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Motorcycle Exhaust Tips Buying Guide

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Motorcycle exhaust tips are decorative accessories that attach to the end of a motorcycle’s exhaust pipes. Motorcycle exhaust tips come in hundreds of styles, designed to appeal to different types of motorcycle riders. Buyers considering the purchase of new exhaust tips for their motorcycle can benefit from the information provided in this guide. Read on to learn how to remove stock motorcycle exhaust tips and attach custom exhaust tips to the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe. A list of popular exhaust tip styles is provided, including some tips that are more extensive in their design than basic pipe-end attachments. The guide also includes a reference to popular manufacturers, designers, and brands of motorcycle exhaust tips and other motorcycle accessories. Exhaust tips can be purchased at motorcycle shops, cycle accessory stores, custom bike outfitters, and motorcycle swap meets. Sellers on eBay also offer a large and varied selection of motorcycle exhaust tips and accessories. As such, the convenience of shopping for exhaust tips on eBay is also covered in this guide.

Removing Stock Exhaust Tips

Some motorcycle exhaust pipes and mufflers have removable tips, while others do not. Removable stock exhaust tips may be bolted to the pipe, welded to the end of the exhaust, clamped on, or riveted in place; proper removal depends on the attachment type. Unbolting or drilling out rivets is generally within the capabilities of most people with minimal technical skills. However, removing a welded-on exhaust tip may require the expertise of an experienced motorcycle technician. Before performing any exhaust modifications, make sure the exhaust pipes have had sufficient time to cool since the last time the bike was ridden. Exhaust gases are extremely hot, and severe burns can occur from touching the exhaust components of a recently ridden motorcycle.

Installing Custom Motorcycle Exhaust Tips

A replacement exhaust tip can be installed similarly to a stock exhaust tip. Custom exhaust tips usually come with installation kits and installation instructions. Follow the instructions provided with the exhaust tip. It may be necessary to drill the custom tip in the location of a bolt or rivet attachment. Exhaust tips requiring a welded installation can be attached with a standard electrical welder. and the job can be completed by an installer with welding skills. Clamp-on exhaust tips are some of the easiest to install; a screwdriver is often the only tool required for clamp tightening.

Popular Motorcycle Exhaust Tip Styles

Exhaust tips styles are as unique as motorcycle riders themselves. Custom exhaust tips can be used to complement an existing accessory style that the rider has incorporated into other aspects of the bike’s appearance or to make a solitary style declaration. The following suggestions are popular exhaust tip styles that may appeal to buyers seeking to make that individual statement about their motorcycle.

Afterburner Exhaust Tips

Afterburner exhaust tips are designed to provide the appearance of a jet engine afterburner at full thrust. This custom tip would be a good choice for riders of high-performance motorcycles.

Fishtail Exhaust Tips

Fins were a popular design feature on late-1950s automobiles that are still considered a classic look today. Fishtail exhaust tips can add a fin design to the exhaust pipes of a motorcycle.

Brass Exhaust Tips

Brass exhaust tips provide a contrast to the silver chrome of the exhaust pipe; the brass tip may fit over the end of the exhaust pipe or slip inside. The brass exhaust tip closes out the exhaust in a number of different shapes and dimensions.

Six-Gun Exhaust Tips

The shape of six-gun exhaust tips is similar

to the conical shape of the nose of a bullet. Six-gun tips normally bolt on or rivet onto the exhaust pipe and are a popular Harley Davidson accessory.

Turn-Down Exhaust Tips

One of the most popular styles of exhaust tips, the turn-down design slopes toward the pavement and expels the exhaust downward. Turn-down exhaust tips can be reversed into a "turn-up" position to provide a different exhaust appearance.

Slash Exhaust Tips

Slash tips are the most common exhaust tips; the slash comes from the angle at which the tip end is cut. Extremely shallow-angle cuts provide a drastic slash appearance and a very pointed tip end.

Trumpet Exhaust Tips

Trumpet tips have a unique design that gives the exhaust a characteristic look. Trumpet exhaust tips flare out at the end, providing a look similar to that of the flared end of a musical instrument, like a trumpet or trombone. However, the flare of a trumpet exhaust tip is less extreme than that of an actual trumpet.

Ribbed Exhaust Tips

A ribbed exhaust tip design may have closely set chrome rings around the tip of the pipe, with shallow grooves between them. Tips with this design can also have expanded ribs, with a look similar to that of a flexible drain pipe that expands and contracts like an accordion. Flat black and glossy black are popular finishes, in addition to conventional chrome.

Cross-Cut Exhaust Tips

The "cross-cut" designation for this type of exhaust tip comes from the metal being etched in an "X" pattern, creating a raised, diamond-shaped finish. Cross-cut exhaust tips present a very rich appearance with a bright chrome finish.

Skull Exhaust Tips

No list of motorcycle accessories would be complete without a skull-shaped component. Skull exhaust tips bolt or rivet onto the end of the exhaust pipe and provide an eerie appearance when exhaust gasses escape from the mouth of the skull.

Unconventional Exhaust Tips

Two types of exhaust tips warrant mentioning for their unique functionality. Some riders prefer straight exhaust pipes, without a muffler, for the throaty sound the engine produces; other riders must muffle their exhaust due to local vehicle noise limit laws.

Full-Length or Extended Pipe Exhaust Tips

With a full-length custom exhaust pipe, the tube runs from manifold to tip; design features include tip styles that are incorporated into the pipe itself. In this style of pipe, the tip design can begin further forward than the end of the exhaust pipe and include flares, bulges, ribs, or other unique characteristics. A similar look can be achieved with an extended exhaust pipe that also incorporates design features over a longer section than just the end of the pipe. These design features can incorporate baffling to minimize exhaust noise in the body of the pipe as well.

Slip-On Muffler Exhaust Tips

Riders who must incorporate a muffler into the exhaust of their motorcycle do not need to sacrifice appearance to satisfy the noise-limiting requirement. Attractive styles of slip-on muffler tips are available to accessorize the exhaust, while still making sure the bike is legal. Slip-on muffler designs can involve extended design features, such as extended exhaust pipes, as well as provide a mounting point for custom exhaust tips at the end of the muffler pipe.

Popular Exhaust Tip Manufacturers

The following chart lists a few of the popular designers and manufacturers of exhaust tips and the types of tips they produce. The list is not meant to be a complete reference of all motorcycle accessory manufacturers; a sampling of recognizable name brands is what is represented.

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