Getting an aftermarket exhaust installed is one of the regular upgrades you can do if you own a motorcycle. It can help your bike to perform better and haul louder. A perfectly picked aftermarket exhaust can improve the aesthetic of your bike too.
I know that you already know the advantages, and now you’re looking for the best exhaust for Sportster 1200. In that case, I can help you by suggesting some quality products that you can consider checking and finding the best one for your bike.
The exhausts I’m going to talk about here are picked after using a few and checking what the users are saying, the opinions of experts, and what the manufacturers are talking about those. After evaluating a few options, I’ve picked the top five exhausts in my opinion.
Also, I’ll be talking about considerations for buying and a few more things you should know. So, stay with me till the end. You’ll learn a lot and probably find the best aftermarket exhaust for your Sportster 1200.
Best Exhaust for Sportster 1200: Expert’s Picks
1. Cobra 909 2-Into-2 Exhaust
If you’re looking for a premium exhaust system for your Sportster 1200, this one should be your pick. This is a full-sized exhaust coming with a stunning appearance to offer an aggressive aesthetic for your bike. The most attractive feature of this exhaust system is the sound it offers.
Installing this exhaust system would give you a deep hauling sound that can be heard from a distance. Its mufflers are made in a way so that it can create an aggressive yet not too loud sound. Therefore, if you want your exhaust sound to attract the attention of others, you should go for it.
The exhaust is constructed of stainless steel having a black coating on it. Stainless steel construction has made it durable and sustainable while the coating keeps it protected from rust. Therefore, you won’t need to change it too soon.
Deep sound is not the only advantage of this system. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in the performance after getting it installed. It comes with a heat shield that ensures protection for the exhaust heat as well as offers a great custom look.
Overall, this is a great exhaust if you want to build a custom aesthetic for your Sportster 1200.
- Provides a deep yet not too loud sound
- Ensures a custom look
- Stainless steel with a black coating makes it durable
- Fits perfectly on Sportster 1200
- A bit expensive
2. JFG RACING Sportster Exhaust 2.0″ Slip-on Exhaust Pipe
If you need an exhaust muffler pipe for your Sportster 1200, you can go for this pair. These are made to be durable and priced to be affordable. So, even if you don’t have a huge budget for the pipes, you can still pick this pair.
It is made of T304 stainless steel to ensure superior durability despite the high exhaust heat. To keep it safe from the heat, there is a temperature coating on it. So, it can support you for a long time without being damaged by exhaust heat.
O2 bungs and the bracket help you to install it properly by mounting the pipes together. Installation is not a hassle if you have enough knowledge about installing exhausts. However, still I suggest getting it installed by an expert mechanic.
It helps you to maintain the simple yet catchy look of your bike. Once you get it installed, you’ll hear the heavy sound that attracts people. Also, you’ll find a change in the acceleration and performance.
Overall, this can be an affordable improvement for your Sportster 1200. So, I hope you’ll try this.
- Made with quality stainless steel
- Comes with temperature coating
- Installation is easy
- Comes with a cheap price tag
- Color might change a bit after a few hundred miles
3. Exhaust Pipe Motorcycle Muffler 2 Inch for Sportsters 883 1200
Quality aftermarket exhaust pipes are not tough to find. However, picking the right exhaust that matches your model is a bit tough because of the differences in bike models and years. But if you pick this one, you might not have to worry much about the year of your Sportster 1200. It is made to fit the 1986-2013 forward control models of Sportster.
The manufacturer has focused a lot on the build to ensure durability. So, it is made with T304 stainless steel. There is a black powder coating on it which ensures protection from rust and temperature. This allows you to use the exhaust for a long time without any damage done by corrosion or exhaust heat. It can also withstand outside heat.
Installation is not complex at all. However, we suggest looking for professional help at the time of mounting it on your motorcycle as it doesn’t come with any installation instructions. Each of the pipes comes with welded 18mm O2 bungs. Also, you’ll find mounting brackets to mount the pipes together.
This exhaust can help you by improving performance a bit. If you’re looking for an improved sound, it can help you. However, for loud sounds, it might not be the perfect exhaust.
- Made to support you for a long time
- Comes with a black powder coating
- Enhances the aesthetic of your bike
- Instruction for mounting is not available
4. SHARKROAD 3″ Black Slip-on Mufflers Exhaust
Need quality slip-on mufflers at a reasonable price? I have this one for you. This pair of mufflers from Sharkroad is found at almost half the price of the branded ones. Though it is low-priced, you won’t find that much difference in the quality. Let’s know more about it.
