The advantages of removing bike exhaust baffles are better engine rumbling, higher horsepower, and other benefits. On the other hand, you may get less back pressure, cold air in the exhaust, and a dB level violation after removing the baffle.
The main purpose of removing baffles is to change the engine sound and attempt to overclock the performance. However, removing this tiny little part might backfire and cause you trouble. So, let’s analyze them in detail.
Overview of Baffles on Motorcycles
A Baffle is a small tube attached to the exhaust line of most bike models. It is made of metal or fiberglass.
The small tube has several holes around its body so that it can cut out or suppress the sound and gas flow. Also,a baffle can have any shape with several layers inside for various purposes.
For example, some multi-layered baffles are installed to increase the back pressure in the engine. Whereas, many other thin baffles only work to customize the real engine sound.
Whatever the reasons are, baffles are installed mainly for these purposes:
- To suppress sound
- To limit gas emission
- To hold up a fixed back pressure
Modern bikes in the US have baffles already installed so that they comply with Federal laws governing vehicle sound and emission. However, you can also install a baffle on your old bike.
Pros of Removing Baffles
There are some significant advantages to removing the baffle from the exhaust system of a bike.
Those direct effects can bring about changes that would give you a better riding experience. Here are the advantages of removing baffles.
Better Engine Sound
The main reason why bikers remove baffles is to get the genuine rumbling sound of the engine.
When you’re on a long ride, the suppressed engine noise can irritate you and create a diversion. Natural breathing generates calming sounds.
When you remove an extra layer like the baffle, the back pressure from the exhaust system easily decreases. That’s why the engine can generate more horsepower.
Although it won’t change the speed limit of your bike, this horsepower increment can make speed acceleration faster than before.
Along with increasing horsepower, the lower back pressure can also improve the engine’s responsiveness.
Resulting in a higher torque range, the bike can be felt more like a part of your body as it can go along with your commands pretty well.
However, the torque range won’t change at a large scale due to the baffle removal.
Efficient Heat Exhaustion
The free airflow can change the air-fuel ratio in the engine when you remove your exhaust baffle.
Despite that, the increased gas emission can cool down the exhaust system and make the bike function normally.
It can be a good advantage during long rides on highways. Because when you ride hundreds of miles without any break, the engine would get more heated than on normal days and ask for some rest.
We all know that baffles regulate airflow. Because of that, sometimes, the component can create carbon deposits inside the exhaust chamber.
Carbon and debris deposits aren’t easy to clean up. You’ve got to work a bit extra during the regular maintenance times to fix this issue.
But if you don’t have baffles, things won’t get messier even after a couple of long drives.
Cons of Removing Baffles
Now, it’s time to show you the other side of removing the baffle pipe from the bike. The drawbacks of riding bikes without baffles aren’t so negotiable.
Sometimes, the cons of removing baffles can reduce the performance in the long run. .
Having a less suppression level means the back pressure would also be less than before.
Due to that, some stuff might appear as improvements, but your engine’s propelling ability would decrease noticeably.
Also, less back pressure means the air-fuel ratio would fluctuate more than before. And this can be a very sensitive issue for the ECU system.
Legal Sound Level Violation
Usually, most bike engines nowadays can make sounds near 80dB in the presence of baffles.
When you remove the baffles, the sound wound increases from around 3 dB to 10 dB.
The increased rumbling can sometimes violate road safety acts and state laws regarding vehicle sounds.
You can be fined with a hefty amount or a few days of imprisonment for this specific reason.
Cold Air Suction
If there’s no baffle in the exhaust pipe, the naked tube would suck more cold air from the environment.
The drastic change in the temperature of the exhaust system can do some permanent damage to the gas and exhaust valves that would surely make the engine idle suddenly.
If you’re living in an area where rain and cold breezes are pretty common, this issue will surely appear when you remove the exhaust baffle.
Breaking Warranty Period
It is quite known to use how the warranty period of a product works. The product or item should be intact and uncustomized to get warranty period facilities from the factory.
Some branded bikes also maintain this matter. If you remove the baffle from your new bike, which is still going under the warranty period, you won’t ever get the factory support no matter how new your bike is.
Reduced Fuel Efficiency
We’ve already told you that removing baffles can increase horsepower and torque a bit. But such a change can have a bad impact on the fuel economy.
The lower back pressure can cause the engine to consume more fuel than usual for optimal performance.
Along with that, excessive gas emissions can also make the combustion chamber burn more fuel.
Unstable Bike Control
Because of having loud notes from the exhaust, the bike body can vibrate a bit when you’re using the maximum range of RPM.
Even the tiniest amount of vibration can disturb the bike balance when you’re at the top speed. Moreover, the lack of back pressure also makes the engine create more horsepower, which also makes the engine keep vibrating.
Less Engine Lifespan
All the drawbacks discussed above lead to one key fact, the bike’s lifespan is in danger if you use it without having any baffles installed for quite a long time.
Sudden reduced back pressure, extra engine pressure, etc. can increase the tension in the bike mechanism.
If your bike’s functions heavily depend on the suppressed exhaust system, removing the baffle would be a bad choice.
What Does US Federal Law Say Regarding Bikes’ Exhaust Sound?
Generally, the audible sound range in residential and commercial areas in the United States is between 72 dB to 100 dB.
Some areas and states can have different audible sound ranges depending on the condition and public requirements.
However, violating the sound and emission laws of the vehicle can make you give a hefty amount of fine to the state government.
In some cases, you can also have to go to jail if your bike rumbles around in the areas where schools, hospitals, and private properties are located.
Sometimes, patrol cops can check your vehicle, and if they see there’s no baffle and it might cause louder noise, they can seize your vehicle or fine you no matter how silently you’re going.
People remove baffles to customize the bike sounds when they don’t have enough money to change the whole system for sound modification. While following this shortcut, many bikers have some common questions in mind that we’re answering now.
Can You Remove Or Change Your Bike’s Baffle By Yourself?
Yes, you can remove the baffle all by yourself. Put the kickstand on the ground and remove the exhaust pipe with the muffler from your bike. Then point out the main exhaust line where you’d see the baffle installed. Unscrew it to detach it from the main exhaust. That’s it!
Are Baffles Necessary On Old Bikes?
Indeed, old bikes are louder than new ones. So, you must let your old ride have one good aftermarket baffle to run silently.
What Is The Right Time To Remove Baffles?
According to some research, the right time to remove baffles is when the bike’s break-in period ends. Before that, making any changes to the preset functions can hamper the performance of your bike.
It’s hard to decide whether you should ride with or without a baffle installed after judging the pros and cons of removing baffles.
Our personal opinion says you better change the exhaust system if you solely wish to have better bike rumbling.
But if you don’t have that much money, you can remove the baffle for better sound and other features.
However, don’t expect too much engine overclocking from this customization. And remember, putting excess tension over the engine is not good stuff at all.