Exhaust baffle wrap

Exhaust baffle wrap DEFAULT

The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM® > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE FORUM > Sportster Motorcycle Intake and Exhaust > Sportster Motorcycle Air intake, Carburetor, EFI, Fuel, and Exhaust > baffle fiberglass wrap effect on sound?


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6th September 2017, 21:23

waddup peeps.

what's the effect of the fiberglass wrap on the baffles?

does it just affect the volume? ie: the wrap makes the sound softer (no wrap = louder, but same tone/note?).

does it change the note/tone of the sound? ie: makes it deeper/bassy?

how does the thickness of the wrap affect the sound? ie: thicker = softer or deeper sound?

most of the stuff i've read simply implies that the wrap affects the volume of the sound. ie: by wrapping the baffles, it makes the pipes sound quieter. is this it?

has anyone tried wrapping just half of the baffles? ie: front half.



6th September 2017, 22:08

Now I am interested. I have 8 inch baffles on 1 3/4 pipes I think it runs a lot better than straight pipes but I think it is a little too loud. I would like to try what you said. I would dig some input also.


7th September 2017, 00:52

Hi 5:12
I did my rinehart 2 into 1 baffle About 18 inch long
Muffler is like a megaphone.
I put very little wrapping at the front. Double layer at the back.
I quiets the sound, takes out the harshness. Do not wrap too tight.
exhaust still has to circulate through the fiber and baffle.

Gpydeski On an 8 inch baffles I'm not sure what you can expect.

Still have to take in consideration the shape of the baffle.
If you could post a pic I'm sure someone can offer the better approach to your specific application.


7th September 2017, 01:31

Its is the JP cycles 8 inch baffle. I am thinking of wrapping with the fiberglass wrap that people wrap around the outside of the pipe. I think that is the best bet.


7th September 2017, 03:48

the glass will tone down the note but ss wool would be a better choice since it will last the lifetime of the pipes. typically on a perf baffle the ex pulse is sent down the tube and some of this passes through the perf and is reflected back into the stream and will cancel 180* out harmonics. the wool adds some resistance and thus changes the note. the change might not be drastic, a lot of variables.


7th September 2017, 07:52

Its is the JP cycles 8 inch baffle. I am thinking of wrapping with the fiberglass wrap that people wrap around the outside of the pipe. I think that is the best bet.You don't want to use heat wrap on a baffle. Use muffler packing. It's cheap and the right thing for the job. The dirt bike section of any online site will have it.


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7th September 2017, 14:36

Ditto, it'll lower the tone and reduce the harshness of the exhaust pulse. Do not wrap it too tight or it will rap hard. Loose wraps gives a nice burble.


7th September 2017, 16:34

(sorry newbie here).

so when you guys talk about 'tone' are you guys talking about the volume/loudness or the way it sounds (bass sound, tinny, treble vs bass, etc).

sorry i just want to clarify since a lot of peeps mix this up.

so packing/wrapping them tight will produce a crispier tone? and packing them lose will provide a bassier/deeper tone?

can you actually run baffles without the wrap? it could be very insignificant, but does the wrap actually affect performance?

won't the steel wool rust easily? are we talking about regular kitchen steel wool here or is there a specific type?



7th September 2017, 19:29

A tight wrap will be little more than a straight pipe, ears bleeding noise. It's difficult to explain how it works due to the fluid dynamics in the pipes but yes, loose wrap lowers the tone and crispness. It gives the exhaust pulse somewhere to dissipate it's pressure and capture some of the frequencies of the exhaust pulse.

I rebuilt a D+D muffler for my neighbor's Ninja and took it from ear bleeding loud to Ferrari smooth. Chambered the inlet side and left the back baffled with a loose wrap. I did something similar to change the tone on my Jaguar XKR. Currently working on a pair of Helmholtz resonators to eliminate some cruising drone.

Google fluid dynamics and tuning exhaust sound. Tons of very good and not so good info out there.


7th September 2017, 20:57

Well, the heat wrap was a waste of $10.00. I was slightly quieter but when I hit third gear I could not go faster than 30 mph. I could not open it up. It was like a stranglehold was put on the engine.(Ted Nugent's best song). I put the baffles back in and the bike is happier. Not too loud, but crisp.


8th September 2017, 03:13

heat wrap??? i thought you were going to use fiber glass packing.
curious as to how you did the baffle??
as far as frequency, you have to look at frequency in general. high frequency has more power but travels shorter distances and if you impede them, they quickly fade but low frequency has less power but travels further so impede them is less effective, thus the lower rumble.
the reason why bass travels like crazy and the reason why a speaker cone has to travel greater distance.


