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How to Research and Choose the Right Aftermarket Exhaust for your Motorcycle

How to Research and Choose the Right Aftermarket Exhaust for your Motorcycle

The exhaust system on your motorcycle plays a crucial role in the performance and function of your bike which is why one of the first things experienced riders tend to do is swap out the stock exhaust and go for an aftermarket exhaust. The question is - which do you go for? And it’s not a simple question, there’ll be different factors which come into play that should come into the decision making process. What type of bike you have, what performance gain you’re looking for or what sound you’d like are all factors which should be considered when researching and choosing the right aftermarket exhaust for your bike. 

In this blog, we’ll give you our best tips for what to look for when researching and choosing an aftermarket exhaust for your bike and some of the recommended brands we’d suggest you look at.


Researching an Aftermarket Motorcycle Exhaust


One of the key things to consider when researching an exhaust is that they will fall into two main categories, a full exhaust system and a slip-on exhaust. The difference between the two is that the full exhaust system will connect to the head of the engine and the slip-on will connect to the point where your OEM silencer was previously connected to before being removed. This means that in your research, you should be thinking about compatibility and functionality for your bike - not choosing an exhaust based on a sound test video you might have seen on YouTube or one you’ve seen and thought it would look great on your ride. Then you also need to consider what you want it to do which helps narrow down which of these options will be right for you.


QD Titanium Twin Under Seat Exhaust System - Ducati SuperSport / SS 2017-20









Full Exhaust Systems


A full exhaust system will offer high-end performance so will be more suitable for riders who enjoy the thrill of riding full throttle or who frequently tour or take longer journeys.  Full systems are trickier to install and the installation process can be complex, you’ll need to replace everything from the engine block to the fuel system. If not done properly, this can cause issues with bike performance.


Termignoni Titanium Black Full System YAMAHA T-MAX 560 2020










Slip-On Exhausts


The slip-on exhaust offers something slightly different and is built more for those who take more regular shorter journeys, such as using your bike for commuting. Another advantage to a slip-on is it is designed and made to place on your existing exhaust and they’re easier to attach and with lesser modification costs involved.


IXIL Hyperlow Black Slip on Silencer - Kawasaki Ninja 125 2019-21









Other Aftermarket Exhaust Considerations


Other areas to consider will be understanding your bike, the model, year and engine display and whether you’ll need to make any modifications to your bike depending on the exhaust model you choose. Not all manufacturers supply accessories or bolts for replacements so you’ll need to be sure of what you need before purchasing the exhaust. It’s also worth considering the style of exhaust you choose and that some bike engines will only function with a specific configuration. 3 essentials which we’d highly recommend adding at the same as the exhaust would be the fuel management system, gasket and an air filter too. Tuning the new exhaust is also a must to get the best performance out of it - we’d also recommend finding someone reputable and trustworthy to carry this out to ensure you get the smoothest ride and biggest benefits.

If you are unsure about any of the above information or would like more detail our expert team is always on hand to offer our customers professional advice to help guide you through the process. You can contact us here.


IXIL RC1 Inox Full System - Honda CBR650R 2019-21










Will an Aftermarket Exhaust System Impact My Engine?


There’s no reason an aftermarket exhaust would be bad from your engine provided you’re getting it from a reputable manufacturer and it’s been through all the relevant safety checks. There is an old common train of thought amongst some bikers that the factory-installed exhaust is best for your bike as it’s been specifically designed and tested for your make and model of bike. However, we need to consider that the manufacturer will have budgeted for the end cost of the bike and therefore the exhaust system it’s fitted with - so there’s room to argue there’s much better out there for the right budget.


Benefits of an Aftermarket Exhaust


As detailed above, research and understanding should always be carried out before you look for your new aftermarket exhaust. Once you’ve done this, you’ll then get a better idea of what system will be right for you where you can then go and start looking at particular brands and manufacturers and the exhausts they have available for your make, model and year. 

Depending on what you select and what you feel is the most important gain to you, aftermarket exhausts will typically reduce the weight, increase the performance and give you a better sound as market leading aftermarket exhaust will have an improved design and aren’t restricted by emissions regs. Most exhausts will also have a range of colours and materials to select from so you can style it to your specifications. 

Simply put, the right exhaust can help you improve your sound, appearance and shed weight too so it’s a no brainer in terms of benefits to your bike. 


QD Power Gun Slip on Silencer - Ducati Multistrada 950 / S 2017-20










Our Recommended Brands


There are a number of aftermarket exhaust manufacturers to choose from when selecting your desired exhaust, and whilst we stock a large number of different exhaust brands, we’ve chosen our top 3 below and given a little overview about why you should consider one of their systems in your research process.


Termignoni Exhausts


Termignoni, known as ‘The Italian Sound’ was founded in 1969 by Luigi Termignoni and since then have been designing and manufacturing next level leading edge technology for aftermarket exhaust systems for both racing and road bikes. Their mission is to develop exhaust systems that offer an increase to power and/or weight. We’ve been the sole UK distributor for Termignoni for a number of years and for good reason, we truly believe they offer one of the best solutions for aftermarket motorcycle exhausts in the world no matter what bike you have or what you’re looking to improve - there will be an option to suit you. We stock a large range of Termignoni exhausts for a large number of makes, models and years which you can view here.


Termignoni Underseat System - DUCATI PANIGALE V2 2020-21










QD Exhausts


QD Exhausts are also based in Italy and manufacture high performance exhaust systems and are 100% handmade. The QD guarantee is that the detail they put into their products make them unique and different to anything else available in the world. Their production standards are guaranteed by an integrated quality process, which allow them to achieve the top levels of quality they are known for. We’re proud to be the sole UK distributor for them and they were a brand we were really excited to work with due to their cutting edge technology. We stock QD exhausts for a selection of makes, models and years which you can browse here.


QD Twin Titanium Gunshot 3/4 System - Ducati Streetfighter V4 / S 2020-21










IXIL Exhausts


Last but certainly not least are IXIL performance exhausts. We have been sole UK distributors for IXIL exhausts for 15 years and for good reason - they are one of the best in the business. IXIL exhausts are used by elite MotoGP riders where the development of products with new and experimental materials / technologies where both maximum performance and quality are essential. It’s this experience which helps them develop exhausts and silencers which push the boundaries of performance whilst still staying within the strict European standards. They have over 60 year’s experience in making these great sounding and performing aftermarket exhausts and silencers which make them one of the oldest manufacturers who are still producing innovative designs each year for latest bike models as well as older bikes too. We stock a large range of exhausts and silencers from IXIL for many different makes, models and years which you can check out here.


IXIL Race Xtrem Silencer - Kawasaki ZH2 2020-21










Buy a Motorcycle Exhaust System from Motorcycle Performance Store


So, now we’ve covered what to look for, whether it will impact your bike’s engine and what performance exhausts we’d personally recommend based on our experience with the brand and products, all that’s left to do is buy one and start enjoying the benefits of looking, sounding and performing better. 

You can click any of the products we’ve recommended above, they will directly link to those products where you can find out more info and purchase the exhaust. If you’d like to look around and try and find something more specific for your make and model of bike or something more your style, visit our full motorcycle performance exhausts store here. 

Motorcycle Performance Store are official UK distributors for Termignoni Exhausts, QD Exhausts, IXIL Exhausts and IXRACE Exhausts with many years experience so if you have any questions about your bike, contact us here.

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