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VIDEO: How To Install Shotgun Exhaust Pipes on a 1990-2003 Harley-Davidson Sportster

Shotgun Exhaust Pipes by Lowbrow Customs are available for Harley-Davidson Sportsters from 1990 to current (as well as 2006 & later Dynas) in your choice of black or chrome. Follow along with Todd and see how easy it is to install a set of Shotgun Pipes on your stock or hardtail Sportster.

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You can read a full transcription of this video below:

Hi, I'm Todd from Lowbrow Customs. Today we're going to show you how to install our new shotgun exhaust system on this Harley-Davidson Evolution Sportster. We have this pipe set available for 1986 to 2003 and we also have another set available for 2004 and later models that will have the O2 sensors bungs on the pipes. Let's go ahead and get started. First thing we're going to do is we're going to go ahead and remove the stock exhaust system. Exhaust is held to the cylinder heads by four nuts, two front two rear. We'll go ahead and take those off. I like to use a nice long extension keeps me away from damaging any parts on the motorcycle.

It's also a good idea to set these nuts aside because they are flange nuts and they are fine thread. If you accidentally pick up some other nut laying around your lift or garage and try to put a coarse thread nut onto a fine stud that's probably not going to be a good situation. I got the two rear ones off, we'll go ahead and take the front ones off. I also notice how my long extension gets up in there nicely, not futzing around. I've got one more fastener on the back end of this particular exhaust system to take off and then we'll take it completely off the bike.

If you do have a stock exhaust system on your bike there is really no need to remove the mufflers from the head pipes you can remove the entire system as one unit by simply removing the two flanges from the cylinder heads and whatever bracketry or bolts that are holding the mufflers on. There we go. We're going to take this over to the workbench and we'll go ahead and remove these flanges because we will be reusing these on the new exhaust system. Like I said, we're going to reuse these flanges. You have these snap rings that keep the flange onto this portion of the pipe and we need to remove these.

I do have this pair of pliers that open and close like that, they do say craftsman on them. If you don't have these, they do work very well for this job. Basically I mainly use these on transmissions for snap rings. But as you'll see you just want to spread that open and it comes right off. That's the flange we're going to reuse. This is how your new exhaust system will arrive at your door. Nicely packaged, pretty simple system, front and rear pipes, rear mounting bracket also includes mounting hardware other than the flanges, snap rings, and fine thread nuts that we discussed earlier.

We do have some on the rear bolts that are flange head. They're going to have a nice nyloc on there to keep your new exhaust system securely attached to your motorcycle. Some protective covering on the pipes. These are available in chrome. We're going to put a chrome set on here. They're also available in black. For both of the year ranges we have the chrome and black. We're going to go ahead and get these rings installed on the new pipes. It is also important to note that it has this little lip here, that's where this snap ring resides once its installed and basically that keeps this flange from coming off the pipe in conjunction with the flange on the pipe. Obviously, you want to put it on to the pipe like so.

All right, we're going to go ahead and install the snap rings now. Correct orientation of the flange, just like so. See how that fits in that groove, rides up against that. Do the other one. Pretty simple. Next thing we're going to do, we're going to install this bracket where it'll attach to these mounting points on the rear of the pipes then I can go back over to the motorcycle.

The next thing we need to do is we need to remove these two rear top motor mount bolts one on each side because the new bracket will be attaching to those two mounting points. Now these can be a little tricky to get to. If you do have an air ratchet that will make your life a little easier. Although it still can be done with simple hand tools you don't have to have this I just prefer this method. The nut is up inside here that you're going to need to put your wrench on to hold it. Go ahead and get these removed. It's kind of a tricky spot to get into but once you get it on there you'll be all right.

All right doesn't hurt to have a magnet handy to retrieve your fine thread and nyloc out of there that's attached to that. If you look down in there, you'll see the other nut that we're removing. You want to be careful because this is your positive connection from your battery to your starter motor. Obviously if your boot is in poor shape or not there you don't want your wrench touching that or you will be welding with wrenches.