8th September 2017, 12:57

I think that in my situation, either way the 1 3/4 inch pipes were blocked by any fiberglass wrap or batting. The baffles are enough in my situation


8th September 2017, 14:19

that explains a lot!!! i had issues with 1.750 pipes on my ch, there is not a lot of room for a perf baffle and basically you wedge it to 1.500. i never could get the tune right and no matter what i did it was either/or. at one time, the rpm was limited to 4.5k and plugs never cleaned up so a little R&D was in order. i experimented with a new design and now it runs like a spotted ape. i never had issues with the 2.00 pipes with twisted church key.



8th September 2017, 15:24

in the video are those 2 inch pipes?


8th September 2017, 16:45

nope. the old girl pretty much wore out the 2.00 drags which i had made spiral church key baffles for, i up the game with engine mods and didn't want to use the old pipe but i had this set of long 1.750 pipes which i thought would work due their length, but not! it would not tune so i made a set of perf baffles which i never had much success making them and these choked it down even further to 1.50 probably less. could tune top end but lower suffered and vise-versa. my plans were to use the 2.00 as a pattern and bend some 2.00 aluminum conduit to match and re-use the baffles, never found the time even though i have hyd bender.
i researched industrial and track mufflers and came up with this, i have one more design and that would be a dual wave plate, the twisted was easier.

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What is the baffle in an exhaust?

An exhaust baffle is an acoustically tuned metallic chamber placed inside a motor vehicle’s muffler to cancel out, or muffle, the sound from the vehicle’s exhaust outlet.

Will wrapping my exhaust make it quieter?

Exhaust wrap is not specifically designed to reduce the noise coming from a car’s exhaust since its main purpose is to keep heat from escaping. However, the material has sound dampening effects that are able to reduce higher frequencies as opposed to lower frequencies.

Should I wrap my motorcycle baffles?

Registered. Yes, fiberglass muffler wrap will quite down the exhaust. Get the 1/4 inch thick sheets of 1300-degree fiberglass, and add one wrap at a time around the baffles until you are happy with the sound.

How do I make my motorcycle baffles quieter?

7 Ways to make your motorcycle exhaust quieter

  1. Check for holes in your exhaust system.
  2. Replace the mufflers.
  3. Upgrade to better mufflers.
  4. Try wrapping the pipes.
  5. Invest in motorcycle exhaust silencer.
  6. Switch to new pipes.

What is inside a motorcycle silencer?

Located inside the muffler is a set of tubes. Take a look at the inside of this muffler: The exhaust gases and the sound waves enter through the center tube. They bounce off the back wall of the muffler and are reflected through a hole into the main body of the muffler.

What can I use as exhaust packing?

Stainless steel wool works really well, too. I’ve used regular steel wool in a pinch and it’ll get a season or two before it rusts and blows out. With either type unwrap the pad and then wrap the layer around the core. The trick to either steel wool or fiberglass is to over-wrap it with enough safety wire.

Can you run a 2 stroke without a silencer?

You shouldnt run any bike/ATV engine with out a silencer. People dont like loud bikes. partybarge_pilot said: What they need is the reversion pulse that the expansion chamber makes.

Will steel wool quiet my exhaust?

Yep, it’s been done. My neighbor used to do it many years ago. It was a good trick to pack the bored out mufflers with steel wool to get to quiet noisy exhausts. But the steel wool would eventually either burn up or rust away (which was the goal to get back to a loud unrestricted exhaust).

What are the two types of exhaust silencers?

Silencers come in many shapes and sizes and most all of them can be classified into four types: reactive, dissipative, absorptive, and dispersive or diffusive. Reactive silencers do not use sound absorbing materials but instead employ geometric design principles. An example is the Helmholtz resonator.

Can you use steel wool as exhaust?

STAINLESS STEEL WOOL Highly resilient to turbulent exhaust flows and temperatures to prevent blow out. Mufflers packed with stainless steel wool will last up to 4 to 5 times longer than by using fiberglass alone. • By preventing blowout, you can continuously meet DB limits.

Is steel wool heat resistant?

Strong and durable blankets are highly porous and resilient to resist deterioration by heat or mechanical pressure. TEXSTEEL makes possible fabrication of new products in which metal wool fibers offer advantages over other fibers. Density can be controlled; greater densities can be achieved in less space.

