Full System or Slip on exhaust? That’s what we’re frequently asked by motorcyclists after, “what can i do to make my bike faster?”

The short answer? It depends…

Vague? But it’s 100% true! The short answer is just that..the long answer? Keep reading.

The fact is every exhaust manufacture wants you to believe the FULL system is the best choice and of course every manufacture will contradict themselves and say SLIP ON because “no tuning is needed” Well that mostly untrue now, the days of slapping a slip on or full system on and not re-tuning are long gone. The fact is most bikes nowadays are so restricted fueling wise that any change; slip on, full, air filter, will drastically affect how they run. Think of this, most modern 1000cc bikes are making more hp than Valentino Rossi’s $1,000,000+ MotoGP bike did only a few years ago! Current motorcycles are extremely powerful and thus more sensitive to modifications.

So you got that new bike, what do you do? Full exhaust, which are typically $1,000-$3000 or do you save a few bucks and do just a muffler or slip on which ranges from $250-$1000?

Again, the VARIABLES! It’ll depend on the BIKE, not all bikes require or even like a full system over a simple muffler replacement.

What bike?

This in our opinion is a major factor, let’s look at a few bikes. Take the most popular sport bike, the 2006-2019 Yamaha R6. Very little has changed in the 13 plus year production run on this awesome bike, they make a ton of “slip ons” for the R6 but why do we always recommend you avoid them? Simple, its a waste of money, the muffler does very little for this bike. For sure you will drop some weight but VERY little as nowadays some oem mufflers are titanium or made of light alloys. How about sound? Sure you will have a bit more sound but have minimal gains as the massive catalyst chokes 90% of the noise. As for power? You will see 0 hp gains on the R6 2006+ with only a simple slip on or muffler replacement. So for these bikes we always recommend you do a full exhaust (off road use only of course.) This way you get the big weight savings (over 15 lbs with some systems) you get the noise you want, and gain upwards of 10% hp not to mention the drop in overall heat produced by the bike.

Other bikes? Well here is a list of what in our experience generally works best. (*bike/rider/application will vary.)


1. Honda

  • CBR600RR’s 2003+: All generation really benefit from a full system, as the cat chokes these!

  • CBR1000RR 2008+: Slip on? We have done a lot of testing and the full system produces very little extra power for the cost.


2. Kawasaki

  • Ninja 400: Full systems 100%, these bike REALLY wake up with a good not cheap full system. Fortunately, the full systems for these bikes are not overly expensive.

  • ZX6/636: the headers are very choked with the built in cat.

  • ZX10/10R/10RR 2011+: Full systems really make a noticeable difference. The 2016+ ZX10 runs very well with most 3/4 systems, that is they retain oem headers but you can bypass the cat.

  • ZX12/14: Slip on is fine, these bikes make a TON of power already and actually have very restrictive mufflers. Most ZX12/14 owners are not “racing” their bikes so the extra 2-5hp and the -5lbs is not going to affect a 450+lb 200rwhp beast. They just want the look and deep sound.


3. Suzuki

  • GSXR600/750: For street guys the muffler sounds good but won’t drop weight or add more power so you have to go full, also note 90% of the full exhaust systems can fit all years (2006-2007, 2008-2010, 2011-2018 gens.) Most don’t realize this but the 600 and 750 exhaust are 100% the same! The long tube pipes make much better/smoother power than the shorty “GP” types on these bikes, especially on the 750.

  • GSXR1000: Full or slip on? for sure full system on the 2005-2016 gen, these earlier gen GSXR’s really like a good full system and run best when running a full 4-1 system. For the 2017 model we’ve seen zero gains with just a slip on so don’t waste your money! There are decent 3/4 systems and for our street and trackday clients, we recommend these good 3/4 systems but if you want the power and are racing, the full header systems are the way to go.

