A louder muffler


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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drtimm@att.net
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A louder muffler

Postby drtimm@att.net » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:54 pm



Does anyone out there have any advice on how to increase the sound of the stock mufflers on the 1800?



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Re: A louder muffler

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:21 am

You can always drill holes in the baffles, that's the pretty standard way of doing what you're looking for.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby newday777 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:09 am

WingAdmin wrote:You can always drill holes in the baffles, that's the pretty standard way of doing what you're looking for.


There is a local to me rider with an 1800 that i noticed his was louder with the stock mufflers. He removed the end caps and drilled two 5/8" holes above the single outlet that is there, in a triangle shape then put the caps back on. It'd be a good idea to paint the holes so they won't rust.

Otherwise you can get aftermarket mufflers to make more noise.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby canuck623 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:08 am

Modifying the stock exhaust is not a good idea on an 1800. That engine needs the correct back pressure or it can damage the valves. The aftermarket exhaust actually lower the bottom end torque of this wonderful engine. In my opinion I would leave it alone.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby SteveB123 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:07 am

canuck623 wrote:Modifying the stock exhaust is not a good idea on an 1800. That engine needs the correct back pressure or it can damage the valves.


How is the 1800 unique, regarding "back pressure" requirements?
How do the valves get damaged?
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby themainviking » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:19 am

SteveB123 wrote:How is the 1800 unique, regarding "back pressure" requirements?
How do the valves get damaged?


Good question Steve. I am wondering the same thing. Voiding warranty I could understand, but valve damage??? :o
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby canuck623 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:36 am

It is common knowledge that reducing back pressure below design limits can have adverse effects on the valve train. I have been a mechanic and a go fast guy all my life. Back pressure is a bit of a misleading term when it comes to exhaust tuning. Rather, you set up standing sound waves in the pipe, which when done correctly, give a low pressure area just outside the exhaust valve, which helps scavenge the cylinder. The length and size of the pipe affects the rpm at which this occurs. Engine exhausts use the kinetic energy of the exhaust gas from the previous cylinder to create a partial vacuum in the manifold at exactly the right moment (this is called exhaust gas scavenging). Reducing the back pressure lowers this scavenging effect and therefore reduces the efficiency of the exhaust system. When I say reduces the efficiency I mean by that it changes the RPM of the maximum scavenging. Reducing the back pressure away from the factory specs will cause the maximum torque and horsepower curve to occur higher on the RPM scale. The act of scavenging also increases the amount of new fuel charge that can be put into a cylinder because the intake stroke begins when the valve train is in overlap and the vacuum in the pipe now "pulls" more into the cylinder. How does that harm a valve you say? Well lets think about that for a second. If you reduce the amount of scavenging (that vacuum just behind the valve) the hot exhaust gases remain in the pipe longer and that gives it more time to leave harmful deposits on the back side of the exhaust valve. Since this exhaust is also still burning at very high temps when it exits the cylinder it can burn the valve seat area as well. In a Goldwing engine this is undesirable because we don't cruise down the road at 6000RPM, we cruise down the road at 3000RPM. The 1836CC engine we have in our Goldwings is a thing of beauty and is tuned to be the most efficient power plant it can be. Racing engines strive for lower back pressure because they operate at high RPM all the time so it is desirable to raise the scavenging effect. Turbo engines require almost 0 back pressure because they force the A/F mixture into the engine and natural scavenging is not needed.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:08 pm

