One of the most popular changes people make to their scooters and motorbikes is to fit an aftermarket exhaust. Some people do it for looks, some because they like the sound, maybe it’s because they want more power, or simply to replace a damaged stock one.
Whatever the reason you choose there are numerous options. You can go with simply an end can or entire replacement system. Then there’s the material the silencer body is made from; aluminium, stainless steel, carbon fibre or titanium?
However, whatever you go for you need to make sure the silencer you’re getting is road legal, unless, of course, you’re getting a can for track use only. In order to stay on the right side of the law, the can either needs to be stamped with a ‘BS’ mark or and ‘E’ mark. To elaborate on this it’s either going to be e11 or E11 followed by an approval number or for the British Standard mark; something like BS AU 193a 1990/T3. If the silencer is marked ‘Not road legal’ or ‘Not for road use’ and you get a pulled by the law while riding with it on the streets it’s time to expect a fine.
The complications don’t stop there either. Some systems will have a removable baffle that will alter the volume and performance potential of the exhaust. Some MOT testers will let an exhaust pass without the baffles fitted, other might issue an advisory and some will fail the bike. Also remember that some tracks have a noise limit and if your nice aftermarket exhaust is too loud you won’t be allowed out on the track.
Once you’ve decided whether it’s just an end can or full system you’re going for and you’ve chosen the material for the silencer’s body and assured yourself that you can live with the sound level there’s one more thing to consider – the dreaded insurance. Despite what you might have heard, even if you just change the end can you’ll need to let your insurance company know.
You may end up having to tell your insurers about other modifications too. A well-designed aftermarket exhaust will allow the bike’s engine to breath more easily and that can mean that to keep it running sweetly you may need to tweak the fuel injection and again that means possible changes to your premium.