Exhaust Swap How-To

New pipe installation tips from the MC Garage.

A new pipe is high up on most owners’ list of desired modifications. Swapping exhausts is usually pretty easy, but the job will vary based on the style of bike and the number/layout of the cylinders. Singles are the easiest, while V-4s can be a nightmare. Whatever your layout, the steps are essentially the same as those outlined below.

In case you're wondering, we're putting the quieter Indian accessory pipes back on Hatano's long-term Scout.

indian scout, brian hatano's long-term scout
1 // If the bike was running recently, give it an hour to cool down. Even if the headers are cool to the touch, the collector or muffler(s) may still be scorching hot—catalytic converters are good at holding heat.©Motorcyclist
how to install an exhaust
2 // Most modern bikes have one or more oxygen sensors and perhaps an exhaust valve downstream of the collector. Follow these parts’ wires or cables back to the harness 
or control motor and disconnect them.©Motorcyclist
scout exhaust how to
3 // Loosen and remove the exhaust fasteners, starting at the muffler(s) and moving forward. Support pieces as you loosen their fasteners to reduce stress on slip joints and studs.©Motorcyclist
4 // Transfer the oxygen sensors to the new exhaust system, and remove the header gaskets from the exhaust ports if they didn’t fall out on their own. It’s always a good idea to replace these compressible exhaust gaskets.©Motorcyclist
indian scout tips
5 // Install new gaskets and begin mounting the components, but leave the fasteners finger tight. Once you have everything in place, verify the pipes’ alignment and then torque the fasteners, moving from the headers back to the muffler.
6 // Reconnect the oxygen sensor lead(s). Wipe fingerprints, grease, and grime from the pipe with a clean rag then start the bike and check for leaks. It’s a good idea to recheck all the fasteners after you’ve ridden the bike for several hours.©Motorcyclist

Play the video below for a sample of what the Indian Straights slip-ons sound like:

indian scout, exhaust installation, hatano's long-term scout
Swapping exhausts is usually pretty easy, but the job will vary based on the style of bike and the number/layout of the cylinders.©Motorcyclist
indian scout, brian hatano's long-term scout
1 // If the bike was running recently, give it an hour to cool down. Even if the headers are cool to the touch, the collector or muffler(s) may still be scorching hot—catalytic converters are good at holding heat.©Motorcyclist
how to install an exhaust
2 // Most modern bikes have one or more oxygen sensors and perhaps an exhaust valve downstream of the collector. Follow these parts’ wires or cables back to the harness 
or control motor and disconnect them.©Motorcyclist
scout exhaust how to
3 // Loosen and remove the exhaust fasteners, starting at the muffler(s) and moving forward. Support pieces as you loosen their fasteners to reduce stress on slip joints and studs.©Motorcyclist
4 // Transfer the oxygen sensors to the new exhaust system, and remove the header gaskets from the exhaust ports if they didn’t fall out on their own. It’s always a good idea to replace these compressible exhaust gaskets.©Motorcyclist
indian scout tips
5 // Install new gaskets and begin mounting the components, but leave the fasteners finger tight. Once you have everything in place, verify the pipes’ alignment and then torque the fasteners, moving from the headers back to the muffler.
6 // Reconnect the oxygen sensor lead(s). Wipe fingerprints, grease, and grime from the pipe with a clean rag then start the bike and check for leaks. It’s a good idea to recheck all the fasteners after you’ve ridden the bike for several hours.©Motorcyclist