1. Here's the Night Train before the exhaust makeover already prepped with the race tuner. Although the muffled duals have some style, we're hoping to see a great-looking pipe with some performance gains and better sound quality.
2. The Vance and Hines Big Radius exhaust features a 1-3/4-inch head pipe that dumps into a 2-into-1 collector, then expands into a 3-7/8-inch muffler body-hence the name Big Radius-with a chambered baffle. The pipe is fully encased in double-walled chrome and includes the mounting hardware as well as the mounts for the Factory O2 sensors.
3. The voltage regulator was removed to gain access to the front O2 sensor, followed by unplugging the front and rear O2 sensor. In order to remove the front and rear heat shields, Bryan loosened the worm clamps on the shields. Then he removed the bolts attaching the exhaust mount bracket to the frame.
4. After the two mounting nuts from each head pipe were removed, Bryan removed the stock head pipes from the motor, then placed rags in the ports to keep pollutants out of the heads.
5. Then Bryan removed the O2 sensors and the flanges off the old pipe, then installed them on the new exhaust followed by a new snap ring. He applied anti-seize to the threads of the O2 sensor so it would be easier to remove if the pipes ever need to come off the bike.
6. The rear passenger peg was removed to gain clearance for installing the new pipe, then frame plugs were inserted into the peg holes. To keep the rear peg, you will need to purchase a separate peg relocation kit from Vance and Hines.
7. Bryan installed new exhaust gaskets into the head ports to help avoid an exhaust leak.
8. Then he installed the Big Radius 2-into-1 head pipe.
9. After Bryan applied blue Loctite to the mounting bolts and tightened all the bolts down to 20 lb-ft of torque, he plugged the front and rear O2 sensors back in.
10. Finally the Big Radius muffler was bolted to the head pipe and the mounting bracket was tightened to the frame. Once the pipe was installed, Bryan wiped it down to keep the chrome clean.
11. Here is the completed install with the new Big Radius 2-into- 1 from Vance and Hines. The pipe looks better than most 2-into- 1s and it sounds awesome, bellowing out a mellow rumble. When we were finished with the install, we put the bike on the dyno and found some performance gains.
12. When we first gave the 96ci Night Train stock pipes a run on the dyno (equipped with a race tuner), we were pushing 70.48 hp and 86.5 lb-ft of torque. When it was time to put the 2-into-1 to the test, the numbers went up to 76 hp and 88.1 lb-ft of torque: A gain of about 6 horses and about 2 lb-ft of torque. More than a moderate gain of power, we picked up a good-looking pipe with badass sound quality.
In a lot of Harley circles, riders generally share similar opinions: 2-into-2 exhaust systems look cooler or are more Harley-friendly looking than 2-into-1 pipes. Over the years, exhaust manufacturers have kept an eye on what's coming down the pipeline and have started to appease the public's request for better looking and more stylish 2-into-1 systems. Vance and Hines' Big Radius 2-into-1 pipe delivers style and sound quality without having to sacrifice one for the other.
The Big Radius 2-into-1 (MSRP $699.95) was designed to change the traditional viewpoints of the 2-into-1 style as an exhaust system designed for performance and lacking rider-friendly looks and sound quality. Featuring sweeping arcs fully enclosed in doublewalled chrome, the pipe also incorporates blue-proof technology across its entire length and includes mounts for the factory O2 sensors. Once you hit the throttle, the 2-into-1 pipe delivers great sound quality with a mellow, throaty rumble.
We asked Bryan Neagle, technician at Anaheim-Fullerton Harley-Davidson in Fullerton, CA, to do the installation. Our test bike was an '07 96ci Softail FXSTB with a Screamin' Eagle race tuner installed. Check out the install as we followed along snapping photos, and then finished it off with a run on their dyno.
Indian Larry Legacy