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Wrapping motorcycle baffles will not reduce performance. Even if it does, it would be small enough that you wouldn’t notice it. 

Everything is correct in theory – wrapping the baffles will increase exhaust back pressure. Which means, you will have a lesser amount of oxygen in the combustion chamber to generate power. 

However, the backpressure created is quite small – just make sure you are not over-stuffing your exhaust to the point where no exhaust gases can leave. 

If you make sure of that, then the back pressure should be minimal. All the important work is done around the combustion chamber and up to the exhaust mid-pipe. 

Any aftermarket work being done beyond the mid-pipe will not significantly impact performance. If you are wondering, mid-pipe is the middle area (before the muffler or end-can on your motorcycles).

Motorcycle full exhaust system

Mid pipe is the middle area of exhaust – after the exhaust header and before the muffler (end-can)

Changes from the muffler onwards won’t impact performance by much. I have an article where I discuss performance impact from quiet baffles here.  Do Quiet Baffles Affect Performance?

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Motorcycle with two large exhaust pips

For a hot-blooded man (and many progressive women), the sound produced by a great set of motorcycle pipes as the monster approaches will always turn your head. Whether you’re a fan of American bikes –(I have a Harley Heritage Springer) or something from Europe or Japan, the sound of the pipes can be incredibly pleasing.

Motorcycle baffles are metal tubes that contain many perforations and are 2-4mm smaller in diameter than the exhaust pipe. The baffle is inserted into the muffler tube, also known as the exhaust. The perforations slow the airflow of the engine’s expelled gases, resulting in added back-pressure and noise reduction. You can wrap this perforated baffle with fiberglass or other materials to further reduce the noise level.

I’m guessing that if you’re riding a Hog – Harley Davidson – this is not something you are planning soon since that characteristic sound is a massive part of the appeal. However, in certain instances, there may be rules and regulations that legally limit the noise level your motorcycle can make.

For example, if you move into a neighborhood community that requires quiet (perhaps a hospital or Retirement Village is nearby) or a state you are traveling through on your motorcycle has strict noise limit laws.

Legal Noise Limits in Your Neighborhood or State

Many countries worldwide have clear legal guidelines regarding how loud your motorcycle is allowed to be. The USA is no exception, but noise limits vary significantly from state to state, and some states have no limits at all.

If you read my article ‘Are loud motorcycles really safer?’ I have listed within the article state by state laws regarding noise limits within the USA.

Regarding how loud your motorcycle is, you will need to be vigilant when you ride, or you might find yourself in problems with local law enforcement. This advice is particularly pertinent to riders who have increased the noise levels by removing baffles or other means.

Have fun, but don’t say you weren’t aware. It is your responsibility to check the noise law limits within the state you are riding.

 Here are a few examples of state noise law limits in the USA:

  • Alaska has no noise limits
  • California has relatively confusing limits:
  • A motorcycle manufactured before 1970 has a 92dB limit
  • A noise limit of 88dB applies to motorcycles manufactured after 1969 and before 1973

As bikes became more efficient, the laws regarding noise volume tightened.

  • An 86 decibel limit applies to motorcycles manufactured after 1972 and before 1975
  • Motorcycles manufactured after 1974 and before 1986 have an 83dB limit,

And so on…

  • Connecticut has various limits based on speed and location
  • Michigan has limitations based on distance from the bike and the applicable speed limit.

As you can see, it’s not a case of one answer fits all states, and it’s imperative to know what each state expects from a noise level point of view from a motorcyclist.

You can also check the specific noise limit law for each state on the AAA Website by clicking the link HERE.

Do Baffles Have Uses Other Than Noise Control?

As you ride your bike, the exhaust system releases gasses, known as exhaust, and they create that glorious sound that exits from these pipes. The engine of a motorcycle can punch out 1,700 feet of soundwaves from the exhaust every second. It’s no wonder then that motorcycle exhaust systems can be so loud.

The exhaust baffles on a bike do not only control the decibel (dB) level emitted from the exhaust. These baffles also provide the back pressure necessary for an engine to perform at its peak ability. Baffles will accomplish these tasks by restricting the airflow at the end of a muffler or pipe.

Can You Remove Motorcycle Baffles?

You can remove the baffles, but be mindful that every motorcycle police officer in the area will be able to tell that your bike is over the noise limit, and you might get pulled over. In general, bikers are not at the top of a police officer’s list of priorities, but you may want to avoid the spotlight by keeping your motorcycles noise within the legal limit.

Do Baffles Need Replacing Over Time?

