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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been shopping around for some custom pipes, and haven't seen pipes I really have to have. I saw some pics of the arlen ness sling shots on some of the older bikes and they look pretty bad ass. The problem is that my bike is an 11, so I can't get them. I like the hacker zoomies and have heard good things about them, but I don't want to pay that kind of money for pipes. So that only leaves me with one option, make my own. :) I started out by getting some flanges from rpw which should be here next week. I also went ahead and ordered some baffles from witchdoctor.com which should also be here next week. I haven't ordered a fuel controller yet, because I'm still debating on which brand to go with, so that will probably be the last thing I buy. I've been searching the site for people that have done this before, but haven't had much luck finding threads on this. I'm a huge fan of west coast choppers bikes, so I think I want to go with a swept pipe. Jesse James really nailed that look on a lot of his bikes, and I would like to make something like that for my bike, but different than the swept pipes available for the vegas. I was thinking of posting pics and info as I make progress. Any interest in that? I also want to say that I'm no professional, and have never made a set of pipes before. I'm just a guy with a welder and access to a band saw and belt sander. I plan on getting all the pipe bent at a muffler shop and going from there. Hopefully I can get this done pretty soon, and not damage my bike in the process.
 

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Just added it.
Looking good. thumb up

There was a recent thread on the hacker zoomies, which should be a good read for you: http://www.victoryforums.com/showthread.php?t=12102. By the way, how much are they?

This might not make your decision easier, but keep in mind that some pipes will not only cost you money, but also horsepower and/or torque as well. As a rule of thumb, the best looking pipes are usually the worst performing ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks! That thread did help a bit. I believe the zoomies are $750. If you throw in the AMS tuner you're looking at $900. I tried to get hacker to sell me their baffles, but they said that they're formed into the pipe or something. Basically they didn't want to sell me a set. So I went to witchdoctor and got their conical shaped baffles. That really sucks that some of the cool looking pipes actually decrease power. Hopefully I can make a set that look cool and don't loose too much power. If it is a noticeable different in power loss, then maybe I'll break down and buy some zoomies. For that kind of money I figured I could buy all the parts and a used bandsaw and make them myself. Like I said I have no experience making motorcycle exhaust systems, so hopefully I don't make something that will hurt my motor.
 

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From some of the threads I've been reading on here in relation to exhaust, I don't think it's as simple as just changing the exhaust. I'm also looking at buying the Hacker Zoomies exhaust with the AMS, but I've also been told I need to increase my air flow by adding an aftermarket air cleaner, like S&S. There is a thread on here somewhere of a guy who drilled out his factory exhaust to make it sound better, but I don't think he was too pleased with the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I too have heard of people adding air filters along with the exhaust. My bike has a K&N already, and I will probably do a vented air box lid as well. I eventually would like to get an S&S system because of the performance gain and because it looks bad ass. I think I read that thread about the guy who drilled out his exhaust. I don't want to do anything I can't undo. Like I said I want to give making the exhaust a shot. If I can't get it to run right with the new pipes and fuel controller, then I'll just buy a set. I checked the mail today and saw that my exhaust flanges arrived today.:) The flange consists of two identical pieces that fit together. The flange is about 9mm thick (I haven't checked it with the calipers yet) and they come chromed. I emailed witchdoctor today about my order, but they haven't got back to me yet. They were down to one baffle when I placed my order (for 2), so hopefully they ship soon. I'm very tempted to take my pipes off now and start planning my bends, but I might wait another week or so.
 

