Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Hilliard, Florida
Year/Make/Model: 2019/Kawasaki/Vulcan S ABS
make her loud... debaffle... remove baffle... but, read before getting crazy
If money isn't an object, spring for a set of Cobra or Vance & Hines, but expect to buy the quieter baffles unless you like very loud. Loud sounds great in town, but on the road it gets to be too much.
I like to save money if the result is satisfactory I'll try about anything. I wish someone had told me more before I attempted it. I hope my experience helps someone else.
The baffle is a 1" inside diameter pipe full of holes with a plug in the middle and about 14" long, welded inside the approximately 3 1/4" diameter muffler body. In front of the muffler is a catalytic converter. All the chrome is for show, including the large diameter. Each cylinder is like this: the exhaust pipe is really only about 1" inside diameter from the cylinder to the exhaust tip other than the diameter needed for the catalytic converter and the muffler. Exhaust gases enter the muffler / catalytic converter then on to the muffler via the 1" baffle pipe. The baffle has about 30 to 40 small ( 3/16") holes in front of the center plug. Exhaust gases have to re-enter the 1" pipe but now on the exhaust tip side of the plug, through another set of about 30 to 40 holes. That is what does the quieting and produces all the back pressure. You need some back pressure for the engine to make torque. Remove it all and you lose power. Don't do this if you want more power... its all about the sound!
De-baffling is said to be Stage 1, and Stage 2. Be careful not to scratch the chrome!
Stage 1 requires removing the factory angled black trim piece and cutting of the angled mount (welded on) which is discarded, so you can get to the back of the muffler body. Then drill 4 to 8 holes (about 3/8" drill bit) into the back of the muffler around the 1" pipe. How many holes you drill depends out how loud you want it. Try 4 and ride it for a day or two... if too quiet drill 4 more... then test it again. What you did was give the exhaust gases a easier route on its final trip out the tip, but there is still a 1" pipe at the other end, so the change is minor. But, unless you like very loud, stop there. Go out and RIDE BEFORE you remove the baffles. Not like I did.
I completely removed both baffles on my bike. It was incredibly loud... louder than I could stand on the highway. I did it like this: after removing the angled pieces, cut off the angled mount and cut out the 1" baffle at the tail pipe. I used a die grinder and removed almost all the back of the muffler. You have to wiggle and pull on the baffle until the welds at the other end break loose and it comes out. Then I rode it and.... and... oh, my god... its loud! It made my head hurt! It sounds cool at idle with a nice deep tone. When you get up to speed it drones loud beyond belief. I had visions of paying $600 for a system, plus a fuel injection controller. I am sure I would have needed it for a de-baffled system anyway.
What I did was re-install the stock baffle. First I reasoned if I could actually re-install the baffle, I wanted the bike louder than stock. So, I drilled ALL the holes in the baffle out from about 3/16" to 3/8" with my fingers crossed. I cleaned off the original welding and what was left of the back of the muffler on the exhaust tip end of the baffle on the bench grinder, but left the other end alone. Not sure anything could be done on the other end anyway. I then made new 16 gauge mild steel plates (3 1/8" outside and 1 1/8" inside) with 2 tabs. It probably be better to use 10 gauge, but you can cut 16 gauge with a saber saw or even aviation snips and a strong hand. I welded the plates to the baffle, pressed (pounded with finesse) the baffles back into the mufflers they came out of (slip fit) then and drilled and bolted the tabs to body of the muffler. I will paint it hi-temp flat black later.
I just rode it and what a difference. It has an incredible moderately loud and deep sound at idle, but at speed only slightly louder than stock. The deep tone is what I hoped for. It is better, actually.
This might be too much work for most people, but will save a lot of bucks but the end result is incredible... plus I can remove the baffles again if I ever want to. My cost was about $60, since I had to buy the mild steel, a hole saw and more wire for my welder. It took about an hour and a half originally to remove the baffle and about 4 hours to put it back. I have more time than money so I don't mind, in fact it was fun!
I don't know how loud it would have been, but you could skip removing the angled tip and drilling the 4 to 8 holes in the back of the muffler by just drilling out the plug down inside the baffle. It is about 7 inches deep to get to it. You will need a 7/8" hole saw and an extension long enough to reach the plug. I would imagine this method would result in a VERY loud bike. But, this is the simplest and quickest way to make it loud. Welding it back could be interesting, if you ever want to.
Last edited by Clumpster; 12-17-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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