Saturday, May 09, 2015

IronHead Exhaust Baffle

Ironhead Exhaust Baffle

I have had drag pipes on my bikes for years, and this was cool then but not as much to me now. You realize at four thirty A.M just how loud they are. If you get along with most your neighbors this is a problem, if you don't like your neighbors it's not a problem at all. The other problem has always been a tuning problem. After getting carb set, things get out of whack and you have to retune the carburetor again and again. The idle gets sporadic and needs constant adjusting depending on the temperature outside. Adjust carburetor for low end around town it's fine, hit the highway and it wants to spit, sputter and hesitate when you need to throttle up the most. Simple cruising interstate is okay until you stab the gas to pass, then it stubbles, you let off it clears, you ease back into it as the engine winds up to that sweet spot RPM range and then hold on, the power curve/power band kicks in and your off like a shot. Then when slowing or going down hills you get the pop, pop, blue flames, pop, popping. Stop and readjust; It's all good for awhile but then it just gets plain old ...well old. You just want to ride without annoying anyone and enjoy the ride. I still want to be seen and heard but not at the extreme level of the Drag Pipes, because yes, even the Police hear you coming and see you and even if your not speeding it can sure sound like it and get you pulled. In the 70's and 80's they'd stop you and put a night stick in the pipe, no baffle and you got an illegal exhaust ticket.
Who needs the hassle anymore? Not me, I'm getting to be an old fart. My bike, with the open Drag Pipes, has this really mean aggressive growl sound when getting into it, even moderately hard, that's hard to explain and I love it. It seems only old Ironheads have this sound and it's like no other Harley or brand on the road. Even had other riders remark about the meanness of the sound it makes.
But, I also don't want a super quiet bike either like some out there. The ones that almost have no sound at all with huge mufflers that look like they weigh in at two hundred pounds of extra mileage robbing weight. They hold a lot of heat too, which ironically is good for fuel consumption range. But Drag pipes are only good for high RPM ranges in reality and hurt mileage in the long run. Plus, as stated, are a real sore spot for engine tuning and you have to run a bit rich to get a sort of compromise around town and highway. Drag pipes are really for racing and not the street. At the Drags you get the revs up at the line then nail the crap out of it in the upper RPM range because that is where your engine runs best with these. Get the gas in, get the exhaust out faster for a new charge and then off. But again, on the street, it ain't so sweet.

So I went and obtained me a set of baffles from Three Stooges Cycle out in the county. He had a dust covered brand new set he produced from somewhere in the back of the store room and gave me a deal on them.
Last year I spent days cleaning up this old Ironhead to make it all Purdy, after a few caught in the rain rides I remembered I like riding more than cleaning. That's not dirt and road grime on there though, that's patina and you only get that with riding not showing. But notice the no baffled pipes.  
here is how the baffle looks at the exit side of things. Luck would have it that the pipes were already drilled from manufacturer for installing these. One less step I had to do. 

Here is the entry end with those little tangs in there to aid in quieting noise levels and give a bit of back pressure and street bike needs. Helps with engine pulses also which give better all around engine throttle response.

Here is the pipe with baffles installed.  During my ride I noticed the extreme noise level was lessor by far although the aggressive growl was not there as it was before. The throttle response was much smoother and through a larger range with lower revs. Bottom end take off power is better and the engine pulls easier along a much broader length. Small twists of the throttle produces far more pulling power than it did before and is almost spot on when I need it. I have not noticed any loud snap popping when slowing down or going down hills and oddly to me it feels like the buzzing in the foot pegs is much lessor than before. She feels more like a wolf in sheeps clothing now although still moderately loud but nothing compared to the before extreme loud. Cruising the national parks and parkway is going to be way nicer for me, the animals and others who want to enjoy the serene areas without my monster Ironhead shaking the ground and airwaves.


A Katy Did Gig said...

Hmmm would these work for my short shots? I think they are too loud also. I had a baffle put in but I think another wouldn't hurt.

WooleyBugger said...

Well Howdy there Lady Katy,
They might depending on your pipes internal size. I'm fairly sure they make them in other pipe sizes. There are longer baffles you can get that also have a packing in them to squelch noise. These I put in are so easy to do and I am glad I did. Took about thirty minutes to do both which most of that time was just gathering what I needed, and stuffing my face.