A worthy runner-up for your sportster

Vance & Hines has been crafting race-winning exhaust systems for over 30 years. The racing powerhouse offers the Twin Slash Rounds Slip-On Mufflers ($325.95) for those looking to add performance and character without shelling out a bunch of dough.

When we removed the Vance & Hines pipes from the box, we weren’t initially that impressed. Like its Bassani and BUB counterparts, the slip-ons feature an all-chrome, one-piece design but has extra parts in the form of covers that fit over the pipes. At first the covers looked like they would be quirky to install, and we presumed they wouldn’t fit right without some elbow grease. But turns out our apprehension was unfounded as the V&H system was easier to install than we expected. It does require a few more minutes than the more basic systems like the Screamin’ Eagles. Once mounted, the setup gave the Sportster an improved look, and we liked the layered design where the muffler meets the headers.

Although the Vance & Hines slip-ons were the second heaviest, they’re only 1 pound, 4.8 ounces heavier than the class-leading BUBs. The quality of the welds weren’t at the same level of the Akrapovic, Bassani, or BUB pipes, which hurt its score in the fit-and-finish category.

When tested on the dyno, the Vance & Hines product posted respectable power numbers. Right off the bottom torque production wasn’t as stout as the Screamin’ Eagles or Bassanis but is close. The torque dyno chart reveals a dead flat torque curve that peaks at 4,300 rpm with 69.91 lb-ft of force (third highest). Horsepower was good too with a 10 hp increase over stock to the tune of 67.47 ponies at 5,900 rpm. That’s only 1.19 hp behind the class-leading Bassanis and only 0.05 behind the BUBs, which slotted it in third place again.

On the road the pipes emit a classic exhaust note. At idle they sound louder than both the Akrapovics and Screamin’ Eagles, though results of the sound test reveal a similar decibel rating (87 db). As long as you avoid full throttle acceleration, the pipes are actually pretty mellow sounding, but the second you go wide open, the pipes burst alive and deliver a tone that is loud but not quite as obnoxious as the Bassani or BUB equivalents. Engine fueling was acceptable, but the jetting wasn’t as perfect as the Bassanis, which equates to some backfiring during deceleration.

When the dust settled, the Vance & Hines pipes finished in the runner-up spot courtesy of its least expensive price tag and overall preference scores. But the lower quality and mid-pack scores in other categories held it back from a better result. If Vance & Hines could boost quality and squeeze out just a hair bit more performance, there’s no doubt they could be a winner.


“These are the pipes Screamin’ Eagle should have built. The pipes looked pretty janky when we unpackaged them, but they fit up perfectly on the bike and have a clean look when mounted. The sound is similar to stock and the Screamin’ Eagle pipes, only throatier. These pipes have the ideal blend of sound between the stockers and the overly loud Bassani or BUB. Jetting seemed off, though, as the bike backfired a lot off the throttle, but power was still great. Overall, these were probably my favorite in terms of character/performance.”