coverage heat shields for those cross-country rides and all the necessary mounting gear right in the box. Even the contrasting end caps add flair, making your bike stand out. From personal experience, if you’re looking to elevate your Road Glide, Bassani’s Road Rage line is worth every penny.

  • 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. You can find out more about me and my experience with motorcycling here.