Can You Put Any Exhaust on Your Motorcycle?


If you drive a motorcycle, you probably know that having an exhaust serves several important functions. Not only does it help reduce the noise of the motorcycle, but it also makes the motorcycle safer as controls the flow of exhaust away from where you are sitting. Additionally, it helps the motor run better which in turn makes it faster. With all that in mind, you may be wondering if you can put any exhaust on your motorcycle. 

There is no universal slip-on exhaust pipe that will fit EVERY motorcycle. However, if you want to install a slip-on exhaust, then many slip-on exhausts can be put on with a little finagling and can be used successfully on your motorcycle. 

Exhausts are designed for specific models, which means that if you try to just pop on any exhaust, then it is likely that the inlet where you slide it on will either be too big or too small. However, that does not mean that you cannot still use and install an exhaust onto your motorcycle, even one that was not specifically designed for it. Read on to find what to keep in mind and some things you may need to make an exhaust work for your motorcycle. 

Can I Put Any Exhaust on My Motorcycle?

Mechanic working on a motorcycle exhaust
Photo by Kat Sazonova on Unsplash

To be frank, your best option will always be to find and install a slip-on exhaust that was designed for the year and make of your motorcycle. It will save you a lot of hassle and time and is easy to install.

However, you may not be able to find one or you may have gotten a good deal on another one. If the exhaust slips into your inlet without any trouble, then the only thing you will need to worry about is making sure the weight of the exhaust is supported.

If it does not fit, however, then there are ways to adjust the slip-on exhaust, so that it will work with your bike and do its job. Let’s take a look at the two main issues– the inlet pipe being too small or too large- that you will likely run across, and how you can adjust them to your motorcycle. 

What Can I Do if My Exhaust Inlet is Too Big to Fit into the Pipe?

Motorcycle exhaust pipe close-up
Image by Andrzej Rembowski from Pixabay

Sometimes the inlet of your exhaust is too small to fit properly into the mid-pipe that it’s supposed to slide into. It is actually possible to expand it with an exhaust pipe expander. Bring it to a local auto shop and ask them to expand it to the correct size. Take careful measurements of the slip-on exhaust to give to the employees at the auto shop. You do not want it expanded so much that it ends up not fitting.

If it is still a little loose, it can be fixed by finding a clamp or bracket to hold it in place. Again, it should be a little loose rather than too tight. 

What Can I Do if My Exhaust is Too Small for the Inlet?

On the other hand, you may find that your exhaust inlet is too big for the mid-pipe section of your motorcycle. This is a bit more difficult to fix but can still be done. A couple of options include using a pipe expander to widen the mid-pipe area of your exhaust pipe or welding the slip-on exhaust to the pipe.  

However, since those are more permanent options and more expensive to fix if something goes wrong, a better option is to use an exhaust adapter. The exhaust adapter is placed on the pipe, and you can plug the exhaust inlet into it without any permanent alterations. 


Exhausts are incredibly beneficial to have on a motorcycle. They make them quieter, ensure that the harmful gases and heat are pointed away from riders, and help the motor work more efficiently resulting in increased speed.

Generally speaking, exhausts are not a one-size-fits-all situation. It is always better to buy an exhaust that was made specifically for your make and model of motorcycle.

However, if you end up getting a different exhaust there are ways to adjust it so that it works with your motorcycle. If the exhaust inlet is too small for the pipe, take it to an auto shop and have them expand the exhaust so it fits. If the exhaust inlet is too big for the pipe use an exhaust adapter to help plug the exhaust inlet into the pipe for a better fit. 

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