Just added my V&H Bigshots - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Just added my V&H Bigshots

I was fairly certain I had an exhaust leak, both from the noise, and from the carbon that was appearing for no rational reason from under the heat shield on the pipe for the rear cylinder.

I was able to get a good deal on a new set of V&H BigShots so I finally pulled the trigger. They arrived last night and I went to install them. When I took out the bolts for the rear cylinder the head pipe essentially fell off. It had cracked almost perfectly cleanly at the weld all the way around.

I got the new pipes installed easily enough. When I first fired it up in the garage I thought they might be a bit too loud, but actually riding has proven this is not a problem. It is definitely louder than the stock (even with the exhaust leak), but really this is only noticeable when you get on the throttle, or at idle. While cruising at a steady speed they are quiet enough, they aren't going to get tiresome or cause any headaches (at least for me, can't say about everybody around me).

Installation TIP, follow the instructions and install the heat shields first. Lots of reviews of this exhaust have people claiming that you are better off installing the heat shields last. I tried that, and although it does let one get to the bolts easier to mount to the head, the hose clamps are impossible to bring together and start if you do it this way. I ended up having to take them back off, install the shields, and put them back. That trick may be great for some models, but not the Vulcan 1600, it just really isn't hard to install them with the heat shields in place.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Some before and after and a picture of the broken pipe.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahemsa View Post
Some before and after and a picture of the broken pipe.
To be honest,I like the before pipes looks better but It would depend on sound and performance..let us know if it a big difference. And what's plans for old pipes?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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I certainly understand what you are saying on the looks. I like the look of the larger muffler, but there aren't too many options like that for this particular model. I knew I liked Vance and Hines though from a previous bike so I decided to go with them.

The fit and finish is superb. For example the factory pipes have the "humps" on the head pipe heat shields and then the heat shield on the muffler comes up and covers the heat shield on the head pipe, then there is the very tacky looking spot weld on the lower muffler heat shield that is visible while the bike is on the stand (I know this is not just a hack job on mine as my boss has the same bike and has the same tack weld). The V&H heat shields are a single piece all the way from the cylinder head to the tip with a perfect finish. The look isn't exactly what I would have preferred, but that was my best option, and for the look they were going for, the quality is great.

Sounds wise, I love it. Performance wise, hard to tell. It feels a touch faster (yes I have a power commander already and remapped for it) but I can't really quantify that. I haven't yet had the opportunity to see if it increased my top speed any which would of course indicate more power. I do also like that it gives a little bit of extra clearance between the pipe and my saddle bag, and not having the factory catalytic converter, these pipes should be a bit cooler anyway. It was never a problem, but the factory pipes sure did get hot!

As far as the old exhaust, I know a guy who does good welding work. I'll probably have him weld up the broken part and then will likely just wrap them up in plastic and put them up in my storage building in case I ever have a need or desire to return the bike to stock configuration.

Last edited by Ahemsa; 03-22-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:33 PM
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I went with the Baron's Big and Nasty. Still a big pipe and loud.

"As long as I have the voices in my head, I'll never ride alone."

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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When did you get those? Currently they seem to only offer the for the 900's.

The look of the V&H is growing on me. I could always remove the baffles if I wanted it louder, or I could get quiet baffles. Nice to have options.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 08:53 AM
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I just bought my bike.. 2008 1600 that pretty much looks exactly like yours with the same exhaust. I have the baffles out, and it is insanely loud. I bought it with them out so I don't know the difference, but I plan on putting them back in as I'm curious to what it will sound like with them in. It's a bit to much at highway/interstate speeds with them out.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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The baffles will definitely tone it down to a bearable level. I had Vance and Hines on my V-Star 650 and I took the baffles out once just to see what it would sound like. I didn't even bother to ride it, just at idle I could tell it was way too loud. Stupid me didn't use any type of loctite or a lock washer on the retaining screw when I put them back though. Somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina, on the side of the road, is one of my baffles. I had the joy of riding all the way back to KY without one, never again.

I ordered new baffles and packing. I replaced the allen head retention screws with regular bolts, lock washers, and loctite!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanNeb View Post
I just bought my bike.. 2008 1600 that pretty much looks exactly like yours with the same exhaust. I have the baffles out, and it is insanely loud. I bought it with them out so I don't know the difference, but I plan on putting them back in as I'm curious to what it will sound like with them in. It's a bit to much at highway/interstate speeds with them out.
I have a gift on the noise i wear hearing aids I can turn mine down. Not sure what the GF is going to think of them. LOL

Had the V & H big shots on it when I bought it I ordered the baffles not a real big fan of the noise either.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 08:37 AM
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My 05 1600 nomads stockbaffles gone,thinking of V&H,my pipe run both sides your does look strange TO ME but are you still happy with sound? No tickets. Please let my know,also about what it cost? ..peace,rubber side down..

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