If you are planning to buy a new exhaust system for your bike, you may be wondering if it’s better to buy a slip-on or full exhaust.
With so many options available, it can be hard to determine which will work best for your bike and your budget.
Here are some of the key differences between the two systems that you should consider before making your purchase.
Table of Contents
- What is Slip-on Exhaust?
- What is a Full-System Exhaust?
- Slip on vs Full Exhaust: The Difference
- Slip on vs Full Exhaust for Harleys
- Advantages of Slip-on Exhaust
- Advantages of Full Exhaust
- The Real Reason You Should Go for Slip-On
- What to Consider Before Buying a New Exhaust System?
What is Slip-on Exhaust?
Slip-on exhausts are generally lighter than full exhaust systems because they don’t have to extend all of their pipes over and around a motorcycle’s entire frame. This makes them easier to install, as well.
Slip-on also eliminate some of your bike’s weight since they use shorter sections of pipe and don’t require you to remove or replace more parts during installation.
And finally, slip-on give riders some choice in how loud or quiet they want their bikes to be.
You can always purchase an aftermarket silencer/muffler if you want less noise from your motor, but slip-on typically comes with baffles already installed so you get plenty of options right out of the box.
What is a Full-System Exhaust?
A full system exhaust is designed to replace everything from the pipes that run directly below your engine to a muffler and tips.
A full system exhaust often has larger components to increase power, although it may not be louder or faster. A full system includes headers, mid-pipes, and a muffler.
If you want increased performance as well as more engine sound, then you’ll probably want a full system. These are trickier to install than slip-on, but they tend to look sportier and give off a more aggressive sound.
Examples of companies that sell full systems include Yoshimura, Vance & Hines, Cobra, Bazzaz Performance, etc.
Slip on vs Full Exhaust: The Difference
There are two main types of exhaust systems on motorcycles—slip-on and full.
Slip-on is also called shorty or three-quarters exhausts because they replace only part of a motorcycle’s exhaust system.
That leaves room for a catalytic converter, which is required by law to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from an engine burning gasoline.
The use of a slip-on does not reduce power produced by an engine, but it allows you to remove restrictive elements in a traditional system and/or bring out some sweet sounds with aftermarket mufflers.
Slip-on exhausts are a type of exhaust system that attaches to the vehicle’s muffler. They are typically less expensive and easier to install than full exhaust systems, which require removing the entire engine and emissions system.
The main advantages of slip-on exhaust systems are that they’re quick and easy to install, they’re less expensive than full exhaust systems, and they don’t require any modifications to the vehicle’s engine or emissions system. However, there are some disadvantages as well.
One disadvantage is that slip-on exhaust systems don’t offer as much horsepower or torque as full exhaust systems do. Additionally, they can produce more noise and pollution than full exhausts.
Finally, they may not be suitable for vehicles with high-performance goals or those that frequently drive in dusty or dirty conditions.
Slip on vs Full Exhaust for Harleys
When it comes to exhaust, Harley riders have a lot of choices.
There are full and slip-on mufflers available from a variety of aftermarket brands—Baker, Vance & Hines, etc.
But which is best for you?
Today we’re going to look at how each type of exhaust works and compare their benefits and drawbacks. Let’s get started!
The main advantage of slip-on is that they are easy to install.
All you need to do is remove your stock muffler, slip on a new one, mount it properly and you’re good to go.
Advantages of Slip-on Exhaust
Are you considering a slip-on exhaust or full exhaust, but don’t know what all of those things mean or what it all means to you?
Here are some things to consider when making a decision.
This can help ease any confusion and hopefully help you decide which option is best for you!
Note that slip-on and full exhausts come in different materials, and that can affect quality and price as well.
Advantages of Full Exhaust
Easier installation, as you don’t have to modify or cut anything from your motorcycle. Better fuel economy, especially in conjunction with a K&N Air Filter system.
If you are selling or trading your motorcycle, a slip-on can be easily removed and replaced with another brand/style of slip-on.
