Install Pipes On A Harley Classic

Aftermarket pipes can provide more power and a deep rumble.

The Ultra Classic has remained one of Harley-Davidson’s most popular motorcycles over the years. However, many Ultra Classic owners replace the bike’s stock exhaust pipes with aftermarket systems to gain an increase in power and lend a deep rumble to the motorcycle’s exhaust note. Installing a new set of pipes is not difficult, but does require a few specialized tools. If you install new pipes, you should also upgrade the motorcycle’s air intake and fuel delivery systems to compensate for the changes in the exhaust system.


1. Park the motorcycle on a stand or lift to support it in an vertical position and provide greater access to the exhaust system. Allow the motorcycle to cool for at least one hour.

2. Loosen the mufflers and header pipes. Use a flat screwdriver to loosen the exhaust clamps along the length of the exhaust. Locate the oxygen sensors on both header pipes and remove them with a 7/8-inch oxygen sensor socket.

3. Remove the mufflers. Use a Torx driver to remove the bolts that secure the muffler to the frame. Pull the muffler off of the header pipes, using a slight side-to-side motion. Completely remove any bolts along the length of the header pipes with a Torx driver. Remove the nuts from the header pipe flanges with a socket wrench equipped with a swiveling extender. Pull the header pipes apart at the crossover tube and pull the header pipes out of the motor.

4. Clean the exhaust mounting points and the surrounding area on the motorcycle’s frame with a grease-cutting cleaner. Remove the exhaust gaskets from the motor and replace them with new gaskets.

5. Assemble the new exhaust system loosely onto the motorcycle, installing the new header pipes first. Apply a drop of anti-seize compound to the oxygen sensors’ threads and screw the oxygen sensors into place using an oxygen sensor socket. Adjust the header pipes and mufflers until everything is aligned. Tighten the header pipes exhaust flange nuts first, using a socket wrench equipped with a swiveling extender. Work your way down the exhaust system, tightening the exhaust clamps with a flat screwdriver. Tighten the muffler bolts using a Torx driver.

6. Spray the new exhaust system with window cleaner to remove any fingerprints or oil. Wipe dry with a clean shop towel.