Pipes, pipes, pipes. Just what do you want from your pipes? Better yet, just what kind and style do you like for your bagger? We wanted to try out three styles of pipes to show the levels of installation and power gains (if any) you can get from the different versions. We realize it's a tough question, and there is no single correct answer.
Everyone is different when it comes to pipes. Some choose pipes based on price, some on performance, and some on looks-or a combination of any of these elements. When it comes to exhaust systems for touring bikes, the three most popular options are slip-ons, two-into-ones, and true duals. Each has its benefits and shortcomings. Some people like the less expensive and easy-to-install option of the slip-ons, while others may opt for the higher power gains that can usually be found in a two-into-one system. Then there are those who want the look of a balanced bike (which you get with slip-ons) but also want the higher performance of the two-into-ones, which in this case would be a true dual-type system. Going into this article, we had a pretty good idea what to expect from these three different systems. This was not meant to be a head-to-head-to-head shootout; we just wanted to show off three different styles and three different price points. It's up to you to decide which is the right pipe for you and your needs.
We got started with a stock '07 Road Glide with fewer than 1,000 miles on it; elsewhere in this issue you may have read about the Arlen Ness Big Sucker install that was performed on this same bike. We wanted to have the Road Glide up to par as we did this testing, and after a baseline run on the dyno, all three pipes will be tested from the same starting point. We also need to add a Power Commander to the bike so that we can remap the ECM after each set of pipes is installed. Without this component, the bike won't give a true fuel/air reading, and it will run like crap no matter which pipe we install on it. Bear this in mind-whether the modification is as simple as installing a new set of pipes or as complicated as a full-on motor hop-up, one of the first things you should get your hands on if you plan on doing any kind of upgrades to your bike in the future is a Power Commander, H-D race tuner, or some other type of programmable EFI module. With the bike at Horn Cycle Works in Pomona, CA (an authorized tuning center), we got started with the first dyno run.
|Air Filter Kit||63.8||78.5||$120|
|D&D; slip-onPolice Interceptors||65.28||79.46||$450|
|Bassani Road Rage||68.4||83.33||$550|
|Rinehart True Duals||69.19||83.13||$800|