The Real Reason You Should Go for Slip-On
Many bikers believe that a full exhaust pipe is more effective than a slip-on. However, there are several reasons why you should choose a slip-on over a full pipe.
Some of these reasons include cheaper prices, no need to modify or change any parts of your bike, and an easier installation process.
The main reason why many bikers go for a slip-on is that it gives out more sound and makes their bike look better!
No matter what type of exhaust you are looking for – whether it be custom or stock, deep sound or no sound at all – slip-on is right for you!
What to Consider Before Buying a New Exhaust System?
In addition to price, there are several things you should consider before buying a new exhaust system.
For example, which muffler style do you prefer?
A full or slip-on?
The answer will determine if you need to cut holes in your stock exhaust (slip-on).
If so, what size cut do you want/need and how many holes will it take to achieve it.
You may also want to think about replacing your head pipes and how it might affect airflow through where it meets with your rear muffler (aka turbo side).
Hint: This isn’t typically something that comes into play in standard sportbike applications.
For those of you who don’t know, slip-on exhausts and full exhausts are some of the biggest debates in the motorcycle world.
Slip-on are typically lighter and less expensive than their full counterparts.
This doesn’t mean that slip-on can’t be loud, they just usually aren’t as loud as full exhausts.
The price tag makes them attractive to many riders and enthusiasts, but it also means that if you have a bad experience with one, you won’t have invested a lot into something expensive or beautiful (even though a quality system can last you forever).
On the other hand, riding with an aftermarket full exhaust adds quite a bit of weight to your vehicle and takes away from its aesthetics.
Is slip-on exhaust worth it?
So why would you even consider using a slip-on exhaust? What are its advantages over other types of motorcycle aftermarket exhaust systems and what are some alternatives that can also get similar results?
Here’s everything you need to know about slip-on exhaust in general and whether or not it’s worth considering.
How much does slip-on exhaust cost?
Generally speaking, slip-on will cost between $100 and $400 while full systems can range from $200 to several thousand dollars. It all depends on where you buy them and what kind of quality you need.
Luckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to slip-on; if you buy from a reputable company like Vance & Hines or Rifle, you shouldn’t have to spend much more than $300 for a good system that doesn’t require new headers.
What sets up apart are options like straight pipes (or high pipes) or quiet core inserts. Some high-end systems can run as much as $2,000!
Is it necessary to tune after installing slip-on exhausts?
These improvements may or may not be enough of an improvement to make it worth investing in a complete system.
When deciding whether you want to upgrade, you should consider your type of riding.
If you use your motorcycle mainly for highway cruising, an aftermarket slip-on will probably provide noticeable gains that justify its price tag.
However, if you ride more aggressively or do more off-roading, a full exhaust system will give you much more noticeable performance enhancements at a fraction of the cost.
Is a full system louder than a slip-on?
An aftermarket exhaust will produce a louder sound at high RPMs because it has larger diameter pipes that can flow more air. Slip-on is also quieter than full systems when cruising or cruising slowly (i.e., 1st gear, 25 mph).
That’s because slip-on won’t amplify or amplify very little low-frequency noise from engine and road vibrations as a full system does.
So if you value quietness, a slip-on system may be best for you. But if you love loud engines, nothing beats a big-bore exhaust!
Is full exhaust better than slip-on?
They are slip-on, full, and half. Slip-on is significantly cheaper than both full and half systems. However, they leave a lot to be desired in terms of performance.
A full system offers good power gains while still being fairly cheap in price.
The only downside is it is slightly louder than a slip-on system and makes it difficult to pass the emissions tests (depending on where you live).
Half systems provide decent power gains but do not perform as well as a full system, although they’re typically quieter.
Are slip-on exhausts bad for motorcycles?
Slip-on is lightweight and easy to install, which makes them great in theory.
However, slip-on is designed with performance and sound quality in mind—not safety.
While there are few studies directly comparing full exhausts with slip-on, it’s safe to say that slip-on can hurt your motorcycle’s performance as well as compromise its ability to stay quiet.