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VIDEO: How To Install Shotgun Exhaust Pipes on a 2004 & later 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 2009 Sportster. This is a fuel injected bike. Our new system will have the bungs on the pipes for the O2 sensors so that's not going to be a problem. Well, the new system is going to work for '04 and up Sportsters. Let's go ahead and get started.

We're going to go ahead remove the stock exhaust system. Pretty simple job, not too difficult. First thing we want to do is remove front rear heat shields so we can get to the four nuts that are attaching the pipes to the cylinder heads. A little bit of WD40 on these holes clamps before you start doesn't hurt anything. They do tend to get a little dry on there from the heat of the exhaust pipes and also if you have a drill motor with an adapter, you could put a 5/16th bit in there and just zip them right off.

This front heat shield has three clamps on it. I’m loosening the second one right now, then one more down here and I like to use the nut driver on hose clamps. It's a much more positive for turning them than if you’re using a screwdriver in the slot slip out easily. It looks really well. Just pop that off there go ahead and take the other one off now.

Then one other thing worth mentioning while I’m loosening this. There really isn't any need to remove the muffler separately, you can remove the entire exhaust system in one lump sum as you'll see here in a few minutes as I get further along with the job. Okay, shields removed. Okay. Next thing will do is go ahead and disconnect -- there's four bolts. I'm sorry, yes, four bolts. There's a crossover too that connects the two mufflers together on the later models.

I have a ratchet wrench for that job, makes it go a little quicker or you could use this socket on a ratchet if you prefer and you could also use air tools if you like. I prefer not to use air tools on the nuts holding that on the cylinder heads because I like to feel it coming off. They are fine threads, doesn't hurt to put a little WD40 on those. Sometimes when they've been on the bike for a while, they can get a little corrosion on there. WD helps it come off. Okay, that' our four bolts holding the mufflers to the crossover tube there. Now, we'll go ahead and take the two nuts off of the pipe, attaching it to the cylinder head.

Okay, that one's free, ready to come off the bike. There is one other thing we need to do, we need to unplug the 02 sensor from the wiring harness. Otherwise as you go to pull the pipe off, you're going to have a wire dangling and then it's for working by yourself, it's not a good scene. We go ahead and go around to the other side of the bike and I'll show you where those plugs are located.

Okay, there's quite a few wires over here if you just trace the one coming off of the 02 sensor, there's a metal -- should be a metal clip on your frame, you could just pop that off and here's the one for the 02, it’s very simple to disconnect. You're just going to depress that tank and give it a little pull. Comes right out. You want to feed the wire so that it's not going to get hooked on anything. Front one disconnect. We might as well go ahead and disconnect the rear one. You're going to find the rear 02 plug underneath the side cover. I'm just going to pop the top off, just to push fit and then roll it down on the bottom. It will just come off of this tab right here.

Okay for the rear one, it's going to be right here and usually there's some zippy ties in here, I already cut the zippy tie off, same deal as the front. Just push up on this tab to release it, unplug it. Piece of cake.

Okay now, we’ll go ahead and go back to the other side of the motorcycle and finish taking the exhaust off. All right, front pipe is disconnected to the cylinder head. Two nuts, two bolts down here. 02 sensors are unplugged, comes right off. Then take the two nuts off of the cylinder head on the rear pipe. You should be careful not to let those drop down here by the starter motor because sometimes, they like to hide in there and it takes a few minutes to retrieve it. Okay, then we’re going to have one more clamp right here that attaches to this cover with an acorn. I’ve already loosened that one. It has a carriage bolt int there. We’ve unplugged the 02 sensor. Then this pipe is ready to come off like so.

In order to remove this crossover here where the pipes connect together, you will need to remove this cover right here, which normally your belt drive would be there, we have a chain drive on this bike. We're just going to remove those three fasteners right there. You will be reusing this one for the new exhaust so we'll go ahead and put that side, we’re not going to need that anymore. These two screws that just cam out of this cover are different lengths, so it's a good idea to just go ahead and pop those back in there if they do fall out and when you go to put the cover on, just put them back into the cover and make sure the correct ones are in the correct locations.

Okay, now we can get to the bolts holding this bracket on but in order to remove the racket off the bike, the brake lever is going through this, so we’re going to go ahead and remove that. Torx-head, this one is locked tighted so make sure you have the correct size bit in there so you don't strip the head of the fastener, take that off of there. Now, we can go back to the other ones, and there’s going to be three Allen-heads holding this bracket on and there's this big huge honking factory bracket that you're going to lose about 10 pounds off your bike.

Okay, we're going to remove the flanges off the pipes. Pretty simple operation. I have this pair of Craftsman pliers. You can get these at Sears Hardware. I generally use these for working on transmissions, snap rings but they also work very well for taking the rings off of these pipes. Take that off. We're also going to remove the 02 sensor because we need to put that onto the new exhaust or the computer would be confused and also you'd have some open holes in your pipes that wouldn't work very well. That's going to take a 7/8 wrench. Sometimes when these have been around here for a while, they can become tight. [music]

It is a good idea to do a quick inspection on these. If they're very rusty or bent out of shape, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and replace those. That is what holds the flange on the pipe and when we're going back together, obviously that side needs to go on first like so, so that when this ring is on, it engages in that groove and keeps this from coming off the pipe which in turn when it's tightened keeps it on the cylinder head.

