Vance Hines Sideshots Exhaust For Harley Sportster 2004-2013
The best option for your Sporty.
I purchased these pipes on a whim for my '09 XL1200N after reading some extremely positive reviews about them. I was really leaning toward the Shortshots until I read many reviews stating that their performance was poor and they were TOO loud. I know V&H pipes have a reputation for poor performance on the fuel injected Sportsters, but I figured I would give them a shot. Here's my experience.
MY PREVIOUS SETUP:
Before I got these pipes, I had the Cycle Shack slip-on mufflers, a drop in K&N air cleaner and I decided to put a Dobeck performance controller on it as well, just in case so I could have to option to change out parts later and still be able to change the fuel "maps" (or whatever they are called). Overall, this setup provided little performance but gave me the sound and slightly smoother idle than I had with my stock setup. The overal pitch and decible level of the bike was mid-low pitch and much louder than stock.
Removal of the old setup is quite simple, the hardest part was removing the O2 sensors from the pipes - PB blaster is your friend. The installation is pretty straight forward, however, I had a heck of a time getting the pipes past the cooling fins on the heads. I did not break off any fins but I did have to bend the pipes to fit around them to the exhaust ports. Also, the manufacturer highly recommends new head exhaust gaskets - I like to aire on the side of caution so I replaced these as well.
Another install tip, make sure the support bracket that mounts underneath the main drive belt cover is loose when you bolt it to the pipes. Otherwise, your pipes will not be lined up to the bracket. After you mount the pipes to the bracket and tighten the mating bolts, torque the head exhaust bolts, THEN proceed to torque the bracket and re-install the main drive belt cover. Otherwise your system will be preloaded and preload means broken bolts.
I've heard it is VERY bad to run a new, free-flow exhaust setup and air cleaner without adjusting the fuel maps - don't be the guy that knows from experience not to do this.
I installed a Roland Sands "Turbine" air cleaner assembly as a supporting modification - you can see my review on that seperately, however, I do believe this is a necessary supporting mod. After installation (pipes, air cleaner and Dobeck adjustment), I could audibly hear that the tone and decible level had become immensley different. The exhaust pitch had become VERY deep (vastly deeper than the slip-ons) and the decible level was noticably louder than the cycle shack mufflers (not a LOT louder, but louder nonetheless). The combination of these two characteristics turned that moderate motorcycle sound into a big motorcycle sound. I'm talking concrete trembling, panty dropping, annoy your neighbors goodness.
I have not yet been able to ride with my half helmet on to get the full effect of what it sounds like while riding (the weather has been negligible), however, I can tell you that the sound is vastly improved (backroads and highway) and the speed (at least the response) of the bike appears to have improved quite a bit. I can feel the front end of the bike lift with gustav when I jam on the throttle. I always hate to say that the bike feels faster after these mods were installed, however, it really does seem to have picked up some power. Again, this could just be how it feels to me because of the new parts.
If you are considering these pipes, I would strongly suggest that you also get a fuel tuner and a high flow intake for maximum effect.
Also, if you are considering buying these pipes, do not hesitate as they are look stunning, sound mean and perform well (with the correct supporting mods).
I highly recommend this product.
March 16, 2015
Sounds and performs!
'08 sportster 1200c. The bike sounds amazing and will blow dirt away when it starts. Added performance and it turns heads! A definite buy and you wont be disappointed!
June 30, 2014