How to make quiet baffles for V&H Straightshots - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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How to make quiet baffles for V&H Straightshots

So, after being surprised by how loud my "new" Straightshots were, I was considering getting the quiet baffles for them. However, the reviews I read were either very positive or very negative, not much in between, so I didn't know who to believe and I was hesitant to spent $150+tax on a pair only to find out that they didn't quiet the exhaust down much. So, I started brainstorming how I could make my own. The following is how I went about doing so. I am a very impatient person, so I once I found the parts I needed I didn't bother doing much shopping around, but I think I still managed to make them for half the cost of what the genuine baffles cost. The total for the parts came out to be about $85. Also, the parts that I used fit the Straightshot Classics with a 2-1/8" baffle.

I went to a local hardware/automotive store and picked up 4x 2"OD X 1-3/4"OD reducers and 2x 1-1/2"ID connectors. I then went and picked up a 1-1/4" copper pipe cap. Here they are laid out next to the stock baffle.



Next I cut down the reducers. I removed 1" from the 2"OD side, and 1-3/8" from the 1-3/4"OD side so they looked like this.



With those cut, I started laying out the end tube that goes on the header side of the baffle. I believe the genuine V&H quiet baffles had 6 rows of 4 holes, but I just made 4 rows of 3 1/2" holes. I laid out the lines approx 1/2" from the end, then set them up 3/4" center to center. I also drilled an additional 4 holes between those holes for screws to hold the copper cap on.





Because the copper cap would block the outer 4 holes, I lined the cap up, marked the holes and then drilled them.



Then, using a bench vice I pressed the 1-1/2" connector into the reducer from the 2" side, like so:



Then attached the copper end cap:



Now for the perforated section for the baffle material. I went to a local metal supply store and picked up some expanded metal sheet. There are lots of different kinds, this one is still very rigid without being too thick. I cut pieces 8" long and approximately 5-1/2" wide. It should be noted that the pieces being 8" long resulted in baffles about 3 inches longer than the genuine quiet baffles, but this was intentional on my part.



Then, I wrapped the metal into approximately a cylinder. I had a piece of 1" black iron pipe I put in my vice to help with this, but you could always use the left over piece cut off of the reducers. Using some stainless steel safety wire, I sewed up the two sides so it would stay as a cylinder.



It was a bit difficult to slip the cylinder onto the adapter fittings, but once they were on there I tried to make everything as straight as possible, then secured each end with 4 self-drilling sheet metal screws.



And that was basically it. I then wrapped the perforated section with flat stove gasket. The 2" side of the reducers were about 1/8" too narrow, but the stove gasket on the perforated middle section made for a nice snug fit. I also drilled and tapped a 1/4" X 20 hole on the exhaust side of the baffle for a bolt to secure the baffles in place. I don't really trust how secure they are though, so I might try to put a nut inside as backup. Also, I am skeptical that the self-drilling screws I used are going to hold tight with the vibrations, so I will likely pull these out and see if I can find a welder who will tack things together, or at the very least take the pieces apart and use muffler cement.

I should also mention that when drilling the pipes it will save you a lot of grief if you use a step-drill bit for the larger holes. I have some very nice, very sharp, Norseman twist drill bits and it was a nightmare to drill the first hole and it bent the tube up quite a bit, so after straightening it out I remembered that I had a step-drill bit in the same bag as my drills and used that... Doy!

Now on to the important part: How do they sound? Well, frankly, they worked perfectly! Like with all the (positive) reviews I read online about the quiet baffles, these seem to have made the exhaust sound deeper, and though they are certainly a lot quieter, they are still plenty loud. I suppose that means I probably could have just bought the V&H quiet baffles and they would have done what I wanted, but this way I saved about 50% and had a fun project to do. Also, the perforated sections on the baffles I made are about 3" longer, so it's possible they quiet it down a bit more than the genuine baffles. I now feel like I am far less likely to get pulled over (because of my exhaust at least) and ordered to get a vehicle inspection or fix-it ticket.

Hopefully someone finds this useful. Cheers!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 06:44 AM
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Nice! Great work!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 10:01 AM
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Excellent work. Wrap the screen with a thin layer of muffler fiberglass batting for an even mellower sound.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:36 AM
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So, after being surprised by how loud my "new" Straightshots were,

ok but, loud is good right? I mean, with loud pipes people can hear you coming, which to me means you won't get cut off by some car making a left hand turn infront of you.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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ok but, loud is good right? I mean, with loud pipes people can hear you coming, which to me means you won't get cut off by some car making a left hand turn infront of you.
I'd say these baffles only made the pipes about 10% quieter, but that is the difference between getting a fix-it ticket or not, and they don't set off car alarms any more. I still have to wear ear plugs for even a short ride or I feel like I spent the night at a heavy metal concert. They're still probably twice as loud as my de-baffled stock pipes.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 02:57 PM
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the reality of it all, as I have come to know it thru many comments here and there, is that there is no middle, none, you either end up having very quiet pipes or very loud pipes, the middle between the 2 does not exist

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 09:34 PM
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The larger the diameter of your mufflers, the lower the frequency of the rumble. More baffle or packing then makes it a quieter rumble. No way to get a low rumble with small 2" diameter straight pipes. If your loud enough for folks in front of you to hear with their windows rolled up, then you are getting an incredible blast and WILL eventually damage you hearing. I drive extremely defensively with silicone ear plugs all the time on my Vulcan 800 and mostly my 1700 Roadstar with Freedom 4" True Dual Racing pipes/mufflers. Loud saves lives is BS. Loud also likely indicates you don't have much back pressure which reduces your low end performance and torque.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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the reality of it all, as I have come to know it thru many comments here and there, is that there is no middle, none, you either end up having very quiet pipes or very loud pipes, the middle between the 2 does not exist
I can definitely say that the quiet baffles made my pipes go from very loud to tolerable, but they are definitely still quite loud. I only rode with the stock baffles once, but I was really self-conscious the whole time. I got a lot of looks, but it wasn't from people thinking I had a nice bike. I suppose it's like a lot of things in life, to each their own.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:38 AM
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A lot of people are not aware of a motorcycle parts dealer called Jireh Cycles. There web site... Jirecycles.com ... where they have a small portion of there products listed. Also you can call them to have one of there catalogs mailed to you free of charge. Many years back I purchased a set of baffles from them for a friends bike. I think they cost $50 or $60 for the pair delivered. They are geared towards the HD market and custom bike market. You can find a lot of aftermarket parts there that will work on our bikes. I've dealt with them for many years now, and have few complaints. Sometimes the chrome on chrome parts isn't perfect, but definitely usable. Also there's a chance things might be on back-order, which doesn't work for impatient people like myself. I always go to Jireh first, then if I have to, go elsewhere.

Beans, you made a fantastic pair of baffles man !! I see a lot of pride in your work !!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Skooter! I must say, I am pretty pleased with how they turned out. I'm also kind of surprised that everything fit/worked the first time around...

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