Send that stock system to the spare parts bin. When it comes to aftermarket advantages, the best motorcycle exhausts will reshape your ideas of horsepower, torque, looks and of course, sound.

The best motorcycle exhaust components that earned our accolades for 2023 won't choke up your engine like restricted factory parts do. That means more of internal combustion's vital ingredients are getting busy — which gets you on your way in a hurry. Good deal, right? Then don’t play around with tiny tweaks. Go whole hog on your favorite V-Twin and view the best aftermarket exhaust for your motorcycle as a supercharger, turning a ho-hum ride into a real hellraiser.

Best Bagger Motorcycle Header Pipes

From ho-hum to hell-raising sound and performance

As the part bolted to the cylinder head, the aptly-named header pipe lives a hard life. They are subjected to extreme heat, pressure, road grime plus expansion and cooling cycles. Replacing these due to rot, age and aesthetics is plenty common, but there are other performance and style gains to be had. Some of the best motorcycle headers of 2023 have been shown to decrease rider discomfort due to heat while others sport designs that help achieve the signature V-Twin rumble of rolling thunder.
Vance & Hines PCX Power Duals

From one of the leading aftermarket pipe brands comes a recalibrated set for your bagger. For 2023, you can’t go wrong with the Vance & Hines PCX (Power Chamber Exhaust) Power Duals. First and foremost, you’re getting a torque-boosting high-flow catalyst cartridge that has also been repositioned. The stepped headers also sport heat shields so you won’t worry about burning yourself or getting cooked by radiant heat.

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S&S Cycle Power Tune Dual Headers

A long-standing leader in the world of performance exhaust, these S&S Cycle Power Tune Dual Headers continue the tradition. The deep rumble you’ll get throughout the rev range is complemented by fine-tuned torque and power over earlier versions. These headers also earn our endorsement for the full heat shielding and O2 sensor compatibility.

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Best Motorcycle Mufflers

Slip-ons for that signature rumble

Slip-ons, as the name suggests, are an easier partial upgrade to the overall exhaust system. Although this isn't a total conversion, there are still plenty of advantages to be had with the best motorcycle mufflers and it’s why we’ve made recommendations for 2023. Consider the perks of some of the products we’ve selected above: precisely-machined baffles and end caps, immediate sound improvements and gains in the looks department.

Best Bagger Mufflers

Rinehart DBX 45 Slip On Mufflers

American-made with a classic rumble and design that promotes torque and horsepower, the Rinehart Racing 4-1/2" DBX45 Slip-On Mufflers are here for good reason. As our pick for the best motorcycle mufflers in bagger bike applications, you’re really going to wake the bike up with these pipes.

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Cobra Gen2 Neighbor Haters

If you want to both wake up the bike and the rest of the neighborhood, may we suggest the Cobra Gen 2 Neighbor Hater Slip-On Mufflers? They’re legal in all 50 states, utilize a round body plus louvered core for a throaty exhaust note and play nice with stock headers.

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Best Non-Bagger Mufflers

Vance & Hines Twin Slash Mufflers

Every exhaust upgrade looks to perfect sound, performance and aesthetics. You’ll get all that with the US-made Vance & Hines Twin Slash 3″ Round Slip Ons, along with full-coverage heat shields, louvered baffles and that killer twin slash look.

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S&S Cycle Grand National Slip On Mufflers

Race-inspired and legal in all 50 states… the S&S Cycle Grand National Slip-On Muffler is really firing on all cylinders. You get a huge boost in torque and horsepower with these slip-ons while still being able to remove the decibel reducer for back pressure and exhaust note tweaks.

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Best 2-into-1 Full Motorcycle Exhaust

Go whole hog on your favorite V-Twin

Put a set of killer pipes on your bike and it’ll sing. A full-system exhaust for your machine is a game-changer and our best 2-into-1 options for 2023 are here for good reason. Case in point: they’ve been shaped to increase performance, constructed out of premium materials, crafted to incredible standards and above all, look great hanging off your engine. This is the way if you want to redefine top-end horsepower and down-low torque.

Best Bagger 2-Into-1 Exhaust

S&S Cycle Daimondback

Fine-tuned from front to back, the best 2-into-1 motorcycle exhaust on a bagger is the S&S Diamondback. Envy-worthy features you’ll find on this set include stepped headers, fine-tuned collector design, a stainless muffler, undeniable aggressive looks and an ever better sound.

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Vance & Hines Hi-Output RR PCX

Touting real race-grade inspiration, the Vance & Hines Hi-Output RR PCX Exhaust System spares nothing. Stainless steel construction, hand TIG-welded, a high-flow catalyst for straight line and cornering power plus plenty other features seen in the “King of the Baggers” MotoAmerica class.

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Best Non-Bagger 2-Into-1 Exhaust

Two Brothers Comp S 2-into-1

Classic style, modern performance and made-in-the-USA quality throughout, Two Brothers Racing Comp-S 2-1 Exhaust System gets our nod. We’re fans of the cool features, which include a carbon fiber end cap, TIG welding that was done by hand plus high-temp packing.

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Bassani Road Rage 2-into-1

From a classic brand comes a killer pipe, the Bassani Road Rage 2-into-1 Exhaust System. The aggressive looks are undeniable, but innovative designs like the stepped collector and reverse-megaphone muffler for an intimidating exhaust note make the Road Rage worthy of its name.

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Q: First thing's first: what does an exhaust do for a motorcycle?
A: There are no coincidences on motorcycles. Every part is a certain shape, size and material for a reason — exhausts included. In simplified terms, exhaust headers and mufflers transport burnt gases and pressure away from the cylinder and out of the bike. Headers help modify sounds and manage the byproducts of internal combustion as exhaust valves free it from the bore. As for mufflers, given the root word there is “muffle," its job should be obvious — but many of us want the best-sounding motorcycle exhaust. More on that below. 
Q: How to make motorcycle exhaust sound deeper? 
A: Simply removing exhaust baffles will crank up the decibels, but it’s imprecise and affects back-pressure leaving the cylinder head. Straight pipes will make things considerably louder, but not exactly “deeper.” The sure-fire route for the best-sounding motorcycle exhaust — which does come with a larger price tag — is an aftermarket system with pipe shapes proven to produce the signature deep rumble you seek. Noise limits vary from state to state so ensure the legality of a loud system before making major purchases or alterations. 
Q: Do you need to tune for a motorcycle exhaust? 
A: We could write a book on this one, but the following should suffice: Yes. An aftermarket system is going to flow more air and that means a leaner-running engine. Owners of carbureted motorcycles will need to re-jet to richen up the air-fuel mixture ratio; fuel-injected machines can utilize an aftermarket control module to adapt to the new pipes. 
Q: A word of caution: Just how hot does a motorcycle exhaust get? 
A: It only takes a few minutes for your pipes to reach temperatures too hot to touch. While gently feeling the headers is a great way to know if you’re firing on all cylinders, most estimates peg the temperatures regularly exceeding 700 degrees Fahrenheit and capable of being twice as much. It's why heat shields are standard on some pipes. Extreme heat can also lead to discoloration, which we address below. 
Q: Finally, how to clean motorcycle exhaust pipes
A: Heat and crud takes a toll and those shiny new pipes will eventually need a little TLC. For starters, “bluing” is caused by heat and particularly affects chrome; stainless steel is known for turning gold under these conditions. You can polish up the pipes to remove this discoloration but if excess heat is to blame, it’s worth investigating why the bike is running hot. As for the rest of the exhaust system, mild non-abrasive household soap and some elbow grease will work wonders when removing road grime.