Remove Stock Harley Baffles

Remove Stock Harley Baffles

When most people think of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the first thing they recall is the deep, often loud exhaust note of a big cruising bike. The loud exhaust has become a staple of motorcycle culture because it acts as a safety buffer. A loud bike ensures that drivers and other riders know you are around, preventing accidents that even the stock horn on most motorcycles would not help. Make your bike louder and safer by removing the stock baffles at home.


1. Set your motorcycle on its kickstand or center stand so that it will not fall over or tip while you are working. If you have a motorcycle lift, put your Harley on the lift to access the necessary bolts more easily.

2. Examine how the exhaust pipes are attached to your motorcycle by consulting the owner’s manual. Most bikes will have two nuts holding each pipe at the cylinder and mounts that hold the exhaust onto the frame.

3. Remove the bolts that hold the exhaust to the motorcycle using a socket or combination wrench. Separate the entire exhaust from the bike to avoid drilling near important running parts.

4. Clamp the exhaust in a vise. Cover the vise in rags or towels to protect the chrome finish of the pipes. Attach a 3/4-inch metal cutting drill bit to your hand-held drill and drill through the first two baffles inside the tip of the exhaust.

5. Take the exhaust pipes out of the vise. Tap the end of the mufflers with a rubber mallet to knock out any remaining pieces of baffle.

6. Reinstall the exhaust on the bike using the mounts removed earlier. Refer to your owner’s manual for torque specifications. Be careful not to over-tighten the crankcase exhaust mounting bolts as they are expensive and difficult to replace.

7. Start the bike and listen for a difference in tone. If all goes well, the motorcycle should sound louder and fuller, especially when revved.