It seems as if one of the first things touring motorcycle enthusiasts do when they get a new ride in their garage is start cruising the Internet or the pages of this very magazine to find ways to make their steed just a little different from all the others that came off the assembly line.
We here at the Baggers World Headquarters get tons of calls and e-mails from Joe Public about all sorts of things that relate to hopping up the myriad of FLs ridden in the real world. Without a doubt, the No. 1 question we receive is regarding aftermarket slip-on mufflers. Which ones are the loudest? The quietest? The shiniest? What about horsepower loss or gain?
The confusion is definitely understood, since there are hundreds of systems to choose from with styles from mild to wild in prices ranging from dirt cheap to downright scary. With all the perplexity aside, we thought we would peak your interests, show you some of the best slip-on mufflers currently offered and let you decide which will best fit your individual taste. Happy hunting!
CFR Motorcycles delivers the sound and appearance your Harley-Davidson bagger deserves. CFR's black and chrome-plated slip-on mufflers mount directly to your stock header pipes, and their no-baffle setup packs a vicious combination. The first blow comes from the aggressive can styling, while the knockout delivery comes straight from the muffler's mouth. The rumbling, deep exhaust note is surely a victorious growl not to be mistaken while cruising the streets. The CFR slip-on mufflers are compatible with '95-'07 H-D FL models and are available factory direct with a $599.95 price tag.
For more information, call (714) 528-4961, or visit www.cfrmotorcycles.com.
Samson is a hands-down heavy hitter in the exhaust game, and it is never a surprise to see their name etched into the pipes of the loudest bike on the block. Samson's Rolled Thunder miter-cut oval slip-ons boast quadruple chrome-plated muffler metal. They also feature a 3-inch pipe diameter, stationary baffle and an intimidating tone that will frighten any tailgater who dares to nip at your tips. Samson's Rolled Thunder line includes a variety of muffler cuts to better complement your bike's appearance. Hook up your '95-and-newer dresser or Road King model with Samson mufflers-get loud and get looks for only $459.94.
For more information, call (888) 572-6722, or visit www.samsonusa.com.
Vance & Hines
Vance & Hines offers an eye-appealing, tapered slash-cut muffler with great performance features. The chrome-plated slip-on includes a stationary baffle and will mount to any '95-'08 touring model. A fully heat-shielded system promotes an extended blue-proof shine and proper tuning for the many years and miles ahead. Vance & Hines recommends their Fuelpak, a fuel management system that creates a better air/fuel ratio, to further enhance their performance exhaust systems. Purchase these mufflers factory direct for only $370.
For more information, call (562) 921-7461, or visit www.vanceandhines.com.
Bassani always offers edgy and take-notice exhaust products, and their scallop-cut mufflers are no exception. The massive 4-inch diameter of Bassani's chrome-plated slip-ons will definitely attract more attention and add rumble to your ride. The mufflers also feature tunable/replaceable baffles, which allow you to reach a custom, ear-pleasing exhaust note. Add a bit of bite to your bagger's bark for only $469.
For more information, call (888) 903-5566, or visit www.bassanipipes.com.
Wild Pig Pipes
Wild Pig Pipes offers four variations of slip-ons, one style being these sharp, angle-cut mufflers. The pipes are expertly chrome-plated and come equipped with a removable baffle, which can be replaced with any of the five different baffle styles that Wild Pig Pipes produces. The pipe measures 3 1/2 inches in diameter and fits '95-'08 H-D dresser or Road King models. We are sure you will find WPP's deep, mellow sound easy on your ears and your wallet as well. Suggested retail on WPP's mufflers is $225-no excuses for not buying a set. Contact for dealer information.
For more information, call (888) 246-6766, or visit www.wildpigpipes.com.
Freedom Performance has mastered the fishtail-style muffler with their two sharktail slip-on offerings. Both models come equipped with removable baffles and brilliant chrome plating, and swapping in a different tip is a breeze. The $379 drag-pipe style features a 2 1/8-inch tapered diameter, while the larger 3.5-inch tapered diameter provides a more traditional muffler facade and retails at $549. Both models will certainly add to your bike's street credibility.
For more information, call (310) 324-0415, or visit www.freedomperform.com.
TS Engineering meticulously crafted their Hushers muffler to please those who wish to carry an arsenal of sound and total tunable performance. One flip of a switch activates the onboard compressor, which opens or closes a valve located in the muffler that diverts the exhausting air through a straight or fully baffled pipe. The Hushers give their user total sound selection at the touch of a finger-loud when maneuvering through traffic or quiet while enjoying the serenity of backroads. These premium mufflers retail at $950, a little more than expected for a pair of slip-ons but worth every penny for those who seek the ultimate in cockpit control.
For more information, call (262) 705-8482, or visit www.hushersexhaust.com.
Khrome Werks understands the importance of variety and the varying levels of engine modification, and that is exactly why they have produced their High Performance Plus slip-on line. The three HP-Plus muffler variations fit '95-'08 FL models, offer up to five interchangeable tips and are individually designed to enhance your stock or modified Evo or Twin Cam model engines. Choose from the HP-Plus Touring, Touring Lite or 100 models to completely satisfy your bagger's performance needs. All models feature Khrome Werks' patented HP-Plus sound control device, which creates a distinctive throaty sound and horsepower gains. Muffler prices start at $169.99 each.
For more information, call (952) 758-9523, or visit www.khromewerks.com.
BUB Enterprises offers a few notable slip-on mufflers for FL touring models, one being the Rinehart with its high-luster chrome finish and sporty black anodized endcap. The unique mufflers utilize a Venturi chamber baffle, which is designed to deliver optimum performance throughout the rpm range. The 3 1/2-inch Rinehart mufflers are designed to be accepted by stock headers and heat shields of any '95-'08 H-D FL model. Suggested retail price is $526.95 per pair.
For more information, call (800) 934-9739, or visit www.bub.com.
If you have been with us since issue No. 1, you may remember our dyno test on SuperTrapp's SE series muffler. The SE slip-on adds a modest 3 decibels over factory sound level, perfect for those who prefer a slightly deeper tone instead of a monstrous roar. The chrome-plated SE series features a race-proven mechanical baffle and a baffle heat shield that protects the exterior body from bluing. Another great feature of SuperTrapp's SE series is the ability to interchange eight different endcap styles and its compatibility with many classic H-D Screamin' Eagle caps. Early torque increase is also a pleasing perk to SuperTrapp's SE slip-on. Retail price is $366 for '95-'08 H-D FL models.
For more information, call (216) 265-8400, or visit www.supertrapp.com.
The ThunderCones from Thunderheader produce maximum horsepower without sacrificing low-end torque. The unmistakable Thunderheader sound is produced through their unique baffle and trademark tail cone design, which promotes free-flowing exhaust and increased torque throughout the low- and mid-rpm range. The ThunderCones are constructed from heavy-gauge steel and finished with show-quality chrome plating. Contact Thunderheader for price and dealer information.
For more information, visit www.thunderheader.net.