Choosing the right set of pipes for your exhaust upgrade can seem never-ending. You may have to sacrifice looks for sound, sound for performance, performance for looks, etc. Sometimes you may end up settling for only one of these requirements when buying pipes because you're ready to give up searching.
In our case, we were able to find something that satisfied all three: Looks, performance, and sound. While cruising around the Martin Bros. website, swooning over some of the killer bikes they've produced over the years, we came across a set of their new Trendkills pipes (MSRP: $699.99) that fit '84 and up Softails and Sportsters, but most importantly our '06 XLC 1200. Martin Bros. makes bolt-on exhaust pipes for just about any Harley out there.
The black ceramic-coated pipes, adorned by the chrome heat shields, match the exact look we've been trying to achieve: blacked out front and rear, sparkling chrome in the center. Plus, they come with removable baffles (for '07 and up models, o2 sensor bungs are also included). We called up the Martin Bros. and ordered some black ceramic-coated pipes with the chrome heat shields (the pipes are also available in chrome), and once they arrived we were ready to bolt them on.
We asked our buddy Ed Syer at Huntington Beach Hogs and Choppers to do the install while we snapped some photos. Ed's a good guy and he knows his stuff. Plus, we wanted to put the bike on the dyno to see what kind of gains we were going to get, if any. Once we brought the pipes into his shop Ed knew right away that they were going to produce a big, thunderous sound. But what none of us knew was that after bolting them on, the Sporty was to gain approximately 8 more horses with an increase in approximately 4 ft-lbs of torque. Bolt-on power, baby! Check out the install, then go out and get yourself a set of new pipes.
The Sporty before the exhaust makeover...the muffled duals do the trick but hinder power (torque and horsepower), and sometimes it doesn't even feel like the engine is running because of the limited sound.
The Sporty before the exhaust makeover...the muffled duals do the trick but hinder power (
The Martin Brothers Trendkills are much shorter than the stock Harley pipes and come with mounting hardware, removable baffles, and removable heat shields.
The Martin Brothers Trendkills are much shorter than the stock Harley pipes and come with
The removable louvered baffles are approximately 2-1/2-inches in length and are held in place with a small nut and bolt.
The removable louvered baffles are approximately 2-1/2-inches in length and are held in pl
Ed removed the four flanged bolts from underneath the pipes where they meet the muffler interconnect bracket. Then he removed the nuts from the front and rear cylinder head exhaust studs. Next, he removed the old gaskets, and finally the front and rear stock pipes were removed.
Ed removed the four flanged bolts from underneath the pipes where they meet the muffler in
The rear of the brake rod needed to be removed from the bell housing so that he could take off the sprocket cover. The sprocket cover needed to be removed so Ed could pull out the muffler interconnect bracket because it would no longer be needed for the new pipes.
The rear of the brake rod needed to be removed from the bell housing so that he could take
Then he removed the muffler interconnect bracket. However, with the new pipes not utilizing this bracket the bottom portion of the sprocket cover sunk in about 1/4-inch, causing it to rub against the rear drive belt. Ed simply compensated by adding a washer to the inside of the sprocket cover to make the sprocket cover flush at the bottom once again.
Then he removed the muffler interconnect bracket. However, with the new pipes not utilizin
After installing new gaskets, Ed placed the exhaust flanges on the front and rear pipes, followed by the retaining clips on the front and rear as well.
After installing new gaskets, Ed placed the exhaust flanges on the front and rear pipes, f
Here is the completed install with the new Trendkills from Martin Bros. aboard the bike. They look and sound badass, plus when we were finished with the install, we put the bike back on the dyno and we found some pretty nice gains in horsepower and torque.
Here is the completed install with the new Trendkills from Martin Bros. aboard the bike. T
When we first gave the stock mufflers a run on the dyno, we reached 55.71 max hp and 64.96 ft-lbs of max torque. When it was time to put the Trendkills to the test, the numbers shot up to 63.50 max hp and 68.20 ft-lbs of max torque: a gain of 7.79 horses and 3.24 ft-lbs of torque. Bolt-on power is possible, and when it comes to looks, performance, and sound, the Trendkills satisfied all our requirements.
When we first gave the stock mufflers a run on the dyno, we reached 55.71 max hp and 64.96