Okay here’s what the pipes will look like when they arrive at your house, nicely packaged. This is a very simple kit, consists of two pipes, one bracket and the mounting hardware. We also have this pipe set available in black ED. This is we're going to put a chrome set on today on this bike, and we also have these pipes available for '86- '03 models. We’ll go ahead and get the exhaust flanges installed on the new pipes.

Simply put this over the pipe, make sure that that edge is facing up, once again we’re going to utilize our transmission pliers. Take this off. That’s all good. Go ahead and get our sensors installed. I have noticed when I used to work at the shop, some people anti-seize these. If you do want to put a little bit of anti-seize on it it’s okay, just don't get any on this portion of the sensor, or it may not work right. Once again, 7/8 wench. You don't have to tighten these til the cows come home, that should do it. We'll move back over to the motorcycle and we'll ahead and get the bracket installed and get the pipes on there.

We’ll go ahead and put our cover back on now. It’s a good idea to pay attention to which screw goes in which hole. Obviously it looks like that one's a little too long there but if that one goes in the other hole there are two different lengths on those. Just be sure you put them in the right place. Obviously we have a steel fastener going into an aluminum case, so don't over-tighten it or you may pull the threads right out of the aluminum.

There probably is a torque spec on that in your factory workshop manual and this is the bracket and that's simply going to go right there in place of the stock bracket. Utilizing the stock hardware that we removed from that location. Now we're ready to put our pipes on. We want to install the rear pipe first because it's on the bottom, that will make it easier to get the other one. It crosses over the top of it. Feed your 02 sensor through there, make sure it doesn't get hung up on anything.

Pipe poked into the hole on the cylinder head and it would help if I could see what I was doing. Right on there. All right, go and get your two nuts, attach the pipe, flange the cylinder head. That will start it pretty good. Sometimes it’s easier to go around the other side to get this one started when you have the 02 sensor bottom on the pipe. I’m going to step around over here.

I'm just going to snug these up for right now, I'm not going to crank them down, because we want to be able to adjust the pipes once we get both pipes on there. The other thing to pay attention to when you're tightening these two nuts on the head is you want to try to draw that flange down evenly, you don't want to just crank one all the way down then move to the second one. You want to pull it down evenly because you do have a seal up inside the cylinder head head that seals the pipe to the head. We’ll go ahead and get one of the rear fasteners on here so it seems to be staying there pretty well. Now going to come from the back side and then you're going to slide the nut down into this channel.

Okay, we have the real pipe on, just snugged up the two nuts on the head, and this started the real ones to keep it in place. Like to see it still can move a little bit, we want to leave it loose until we get both pipes on and get everything and we'll tighten it all at once.

I’m going to put the shop towel on here to protect that because as I'm putting the front pipe on, it’s going to want to lay right there. Your 02 sensor through there so it doesn’t get hung up on anything. Put your pipe up into the hole there, get your flange up on the studs. Okay, get the bolt and nuts started up there. We’re going to go ahead and put the rear bolt on the front pipe to the rear bracket now. We’re going to go ahead and snug these ones up. Looks good, making sure that we’re going to top to bottom evenly.

We look at how much of the stud is coming through the nut to make sure they’re even. We’re going to tighten down this nut all the way from this cylinder right here. Sneak in here on this one, yes. Our line right here is looking pretty even, that's good. This will go and tighten the bracket now, I went ahead and tightened this because I was pretty happy with the line in between here, looks pretty even.

We can go ahead and tighten the two rear mounting bolts. That's good. This one, you’re going to need to come from the bottom. Okay, that’s nice and tight. Anytime you’re reinstalling any parts on your bike, it's always a good idea to go back over everything you've done, double check all your work, make sure everything is good. Just tightened thatso I’m confident that's tight. Last thing we need to do is go ahead and plug in the 02 sensors. If you don't plug in the 02 sensors when you start your bike, it will trip a code and you'll have a check engine light on the speedometer. Make sure you plug it back in when you get done and go around the other side of the bike and get those plugged in. Okay, no big deal. Just like when we unplug them, they're going to put right back in, there's no mystery going on here with these plugs.

Unlike some of the plugs used on Harley Davidsons, those plugged right back together. That's our front one, here's our rear one. It’s probably not a bad idea to pay attention to the way they were routed when you took it apart so you can put it back the same way because as you'll notice, there is quite a bit of stuff underneath the side cover. That's pretty much it.

One other thing worth mentioning, if your bike is fuel-injected and not carbureted and you are changing to a free-flowing exhaust system, it is highly advisable that you also put a high flow air cleaner on there in conjunction with your exhaust and once those two things are done it's also a good idea to remap your ECM. This is your ECM on the motorcycle, this is your brain, it tells the motorcycle when to fire. It tells the injectors when to squirt gas and once you've opened up the system, in other words you could think of your motor as a large air pump. The more air you can get in it, the faster you can get that air out the other end, the more power you're going to make.

In order to do so it has to have the fuel requirement spikes. These bikes are set up very lean from the factory so it is once again highly advisable that you remap it. There's several products out there that can be used for that purpose. If you need more information on that feel free to call the shop anytime and I'd be happy to go over that stuff with you. Thanks for watching our video and bodeep bodeep, that's all, folks.

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