Should I Choose An Aftermarket Exhaust For My Motorcycle?

After a motorcycle's engine, the exhaust system is the next most important component. Your motorcycle's exhaust system affects its sound, performance, look and compliance with emissions and noise regulations. 

aftermarket exhaust system

Many riders look forward to switching out their stock exhaust to an aftermarket motorcycle exhaust.

The aftermarket exhausts are relatively easy to install and enhance the appearance of a bike, but the big question! is an aftermarket exhaust suitable for your motorcycle?

While aftermarket exhausts may make your motorcycle look better, you may have to consider whether or not it affects the bike's performance, which usually depends on different factors. 

What does changing the exhaust do on a motorcycle?

The factory exhaust that your motorcycle comes with has been carefully designed to comply with regulatory guidelines. In many cases, it doesn't ensure the bike's maximum performance, but finds a happy balance with emissions and noise. 

Changing your motorcycle's exhausts may result in performance gains. However, it may make your motorcycle wanting in other aspects like noise and emissions. 

Benefits of replacing a stock exhaust

Here are reasons why most people opt to change their motorcycle's factory exhaust systems.

Reducing weight 

Most factory exhaust systems are cumbersome, so they tend to weigh more. Replacing the factory exhaust with an aftermarket system can take 5-12kg off your motorcycle. For example, switching out a steel, dual exhaust system with an aftermarket titanium unit and a single short muffler can save you up to 12Kg of weight. 


Increased engine power from derestriction as well as giving a tuner the ability to unleash untapped potential locked by the manufacturer. 

Improve sound 

As well as presence on the road to other road users 

Improved comfort 

Rider comfort enhanced by removing a heavy exhaust that retains and radiates heat upwards into the legs making summer rides uncomfortable especially when stationary

Enhanced appearance 

A well designed exhaust system adds visual appeal 

Aftermarket exhausts and motorcycle performance

Having a performance boost from changing a motorcycle's performance lies in improving the efficiency of the engine. The engine pumps in a metered mixture of fuel and air and moves fuel (exhaust) and burned air out, so you need to improve the pumping efficiency. 

If your exhaust flows better, it reduces the work done by the engine to remove exhaust gases, which is more efficient, coupled with improvements in fuel intake and airflow. 

Types of exhausts

Two main types of aftermarket motorcycle exhausts are available. They include:

  • Slip-on muffler 

You can easily attach and remove a slip-on muffler from a motorcycle, and its installation requires an attachment to the stock system. The slip-on muffler is usually more affordable, but the increase in performance isn’t always the best that can be obtained. 

  • Full Exhaust system 

A full exhaust system can replaces the entire exhaust system from the engine back. A good exhaust system consists of lightweight metals and causes a considerable reduction in the motorcycle's weight. A full system that flows properly can reduce the work needed by the engine to expel gas which increases volume metric efficiency.

Although the full aftermarket system can provide a considerable increase in efficiency, it can be more costly to purchase and install.

Whether you opt for a slip-on muffler or full exhaust system will depend on your needs. If you want to alter your motorcycle's sound, look, and feel, a slip-on muffler may be all you need.

If your concern is a boost in performance with considerably lesser weight, a reworked fuel system, and reduced back pressure, then a full exhaust may serve better as you can get up to 15% power gains. But alterations to fuel management, maybe required which is best performed on a Dynomometer by a trained technician. 


Changing your motorcycle exhaust system one should first consider the increase in noise and legality’s before undertaking the transition. The stock exhausts may weigh a ton, but they have their place in heavily regulated countries that police noise emissions. 

On the other hand, the aftermarket exhausts give more style, improved sound, performance and style. 

However, the choice lies with you after considering the upsides and downsides of installing an aftermarket exhaust system

For a range of titanium exhaust options visit Vandemon Performance today and shop from a wide range of motorcycle exhausts.

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