With a moderately long experience in this market, Sharkroad has made this slip-on muffler with quality materials. It has confidence in the products it has manufactured. So, they offer no-worry after-sales service. You can communicate with Sharkroad anytime if you face any issues. This policy also keeps the customers happy. So, don’t worry much.
Quality finish allows the color to stay for a long time. You won’t see any discoloration issue in this. So, you can expect the look to be similarly appealing for a long time.
Installing it is not tough at all. The package comes with the necessary nuts, bolts, and gaskets. If you have a little idea about installing a slip-on exhaust, you can do this easily. It offers a loud sound. As someone who wants loud hauls, you’ll love it.
- Offers loud hauls and growls
- Comes with everything needed to install it
- Its price is very reasonable
- Ensures no discoloration issues
- Bolts are a bit short
5. Vance & Hines Twin Slash Round Slip Ons Black 46861
Looking for a pair of premium slip-on? If so, this is the perfect pair that you should pick. Besides ensuring great performance, this pair of slip-on offers a great addition to the aesthetic of your bike. So, if you’re thinking about spending a handful of bucks on slip-ons, I suggest you go for this.
Being made of excellent-quality ingredients, it comes with a heat shield that covers it fully. The heat shield is also made with quality material. Besides, a coating of black powder has allowed it to last for a long time and withstand the heat produced by the exhaust system.
It comes with a louvered core baffle that is pre-installed. However, you can upgrade to competition and quiet baffles. For that, you have to purchase the baffles separately. Long-time use doesn’t affect the performance and color of this slip-on that much.
Installing is not that complex. It fits easily on your bike. Being installed, it hauls much louder compared to the stock sound. You might not see that much improvement in performance after getting it installed but the sound would surely blow your mind.
- Offers a much louder sound than stock
- Gives a premium look
- Built with quality materials
- Fully covered by a coated heat shield
- The price could be a bit less
Best Exhaust for Sportster 1200 Buying Guide
When you’re searching for the best exhaust for your motorcycle, you need to focus on certain things. Without checking these features, you can’t find the top aftermarket exhaust system for Sportster 1200. So, let’s talk about the key focuses while buying an exhaust.
The very first thing you should check is the fitment. You don’t want to buy an exhaust that doesn’t fit the model of your bike. If you do so, you would have to change it or modify it a lot. Both are hassles. So, when you’re looking for buying an exhaust, search for the ones that are made for your bike. This would keep you safe from wasting time as well as a lot of hassles.
Exhausts are made with several types of materials. Each has its pros and cons. Keep your eyes on the material of the exhaust because durability and performance depend a lot on the material. Some ensure durability, while some offer a better look. Some materials help you to pick a cheap one.
Check the exhausts and pick the one with the best material that goes with your purpose.
Some exhausts are made to offer loud and deep sounds. Alternatively, some come with a lower and comparatively less aggressive sound. Almost everyone has a sound preference. If you want one that hauls loud, keep your eyes (and ears) on the sound. Similarly, if you prefer to have one with a less aggressive sound, make sure that you’re picking one of that kind.
If you don’t have any sound preference, you can ignore this point.
The look of the exhaust is important because you want your exhaust to match the aesthetic of your bike. So, while checking the options, don’t forget to list the ones that match your expected look of the bike. You don’t want to ruin how your motorcycle looks. The look of the exhaust is important for this reason.
An aftermarket exhaust can offer some performance upgrades to some extent. However, it is not guaranteed. Some models show some increase in performance. Some don’t offer such a thing at all. If your target is to get an improved performance from your bike after upgrading the exhaust, look for the ones that offer guaranteed performance improvement.
This is not a must, but I suggest picking up one from a brand with a good reputation. Brand reputation depends on the brand’s relationship with customers, quality of products, customer support system, etc. Brands with a good reputation will have your back if you face any issue with the product. That’s why checking the brand reputation is recommended.
You shouldn’t avoid the price tag while searching for an aftermarket exhaust. Some come within a reasonable price range whereas some come with premium price tags. I suggest picking one within your budget if you see that the features are good.
If you need to exceed your budget, I suggest doing that. Picking the right one is important here because the right exhaust will ensure the performance you need.
Slip-on Exhaust vs Full-sized Exhaust – Which one to Choose
While looking for options to buy the best exhaust system for Sportster 1200, you’ll see two types of exhausts- Slip-on Exhaust and Full-sized Exhaust. I’m sure you’re not confused between these two. But if you are, just in case, here are the differences.
Slip-on Exhaust is only the muffler part of the full exhaust system. On the other hand, a fill-sized exhaust is the whole exhaust system containing the header, mid-section, and muffler.
