Horn Cycles Works Bagger Pipes – Exhausting Possibilities

Three Pipes For Your Bagger

1. Horn Cycle Works owner Curtis Horn ran the stock bike with no mods, and it tested at 58.3 hp and 72.9 lb-ft of torque. That seemed low for a 96ci motor, but after talking to a few different H-D techs, we were told that this is about right. After the air-filter kit was installed, we picked up 6 lb-ft of torque and almost 6 hp from just the air filter for a total of 63.8 hp and 78.5 lb-ft of torque. This was a good starting point.

2. The next thing we needed to do was install the Power Commander. It retails for about $350, and, as we said before, this should be one of your first upgrades. If nothing else, the Power Commander will still help the bike’s ECM manage air/fuel ratings for a more efficient ride. The perfect air/fuel ratio will ensure that the engine can produce the maximum possible horsepower for that given combination.

3. All we needed to do was remove the right side body cover to get to the ECM. We unplugged the ECM connector and plugged in the Power Commander plug. Then we plugged the other end into the stock H-D ECM harness. After all the testing was done, a few small zip-ties kept the Power Commander in place under the body cover.

4. We got started with D&D;’s slip-on Police Interceptors, starting with the easy install and working our way up. These pipes were designed for sound and carefree maintenance (the cops don’t have time to clean if they are out catching bad guys); you just wipe the pipes down after washing them. The D&D; slip-ons come with two mufflers, new clamps, four spacers, and mounting hardware. Each muffler is made from heavy-duty .065-wall durable 304 stainless steel that is buffed to a high luster. The 3-1/2-inch slip-on provides a great Harley sound, and with the air filter kit will increase power and help the bike run efficiently. Options include slash-cut, straight-cut, slant-cut, and back-cut. These pipes retail for around $450.

5. After removing the stock H-D mufflers, the D&D; mufflers were slid onto the stock header pipe along with the new clamps. We needed to open the clamp end up a bit to fit over the header pipe.

6. The clamp was installed but left loose ’til we could line up the rear hanger hardware.

7. Not every bike will need to use the spacers, but for this bike we needed to space the muffler down to keep it straight with the header pipe.

8. Then the oxygen sensor (dyno sniffer) was slid up through the muffler.

9. Here are the D&D; slip-ons ready to dyno.

10. The test revealed 65.28 max hp and 79.46 lb-ft of torque with just the pipe-not a big gain, but with the air filter and the Power Commander it came to around 6 hp. The biggest gain was sound, and a clean air/fuel reading. These pipes sounded deep, with a rich bass sound and very little rapping once we let off the gas.

11. Next up was the Road Rage two-into-one system from Bassani Xhaust. For around $550, this kit comes with two header pipes, one muffler body with billet end cap, transmission clamp bracket, set of exhaust gaskets, two band clamps, and all the necessary mounting hardware. You will need to order the heat shields, which are sold separately.

12. Next, the stock rear head pipe was removed. To get the front head pipe off the bike, the right side running board needed to be removed.

13. Once the pipes were off the bike, both the O2 sensors were removed and replaced on the new Bassani Xhaust.

14. The front header pipe was installed first, and then the rear header pipe with the horseshoe bend was installed, along with the new mounting bracket.

15. With these pipes, we needed to replace the mounting plate on the transmission. Here is the stock H-D bracket on the left and the new Bassani bracket on the right. You can see it is a little longer because the two pipes do not stack on top of each other.

16. Next, the muffler body was installed, along with all new band clamps.

17. Here is the Bassani Xhaust Road Rage pipe (heat shields sold separately).

18. Once the pipes were installed, Michelle Horn needed to remap the bike. She pulled up the Dyno Jet program for this bike with this set of pipes and air filter, and in about five minutes the bike was ready to be dyno’d. The Power Commander also has a CD with the specs for just about every kind of bike out there, so remapping is quick and easy.

