Can Aftermarket Exhaust Damage Engine Of Your Motorcycle?

The answer is ‘No’ with some conditions. There are pretty good reasons to change the complete performance exhaust systems of your motorcycle. A lot of aftermarket exhaust brands offer them within your budget to make such change/improvements. But somewhere in your mind, it keeps asking can aftermarket exhaust damage engine or can’t? 

To calm your mind and to have complete confidence, you need to know all the major pros and cons of aftermarket exhaust. You must know how does the exhaust affects the performance motorcycle as well.  

Engine Damage: Myths, Causes, And Solutions

can aftermarket exhaust damage engine

You will get positive impacts with some setbacks from the new aftermarket exhaust. But can aftermarket exhaust damage engine? The answer is again, NO. It will faster the aging of the exhaust valves a little, but it’s negligible. You won’t notice it in your normal use. 

There is no evidence that an aftermarket exhaust damaged the engine. You talk to your local mechanic, and he will tell you the same. The heavy usages can damage the engine. Apart from that, the followings can damage the engine:

  • Lower oil level. It’s the lifeblood of the engine. But if you keep the oil level low often, it will damage the engine. Change the oil at a regular interval that the manufacturer recommends too to prolong the life of the engine.
  • If you make short trips a lot, the engine does not get warm enough to remove water. Try to change the oil more often if this is the case.
  • Revving the engine too high too often will lead to engine damage faster.
  • During the winterization, make sure to use a preservative to keep the engine and other parts lubed. Draining all the oil for the winterization purpose without using preservatives will damage the engine.

Pros And Cons Of Aftermarket Exhaust

If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you know I write a lot about the motorcycle, right? Well, I received lots of questions like does a slip-on exhaust increase horsepower or not, how does changing exhaust affect engine, and so on. In this article, I tried to answer them all.

Pros Of Aftermarket Exhaust

First, let’s see what the benefits of aftermarket exhausts:

Sound Improvement

Though it depends on age and preferences, a lot of bikers like to have sound improvement when they get an aftermarket exhaust. If you are not happy with the sound of your stock exhaust, it can be a game-changer for you to have a killer sound.

For most young riders, this is the prime reason to have the slip-on mufflers. 

Badass Look

Apart from the killer sound, many bikers replace the stock exhausts for a better look. It’s true, a badass exhaust can make a whole new level of appearance improvement for your bike.

Increased Power

Too much back pressure of your motorcycle stifles your engine. After the market engine reduces the back pressure of your bike. The reason is pretty simple. Aftermarket exhausts are much lighter than the stock exhausts.

That’s how it adds some horsepower to the system. So, you can expect a little performance boost. You should not be expecting any power and performance improvements like a turbocharger can give though.

Efficient Fuel Mileage

To see the greater impact on fuel consumption, you need to have the complete exhaust replacement. Axle-back or cat-back replacement won’t show much improvement here. 

Cons Of Aftermarket Exhaust

Apart from the badass look, weight savings, and killer sound, aftermarket exhausts offer a lot more. But it has some negative sides too. The exhaust does not work alone. It has to work with other components of your bike. That means you have to buy or upgrade other components too.

Now, let’s see what negative impacts they can bring to the engine.

  • As you can imagine, the first drawback is its cost. The exhaust alone costs a lot. Now, if you have to buy other components like the O2 sensor and make changes to the wiring harness, the cost will go up. If you can’t install it yourself, including the mechanic charge too.
  • On your long trips, the killer sound will make you weary.
  • In the gas stations and parking lots, a lot of other people will appreciate the new exhaust a lot. They will ask you a lot of questions. At first, you will enjoy it, but it’s become tiresome after a while.


There are good reasons to be worried about the engine damage of your bike, but you are welcome to use any good aftermarket exhausts without any fear. If you can’t install it yourself, get it professionally done so that you don’t mess it up.

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