The purpose of a slip-on exhaust is to improve the look and sound. Aftermarket slip-on exhausts come with lower restrictions for better sound. On the other hand, full-sized exhaust helps you to improve the performance to some extent besides improving the look and sound.
If your budget is low and still you want to upgrade your motorcycle, a slip-on exhaust is a suitable option for you. On the other hand, to get a full-sized exhaust, you have to spend a good amount of money.
Installing a slip-on exhaust is not a big deal at all. You can fit it in your home garage with common tools. You don’t have to own the expertise for that. But installing a full-sized exhaust needs expertise. Otherwise, the exhaust might not work well.
A slip-on exhaust system doesn’t improve the performance at all. It just gives your bike a customized look. But a full-sized exhaust system offers a positive change in the performance of your bike. Also, you’ll see the expected change in the overall look.
These are the common differences between the two types of exhausts you’ll see at the time of picking one. I suggest going for a slip-on exhaust if you want to improve the look of your motorcycle. It is less expensive and doesn’t need the expertise to install.
But if you’re looking for performance improvement, pick a full-sized exhaust. It might be costly and complex, but you’ll enjoy improved performance.
Reasons to Change the OE Exhaust
I know that you’re thinking about changing your motorbike exhaust. If you have a slight confusion in your mind, let’s know the reasons you should do this.
Performance is the primary reason behind getting an aftermarket exhaust. If you want to get some improvement in the performance of your motorbike, upgrading your exhaust can help a lot. It works in two ways.
Firstly, most aftermarket exhausts are designed and manufactured to offer a boost in acceleration and torque. Secondly, these are built to be as lightweight as possible. Thus, the weight of your bike reduces and allows it to perform better.
Most bikers love to have a hauling and deep sound of their bikes. This attracts people and provides a feeling of freedom. Most OE exhausts are designed to hold the noise as minimal as possible. As a result, bike enthusiasts don’t like such exhausts.
If you think that the way your bike hauls is not enough, getting an aftermarket exhaust installed can help you. For this, you have to check the reviews and expert opinions to find the best one. However, don’t exceed the recommended sound level of your state.
Aftermarket exhausts are designed to bring an appealing look to your bike. On the other hand, the one that comes with your bike is not that appealing in most cases. So, if you’re aware of the look of your bike and willing to keep it attractive, changing the exhaust can help you.
It offers an aesthetic look with more durability.
You might see an improvement in fuel efficiency after replacing your stock exhaust with an aftermarket one. As these exhausts are made to be lightweight, installing one allows you to reduce the weight of your bike. Besides, these add more power to it.
As a result of it, you’ll enjoy a noticeable increase in fuel efficiency. It is tough to calculate and there is no exact number or amount to tell. But you’ll feel the improvement.
FAQs About Exhaust for Sportster
Are aftermarket exhausts illegal?
It differs from place to place. In some states, these are illegal. Some states allow these but under certain conditions. In some states, you’ll find these legal.
So, check the rules of the state where you live in to know the exact answer to your question.
Is aftermarket exhaust bad for the engine?
As these exhausts improve the overall performance of the engine, there is a misconception that these put extra pressure on the engine. This is not true.
Aftermarket exhausts allow the engine to work with full efficiency. Also, these reduce the capacity loss in the system. Thus, these enhance the performance of your engine without putting extra force on it. These exhausts are not bad for your engine at all.
Is there any problem associated with installing aftermarket exhaust?
There is no problem if you can pick the perfect one for your motorcycle and purpose. If you pick the wrong one, you might have to make some modifications to your motorcycle.
Installation is another issue. If you make any mistake at the time of installation, you might face a mess. To avoid this, you should get it installed by a professional. This would cost you a few bucks.
How much does it cost to install an aftermarket exhaust?
Typically, it takes around 100 USD to get your aftermarket exhaust installed. However, if any modification is required, it might cost you up to 300 USD depending on the type of modification needed.
How to Install Exhaust for Harley Sportster 1200
If you’re looking for the best exhaust for Sportster 1200, the exhausts I’ve talked about here are my top picks. You can pick anything from these. I’ve selected these depending on user experience, customer review, expert opinion, and manufacturers’ offers. So, you can trust my list.
I’ve also talked about how you can pick the best one, why you should change the exhaust and the differences between the two types of exhausts. You’ve already found answers to some commonly asked questions too.
Now you need to decide which one you’re going to pick. After reading through this article thoroughly, you’ll pick the best one for your purpose, I’m sure.
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