Harley Davidson Exhaust Pipe Removal

Use extra hands to safely remove a Harley-Davidson’s large heavy exhaust pipes.

A Harley-Davidson’s exhaust pipes are among of the most distinctive features on these big motorcycles. Whether your Harley-Davidson has a single or dual pipe, removing it involves a little planning and some muscle. The disassembled pipe can be heavy to move out of the machine once it’s unfastened. When removing the exhaust pipes, take care not to let the pipes fall or ding against the motorcycle’s frame or the ground. No need to damage that flawless chrome finish through an errant slip.

Engine Connection

The first thing to do is disconnect the pipes from the engine manifold. This is important because you don’t want the unsupported weight of the pipes pulling on the motor connection flange. Use a box end wrench to remove the hex head bolts attaching the pipe to engine. There is a flange used to secure the flared pipe end to the motor. Pull the flange away from the motor after the bolts are removed.

While the flange is out of the way be sure to clean away any of the old gasket material used to make a tight seal. You may also want to cap or cover the engine inlet to prevent any contamination from entering.


Remove the fasteners that secure the exhaust pipes to the frame from each end to the middle. Start at the rear and remove the bracket attachment then remove the fastener at the front of the pipes. Do this back and forth until only the center bracket is secure. This procedure will prevent the pipes from tilting forward or backward and possibly colliding with the frame.

What you may wish to do at this point is wrap the pipes with a cloth shop rag at every location where the pipes can contact the frame. This will prevent any damage to the chrome finish or frame paint.

Removing the exhaust pipes

It would be best to get a friend to help with this step. With someone at each end of the pipes, lift and careful maneuver the forward pipe bends around the frame and away from the motorcycle. Once removed, place the pipes horizontally on a surface away from any foot traffic or children. No need to come this far and have the pipes scuffed or dented by an shoe or a poorly thrown baseball! Also, keep the pipe horizontal. This will prevent the weight of the pipes bending or crimping both the flared flanged end and the thin metal exhaust port at the back.