Increasing Horsepower on Your Streetbike With Aftermarket Exhaust

There are two good reasons for swapping the exhaust on your sport bike: the performance and the sound. And while getting more power out of your bike is exhilarating, let’s be honest with ourselves here… as streetbike enthusiasts, we’re equally impressed by the perfect note and loud growl of an aftermarket exhaust! The exhaust on a stock bike, even a hot one like a Ducati or an MV Agusta, is designed to meet a combination of performance, noise, emissions and NVH requirements that make it far from optimal for a hardcore streetbike aficionado. We understand that, and these manufacturers do their best to provide a basic exhaust that covers a good part of the market. That’s where the aftermarket comes into play. With custom exhaust systems for Ducati or MV Agusta from Design Corse, you can upgrade your bike to get the exact performance and sound you’re looking for and make sure that your bike isn’t mistaken for anyone else’s.

unlock your streetbike potential

Does Aftermarket Exhaust Add Power?

This is the crux of the issue for many of our customers. There are other benefits of aftermarket motorcycle exhaust, but the main question is whether swapping your exhaust for an aftermarket system will yield more power. You’re not into streetbikes for sitting in traffic or putting down country lanes. You’re into streetbikes because you like acceleration, speed and handling. And while there are many ways to add power to your bike, the biggest bang for your buck — not to mention the quickest and easiest — involves unlocking the power that’s already there but is held back by a restrictive exhaust.

Your exhaust system has to deal with several factors:

  • It expels the burnt fuel your engine releases out the back of your bike.
  • It deals with the high temperatures engine combustion creates.
  • It muffles the noise of your engine, which would be otherwise unbearable.
  • It provides a calculated amount of backpressure, which your engine needs to function properly.
  • It manages and controls vibration created in your engine.

maximize your exhaust

As you can guess, it’s no easy task for an OEM to meet all these requirements and maximize power. Noise, NVH and emissions requirements dictate that a stock motorcycle exhaust will hold back some of the performance potential of your engine. Thankfully, the aftermarket industry doesn’t have these same constraints. Designed for maximum power development and the kind of feel and sound an enthusiast craves, the motorcycle exhaust aftermarket is a whole other ball game. This is why custom exhaust systems for your MV Agusta or Ducati make a world of difference.

Where Does the Power Come From?

Adding power with an aftermarket exhaust isn’t magic. Any exhaust acts as a restriction on the spent fuel exiting your engine. Your engine doesn’t need an exhaust to function. Pull off your exhaust and headers and your engine will still fire up. It will run rough, the sound will be deafening and your bike might shake apart, but it will run and it will develop its maximum power and torque.

As we mentioned, the stock exhaust is designed as a bit of a “catch-all” that will cover the requirements of the manufacturer and be a decent solution for a stock bike. But most streetbike enthusiasts can’t stand knowing their engine has the potential for more horsepower and torque but is restrained because of the OEM exhaust. Pulling off your exhaust and swapping in one that breathes better and is less restrictive gets the heat and spent gas out of your engine quicker, and the result is a noticeable improvement in power.

ducati exhaust kits

Different aftermarket exhaust suppliers use different types and designs of headers, exhaust pipes and mufflers, but they all have one thing in common: They provide an easier path for the exhaust to exit. All the suppliers we work with here at Design Corse carry exhaust kits and components that are designed for your specific model of MV Agusta or Ducati. Each bike and each engine has its unique features:

  • Exhaust port and bolt holt size and spacing.
  • Header shape and design — four into two or four into one, for example.
  • Muffler layout and number — one or two mufflers.
  • Space and routing for the exhaust pipes and mufflers.
  • Exhaust volume and flow, which relates to fuel delivery.

As you can see, it’s not possible on a high-performance, precisely engineered streetbike like a Ducati Diavel or an MV Agusta Brutale to just jam on any old aftermarket exhaust system and call it a day. You need purpose-designed parts that work in harmony with your bike to give you the best sound, feel and performance.

Type of Exhaust Upgrade

When we talk about an exhaust system, we’re referring to the complete exhaust, from the engine to the tip of the tailpipe. The major components are:

  • Headers: Your headers mate and bolt to your engine’s exhaust outlet. They are submitted to intense heat and vibration. A four-cylinder engine will have either a “four into two” (four headers that lead into two mufflers) or a “four into one” (four headers that lead into a single muffler).
  • Exhaust (or mid) piping: These are the pipes that connect the various components of your exhaust system. Ideally, they have a constant or close-to-constant diameter to eliminate any unnecessary restrictions in your exhaust flow.
  • Mufflers: Your muffler or mufflers are responsible for damping the noise coming out of your engine. Stock mufflers are usually designed to create minimal noise according to federal and state laws.
  • Tailpipe: The tailpipe is the last little bit of pipe sticking off your muffler. Some mufflers come with this integrated, while other models allow you to remove and replace your tip if you’re looking for a different style.