The baffles will need replacing after a time and replacement kits for baffles are available. It is a straightforward job to do yourself. After running for some time, your motorcycle’s exhaust baffles, and particularly any packing wrapped around them, can deteriorate. This deterioration may result in a noticeably louder exhaust and a drop in both power and performance.

An hour or less can bring your exhaust sound and performance back to where you want it to be.

Free-flow baffles provide less restriction and produce a much louder exhaust note. This thumping noise is terrific to hear, but if you find yourself living in or traveling through a restricted noise zone, you may want to muffle them.

Do You Need To Purchase A Ready Made Wrapped Baffle System?

We all love the sound of our motorcycles, but perhaps circumstances force you to make your bike a little quieter.

You do not need to purchase ready-made wrapped baffles.Instead of buying a ready-made baffle wrap to save money, you may consider making your motorcycle exhaust baffle instead of buying one.

Baffle wraps are not particularly expensive, I must say. If you compare the cost of purchasing a ready-made baffle wrap to wrapping the baffle yourself, the ready-made is much more costly. Still, why pay top dollar when you can have the fun of doing the job cheaply, from scratch, and learn more about your motorcycle in the process.?

Making your own wraps for the baffle is so easy, it’s difficult to imagine a reason for buying a set.

If you click HERE you can check out the same Fiberglass Muffler Wrap for Repacking Exhaust Baffle that I use.

How Do You Wrap Motorcycle Baffles?

  • Find and remove your motorcycle’s fishtails. Depending on the motorcycle model you have, this may be easy or a little more difficult, and some fishtails can be disconnected using clamps on the exhaust and a bolt.
  • Using a baffle, you have made or already own, measure its length and width
  • Cut heat-resistant steel-wool or fiberglass to size
  • Wrap the insulation around the baffle and tie it with stainless steel wire or similar. You may struggle to find stainless steel wire, but corrosion in the exhaust pipes makes this a worthwhile search.
  • Replace the -now insulated- baffle in the pipe and close it up. Voila! One quieter bike.

How To Make Your Own Motorcycle Baffles

Perhaps you tried the baffle wrap method, and the drop in volume was not sufficient. The next step is to add more wrap, obviously, but you may reach a point where the wrap can no longer fit into the tailpipe. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Measure the diameter of the inside of the tailpipe of your motorcycle. Purchase steel tubing, whether in a store or online. This steel tubing should have a slightly smaller diameter than your tailpipe, around 1/16th inches smaller.
  2. Place your steel tubing into the bench-vise in your workplace. Have your hacksaw ready for this part. Cut the steel tubing down until it’s the correct baffle length (around eight inches for most bikes, but measure yours.)
  3. Mark the baffle for three offsets. Best to use a felt-tip marker for this. The first offset is three inches from the one end. The second is one and one-half inches from the first mark, and the third is three inches from the first mark.
  4. Secure the baffle vertically in the bench vise, ensuring the offset marks are visible above the vise.  Make a horizontal crosscut halfway through the baffle at each of your markings using your hacksaw.  If deemed necessary, reposition the baffle as you proceed. When done, remove the baffle from the vise.
  5. Put the baffle on the workbench, ensuring that the hacksaw cuts face upward.  Secure the baffle in place using a couple of c-clamps.
  6. Place the tip of a cold chisel on the first hacksaw cut.  Strike the cold chisel with a hammer or mallet, thus forcing the outer margin of the cut into the baffle’s center. Do the same with the other cuts to create the baffle offsets.
  7. Replace the baffle, this time having the three-inch end extending from the vise. Place a 3/16-inch drill bit into an electric drill (Doing this part with a hand drill is hell). Drill a hole one inch away from the end of the baffle and make sure it goes through both walls (of the baffle.) We require this hole for the stainless-steel bolt that holds the baffle in place in the tailpipe.
  8. Now drill a 3/16-inch hole through the tailpipe. This hole must align with the bolt holes in the baffle. Once installed, the outer end of the baffle should be flush with the end of the tailpipe. Secure the baffle in the tailpipe with a 1/4-inch diameter stainless steel bolt, lock washer, and nut. NB The length of the bolt will depend on the outside diameter of the tailpipe.

Job done! You have just made your very own baffle.


Your motorcycle has baffles fitted inside the exhaust pipe, which you can wrap with various materials to dampen (lessen) the noise produced. Wrapping will not damage your bike or cause a loss of performance and may save you a few dollars in noise fines in the long run.

Happy riding!

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Wrap exhaust baffle

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How To: Wrap Exhaust Baffles

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