canuck623 wrote:It is common knowledge that reducing back pressure below design limits can have adverse effects on the valve train. I have been a mechanic and a go fast guy all my life. Back pressure is a bit of a misleading term when it comes to exhaust tuning. Rather, you set up standing sound waves in the pipe, which when done correctly, give a low pressure area just outside the exhaust valve, which helps scavenge the cylinder. The length and size of the pipe affects the rpm at which this occurs. Engine exhausts use the kinetic energy of the exhaust gas from the previous cylinder to create a partial vacuum in the manifold at exactly the right moment (this is called exhaust gas scavenging). Reducing the back pressure lowers this scavenging effect and therefore reduces the efficiency of the exhaust system. When I say reduces the efficiency I mean by that it changes the RPM of the maximum scavenging. Reducing the back pressure away from the factory specs will cause the maximum torque and horsepower curve to occur higher on the RPM scale. The act of scavenging also increases the amount of new fuel charge that can be put into a cylinder because the intake stroke begins when the valve train is in overlap and the vacuum in the pipe now "pulls" more into the cylinder. How does that harm a valve you say? Well lets think about that for a second. If you reduce the amount of scavenging (that vacuum just behind the valve) the hot exhaust gases remain in the pipe longer and that gives it more time to leave harmful deposits on the back side of the exhaust valve. Since this exhaust is also still burning at very high temps when it exits the cylinder it can burn the valve seat area as well. In a Goldwing engine this is undesirable because we don't cruise down the road at 6000RPM, we cruise down the road at 3000RPM. The 1836CC engine we have in our Goldwings is a thing of beauty and is tuned to be the most efficient power plant it can be. Racing engines strive for lower back pressure because they operate at high RPM all the time so it is desirable to raise the scavenging effect. Turbo engines require almost 0 back pressure because they force the A/F mixture into the engine and natural scavenging is not needed.


I couldn't have said it better. This is 100% correct.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby themainviking » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:39 pm

Well, I be go to heck. I did not know that. Thank you for a very educational explanation.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby canuck623 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:58 pm

Thanks for the validation WingAdmin.

Your welcome Viking. Like I said I have been a go fast guy for ever and exhaust tuning is really a science. If you have a purpose in mind then you can tune to that. The folks that designed our beloved Wings spent millions of $$$ to get it right and all it takes is a couple holes drilled wrong to destroy it all.

I am planning a ride this summer up your way. I will be getting as far North as Parry Sound. My parents and a couple of my kids and Grandkids live there. Are there any GWRRA Chapters around you? Looking at late July.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby themainviking » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:49 am

You will be welcome, and you know that, as you have family here. There is a chapter in Owen Sound, and one in North Bay, with a third in Sault Ste Marie. These are the only ones close to Parry Sound, and North Bay would be the closest. I am a GWRRA member, but no longer a chapter member in North Bay, but we could make you feel welcome if you rode up here, for sure. We are a hospitable sort of folks here in the North. There are some nice 200-250 mile rides from North Bay that hook through Parry Sound, so doing them in reverse would work for you, coming from Parry Sound. Let me know if you are gonna take a side trip up here.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby canuck623 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:17 am

themainviking wrote:You will be welcome, and you know that, as you have family here. There is a chapter in Owen Sound, and one in North Bay, with a third in Sault Ste Marie. These are the only ones close to Parry Sound, and North Bay would be the closest. I am a GWRRA member, but no longer a chapter member in North Bay, but we could make you feel welcome if you rode up here, for sure. We are a hospitable sort of folks here in the North. There are some nice 200-250 mile rides from North Bay that hook through Parry Sound, so doing them in reverse would work for you, coming from Parry Sound. Let me know if you are gonna take a side trip up here.


Will do. It has been many years since I rode in the "Near North" and yes it is beautiful. My oldest daughter went to Nipissing Universary and I like North Bay.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby eklimek » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:13 pm

I think there may room for an alternative opinion which suggests there is no reason to avoid the minimal modifications needed to increase the exhaust "Noise" in a goldwing.

See for example

"Destroying a myth.

Some say that "an engine needs backpressure to work correctly." Is this true?

No. It would be more correct to say, "a perfectly stock engine that cannot adjust its fuel delivery needs backpressure to work correctly." This idea is a myth. As with all myths, however, there is a hint of fact with this one. Particularly, some people equate backpressure with torque, and others fear that too little backpressure will lead to valve burning.

The first reason why people say "backpressure is good" is because they believe that increased backpressure by itself will increase torque, particularly with a stock exhaust manifold. Granted, some stock manifolds act somewhat like performance headers at low RPM, but these manifolds will exhibit poor performance at higher RPM. This, however does not automatically lead to the conclusion that backpressure produces more torque. The increase in torque is not due to backpressure, but to the effects of changes in fuel/air mixture, which will be described in more detail below.

The other reason why people say "backpressure is good" is because they hear that cars (or motorcycles) that have had performance exhaust work done to them would then go on to burn exhaust valves. Now, it is true that such valve burning has occurred as a result of the exhaust mods, but it isn't due merely to a lack of backpressure.