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Sounds like this will be interesting. Keep us posted with pics,and good luck!thumb up
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks Vic! I checked the mail today and saw that my baffles came in. It looks like I have just about everything I need (besides the tubing) to get started. I plan on starting with the header pipe and getting the first bend where I want it. I was thinking of getting some pvc pipe and pvc elbows and making a mock up of the rest of the bends. I saw a series of really informative videos on youtube found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9knDsi-td8

In the series they show you how to make a mock up of your pipes with pvc, then they show you how to make a jig so you can make your pipes with steel tubing. The next step for me is to figure out what size tubing i can use and start sourcing places to buy it. It looks like the stock pipes are 2", but I'm not sure. I really want to take my pipes off now to get going, but I want to keep them off until the exhaust is done. The only problem with that is that the easy rider show is on jan 11th, so I may wait a bit to get started. But, I suppose I could just pull the stock pipes to get started and put them back on so I can ride to the show. Who knows. Below is a picture of the baffles in case anybody is interested. There isn't a whole lot to them. I may consider making my own in the future.
 

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I had a guy make a set of headers for my old shovelhead 30 plus years ago. His regular job was building header for performance cars, so he was definitely qualified. The custom muffler he made had a 3" main bolt on exhaust setup. (just like the muffler for 327 chevy motors etc.) The curves around the engine and frame were set up very very close. It was the best set of pipe I have had, even to this day. Way better then Vance and Hines or any others.
I wonder where he is now.
I'd love to have a good set of headers for my XCT, but I'm going to wait till there are some better tuner available beside PC. My Road King has a Thundermax and it has been a very good tuner.
 

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Since this thread is in the T&P section and you are all over this fabricating pipes thing I'm kind of breaking one of my own commandments chiming in here. I'm a firm believer that there is no magic in a motorcycle and that not doing your own work fender tip to fender tip is a lifestyle choice.

I don't have a lot good to say about home built pipes though. One of the reasons, in theory, that manufactured pipes are pricey is that the makers have done some homework. That may include flow testing, CAD, saddle miles, lessons learned from previous similar builds and so on. Not saying it always happens but most reputable "in it for the long haul" manufacturers have something that resembles R&D.

Frankly, I haven't bothered handfitting bike pipes in years. I would rather yank the mill and go through it than fiddle with pipes. There's always an issue. Hell there's always an issue even with two identical bikes and two identical sets of manufactured pipes. It's just orders of magnitude more involved with hand built pipes.

Pop is thirty some odd years in the piping biz and I have hand bent and machine bent a bunch of tubes and pipes and welded a lot more O-beam than my lungs needed. I don't recollect a set of custom motorcycle pipes that I was ever really happy with. They are typically power draining, bracket snapping crackwhores. I have had some last awhile but mostly they were short term for shows and then swapped out if the bike was a rider. Auto pipes hand built fare a lot better because there is relief at bends and rubber shock absorption at supports and length. That's the real dif in those exhausts, length. A lot of pipe gets bent on a car or truck in comparison to a bike. Then, the car pipes get thrown in and all that has to look right is what what you can see hanging under it and if you're picky the headers get touched up. Not saying that car guys don't want perfect pipes, just saying that unless it's Concourse D'elegance bound they can skirt some issues because they have outs. On your bike it's got to be spot on 100% unless it's a streetfighter or a steampunk thing.

The other thing that manufacturers make pipes pricey for is the warranty. That's the bottom line. You can build a great set of pipes that surpasses your expectations but if the critters crack you are back to square one. If you have a receipt you have a claim.

So, congrats on having a great attitude and taking on a chore hand fabbing pipes. Know that the devil is in the details because pipes are a keynote of a V twin. In your case they will be a signature component. If you are going to employ shields and make them, make spares. If you can find a set of pipes you like the curves of to template, get the shields for that set and make sure your bends work with them. Factor in expansion, point loading, vibration and remember that brackets are not afterthoughts. They are key to the life of the pipes.

All my pissing and moaning comes from futzing about with Milwaukee V twins. Who knows, maybe Victory tamed the beast to where it doesn't try to shake the pipes right off the engine.

