This is a "how-to" on shortening your stock 03-05 R6 exhaust pipe. I tried it myself after reading reports of other members trying it, and got spectacular results! Best of all, it was fairly straight forward and took me about 3-4 hours to do. The chopped exhaust looks great and the sound is so much better than stock. I personally can't sense much gained performance, but others may feel free to post up what they found by trying it.
Before you start
Before cutting into your ugly stock exhaust, you'll want to grab all the necessary parts and tools. Fortunately, the list isn't very long: 12mm socket, crescent wrench (or another 12mm socket), ruler/measuring tape, power drill, drill bit set, rivet tool and rivets, a pen or sharpie, high temp paint (optional) and finally, some form of saw. I used a hacksaw, but a chop-saw (preferred), sawzall, cutting wheel, dremmel, and any combination of the above will work.
Having all the tools and parts on hand will help you get finished and running faster so you can enjoy your handiwork
1. Getting started
Start by removing the exhaust pipe. First loosen and remove the exhaust clamp (12mm) located on the underbelly of the bike. Then with 12mm sockets and/or crescent wrenches, remove the nut and bolt supporting the exhaust. The exhaust should slip right off.
Next, lay the exhaust out and determine just how much you want to cut off. Take and measure 4" from the back of the hanger bracket. Anywhere between the 4" mark and the bracket is the green zone - the best and easiest area to cut (at least with a hacksaw
). I cut 7.5" off mine, but I recommend at least 8", measured from the end, without the cone (more on that later). At this point you should know whether you want to cut or not. Trust me, the payout is worth it.
You can go ahead and measure/mark your cut line or you can wait until after you've drilled the rivets.
2. Drilling the Rivets.
For me, this was the most difficult part, but I'm not an expert rivet driller
. Set your exhaust on a clean surface and take care not to scrape or scratch the exhaust. Take your drill and bit set and start drilling out the rivets around the end cap. Mine had a tendency to spin after just before cutting all the way through. I used some needle-nose pliers to help bend them off. Be patient and careful
as this step will determine how pro your exhaust looks. Mine had spin marks that I couldnt avoid, but it does not detract too much from the finished product. If there is a better way, please post it up.
My exhaust had road rash on the front cone, so I opted to remove it as well and rotated the rashed part toward the inside of the bike. Beware that the holes will not
line up, so you will have to redrill some holes. Not a big deal. If the front cap is damaged badly enough, you may need to carefully persuade it off with a hammer and the end of a 2x4.
Drilling - I couldn't wait for my exhaust to cool down, so I did this step with it mounted, lolz.
3. The cut.
If you have access to a chop saw, use it! If not, I used a hacksaw and it turned out just fine. I cut the outer tube all the way around before cutting any deeper - the first cut will act as a guide for the deeper cuts. Below the aluminum is a layer of mesh and i suggest cutting all the way around that as well. After that there is one large pass through pipe, and one large and two small pipes that are not attached to the front of the muffler. Save yourself some time and examine the location of the big pipe in the pic below. The smaller pipes don't need to be cut, so avoid them.
Hacksaw users will need to find a way to steady the muffler as you cut - I laid two bags of horse feed over the exhaust to keep it steady.
4. Paint (optional).
I wanted to add an extra touch to my masterpiece, so I shot the just the can (not the cones) with 3 coats of high temp satin black. I suggest sanding/scuffing any painted surfaces (I didn't do that and my paint is brittle and easily scratched
5. Re-attaching Caps.
The last thing to be done is to re-attach the end caps. Simply mark and drill the locations for the rivets. Take your time marking and drilling to make sure all the holes line up for the rivets. I couldn't find rivets with the wide heads like the originals, so I just used what fit and it looks fine to me. Finally snap the rivets in, mount it on the bike and youre done!
IMO its a thing of beauty and makes a wonderful noise. It cost me less than 20 bucks to make and kicks the crap out of buying an overpriced slip on. The bike definitely sounds more powerful and it returned 42mpg @ 80mph on the interstate, so I know the performance isn't hindered. Its huge upgrade from the nasty look and sound of a stocker and has the added perk of being able to use it as a horn for idiot drivers with the flick of a wrist
So, if you have the tools (and the odds are most people do), I say go for it!!!