Reprinted by Permission from FatBike
|The Stages of Pipe Drilling|
Drilling the stock pipes is the most popular modification among ‘Star owners. The stock pipes are very restrictive and quiet, primarily in order to meet the strict guidelines in some of the states that the bikes are sold. Of course, we all want sound and performance. Aside from investing several hundred dollars in a quality set of aftermarket pipes, this is the most effective way to get there. “Staging” will also allow you the flexibility to tune the sound to your liking.
Below are the stages and how they are done:
Stage 1 involves removing the cone from the back of the muffler, or “slip-on” portion of the exhaust system. This exposes the plate that holds the final exhaust tube in place. holes in this plate frees up the system and significantly changes the tone and volume. This is the idea behind Stage 1.
It is best to perform the following procedures with the muffler set removed from the header pipe and taken off of the bike.
1. Use a ‘Dremmel’ type tool to cut the weld that holds the tailpipe cone to the exhaust pipe. This will completely free the cone. The cone can now be removed from the muffler. This can be tricky. If you like, tap a sheet metal screw into the surface of the cone, which gives you a grab point. Once removed, the cone is useless, so looks aren’t important, however you will want to minimize the damage to the center pipe, because with stages 1 & 2 the pipe remains where it is.
2. Once the cone is removed, use a punch to mark where your holes will go. Start at 12:00/3:00/6:00/9:00 and drill ½” holes.
3. Reinstall the mufflers and start the bike. If you are happy, you are done. Most will probably want to drill additional holes at the mid-point between the holes you just drilled, giving you a total of 8 holes in the baffle plate. This tends to reduce the “fluffing” sound that only 4 holes will give you.
Click on picture above to enlarge
Stage 2, as this is generally referred to, is the process of drilling “blindly” into the lower baffle plate. This is accomplished using a long drill bit and drilling through the holes that you drilled in the first baffle plate and into the second baffle plate. The effect is a slightly louder exhaust.
Again, it is recommended that you remove the mufflers from the head pipe, and take them off the bike.
1. Using an 18” long drill bit, enter the holes that you drilled for Stage 1. Find the second baffle plate and drill random holes in the plate.
*Note... The effect that stage 2 has is minimal. Generally speaking, if Stage 1 has grown old, or if it does not provide the desired sound, you should skip Stage 2 and go to the Stage 3 modification.
The Stage 3 modification seems to be the most popular. In fact I have done 3 sets of Stage 3 pipes without ever stopping at Stage 1 or 2. The process essentially defeats the 1st and 2nd baffle chambers and uses only reduction and re-direction as the means of baffling the sound. The modification is reasonably simple and once Stage 1 is complete, you’re half way there!
1. Using a 1” hole saw, drill out the first baffle plate in an overlapping fashion, essentially eliminating the baffle plate entirely. You will leave jagged edges, and a center pipe that is no longer supported.
2. Using a hammer and chisel (or comparable tool) push the jagged edges that are attached to the center pipe back out of the way.
3. Using the same method, push the jagged edges back that are around the outside edge (attached to the inside wall of the exhaust) of the muffler. You can also grind or cut them off, although this is time consuming and the net effect is the same.
4. Insert something sturdy into the center pipe. Whatever it is, it should fit inside the pipe tightly, and give you a firm area to grip. You will then twist and turn the center pipe, using as much force as possible, until you feel the weld in the bottom of the pipe give way. Continue working the pipe until it comes completely out of the muffler.
5. All that is left is to clean up the inside of the pipe by working with the leftover edges and using some flat black spray paint.
It is strongly recommended that you re-jet the carburetor at Stage 3. A Dyno-Jet kit using a 165 to 170 main should be sufficient. You do not want to run too lean and because the stock setup tends to run lean already, allowing exhaust to exit easier tends to exaggerate the condition.
The end result will be a better running, better sounding bike, no matter which stage you choose.
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Discuss this article on the forums. (174 posts)
This information and procedure is provided
as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.
Neither the publishers nor the authors
accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or
suitability of this procedure. You assume all risks associated
with the use of this information. NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs
SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL,
INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY
CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.
Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should
be performed by a
If performed incorrectly,
this procedure may
endanger the safety of you and others
on your motorcycle and possibly
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|oooooo kay . . . . .|
Written by questor, on 05-22-2013 16:05
so I need to rejet after going to stage 3 ???
|Written by Checkpoint Chicky, on 03-07-2013 19:52 |
Can't one just drill 4 holes in the back of the muffler to get a deeper tone? All the other stuff is way too advanced for me.
|Written by Bowtie, on 01-12-2013 19:11 |
You can go one step beyond to stage 4. I did like the results I got after the modifications but decided I wanted more. The cat converters can be removed with a bit of time and effort leaving the stock pipe straight through. Still not real loud and definitely need to jet up or install tuner. Very deeeeeep! Thunderous!!!! Not annoying.
Written by tlc65, on 09-02-2012 06:28
was a rainy day yesterday so i did the stage one on my 03' only took about 45 minutes and sounded really good when i fired it up, a nice deep tone and not really loud...can't wait to take it for a ride. thank's RSC
Written by Xssteel, on 05-04-2012 17:10
probably a repeat question but i have a 2009 1700 and want to go to stage 3, does my fuel injection need any adjustment?
Written by BMosley, on 05-03-2012 15:08
Did the stage 1 on my 02 Road* a few weeks ago and was very please with the result. I have been riding with a lot of Harley guys and guys with after market exhause; I do not have an after market checkbook so I did the stage three this past weekend, and wow, it sounds great!! I have the stock air cleaner so I did not do anything to the carb and it runs like a champ. THank you Road Star Clinic
Written by scottie409, on 04-23-2012 15:51
Bought a 2000 MM 1600 and it came with what look like Jardine Tapered mufflers.
They are obnoxiously loud and when I come home at midnight afterwork some lights pop on in the neighbourhood/
Picked up a set of stock exhausts and will go to stage 2 and try it out, if too quiet will go to stage 3.
Keep you posted
|will 2007 stock exhaust fit 2007 1700 ro|
Written by Josefsalvatore, on 01-15-2012 07:53
Please can someone tell me will stock exhaust from 2007 1700roadstar fit a 2004 1700 roadstar?? Please help.. Thanks Sam..
|Written by schndava, on 12-02-2011 11:40 |
Bought a set of these off Craigs List ($100) from a guy who modified to Stage 3 but then got a deal on some Vance and Hines pipes. Put them on my 2003 Midnight Star 1600 and was very satisfied with the sound and volume. I did not have any performance issues or backfire. I have had these on for about 6 months now have riden about 5K miles.
Written by harley, on 11-04-2011 10:39
I want to change the stock pipes on my 2009 1700 road star nothing to loud but some volume. The shop tells me the bassni road rage is the way to go not to sure if I like the looks of a 2 in to 1.
Any thoughts or pipes you use the most,new to the road star
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