The Tale Of The Aftermarket Exhaust

I have probably mentioned the obnoxious loud exhaust that came with my used motorcycle. Well, a couple weeks ago I found someone on the Internet who traded me his old stock muffler for my noisy aftermarket one. Unfortunately, the stock muffler didn’t quite fit. I don’t know why that was the case, but the muffler was just about a quarter-inch too long and I couldn’t get the attachment screws to line up. Obviously the solution was to whack at it with a mallet to make it fit. No dice.

Then I tugged it back off. They call them “slip-on” replacements, but it doesn’t exactly slip so much as jiggle. I’m probably damaging the expensive parts of the exhaust by tugging on them constantly. I certainly pulled a muscle in my back. Anyway the obvious way to fix the problem was to cut the pipe down a bit.

I borrowed a friend’s Dremel tool and rapidly burned the fiberglass cutting bit to nothing. So I bought an eleven-dollar tungsten cutting bit and rapidly broke the bit in half, trapping the bit in the chuck. Went back to my friend’s house, she showed me how to remove jammed, broken bits (apparently this is a common and simple problem). I went back to the hardware store and bought a five-pack of the fiberglass cutting bits I’d first tried — a bargain at six dollars for the lot — and used up three and a half before I got a donut of muffler cut off. A sanding wheel to flatten all the scratches I’ve put on the thing over the past few days, and I’m set. The muffler fits smoothly (i.e. liberal use of WD-40 and a mallet) into tube A, tube A fits around the main exhaust outlet B. Assuming I haven’t broken anything while fixing this, I’m done!

Well, there’s this bit that’s supposed to go around Tube A, and tighten down, but I can’t quite fit it, so I’m not going to put it on. Seems well-enough attached anyway. Also I wonder if WD-40 was the right lubricant for something that’s going to get very, very hot. I imagine I’ll have some smoking and burning the first time I start up, especially since there’s plenty of half-burned fiberglass and powdered rust in the muffler now. And of course there’s the nagging conviction that cutting the front end of the muffler is not the best way to make it fit; this might totally screw up the airflow and break things. I mean, isn’t a stock muffler supposed to just… fit on?

Nonetheless: I AM A MAN BECAUSE I CAN USE POWER TOOLS. And because I used ear protection, but not lung, hand, arm, or eye protection. It wasn’t CONVENIENT! Well, I was wearing glasses. That counts, right? Sort of? I’m not blind! Also I have spread burnt fiberglass all over the basement. At least now I won’t set off the neighbors’ car alarms when I ride home.

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