I've been pretty much satisfied with the performance of this bike, so
I had not planned any modifications to the intake or exhaust systems.
Call me crazy, but I kinda like the looks of the stock exhaust
anyway. The exhaust note is just a bit quiet for my taste, however,
so I began looking for a way to open it up just a bit. I've heard a V
Star 1100 with holes drilled in the stock exhaust, and it sounded a
bit raspy to me. I saw a post on the
ISRA Forum about an exhaust modification done by Tom Hill and it
sounded like something I'd like to try. Here's what I did:
shows the cuts
through the first layer of metal
note that this applies to the VStar 1100 only--the 650 has a
different muffler construction. We have also received word that
this does not work on 2006 Vstar 1100s. At the end
of this article there are tips for 2006 exhausts.) I bought a bimetal hole saw
(1-1/2") at a local hardware store. Using it and a heavy-duty
drill I cut around the opening of the 1" pipe in the center of
each exhaust. Don't worry about centering the hole saw; the conical
shape of the inside of the exhaust will do it for you. I cut through
two layers of metal before each pipe broke loose.
it a good tug!
pipes were cut loose, I used a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove
them. Grab, wiggle and tug. They popped right out
the restrictive baffles that were removed
Here are the
pipes that were removed--very restrictive!
shows the internal baffles
Here is a shot
of the end of the exhaust with the pipes removed. If you decide to
leave them like this you'll want to use a file or Dremel grinder to
clean up the edges of the new exhaust opening, then paint it flat
black. At this stage the noise was a deep rumble, but full throttle
was a little loud for my taste. I decided to try Tom's trick of
slipping 1-1/2" pipes into the larger openings.
Adding Pipe Inserts.
I went to the local muffler shop and asked for some 1-1/2"
aluminized steel pipe. They gave me a couple of pieces out of the
scrap bin at no charge.
I cut a couple
of lengths of pipe about 5" long then cleaned and de-burred the
ends. I used some coarse sandpaper to rough up the outside of the
pipes, them de-greased them with solvent. I bought some J-B Weld at
an auto parts store; this is a putty-like epoxy that can be used with
metal and will withstand high heat. I rolled a piece of the putty
into a string, wrapped it around one of the pipes then slipped it
into the opening at the end of the exhaust. I then used a small stick
to press the epoxy into place and smooth it out. I had to center the
pipe in position pretty quickly, as the epoxy set up in under 5 minutes.
minutes the pipes were firmly in place, looking like they had been
welded there. I painted them with black high-temp paint for a cleaner
look. Now the sound is just about perfect! New note: Rich
Galle in Dallas came up with an ingenious twist to the
inserts--he shopped around his local home improvement store and found
a 1-1/2" chrome piece in the plumbing aisle that fits here
perfectly. He doesn't even weld them in--just slips them in or
removes them depending on the sound he wants. The item looks like this:
Really nice. I've kept the looks of the stock exhaust while improving
on the sound. I have watched the plugs pretty carefully, and it looks
like I won't have to re-jet the carbs. With the center baffle gone
there was quite a bit of backfiring, so I elected to remove the AIS
system. To see an article on that process, click here.
Mike Johnson from Georgia has been kind enough to provide sound files of
the pipes, before and after. Click here to hear the
Stock pipes. Click here to hear
the same pipes after the center baffles have been removed
WORTH THE MONEY?
Absolutely! The whole project was done for about $10. I only wish
that all my V Star mods were so inexpensive.
Exhaust Tips from Robert Garrison Jr.: In
order to modify the 06 exhaust you have to use both an inch and a quarter
and a 2 and a quarter inch hole saw. You cut both holes through the end
cap and remove the rings of metal. This should leave one piece of baffle
pipe sticking out. You need to wiggle it around to get it as loose as
possible, then using large channel locks or vice grips, grab the piece of
pipe and hit it with a 2 pound hammer trying to knock the pipe back out
of the end of the pipe(hit from front to rear). You have to hit it really
hard several times and it will scare you at first but the pipe has a
rounded end that has to be forced through the hole. I also used a dremel
tool on mine when the larger hole saw wore out. I used the dremel tool to
cut out the rings of metal. This modification worked great and the pipes
sounded awesome. If you can't afford new pipes this modification
definitely is worth the time and money it takes. My friend rides a harley
with vance and hines pipes on it and he could hear my modified stocks
when riding with me.
Jack Garrett sent us the following tip: "We
just completed the modification that was listed for a 2006 1100 Vstar on a 2007
model. Everything went fine except there is a third piece of metal that you must
drill through with the 2 1/4 inch hole saw before you can get any movement out
of the baffle. That is no joke about smacking the daylights out of the baffle as
it is expanded or flared on the back side where there is no access. Thanks for a
job well done on the modification. It also works on 2007's as well."