Harleys are known for the awesome sound they make. But after riding it for awhile, the pipes that came with your bike may simply not be doing anything for you, and you may want to upgrade. Here are some tips on find that perfect set of pipes for your Harley-Davidson.
1. Avoid asking others’ opinions about the sound made by the pipes you may be considering, because what may sound terrific to them may sound awful to you. Since sound is such a subjective thing, you’ll be satisfied only after hearing them yourself.
2. Never buy Harley pipes from a catalog. Without hearing them mounted on a Harley, you’ll have no idea how they’ll sound on yours. The pictures in a catalog are there to sell pipes. They might even show those pipes on a custom bike, but you have no idea how they’ll look on your machine. Instead, ask the people at your local Harley-Davidson store where you can find a Harley locally with the pipes you think you want.
3. Don’t skimp on buying pipes for your Harley. You may find “that perfect set of pipes” at a bargain price, but it’s likely you’ll soon become dissatisfied because they’re probably made with inferior materials by no-name companies. Remember that your displeasure with your purchase will last far longer than the satisfaction of saving a few dollars.
4. Go online after you have decided which pipes to buy. Often, you will save up to 33 percent or more on those pipes versus buying them at the dealership. And if you intend to install them on your bike yourself, the savings really do pile up. Be aware that most dealers will build installation into the cost of the pipes they sell, and they probably will not give you a discount if you plan to install them yourself (see Resources below).
5. Have everything you need ahead of installation if you are doing the work yourself. For example, you will need a reflash or a PCM upgrade if you have a newer Harley that’s fuel-injected. For older Harleys, you may need a rejet if it has a carburetor. Without them, you may damage your bike because it will run too lean. Once installed, the proper device will enable you to conform your fuel to your new pipes.