Have a ball and keep the pix coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@ orbiker that's pretty cool. I bet those pipes sounded pretty bad ass.
@pop Thanks for the input! I'm glad you chimed in and put in your two cents. I know this isn't going to be a walk in the park, and some tweaking will need to be done. I understand why manufacturers put huge prices on pipes. I work in R&D and I know how much testing and validation needs to be done before a part is released on the market. I'm pretty sure my pipes won't be the best performing set on the market. Especially because I probably won't dyno tune my bike. I just want a custom set of pipes that look cool, don't cost and arm and a leg, don't make my bike lose a bunch of power, and sound great. I hate getting crap from the harley guys about victories being so quite (even though I think they're right). The other day an 883 pulled up next to me at the light and thought he had something because his bike was louder than mine. Lets just say I showed him he had nothing when the light turned green. I also feel that there aren't tons of options of pipes for victories (compared to harley). Ya I get victory is fairly new, but I think there should be more stuff out there. Anyway, thanks again pop I will take everything you said into consideration when I start making my pipes.
 

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shortcircuit911

Go to auto store and ask about flex pipe way better then pvc.
If you build pipes and they have a ripple in the pipe that will take a way horsepower.
Start looking for pipes doesn't matter what bike they were on cause your going to cut them up.
Heck even look for harley pipes cut the flange off where it bolts to the head and welled on what will work for you.
Stop by some bike shops and you might pick up a bunch of old pipes.

Look in the yellow pages for a shop that does custom headers maybe they will have some scrap pipes you can have.
 

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Thanks Jack for sharing that article. Understanding Exhaust:
The How & Why was interesting reading.
Who wrote the article?

I have had Harley's all my life with many exhaust systems. All were chosen for the bikes engine displacement and head design.
With Victory motorcycles(especially CXT); there just isn't the choices to pick from.

Another question is: How does the catalytic converter play into the flow of the exhaust system?
KEN
 

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Keep in mind your ECM has been programed for the Cat's.
Vic and harley are two different motors so what worked on a 45 degree two valves per cylinder will not necessary work for the 50 degree four valve motor.
Do a web search and look how to build step exhaust it give the best power gains.

I didn't see are you doing this exhaust for looks or for power?
 

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Thanks Jack for sharing that article. Understanding Exhaust:
The How & Why was interesting reading.
Who wrote the article?

I have had Harley's all my life with many exhaust systems. All were chosen for the bikes engine displacement and head design.
With Victory motorcycles(especially CXT); there just isn't the choices to pick from.

Another question is: How does the catalytic converter play into the flow of the exhaust system?
KEN
One think that I learned the hard way was not to try to do by myself what we pay EXPERTS to do for us. I tried to save some money once and attrempted to pull out a tooth. Turned out they had to sew up the gum before THEY pulled it out LOLOLOL :ltr:
 

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Thanks Jack for sharing that article. Understanding Exhaust:
The How & Why was interesting reading.
Who wrote the article?

I have had Harley's all my life with many exhaust systems. All were chosen for the bikes engine displacement and head design.
With Victory motorcycles(especially CXT); there just isn't the choices to pick from.

Another question is: How does the catalytic converter play into the flow of the exhaust system?
KEN
Has anyone installed these?


Thunder Monster Baffles

I've got the stage 1 Victory mufflers and I know there is got to be something better. KEN
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@ visionjohnny the flex tube is a good idea. I will most likely get some so I can get a visual of what I want to do. Also, I'm going for looks and low end torque. I will do a google search on building step exhaust systems, and I'll post anything interesting I find.
@busajack Thanks for the article! That was pretty informative. I completely forgot that each exhaust system provides different performance benefits (low end, mid-high end). So after reading that article I think I want to make some pipes that will increase the low end torque. I would also like to have the pipes as close to the same length as possible. I haven't measured my stock pipes yet, but that seems like it may be a hard task. I've looked at exhaust systems on some custom choppers and noticed that the rear cylinder's pipe is usually shorter than the front cylinder's pipe. I've also looked at some of bassani's exhaust systems, and it looks like they use 1 3/4, 1 7/8, and 2 1/4" pipe in their exhaust systems. So I think I would like to stay in that range, and not go over 2 1/4". Anyway, I've semi wrapped my head around that article. Any tips/advice for me?
 
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