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Full exhaust recommendation for 2003 VStar 1100

24 posts from 14 voices
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  1. hijamooze

    I have decided it is time for an aftermarket exhaust after being cut off at a light this afternoon. Stocks are too quiet.

    So, having been looking for awhile now, I have narrowed it down to Cobra's speedster slashdowns and the classic deluxe slashcuts and V&H's classic IIs. Can anybody answer a few basic questions for me.

    First, what are the differences between straights versus the tapered 3 1/2 inch pipes? Sound-wise (listened online, but nothing like being there live)? Performance-wise? Warrantee-wise? Emission-wise? I have heard rumors about California (where I am) requiring emissions testing.

    Of the 3, recommendations? I don't want to tick off neighbors too badly...

    Second, what air intake is recommended? And jet kit? Will the jet kit need to be paired with the particular exhaust system?

    I am relatively new to riding (April 2009 and this is my first post), but handy on engines. With all the instructions I've seen, I plan to do the job myself. Any quick advice in advance that I should get that you have?

  2. donjlip

    If your nieghbor doesn't here you then somebody in a car with the radio on ,windows rolled up , on the phone texting is not going to. So along with the pipes more lights and a Stebble Nautilaus horn That will get you noticed Tony

  3. hovmeg

    Put Jardine slip ons the my wife's 07 1100 Custom. Nice sound, loud when you want it to be; very easy conversion in less than an hour. Took longer to get the old ones off than to install the new ones. No other mods at this time but much better performance. Not sure what it might do to emissions inspection. Might want to check with, great customer service and prices.

  4. Blacgzdar25

    Hey There hijamooze... I have an '06 1100 Classic and I installed a set of Hard Krome 2.75" Big Straights. They're pretty loud but can be made quieter with some baffling. I used a "Chubby" jet kit from Shane at
    $150.00. A buddy did the install for me but there really isn't much to it. This combination of pipes and jets works perfectly. Another excellent air intake system is the Devil's Breath from These work best without lower wind deflectors.
    I don't know if I will be banned for this but there's another forum I visit that has all the instructions for jetting your bike and a whole slew of other stuff all in a database. Contact me if you want the info.


  5. bkman

    The V&H are slip-ons, but the Cobra is a full exhaust, correct? I am sorry I am not up on all my exhaust systems! I would think that the full exhaust would have the potential for more volume, but you might have to run it without any baffles. My wife has the Cobra streetrod on her Honda Shadow. It is running with no baffles at all and it is LOUD - too loud in my opinion, but she loves it.

    I have the Cobra 2-1 HP Pro on my V-Star 1100 and I absolutely love the sound. It is not extremely loud, but it does roar when you jump on it. At slow speeds it is positively civil. If you're only looking for more sound, you could even bore out your stock exhaust (by removing the internal baffles) and save a lot of money. If you want more performance, you're probably going to want to go with a full exhaust and intake setup.

    With regard to the intake kits, there are a number of them from which to choose (at many price points). If you want to "roll your own", get some jets and read a lot on the websites already recommended - you can get great results that way. If you want "turn-key", I can recommend the Maxair system. I love mine, and it was very easy (not simple) to do. There are other turnkey systems, too. I just have no experience with them.

  6. Fulldild1

    I have the Cobra Speedster Slashdowns on my 2005 Star Custom. They are considerably louder, which is what I wanted. My GFs daughter said the other day "OIC you rode your loud ass motorcycle over". I said "Loud Pipes Save Lives", she replied "R U trying to save the Sudan". I am looking at some muffler packing for the baffles. I have the AIS removed, the Cobra jet kit and needles, also the airbox has that Ram-air mod. Performance is much better, MPG is in the upper 40s.

  7. yy45daco

    I have classic deluxe slashcuts on my 05 v star and really like them. They aren't quite as loud as the v&h but I still like them better (v&h turn colors to easily). I have about 10000 miles on my bike now and the pipes still havent discolored any.

  8. einzdan

    Try installing a Stebel Nautilus Compact Air Horn. That'll put an end to cagers cutting you off.

  9. vakonman

    While these loud aftermarket horns are probably affective there is still that lag time in activating them when needed. I find that I don't use the horn often enough to just instinctively hit the horn button. I always have to look down for the button and by then it's often too late to be a deterrent to being cut off. On the other hand, loud pipes are loud all the time and it's a instant maneuver to crack the throttle for those extra dBs. It's worked for me numerous times.

  10. tunc

    hijamooze have a look in the video section theres different exhausts there to listen to
    heres the link

    might help ya with your choice

  11. CruizerBruizer

    I ride a '99 custom with Shogun Ripsaws with the baffled nicely tucked in my garage and it sounds great. I've had no complaints from the neighbors, though one day when I had it at the end of the driveway I could hear the sound waves resonating between the houses.

    Guys on the highway have also told me it sounds great.

    I looked them up recently and they go for $539 through a link on one of the other posts in here...can't remember which one, sorry. But they look and sound great, though when you're just cruising they're not too obnoxious.