19. One more run on the dyno.


21. Next up were the Rinehart True Duals with a multistep header. You get the style of 2-1/4-inch heat shields that flow into 3-1/2-inch muffler bodies, capped off with black billet-aluminum signature end caps. The torque-chamber baffles produce a deep, rich sound with less objectionable noise. There are two oxygen-sensor ports in the head pipes, which accept closed-loop aftermarket fuel-injection management systems for better performance and reliability. This set comes with two header pipes and matching heat shields, two muffler bodies, mounting clamps, and hardware, along with new gaskets. This set of true duals retails for about $800.

22. After removing the Bassani pipe, the next order of business was to replace the mounting support bracket next to the starter. This is where the rear header pipe will mount.

23. Next up were the retaining ring and the exhaust flange.

24. The rear header pipe was installed from the left side, making it easier to connect to the cylinder head. Then the muffler body was mounted to the header pipe, and the rear hanger was installed.

25. Working on the right side, once the front header pipe and heat shields were installed, the floorboard needed to be spaced out about 1 inch. The kit comes with two sizes from 1/2 inch to 1 inch; you’ll just have to see how much you will need.

26. Now the floorboard will clear the heat shield and won’t rattle.

27. Lastly, the right side muffler body was installed, and the Power Commander was remapped and run on the dyno one more time.

28. With the Rinehart true duals we got 69.19 hp and 83.13 lb-ft of torque.

29. With all of these pipes, we recommend that the bike first get an air-filter kit. With that alone you can feel the difference, but the Power Commander is a must for anyone who likes to try different pipes or who plans on upgrading their bike. It will make programming your bike easier, because you won’t need to go to an H-D shop every time you make a change. Most of the maps are set up so if you have a computer, you can download them yourself. As for the pipes’ different tests, it was more of a way to show the various looks and styles of pipes and let you see how they stack up. Every bike and every dyno is different and has its own characteristics, so let this be a starting point for you when you are thinking about swapping pipes. Is it looks and style, is it sound, or is it power?

Pipes, pipes, pipes. Just what do you want from your pipes? Better yet, just what kind and style do you like for your bagger? We wanted to try out three styles of pipes to show the levels of installation and power gains (if any) you can get from the different versions. We realize it’s a tough question, and there is no single correct answer.

Everyone is different when it comes to pipes. Some choose pipes based on price, some on performance, and some on looks-or a combination of any of these elements. When it comes to exhaust systems for touring bikes, the three most popular options are slip-ons, two-into-ones, and true duals. Each has its benefits and shortcomings. Some people like the less expensive and easy-to-install option of the slip-ons, while others may opt for the higher power gains that can usually be found in a two-into-one system. Then there are those who want the look of a balanced bike (which you get with slip-ons) but also want the higher performance of the two-into-ones, which in this case would be a true dual-type system. Going into this article, we had a pretty good idea what to expect from these three different systems. This was not meant to be a head-to-head-to-head shootout; we just wanted to show off three different styles and three different price points. It’s up to you to decide which is the right pipe for you and your needs.

We got started with a stock ’07 Road Glide with fewer than 1,000 miles on it; elsewhere in this issue you may have read about the Arlen Ness Big Sucker install that was performed on this same bike. We wanted to have the Road Glide up to par as we did this testing, and after a baseline run on the dyno, all three pipes will be tested from the same starting point. We also need to add a Power Commander to the bike so that we can remap the ECM after each set of pipes is installed. Without this component, the bike won’t give a true fuel/air reading, and it will run like crap no matter which pipe we install on it. Bear this in mind-whether the modification is as simple as installing a new set of pipes or as complicated as a full-on motor hop-up, one of the first things you should get your hands on if you plan on doing any kind of upgrades to your bike in the future is a Power Commander, H-D race tuner, or some other type of programmable EFI module. With the bike at Horn Cycle Works in Pomona, CA (an authorized tuning center), we got started with the first dyno run.

Stock Bike 58.3 72.9
Air Filter Kit 63.8 78.5 $120
D&D; slip-onPolice Interceptors 65.28 79.46 $450
Bassani Road Rage 68.4 83.33 $550
Rinehart True Duals 69.19 83.13 $800