While the shape, routing, material and weight of every exhaust system varies, these are the basics you will find on any bike. Take a close look at your Ducati or MV Agusta and identify these parts. It will help you to understand what they look like and where they’re located when it’s time to choose your aftermarket exhaust to replace your stock system. Even if you won’t be doing the installation yourself, becoming familiar with your motorcycle’s exhaust helps you better appreciate the changes you’re making. You’ll also be able to better discuss performance bike exhausts with other riders you encounter and get their opinions on the best types of upgrades.

Full Exhaust or Slip-On

We have broken down the exhaust systems we carry here at Design Corse into two main categories:

Exhaust System Types

  • Slip-on pipes: This is the fast and easy way to upgrade to an aftermarket performance exhaust. Slip-on pipes replace your mufflers and mate to the rest of your existing exhaust system. As the name implies, they slip easily into place before bolting. You will still see a decent power increase over your stock mufflers, but at a lower price than a full system swap.
  • Full exhaust: Here is where you change everything from A to Z. Your headers, mid pipes, mufflers and tip are all pulled, and in their place you bolt in an exhaust system designed specifically for your model of bike. The cost may be higher than a slip-on set of mufflers, but the gain is greater too, allowing you to unlock the maximum potential of your engine.

Choosing slip-on or full exhaust to replace your OEM AV Agusta or Ducati exhaust is entirely your call. If you’re the kind of biker that likes to change things up frequently and are willing to give up a few horsepower at the expense of an easy-to-install exhaust upgrade, then slip-on is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to unlock every last ounce of power and thinking about some other performance upgrades, do yourself a favor and invest in a full exhaust system. It gives you greater flexibility and potential gain.

Material Choice

You’re not done yet! Now you need to decide which material you want your exhaust system made of. There are several great choices on the market today, and they all have their strong points:

exhaust material choices

  • Stainless steel: There’s a reason steel is most commonly used in motorcycle exhausts. It’s easy to fabricate, durable and a great value.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum offers a great combination of affordable price and weight savings but won’t be as durable as some other materials.
  • Chromed steel: While a chromed exhaust will last a long time, the popularity of this material comes from the fact that it looks great when polished.
  • Titanium: This exotic, high-strength and durable metal is a great choice for an aftermarket motorcycle exhaust thanks to its lightweight.
  • Carbon fiber: Another lightweight option, carbon fiber is the newest and most innovative material on the market when it comes to exhaust options for your bike.

While any of these materials will work for your MV Agusta or Ducati custom exhaust system, there’s one that will suit your bike best. Aluminum and steel will generally be more classic designs, while carbon fiber and titanium are being used in more unique, avant-garde exhaust shapes and styles. When you’re picking from our Design Corse catalog, you’ll easily be able to find the exhaust systems suited to your specific model of Ducati or MV Agusta. We take out the guesswork so you can focus on choosing the system that will look and sound the best.

Music to Your Ears

There’s a lot to be said for the sound of your motorcycle. Performance and handling are important, of course, but you want to make a statement. That’s why you’re riding a legendary Italian motorcycle and not a common streetbike that everyone has. You’ve already set yourself apart from the crowd, and the stock exhaust systems on MV Agusta and Ducati models put a lot of lesser bikes to shame. But there’s always room for improvement. That is why we have so many choices in aftermarket exhaust available to you. The right motorcycle has the speed, cornering, ride, braking, style and sound you want.

exhaust notes and sound

Sound preference is such a personal thing, it’s not easy to quantify. That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with all the information you need to make your choice. You’ll find the following information directly in our catalog:

  • Detailed product descriptions, with information on the applicable model, engine and other bike specifications.
  • Large, full-color pictures so you can see all the features and finish of the components and picture them installed on your bike.
  • Full pricing information in the currency of your choice and typical shipping times for your parts.
  • Suggestions for related parts — such as fuel management EPROM programming chips — that work in conjunction with your exhaust.

installation guide videos

For many exhausts, we even provide videos so you can hear the sound of the exhaust you’re interested in on a bike similar to yours. You get the best of both worlds: real-life sound experience and the convenience, speed and service of an established online retailer like Design Corse. We’ve brought together some of the top aftermarket motorcycle exhaust companies so you don’t have to spend your time searching all over. Not every exhaust manufacturer has what it takes to suit a high-end, high-performance bike like a Ducati or MV Agusta. Trust your world-class bike to a world-class aftermarket exhaust expert. It’s the only way to ensure you’ve got the performance and sound your motorcycle deserves.