    Whatever you do, you need to remember to rejet your carbs. The guy who I got my bike from didn't (I have since I got the bike) and I had lots of popping and backfire problems. If you do an intake, the rejet of for the pipes should take care of the rejet for the intakes, too.

  12. hijamooze

    WOW! Thanks for all the responses.

    Though I'm tempted to go with slip ons to avoid having to rejet, if I end up having to rejet, I'll kick myself for not spending the extra money on the full exhaust. That being the case, thinking Cobra deluxe classics are where I'm leaning. I've heard a lot about Shogun and HK pipes and will have to check them out too now.

    Got a lot of family, including dad, telling me loud pipes save lives. The neighbors will just have to deal.

    Found em for $371 (at) jcmotors. Seems really good.

    Hope the jetting goes easy. I'll post the results as soon as I install.

  13. yy45daco

    Re-jetting these bikes really isn't hard at all. If you get a exhaust more than likely you will have to do something to the carb (even with a slip on). I have 2 friends with slip-ons on there bike and they are both running lean. Anyways just keep this in mind.

  14. hijamooze

    Pulled the trigger and bought some pipes. Decided to go with the Cobra Classic Deluxe Slashcut. Got too good a deal to pass up and ended up paying bit more than $300.

    Is it best to go with a Cobra jet kit to match the pipes or anything? Should I install them and run the bike before jetting to see if it even needs to be done?

    Also, because I'm relatively new to this, if I get a new air intake, will that affect the type of jet kit or which size jets should be used to correspond to the new pipes?

  15. CruizerBruizer

    Moose...I personally don't know the answer to that question, but there are different size jets you can install (I've just about dumped core on my knowledge of rejetting!), but do know that with eiter pipes or a hypercharger you need to rejet. I just happened to be talking about this with my friendly neighborhood bike shop guy the other day and he essentially said that if you rejet, it counts for anything that need rejetting, so what works for carbs also works for a hypercharger, if hypercharger is what you mean by the air intake.

    The tech specs for an 1100 require rejetting with new pipes...the guy who installed the ones on my bike didn't and I ended up having to do it. Before the rejet Bruiser popped a lot and backfired occasionally. Now, he runs like a sonofagun and stands up when I hit the gas.

    Good luck on your mods...

  16. bkman

    Because you decided on a full exhaust, you should probably plan on re-jetting. The Cobra jet kit should work fine, but you can save money by buying the jets on your own. You'll have to hear from some of the folks here who have done this, though - the Cobra jet numbers do not match up with the Mikuni numbers used in the OEM setup.

    Usually, if you have popping / backfiring issues on decel / slow-speed riding, it is because your pilot fuel mixture is too lean. This can usually be cured by removing the AIS hardware and backing the PM screws out about one extra turn from the OEM setting. This is all covered in the instructions that come with the jet kit (except for the AIS removal - you can find detailed instructions for that procedure here). Also, the V-Star Knowledge base (another website - not sure if I am allowed to link to that) has jet recommendations, should you decide to save money and buy your own jets. When you're installing your new pipes, be sure that you properly tighten the exhaust flange bolts, and that the gaskets are in place. The most common problem people have installing exhasts is the flange bolts and gaskets. If you hurry and mangle this step, you will have backfiring issues that will drive you nuts. Go slow and do it once - you'll be very pleased with the result.

    Good luck. I am sure you will love the sound of your new exhaust AND that you will probably be shopping for an ORK in the next year. It is significantly more difficlut to change the oil filter on the 1100 with some aftermarket exhausts than it is with the OEM one. Depending on how much you ride, the oil filter can become a real pain.

    Oh, and you will most likely have to re-jet AGAIN if you add an intake down the road. The OEM intake on the 1100 is rather restrictive. Once you remove it, the airway opens up significantly and the bike will probably not run real well until you re-tune everything (including jets). My advice to you - if you can afford it - is to do the whole job at once.

  17. yy45daco

    I agree with bkman. You will definely need to remove or block off the AIS otherwise you will never know if it is jetted right because know matter how perfect you are at jetting it will always pop if you dont. I would also look into a air intake before you start jetting so you can knock it all out a 1 time. I would also go look at some of the jetting post to get a idea what you will need to change out. Keep in mind the temp, altitude, and what you all did will determine the best starting point for you.
    Where did you buy your exhaust at?

  18. hitoa

    I have the Cobra Speedster Slashdowns with the sound reducing baffles, sounds pretty good- and I have the option to switch out baffles.
    The slashdowns have a lifetime warranty while the classic deluxe do not...

  19. mard8

    I have Bub Big Willy pipes on my 08 Silverado and they are great. Good sound and not too loud. I have not done any intake mods and it runs fine.

  20. hijamooze

    Looks like I am going to try the Thunder kits or a BAK. Like the classic look of them. Going to pick one up tomorrow.

    As I prep for surgery this weekend to do my installs, including the ORK, can anybody tell me whether I need to completely remove the carbs to do the jetting or can it be done simply by removing the seats, tank and air box?


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