If you’ve been following the progress of our long-term Blackline Softail, you’ll recall that we started the project by adding to the ebony color scheme by swapping out the stock controls for some black and machined components. The following article focused on improving nighttime riding by changing out the headlight for one of Harley’s black 5-3/4-inch LED headlight assemblies. Providing an immense path of bright-white light, the new unit made quite a difference with low-light visibility.
In this third installment, we are going to add some more black P&A; to the Softail while also addressing the most popular component on a Harley, the exhaust. Better sound, performance, and/or style are reasons why the exhaust system is usually the first thing people change when they buy a new bike. Plus, no matter if it’s a simple muffler swap or installing a new 2-into-1 system—with just a little time and some basic handtools, you can make quite a change to your bike. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible while adding to the blacked-out direction we’ve been heading, so we decided to order a set of H-D’s Jet Black Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance Slip-On Shotgun Mufflers ($449.95). The slip-ons feature ballistic inlets and tuned baffles which claim to provide a much more distinct rumble and improved power compared to the stock mufflers. To go along with the mufflers we decided to wash the right side of the bike in a sea of black by installing H-D’s newest heat shields, the Jet Black SE Fat Exhaust Shield Kit ($199.95). Comprised of larger 2-3/4-inch diameter heat shields as opposed to the stock 2-inch diameter heat shields, the Fat shields beef up the look of the head pipes and flow better into the wide body of the mufflers. Since we were going to attack the exhaust, we figured we better hit the stock air cleaner assembly as well and we ordered a Stage One Air Cleaner Kit ($139.95) to get more air flowing into the engine. We headed to the H-D Fleetcenter so that once the parts were installed, Alan Barsi could flash the ECM to accommodate the new mufflers and air cleaner. HB
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