Let me guess, your motorcycle sounds too loud and you want to quiet it down. But you are also worried and have tons of questions – “will it impact my performance?” Or “damage my engine?”.
If those did come to your mind, then you can call me Mr. Wizard – because I just read your mind. This is what this article is for – clearing your doubts on whether you should wrap those baffles or not.
TLDR – Baffle wraps are cheap, easy to apply and will not ruin your engine or reduce performance. You should definitely wrap your motorcycle baffles if they are too loud. I recommend using fiberglass wraps – they are most effective in silencing your bike.
There are many things to discuss about wrapping baffles. In this article I make sure to include everything you need to know before deciding.
How Will Your Motorcycle Sound After Baffle Wrap?
After wrapping your baffles, your motorcycle will sound quieter and deeper – both while idling and riding (more significant difference while riding).
The final sound really depends on the packing material used and the type of exhaust you have. If you are using material that’s great at silencing noise like fiberglass, then you can expect more significant silencing.
I will discuss more about packing material later.
If your motorcycle before wrapping is extremely loud (like straight-pipe level loudness), then the noise reduction will be more significant. You will definitely feel the difference while idling and riding.
But if your motorcycle is already quiet, adding wrapping into the baffle will likely not yield anything – just a slight deeper tone. Wrapping baffles is most effective on already loud bikes.
Why Does Wrapping a Baffle Make Your Motorcycle Quiet?
Before we dive deeper, let’s talk a bit on how these baffles wrap even work.
You see, baffle is already a sound suppressing device.
Baffle walls are designed specifically to bounce sound waves into each other so they collide and cancel out. This is how most sound suppressing devices work – same goes for bigger mufflers in cars.
By wrapping the baffles with materials like fiberglass, we are improving that sound suppressing mechanism. Materials like fiberglass absorb sound waves as they pass through.
Which means, aside from just colliding with each other and cancelling out, some of the sound waves are absorbed by the packing materials and disappear – resulting in an even quieter bike.
Most riders are worried that wrapping their baffles will reduce performance or they need to fork out money to tune their bikes. This is not true. I will talk more about this later in the article.
For now, let’s understand the pros and cons of wrapping baffles. I think this list is important to you – especially if you are still considering whether to do it or not.
Pros Of Wrapping Baffle
- Effective in silencing motorcycles. Wrapping your motorcycle baffles is a great way to make your motorcycles quieter. The louder your motorcycle is, the more impact you will see.
- Deeper tone. If you are a fan of deep exhaust tones, then you should definitely try wrapping the baffles. Aside from being quieter, your motorcycle will also give a deeper exhaust tone.
- Cheap. A fiberglass wrap costs about $10-$15 on Amazon. Pretty cheap and you could D.I.Y yourself (no additional labor cost).
- Easy to apply. Did I say you could D.I.Y yourself? You only need a screwdriver for this 30 minutes job. I talk more about this down in the article.
- No significant side effects. Wrapping the baffles will not give any significant side effect like reduced performance or mileage. I talk more about this here Do Quiet Baffles Affect Performance?
Cons Of Wrapping Baffle
- Discoloration on exhaust tip. Despite the material you chose to wrap the baffles, discoloration at exhaust tip will occur. Materials like fiberglass get burned away and materials like steel wool get rusty.
- Increased backpressure. If you overdo the wrapping and go too thick, you risk increasing backpressure. Though, I wouldn’t worry too much about this. In theory it’s true but in practice, the impact is usually not significant enough.
- Needs repacking. After a couple of years, the wrapping material gets worn out (burned, rusty, etc.) You will need to repack or rewrap your baffles again by then.
Will Wrapping Motorcycle Baffle Reduce Performance?
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).
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?
Best Materials To Wrap Motorcycle Baffles (With Cost)
1. Fiberglass ($15)
Fiberglass is the most common option – you will find plenty of fiberglass meant for wrapping baffles from Amazon. They work best in silencing noise because glass absorbs sound and it costs about $15.
Keep in mind that with fiberglass, the motorcycle will become louder again as time passes. This is because the glass materials shatter from wear and tear – causing the silencing effect to reduce.
2. Stainless Steel Wool ($25)
More expensive but they won’t burn away by heat and last longer. If you are planning to go for steel material, make sure you go for stainless steel.
Regular steel will rust because exhaust gases also contain some water vapour. Drive long enough and this steel wool will rust and damage your exhaust tip.
They cost about $25 (the most expensive material for baffle packing).
3. Ceramic Wool ($20)
Ceramic wool is quite resistant to heat, so they also won’t burn away as easily as fiberglass. This is another great option to wrap baffles because they last quite long (heat resistant and won’t rust)
Ceramic wool is quite thin, so you might need to wrap the baffles using 2 or 3 layers.
How To Wrap Motorcycle Baffles?
Here’s the quick steps on wrapping motorcycle baffles. Make sure you have gloves on if you are working with fiberglass – they can stay in your hands for a long time and can make you feel itchy as hell.
Things you will need to wrap baffles:
- Screw driver
- Baffles wrap
Steps required to wrap baffles:
- Remove baffles from exhaust (usually need to unscrew from exhaust)
- Wear gloves
- Cut baffles wrap to correct length
- Wrap around baffles
- Wrap wire around baffles and the wrap to keep them in place
- Reinsert baffle to exhaust
Quiet easy eh? Just make sure you don’t wrap around the baffles too much – 1 or 2 layers are enough.
Here’s a great YouTube video showing you how to wrap baffles
Wrapping Motorcycle Baffles: My Recommendation
I say go for it. If you need to quiet down your motorcycle, then wrapping the baffles is the cheapest and quite an easy option.
Like we discussed, the side effects and cons are minimal – mostly discoloration on the exhaust tip. If you are okay with that, then I don’t see any other reasons not to.
If you don’t like the sound after wrapping, you could just remove the baffles wrap. This can be done quickly – even quicker once you are familiar with removing and inserting the baffles.