The internal combustion engine is a complex, dynamic collection of different systems working together to convert the stored power in gasoline into mechanical energy to push a car down the road. Anytime one of these systems are modified, that mod will also indirectly affect the other systems, as well.

Now, valve burning occurs as a result of a very lean-burning engine. In order to achieve a theoretical optimal combustion, an engine needs 14.7 parts of oxygen by mass to 1 part of gasoline (again, by mass). This is referred to as a stochiometric (chemically correct) mixture, and is commonly referred to as a 14.7:1 mix. If an engine burns with less oxygen present (13:1, 12:1, etc...), it is said to run rich. Conversely, if the engine runs with more oxygen present (16:1, 17:1, etc...), it is said to run lean. Today's engines are designed to run at 14.7:1 for normally cruising, with rich mixtures on acceleration or warm-up, and lean mixtures while decelerating.

Getting back to the discussion, the reason that exhaust valves burn is because the engine is burning lean. Normal engines will tolerate lean burning for a little bit, but not for sustained periods of time. The reason why the engine is burning lean to begin with is that the reduction in backpressure is causing more air to be drawn into the combustion chamber than before. Earlier cars (and motorcycles) with carburetion often could not adjust because of the way that backpressure caused air to flow backwards through the carburetor after the air already got loaded down with fuel, and caused the air to receive a second load of fuel. While a bad design, it was nonetheless used in a lot of vehicles. Once these vehicles received performance mods that reduced backpressure, they no longer had that double-loading effect, and then tended to burn valves because of the resulting over-lean condition. This, incidentally, also provides a basis for the "torque increase" seen if backpressure is maintained. As the fuel/air mixture becomes leaner, the resultant combustion will produce progressively less and less of the force needed to produce torque."

Reference here
http://genesisforums.org/hyundai-genesi ... eeded.html

For what it is worth, it is fairly easy to increase the noise of a muffler and the sonic effects are to be distinguished from the air flow effects of back pressure.

As an aside, the exhaust induced induction in a GL 1800 is very small. The overlap in a GL1800
Is 10 degrees, which contributes to low speed idle, smoothness and torque. This engine is not designed to rev or extract meaninful power at higher revs. 10 degrees is very small.

From most manufacturers of aftermatket cams it is generally stayed that

" In standard engines, valves are open together for only 15-30 degrees of overlap. In a race engine operating between 5000 and 7000 rpm, the overlap period is more like 60-100 degrees. The penalty for so much overlap in a street engine is very poor running at lower rpms, when a lot of the intake charge has time to sidetrack directly out the open exhaust valve. Mileage goes South. Heads overheat from fuel burning in exhaust ports. The engine runs hot. The exhaust system gets fueled like a blowtorch."


Ithink this means there is almost no performance benefit to fiddling with the exhaust in a Goldwing. Reduction of back pressure is pretty much all one can attempt to improve exhaust flow. It lacks the overlap to benefit from high revs and tuned exhaust. Sort of like my Massey-Ferguson. I love em both.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:06 pm

Piston-engined airplanes typically have a mixture control, where the fuel/air mixture can be adjusted independent of the throttle. The reason for this is to adjust the mixture on a normally-aspirated engine as altitude increases. You will normally also have a CHT (cylinder head temperature) gauge, and this gauge is used to determine correct mixture settings. You can watch the CHT increase as the mixture is leaned out.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby canuck623 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:12 pm

That's a great description that confirms what I said but with more words. The Wing engine, as designed is the best it can be. I have a friend that spent a bucket full of money putting V & H pipes on his wing. Did away with the cat converter and all. End result was that he likes the sound (not many others did) and claimed it was so much faster he couldn't believe it. Noise apparently = speed in the mind. I told him what I knew about all that stuff and then he wanted to "show" me. We lined them up in an empty parking lot that we do our PFD's in. It has at least a 1000 ft run down the back. The race was over before I got into second gear. He took so much power out of the bottom end it was even worse than I had expected. Second gear just added to the insult. Now if we were racing between 4500 and 6000 RPM the story may have been different but like I said, we run at 3000 all day, not 6000.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Wingrider44 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:06 pm

