You’re building your first cafe racer motorcycle and it’s got to be perfect. That means it’s got to be loud. When you’re zipping down the road you want to not only smell the raw fuel of the machine, you want to hear that thunderous rumble. And you want people 6 blocks away to hear it too.
Let’s go on a tour to find the loudest exhaust for your cafe racer. This article will cover what purpose a muffler serves, why you want a loud one, and a few great options for you.
Exhaust vs Muffler
Exhaust: controls the flow of gas through your system and out of your engine through the muffler and into the atmosphere.
Muffler: a piece of the exhaust system that releases gas from the engine system. It controls the amount of noise produced by this process. (Which you SHOULD wrap 😉 )
So, the part of the exhaust system you’ll be searching for specifically will be a muffler for your machine. We don’t necessarily want it to “muffle” noise, but we do want to control it.
What kind of muffler do you need for a cafe racer?
Swapping out a new muffler for the existing one on a bike while working on a cafe racer build is important for a few reasons.
- Vintage bike: if you bought an oldster, that muffler is probably due for replacing. This will improve your engine’s efficiency and be better for the environment.
- Weight: cafe racers are meant to be lightweight and fast. Old mufflers or stock included are probably quite heavy. Going lighter will improve your bike’s performance by making it easier to handle.
- Noise: the best way to grapple that grumble is to go for a custom install. And that’s what we’re here to talk about.
When you are shopping for a muffler for your cafe racer, try to find one with a vintage flair. These bikes encapsulate the vibe their ancestors from the 50s brought to the scene: steampunk cool.
Go for retro and you’ll get the best look for your finished bike. You’ll likely be narrowing down the available options, but the vintage look is what makes cafe racers so cool, so stay on trend with your muffler purchase.
One more tip: find a slip-on muffler. You’ll get a crisper throttle and it will be a lightweight option.
What size should my muffler be for my cafe racer?
This will depend on the rest of your custom ensemble. Let’s cover a few details.
There is a golden rule when it comes to finding the right size muffler is to purchase a muffler with the same diameter as your pipe. There are some nesting expander inserts, but they usually don’t seal very well. If you do go with an insert option, know that the deeper set it is, the less likely it is to break.
It’s important to get the right size muffler for your bike. This allows for appropriate backpressure for engine output efficiency.
Why should my cafe racer exhaust be loud?
Because loud is cool. Ok, there’s more to it than that. There are two main reasons you want your bike to be loud:
- Loud is proud. Riders love a loud bike. It turns heads, is a way to show off your fancy bike, and is a major part of the experience of riding a motorcycle.
- Loud is safe. Other drivers aren’t likely to miss seeing a motorcycle when it’s loud as hell. When drivers hear you coming, they’re much more aware of your presence. It’s well known that car drivers that are unaware of motorcycles are the main reason for motorcycle accidents.
It’s pretty great when cool and safe go hand in hand. Usually, it’s the opposite, so just go with it. Yes, you’ll probably get some frowns and head shaking from the nay-sayers, but you’ll be more noticeable on the road and, along with that delicious thunder, will make you feel pretty fly.
There is such a thing as “too” loud though. Make sure the level of your noise is in line with city ordinances, or you’ll risk a ticket. And tickets aren’t cool, so that’s off-brand for your cafe racer.
The loudest exhausts for cafe racers
Here’s our lineup of some loud exhaust muffler options for your cafe racer. These mufflers are affordable and accessible. You might be building a cafe racer to save on money, try something new, or make a cool bike. Whatever the case, you’re looking for a retro-style and volume-full muffler. Here ya go:
It’s best if you can hear a muffler in person before buying. Aside from volume, each one will also issue a different quality of sound with unique characteristics. Some people enjoy a hollow noise, while others don’t. If you can’t listen to one in person, try looking up videos on YouTube to at least get an idea of the audio.
Tips for getting the best sound out of your exhaust
So, what else can you do to increase that sound? It doesn’t just come down to the type of muffler you attach to your bike. Remember, the muffler is just one part of the exhaust system. Take a look at a few other components to make sure you’re getting all the volume that you can.
- Improve your air and fuel flow
- Increase your compression and add a larger capacity
- Custom build an easier outflow
- Add exhaust wrap
After this guide, you should be ready to slap a new muffler on your cafe racer and get ready to rumble down the street like a giant tiger on wheels. Good luck with the rest of your build. We hope you find that hearty growl that you’re after.