Baffle mod... debaffling... removing the baffle... 2009 LT - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 09:09 PM
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Hey man
What did you use to remove the initial black trim piece? I'd like to try this but I'm up to my knees in snow right now...I don't want to go to the point of no return with the holes. No snow where you're at I guess! lol

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Keep in mind doing this could void the factory warranty, mine ran out, so I didn't care. The pieces are held on with 1/8" pop rivets, two in each piece. Just get out your electric drill with a 1/8" drill bit and drill them out. If you are going to do Stage 1, next you have to cut off the end of the "tail pipe" and remove the parts that the rivets were holding the trim piece to. I cut it off as close to the exit from the baffle that I could while still cutting the pipe straight (90 degrees). It will kind of show after you are done. So I try to be neat. Be very very careful not to scratch the chrome... its very easy to do. I used a small air operated reciprocating saw, but there are many ways to do it including a full size Sawzall with a fine metal cutting blade. It will speed up the process if you do each step to each muffler, not all steps to one muffler at at time. Once the pipes are cut off, look down into it.... you see the 1" pipe end and the back of the muffler housing itself. The muffler housing itself is about 3 1/4" in diameter. Look at the picture I sent, this is what it should look like, approximately when you are finished. It makes drilling easier and more precise if you pre-punch with a sharp punch where you will drill the holes. So you make little indentations for the 4 holes you are going to drill. I recommend making the as equally spaced as you can... 90 degrees apart, like the picture. Then drill the holes. I started with a 1/8" drill bit... then a 1/4"... then finally a 3/8". There is nothing saying you have to use 3/8"... they could be 1/4" or even 1/2" holes. After drilling both mufflers take it out for a highway ride and make sure it is not too loud. If its too quiet, drill 4 more holes spaced between the 4. I am including a simple picture of what the end of the muffler would look like with 4 holes.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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2chains... no snow here... its a cool evening by Florida standards... 50 degrees. Plus it isn't bad inside the garage. Wow! you do live way up there. Beautiful country!

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the extra detail! It's tough to work on your bike and not be able to pop out for a quick run and enjoy your handy work. The down time is a great chance to do mods tho...

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Just go to Stage 1 with 4 holes until you can ride it. Trust me it is hard to undo if you go too far.

I just checked the weather up there... 31 for a high... light snow tonight and tomorrow morning... low 17... you can ride in that weather.... HA! I would think 31 would be t-shirt weather for you guys!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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2chain.... here's a link on this site.... pictures are nice. https://www.vulcanforums.com/gallery/....php?photo=655
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clumpster View Post
Just go to Stage 1 with 4 holes until you can ride it. Trust me it is hard to undo if you go too far.

I just checked the weather up there... 31 for a high... light snow tonight and tomorrow morning... low 17... you can ride in that weather.... HA! I would think 31 would be t-shirt weather for you guys!
Clumpster speaks the truth. My bike sounded awesome with 4 holes, not so great with 8, and bad enough I had to replace the exhaust after going all the way. 4 holes was perfect, but I couldn't leave it alone and jacked mine up.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 09:42 AM
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ha ha main roads are clean to ride but residential roads are iced in! ok, 4 holes it is! warranty done so might do that today...

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 10:17 AM
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Before I modified my exhaust I checked with the dealer and he said no it doesn't void the warranty, He said Kawi understands that people want to install aftermarket or modify their exhaust. So with that said, off to cutting I went! I started with 4-3/8 holes in each pipe, to me it sounded like someone farting out my exhaust so I drilled 4 more holes in each pipe and that sounded a little better but not loud enough for me so I drilled out the 3/8 holes with a 1/2" and that kept me happy for a while. I have Cobra longs on my bike now and very happy with them. Here's something to think about before you trash your stock exhaust and their not worth anything. Might want to look around for some aftermarket pipes, I know they can cost a pretty penny but on ebay you can find some decent deals. good luck and ride safe!

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