Take Apart Sportster Slipon Pipes

The muffler-exhaust pipe joint is clearly visible in this Sportster photo.

Removing the original equipment slip-on mufflers from a Sportster is a simple nuts and bolts job. Because the factory-installed mufflers are overly restrictive, it is one of the first modifications many new owners make when they buy a new bike. Replacing the mufflers is cheaper than replacing the whole exhaust, and numerous companies sell replacement mufflers that do not strangle the motorcycle. Harley sells its own Screaming Eagle brand of replacement slip-ons for Sportsters. Replacing the mufflers will add at least four horsepower to your bike.


1. Loosen the heat shield hose clamps on both exhaust pipes with a flat-head screwdriver. Loosen with a socket wrench and hex socket, but do not remove, the header pipe flange bolts in the exhaust manifold.

2. Unbolt the clamp that fastens the exhaust pipe to the belt drive cover with an open-end wrench. Loosen the clamp that secures the mufflers to the exhaust pipes with a screwdriver.

3. Remove the four bolts that hold the mufflers to the exhaust bracket with an open-end wrench.

4. Spray both exhaust pipe muffler joints with penetrating oil. Slap the mufflers with your open hand. Wait five minutes.

5. Slide the mufflers off the tailpipes. Harley-Davidson insists the mufflers should not be disassembled and are replaceable only as a unit.