One other thing worth mentioning, there is a negative ground wire on the backside of this bolt be sure that's on there. You don't really need to even remove the bolt from the wire and you want to be sure those two ground wires are back on the stud, the motor mount bolt, when you're done with the job or you may find that something electrical on your bike is not working. The bracket will be orientated like this when it's installed, this will be the left hand, right hand. Go ahead and get this on here. We'll rock around to the other side and get the other bolt in the hole on the new mount.

This is another place where your magnets going to come in handy. You just put that on there at a little bit of an angle and reach in here and introduce the nut to this bolt. We got the nut started on there. I'm going to go ahead and use a tool to tighten it down. There is a torque spec on this so it might not be a bad idea to give it an extra crank if you are using air or use your torque wrench make sure those bolts are tight. The inside one can be a little bit trickier. It might not be a bad idea if you get your wife to come out in the garage with you and she can spin the bolt while you hold the nut from this side. We'll go ahead and get that on there. We'll go ahead and get the side tightened.

I've got my wrench hanging on the nut, I'll just reach through here to support it. There we go. Once again be careful of the live wire you have down in that section of the motorcycle. There's our rear bracket all installed. We're going to go ahead and put the rear pipe on first because it's going to go in the lower position here, that'll make it easier if you put the top one on it'll be a little hard to get that one. One other thing worth mentioning, there are some seals up in the ports on the cylinder heads probably a good idea to take a look at those and make sure you can reuse them if you can't it's pretty easy to get them out just use a pic pull it out, I press the new one in you got to go in nice and even so that it doesn't get distorted. That one looks pretty good. Not bad I'm going to go ahead and reuse these I think they'll be okay. I've got the flange over the studs, I'm going to go ahead and get one of these started. Top one on, no. If it pops off the flange you can push it on with the nut. Okay, now I've got both of those started on there. I'm just going to essentially, just snug them up I'm not going to final tighten them until I get everything all together, bolt pipes on in both rear bolts.

Include your hardware, go through the bracket from the backside the bolt and this can also be a little tricky. I'm going to go ahead and snug up the rear bolt and nut. I'm not going to final tighten it just yet. Just want to be snug so we can still move the pipe to align it unless we get the front pipe on. All right that’s maybe just a little bit too tight. That should be good. Same program as the rear. This one you could generally reach the rear one pretty easily by hand with no tool to get that started so, you don't have to hold the pipe the entire time here.

We've got the two front nuts started on the cylinder head studs. We'll go ahead and put the rear one on now.

You can use a screwdriver to hold that in place like so. All right, now the second one started, go ahead and get it snugged up.

Now we want to check our line here. Now we can go ahead and final tighten the four nuts. If you notice while I'm tightening that, it's pulling that pipe up which will probably correct this line here, that I noticed wasn't fully lined up. One important thing to note here is when you are tightening these four, it's best to tighten them evenly. A couple turns on that one, a couple turns on that one go back and forth between the two so that you're pulling the flange down evenly. You don't want to over tighten these or you can warp that flange that we were looking at earlier.

Four nuts are tightened at the head we can go ahead and tighten down the nylocs on the rear. Bottom one you're just going to come up through the bottom of the slot to get to it. That looks pretty good.

There we go. Fully installed. Another thing worth mentioning is if you're installing chrome pipes, it's a good idea to use some Windex or some type of cleaner before you start the bike the first time or possibly your fingerprints may get burned into the chrome and that's not a good thing when you're installing a new set of pipes. Okay the last thing I'm going to do is go ahead and clean the pipes off you want to get these fingerprints off of the new pipes. You don't want to just start the bike with all-- you can see my fingerprints all over the pipes. There is a chance that those could get burned into the chrome so, it's a good idea to go ahead and get that cleaned up before you fire up your bike.

All right anytime you're installing a free flowing exhaust system on your bike. It’s also a good idea to make that with a freer flowing air cleaner, your bike will be much happier and you'll be a happier rider. There is a Welsh plug on the bottom back side of the carburetor where you can access your air fuel screw. Harley plugged that off because they don't want you to mess with it but it is very easy to get to. A lot of times I'll do maybe a larger pilot jet, it's generally not necessary to change the main jet, but you could determine that by riding the motorcycle. That's all there is to it.

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