Where to Learn More

Are you familiar with our aftermarket exhaust brands? Do you have any experience with their products or know anyone who is? We carry some of the biggest brands in aftermarket exhaust who specialize in all different Ducati and MV Agusta models. They have spent years perfecting their exhaust systems and slip-on mufflers to work perfectly with these finely engineered machines. If you haven’t yet had the chance to experience the thunder of a performance exhaust, there are several ways to learn more:

  • Check out the videos we have here on our Design Corse site. You can see the exhaust installed on various MV Agusta and Ducati models and hear them growl under full throttle. Check out all the different exhausts we carry to find the one that hits the right notes.
  • Visit your local track. Inquire about special track days — you’re bound to stumble across a few other diehard Italian performance motorcycle fans. Ask about the exhaust upgrades they’ve made. Did they opt for the slip-on solution, or was a full exhaust system swap in the cards?
  • Get out to as many shows, rallies and meets as possible. There’s no better place to make contact with other Ducati and MV Agusta enthusiasts than specialty streetbike events. Having a group of experienced and knowledgeable bike fans can help you learn about different exhaust options.

In the end, what’s important is getting to know the different components, brands and types of exhaust available for your motorcycle. The more you learn, the more confident you’ll feel as you make your choice. The best part is with all the parts available here at Design Corse, you can start your upgrades today and continue in the future. You might choose a slip-on muffler today for a new, more aggressive exhaust note, and later on, you may upgrade to a complete performance exhaust system from the engine on back when it’s time to hit the track.

Spinning Your Wrenches: Installation

Once you’ve understood how a motorcycle exhaust system works, decided which type to install and placed your order, all that’s left is to bolt it in place. Now the question: Who’s going to do it? Are you used to doing your own work on your bike? If so, installing an aftermarket bike exhaust shouldn’t be a challenge. All of our Design Corse systems and mufflers are designed for your specific model of Ducati or MV Agusta, so installation is straightforward. Many of our customers enjoy installing their own exhaust, as it gives them the chance to get to know their bike better and fully understand how the different components go together.

slip on muffler

Installing a slip-on muffler or mufflers is generally as easy as it sounds. It doesn’t take long and often only involves a few bolts and collars. It’s important to follow all instructions, however, and verify that the exhaust doesn’t touch any part of the body or accessories you might have added, like custom seats, racks, cases or trim.

A full exhaust takes a bit more work. That’s not to say it can only be done by professionals, but if you don’t have any experience at all, you might find it a bit overwhelming. It’s especially important to pay close attention to gaskets and sealing surfaces. In some cases, it is possible to reuse old gaskets, but often your new exhaust will require a new gasket to ensure proper sealing.

With many upgraded exhaust systems, especially those that allow a greater flow of air, you will also want to to upgrade your fuel delivery system. In most MV Agusta and Ducati models, this means a new EPROM electronic unit to precisely control the flow of fuel. Greater air flow requires more fuel, which is why many of our high-performance aftermarket exhaust upgrades come with a calibrated fuel management upgrade. Once again, this can be done with a few simple tools, but for the uninitiated, these upgrades can be daunting. If ever you’re not sure, trust the work to a professional who has experience working with high-end motorcycles. Remember, a Ducati or MV Agusta is not your everyday common motorcycle, so make sure anyone touching your bike is competent and comfortable with these precision Italian rockets.

Total Change in Character

No single change will make as much difference with your bike as an upgrade to your exhaust. Not only do you get additional power when installing a freer-flowing exhaust, but the lower weight of an aftermarket system also has a positive effect on performance. The result is a lighter bike that handles, rides and brakes better. The final plus is the sound: You can have everything from a deep growl to a banshee scream, depending on your style. In all cases, your bike will get you the attention you crave and won’t be confused with any other bike around. And that’s what owning a performance MV Agusta or a legendary Ducati is all about, isn’t it?

proven exhaust systems

Anyone can buy a generic, mass-market streetbike, and many are actually quite entertaining to ride. But they lack the feel, class and precision of the Italian champions. Now that you’ve entered the upper echelon of the motorcycle culture, take it that one step further with an awesome aftermarket exhaust. You can add power with a new exhaust, improve torque and enjoy the distinction and raw pleasure of a unique, custom exhaust note that starts at idle and carries up until redline. Even parked, your motorcycle will look like a winner, with a unique and impressive exhaust snaking its way from the engine up along the body to the tail.

All that’s left is to click on through to our Design Corse catalog and make your choice. With simply your make, model, year and engine size, you can narrow down the choice of exhausts that will work with your bike. Once your choice is made, we can arrange shipment for you anywhere in the world. We are passionate about performance streetbikes here at Design Corse, so we don’t want anything to stand in the way of your custom Ducati or MV Agusta. Let us be your source for your motorcycle exhaust, and enjoy all the benefits of working with true streetbike professionals.

Might we suggest you go for one last ride with your current exhaust bolted on? Once your new exhaust is in place, you won’t recognize it. You also won’t miss it when you see just how powerful, responsive and enjoyable a custom exhaust is!

 



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