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Harley-Davidson Sportster Exhaust Shootout

Monday, May 28, 2012

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Harley-Davidson Exhaust Pipe Shootout Video
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Get a feel for how these pipes sound and compare against each other in our Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Exhaust Shootout Video.
What’s usually the first thing riders ditch on a stock bike? The pipes! Out of all the custom aftermarket accessories, a new exhaust is the quickest way to add both character and performance. No where does this ring more true than in the Cruiser motorcycle segment. Problem is, with the sheer number of brands available from the aftermarket, it can be difficult to choose the right one. That’s where we come in with our Harley-Davidson Sportster Exhaust Shootout.
We contacted five leading exhaust manufactures: Akrapovic, Bassani, Bub, Screaming Eagle and Vance & Hines, and asked each to submit a pair of slip-on mufflers for fitment on a current generation Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight equipped with a 1200cc (73.4 cubic inch) Evolution V-Twin engine from the Sportster family. For our test, we specified that the pipes had to bolt-on with no modifications.
Akrapovic sent over its Akrapovic Slip-On Mufflers ($1049.95), while Bassani enters the fray with a set of Bassani 3" Firepower Series Straight-Cut Slip-On Mufflers ($349.95). BUB shipped over its 7 Slip-On Muffler Set ($441) whereas The Motor Company will be represented in this battle by its Screamin’ Eagle Slip-On Shorty Dual Mufflers ($389.95). And don’t forget Vance & Hines who provided its Vance & Hines Twin Slash Rounds Slip-On Mufflers ($325.95) for our motorcycle exhaust shootout. 
Our testing procedure consisted of a number of different criteria including how easy the pipes were to install. After that, onto the dyno they went to see how much power each set-up added. Next was a visit to our stationary sound test laboratory for decibel testing . We then logged miles on the
Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200cc Slip-On Exhaust Shootout - Horsepower
Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200cc Slip-On Exhaust Shootout - Torque
Harley-Davidson Exhaust Shootout dyno charts.
street to get a feel for how the engine ran and to sample how the various pipes sound when you’re on the throttle. Each exhaust was then scored based on five subjective categories: Appearance, Character / Exhaust Note, Ease of Installation, Fit-and-Finish, Preference. We also rated each based on impartial data including: Horsepower, Torque, Weight, Sound (decibel reading) and MSRP, thereby revealing a winner. So let’s get busy swapping out some pipes to find out who the victor of our Harley-Davidson Sportster Exhaust Shootout is.

2011 Luxury Touring Shootout 1/4 Mile


Harley-Davidson Pipe Shootout Photos
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View Slideshow
Exhaust Shootout Sound Test
2011 Luxury Touring Shootout Braking

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Atlantakid   July 14, 2013 07:54 PM
Those "relics" are the #1 selling motorcycle in the USA....
motousa_adam   May 31, 2012 04:57 PM
@piglet2010-- no re-map is needed but for optimum performance it is alwyas good to re-map the motorcycle as they run really lean from the factory in order to pass emissions, sound...adam
Piglet2010   May 29, 2012 06:49 PM
Don't you need to re-map the EFI to take full advantage of a pipe with less back-pressure?
Poncho167   May 29, 2012 04:45 PM
Great, just what we need is more noise. Noise for these relics is called character.
eligovt   May 29, 2012 01:35 PM
This is a perfect example of the failure of your attempt to create an objective scoring system for bikes and products. The pipe that you would not want because it is obnoxiously load comes out on top. This is not the first time that your attempt to spread points over a number of categories leads to a "winner" which is obviously not the best. I love what you did here, but it is time to drop the rigorous metrics that simply don't serve any purpose.
Piglet2010   May 28, 2012 09:05 PM
Which (if any) of these meet the EPA "label match-up" requirements?