We all know by now that slip on exhausts are cool as hell – sounds great, looks great. You find one that you really like but… will it fit in your bike? Good question! You are not alone in this. 

Unfortunately, slip on exhausts are not universally fit. The actual muffler inside it will work regardless of the bike or engine, but the inlet to the slip on must be the right size.

Otherwise, it can’t be mounted and installed – best to get a bike specific one.

That being said, there are various ways (like using an expander or custom welding) to alter the slip ons so that the inlet fits your bike.  

I will talk about these different methods in this article – what to do when your slip on is too big or too small. I will also touch on the most frequently asked questions about slip-ons.

After reading this article, your doubts about slip on exhausts should be cleared. You will know the pros and cons and can decide whether or not a slip on is your next sweet thing.

Slip On Exhausts Are Not Universally Fit!

Generally for beginners, there are two types of worry when talking about universal slip on exhausts. Will it fit with any bike? And will it work with any bike?

A slip on exhaust will only fit the specific bike models and year that it was designed for. Attempting to install it on another bike will not work. The inlet to slip on exhaust is either too small or too big. 

On the other hand, a slip on exhaust will still work with any bike model. If you can somehow install it and mount it on your bike, you will get the enhanced sound from the slip on – including the better looks and lighter weight (if that’s what you care about).

“If you can somehow install it… You will get the enhanced sound” Does it mean it’s possible? If that’s what you are thinking, then the answer is yes. Absolutely. It involves some work though. 

Before I tell you what you could do to install a slip on exhaust that does not fit, let’s first talk about how you install a regular slip on. 

This allows you to understand the big picture. What’s the actual problem and what you could do about it. 

NOTE: When I say it’s possible to install a slip on exhaust from a different bike model, I mean it. But, you also have to be realistic. You cannot expect to install a slip on for a cruiser bike on a sport bike or dirt bike – they are too different. 

Generally, I am talking about bikes of different brands or models but of the same types like sports bikes, dirt bikes, cruiser bikes, etc. 

How To Install A Slip On Exhaust

Installing a slip on exhaust is pretty easy. Generally, It’s all about removing the stock ‘end can’ from your bike and then slipping the new one right in. 

Not as easy as I make it out to be but it’s literally something like that. You of course will need some screws but generally that is it!

Here’s a great YouTube video that shows you to install one. Pay attention to these two important points:

  1. How the slip on exhaust slipped into the mid pipe through it’s inlet.  
  2. How the weight of the slip on exhaust is supported by a bracket. 

Whether or not the slip on exhaust fits your bike depends on these two factors. If they fit, then your slip on will install just fine (regardless of the model). If they don’t… then we need to work to make it fit.

What To Do When Slip On Exhaust Won’t Fit

When buying a slip on exhaust for a different model, sizing is usually the biggest hurdle – the inlet could be too small or too large. Here’s what you could do for each scenario. 

Slip On Exhaust Inlet Too Small

In this case, the exhaust cannot fit into your mid pipe – which means you need to expand the inlet of your slip on. 

The most common and easiest way is to use an exhaust pipe expander. I don’t expect you to have it, but your local muffler shop (or AutoZone) should have. 

In most cases, they could lend it to you for free. You bring your slip on exhaust to the shop and get it expanded into the correct size. 

Once this is done, your slip on exhaust should fit right in. If it becomes a little loose, you could purchase a clamp or bracket from Amazon to keep it in place. 

Here’s a video showing you how the expander works (and how it looks). 

Slip On Exhaust Inlet Too Large

There are several things you could do if the inlet is too large. Some I recommend and some I don’t. 

  1. Use a pipe expander to enlarge your exhaust pipe. This is the same method as for inlets that are too small. Except, you are altering your stock mid pipe instead of the slip on exhaust. I don’t recommend this. Your stock exhaust is more expensive and should not be altered.  
  2. Use an exhaust adapter. Exhaust adapter is a connector that has a large inlet and small outlet. Which means you could connect your larger slip on exhaust into your smaller stock mid pipe. (picture below). I recommend this.
  3. Good old welding. This means hammering the larger slip on exhaust and welding it into your stock exhaust. I also don’t recommend this method because this solution is permanent and you are altering your stock midpipe.
exhaust adapter

Exhaust adapter. Using this, you could fir a slip on exhaust that’s too small or too big.

Does It Mean You Could Buy Any Slip On?

Now that you know the size of a slip on is not a problem, does it mean you could ignore the fitting and purchase any slip on exhaust you want?

Unfortunately not. You should always look for slip on exhaust for your motorcycle model and year. This will save you a lot of time, effort and money needed to alter the slip on to fit your motorcycle. 

The solutions I showed above should only be used if you have no choice. Instances where you incorrectly purchased a slip on exhaust that’s too large or small and returning is not an option.

I mentioned earlier that you will still get the sound improvement even after altering the slip on exhaust to fit your motorcycle.

This is true but it also depends on the quality of your work. If you altered it poorly and did not install it correctly, then surely the sound improvement will be minimal. 

Worst case scenario is when your slip on exhaust falls out of your motorcycle while riding it. This could damage the slip on exhaust and not to mention the embarrassment you will experience.

Slip On Exhaust F.A.Q

If you are a beginner enthusiast that’s looking to install a slip on exhaust as your first mod, then I can tell you it’s a good choice. It’s not so expensive, installation is easy and the sound improvement is massive.

I assume that you have a couple more questions about slip on exhaust (aside from whether they are universal or not). So here are the most frequently asked questions about slip on exhaust.

Q: Does a slip on exhaust damage engine?

A: No it does not. The changes that come with a slip on exhaust is minimal where you don’t have to worry about adding backpressure or changing the air / fuel ratio. I have an article about this topic. Does Slip On Exhaust Damage Engine? 


Q: Do I need a remap with slip on exhaust?

A: No, you don’t need to remap or tune after installing a slip on exhaust. Again, the change that comes from a slip on exhaust is minimal. Your air/fuel ratio will not be impacted as much. You won’t feel it at all. Slip on exhaust is installed for sound and looks – not for performance. 


Q: Are slip on exhausts worth it?

A: If you are looking for a more aggressive looking bike and a much better sound, then absolutely yes. Slip on exhausts are meant for those. Don’t buy slip on exhaust and expect any horsepower gain – you will be disappointed. 

More info about this topic here – Are Slip On Exhausts Worth It?

Ifandi S.

Ifandi S.

Passionate about everything mechanical. Ifandi has been involved with motorcycles and cars since the old days - in his family's auto parts shop. Want to keep in touch? Scream "STRAIGHT PIPEEEEE" at the top of your lungs and Ifandi will show up.

Cruising Ape

Best online resources for motorcycles!