I know what you mean when you say that "noise apparently = speed in the mind". Lots of people have that idea. I just say, all blow and no go. Why in the world would anyone want a louder exhaust sound on the Wing. Most of the time when you mess with the Wing exhaust, you end with a droning sound at highway speeds that would drive me insane. I love the note of the GL1800 exhaust. No droning. I love it when I meet another Goldwing and all I hear is whoosh. Everytime I roll on the throttle I'm impressed with the nearly silent power this machine exhibits. But I also know that there are different strokes for different folks. YMMV..... :) :) :)
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Steve F » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:22 pm

I enjoy the quiet too, but a little low-freq. grumble is nice. I like a car that sounds strong, but not loud. Straight pipes on some bikes leave nothing for me to like at all.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Doug B. » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:30 am

I have always figured that Mother Honda put the pipes on at the factory that worked best for the engine. I have a hard time messing with perfection. I leave "as is".
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby eklimek » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:03 am

Marketing, engineering and cost all influence the product and compromises result.

The goldwing appears to be a niche product popularized 30 years ago appealing to an older group not into the current enduro/adventure touring image. When 007 or Captain America threw his leg over a bike it wasn't a GW.

The goldwing engine is a durable performer with few aftermarket engine performance enhancements. As the new Valkyrie shows, Honda left the engine as is. Power is adequate and weight loss is a preferred cost effective performance enhancement.

In our GWTA meeting a question was raised, "How many owners does the goldwing go through in a life cycle?" The sense was the majority of readers did not buy new. And each owner fiddles with it to personalize it. Most changes are cosmetic.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby lhelber » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:02 pm

When touring I prefer listening to my stereo system and not the exhaust. I can't think of any reason to make my exhaust louder. If I was trying to eek some performance out of the motor and the exhaust ended up being louder that is one thing. Make the exhaust louder just because you can is just a way to be annoying to everyone around you. Honda motors from the factory are extremely reliable why would you want to change it.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Wolfie666 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:07 am

Ah Oh... I guess I'm in trouble then...
I have ran open pipes on ALL of my bikes dating back to 1971.
This includes several CB750's, Gl1100, Gl1200, and my GL1500...
Even while drag racing in the 70's on the 750...
NEVER had an engine problem...
I guess it pays not to listen to the experts...

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby canuck623 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:37 am

Wolfie666 wrote:Ah Oh... I guess I'm in trouble then...
I have ran open pipes on ALL of my bikes dating back to 1971.
This includes several CB750's, Gl1100, Gl1200, and my GL1500...
Even while drag racing in the 70's on the 750...
NEVER had an engine problem...
I guess it pays not to listen to the experts...


Ahhh your probably one of those really annoying people to ride with too then. Disturbing everyone around you whether they are on a bike or on the sidewalk. There are towns down here that have 85db laws and if you are heard over that you get a ticket that will make you think twice about those open pipes.
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Wolfie666 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:05 am

If I haven't got pulled over for my choice of exhaust for over 42 years, while travelling most of the lower 48, and Canada, I'm not too concerned about it now.
And for the record, I belong to, and ride with a couple "national" touring groups, and have had NO complaints about being annoying.

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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Steve F » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:31 pm

Wolfie666 wrote:Ah Oh... I guess I'm in trouble then...
I have ran open pipes on ALL of my bikes dating back to 1971.
This includes several CB750's, Gl1100, Gl1200, and my GL1500...
Even while drag racing in the 70's on the 750...
NEVER had an engine problem...
I guess it pays not to listen to the experts...

How could you listen to the experts??? Heck you can't even HEAR them. :lol:
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Re: A louder muffler

Postby Wingrider44 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:54 pm

Steve F wrote:
Wolfie666 wrote:Ah Oh... I guess I'm in trouble then...
I have ran open pipes on ALL of my bikes dating back to 1971.
This includes several CB750's, Gl1100, Gl1200, and my GL1500...
Even while drag racing in the 70's on the 750...
NEVER had an engine problem...
I guess it pays not to listen to the experts...

How could you listen to the experts??? Heck you can't even HEAR them. :lol:


That is funny, right there. Good one.


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