Motorcycles are louder than other vehicles on the road, and for many riders, that’s part of the appeal. Yet the hearty growl of motorcycles isn’t just for show. Smaller mufflers, shorter exhaust pipes and exposed engine pistons are among the major reasons you can hear a motorbike coming from so far away. Then, of course, there’s the old saying, “loud pipes save lives”, although there’s such a thing as too loud, and a noisy bike isn’t for everyone.
In fact, there are some good reasons to make a loud bike a little quieter. Excessively noisy bikes can not only be annoying, they can also damage your hearing and, if you’re in Queensland, result in you getting a fine and your bike impounded.
How do you silence a motorcycle exhaust that’s a little too booming and rowdy? There are several different methods, but in this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at two of the most effective: motorcycle exhaust baffles and silencers.
Baffles are tubes that fit inside your exhaust pipe, lowering the number of decibels it emits and using a little extra back pressure to improve engine performance too. You can take your pick from different styles and sizes of baffles, each size producing a different level of sound. Smaller, shorter baffles are louder due to the sound waves having less material to make their way through
Motorcycle exhaust silencer inserts take the place of stock mufflers while keeping the original head pipes and collectors and not interfering with the horsepower or torque of the bike.
Whether you’re trying to comply with regulations or it’s just about your personal taste, there are multiple ways you can reduce the noise levels of your bike, including motorcycle exhaust baffles and silencers. If you’ve found your bike has suddenly and unexpectedly become a lot louder, take it to Taverner. We’ll diagnose the problem and provide the best possible treatment for keeping the noise down.
Motorcycle Exhaust Anatomy
Have you ever wanted to know more about your motorcycle’s exhaust? Maybe the most surprising thing about it is that it affects the shape of your motorbike more than anything else. Exhaust gas carries powerful energy, and the exhaust pipe releases most of it. A smoothly shaped bike helps to hold onto more of that energy and harness it as velocity.
Motorcycle exhausts exist for a few main reasons: they direct gases away from you and your passenger, muffle the noise and help the engine’s performance.
Here is how they work: exhaust gases make their way out of the cylinder at roughly the speed of sound into the header pipes. These gases start expanding when they get to the wider part of the pipe, creating backpressure, which gives extra energy to the engine.
Motorcycle exhausts may seem simple on the surface, but they’re actually made up of several major parts, such as the muffler, header pipe and flange.
Reasons Your Motorcycle Exhaust is Suddenly Louder
Has your motorcycle’s exhaust become unexpectedly louder? Here are some possible reasons:
Damaged exhaust pipes
Longer exhaust pipes mean a quieter ride. If your exhaust pipes have become cracked, broken or riddled with holes, the engine will be louder.
Dirty exhaust packing
Your exhaust packing is material, usually, steel wool or fibreglass, stuffed between the walls of your muffler. It serves to both protect your engine from hot gases and hushes the sound. Yet damaged or dirty packing reduces the performance of your engine and causes a louder exhaust.
If an inexperienced person has attempted some DIY work on your exhaust, they may have removed the muffler (or another component that reduces noise) or damaged the pipes. In this case, it’s best to take it to a professional like Taverner for repairs.
If you’re wondering whether you need a motorcycle exhaust baffle or whether you’d be better off with a motorcycle exhaust silencer insert? The next section covers the practicalities of how to silence a motorcycle exhaust.
Options for Making Your Motorcycle Exhaust Quieter
Here are the top ways to quieten down a noisy motorbike:
Motorcycle exhaust silencer insert
A silencer is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce the amount of noise your bike makes. A typical silencer comes with fibre-glass wrapping and soundproofs your exhaust while shrinking the opening, making it extra effective for quieting a loud engine. As long as you take note of a few things, such as your exhaust pipe diameter, it’s easy to go shopping for a motorcycle exhaust silencer insert that suits your motorcycle.
Motorcycle exhaust baffles
For such a simple device, which is essentially just a metal tube, a motorcycle exhaust baffle can be extremely effective. This perforated device fits tightly inside the exhaust pipe to cut down on the amount of airflow from the exhaust.
A replacement muffler
If you bought your bike used, it’s worth checking it to see if the previous owner removed the muffler. Sometimes a new muffler is all that’s required to make your bike comfortable to ride and preserve your hearing.
Fixing holes in the exhaust pipe
Corrosion and damage to the exhaust pipe is one of the main causes of excessive noise, although probably not the first one you’d expect. Patching up this wear and tear is sometimes all it takes to get a better sound out of your bike, but it’s a job best left to a professional.
Changing the pipes
If the muffler’s there and there’s nothing wrong with the exhaust pipe, a change of pipes could be your ticket to reducing the sound.
Getting your bike serviced regularly
How long has it been since you last had your motorcycle serviced? Servicing keeps everything running smoothly and helps your mechanic spot potential problems early. Sometimes a good service is all you need.
Why Get A Professional?
If you don’t have specific training, you can do a lot of damage to your motorbike’s exhaust system by tampering with it. Taking it to a professional is not only easier, but it also guarantees that your bike stays legal on Queensland roads. A professional like Taverner Motorsports has the skills to fix your exhaust to the highest level of quality, and we can make sure it’s within legal sound limits too.
Whether all you need is a motorcycle exhaust baffle or your bike would benefit from an exhaust systems upgrade, we can help you out. We service any make and model of motorcycle and offer a massive range of workshop services.
Quieten Your Motorcycle Exhaust at Taverner Motorsports
If you have any doubt in your mind about your ability to carry out work on your motorcycle exhaust, it’s best to leave it in the experienced hands of Taverner Motorsports.
We’ve been in this industry since 1975, so there’s not a lot we haven’t seen at this point. Over the decades, we’ve serviced, modified, customised and rebuilt every kind of motorcycle imaginable, building up strong relationships with local and overseas suppliers along the way. Although we specialise in British, Japanese and American motorcycles, we have the experience to work on any motorcycle you can bring to us.
Whether you need help picking the right motorcycle exhaust baffle or just have a few more questions about how to silence a motorcycle exhaust, get in touch with the Taverner team!