  • Hayabusa: If you’re street or sport touring, replacement mufflers sound great and drop some lb’s but powerwise you won’t see gains. It’s a big bore sportbike… there’s plenty of power. For the brave few If you want the big top end you gotta go to the full 4-1 system.

  • SV650’s: Most the time replacing the very choked up muffler makes a nice improvement, some gen you have to cut the muffler off but it’s worth ditching the oem canister.


4. Yamaha

  • R3: Hands down full system! Don’t waste time on a “muffler only” for these little guys, every HP matters!

  • R6: We covered this earlier in the blog, FULL system!!! No reason to waste money on a muffler/tip.

  • R1: Full system for sure for the 2004-2008 gen. Many have done the 3/4 system on these but the issue is the header! The flat 4-1 collector and exup valve kills the midrange! Just doing a header over a 3/4 system can add OVER 15 hp no joke!!! It also eliminates the massive 6000-7000 rpm dip. The 2009-2014 gen you’ll want to go full system, the crossplane engine is very choked up with its stock exhaust and why buy a crossplane if you can’t get that trademark deep bark? The full system also drops a ton of weight and heat which are massive issues on the 09-14 gen R1. The 2015+ slip on’s are a waste of money. If you’re on a budget, squeezing every hp shouldn’t be a priority as they’re already fast and if you want that amazing crossplane sound, do the 3/4 system to eliminate the cat. The ¾ system works well but on a stock engine you won’t see much if any gains, save your money and go with a good full system!

  • FZ07/MT07/MT09/FZ09: Go full, with these you’ll have to ditch the headers/cat. They’re far too choked up and you’ll get that incredible triple growl!


5. KTM

  • RC390: Go with a 3/4 system, we’ve tested them all. Some work great, others not as well. Do NOT go with the “open” systems, if you have a Yosh or similar LEAVE INSERTS INSTALLED or you will make less hp than stock exhaust! The bigger header option works but only on a race track or built RC bike.

  • Big twins (Superduke and other 1190/1290 Platforms): Go with a 3/4 system. The oem headers are fine but you want to ditch that cat and muffler asap. It’ll drop a lot of weight and also reduce a fair amount of heat! These bikes really wake up with a good system but its vital to improve airbox/filter/intake and re-tuning is a must!


6. Aprilia

  • RSV4: We recommend slip on. Surprised? Realistically for 95% of RSV4 owners this is all of you need, the oem headers are not bad. In fact they’re one of the better oem ones and you will drop lbs and gain a few ponies with a slip on and get the V4 growl you want! We run full systems on our race RSV4 but at huge costs and with minimal returns. Stick to a good slip on!


7. BMW

  • S1000RR: We prefer the full systems and with the long pipes! The shorty systems look good and sound great but the longer tube mid-pipe header design we have found makes better overall, smoother power.


8. Ducati

  • 858/1098/1198: We recommend just mufflers for 90% of our clients as they want to drop some weight up high, reduce a lot of under seat heat and get that big twin boom. The full systems are very expensive, with little power gains. Almost all of it is up high so unless you’re racing for wins, save the $$$ for tuning which is a smarter gain!

  • Panigale’s: Most the time the good slip on replacement mufflers will do the job. There’s less heat and less weight but its so low you won’t notice it and you gain some great sound. If you’re chasing power, these bikes really come alive when you run a very high dollar full system which also require a lot of tuning.

  • Diavel/monsters/multi/etc: These bikes all love a good replacement muffler. These are more lifestyle bikes so it’s about getting that great twin sound, dropping a bit of weight, lose heat and also improving the looks.

  • Panigale V4? Stay tuned… https://www.instagram.com/edrperformance/

Hopefully this helps explain a few things and of course always contact with questions! We have turned off customers before by insisting they do not buy a slip on from us, instead save up and get the proper full system. We would rather get you the RIGHT fit rather than “what can we sell you today” all the time. Other than lightweight wheels, exhaust system can typically be the single biggest purchase for your motorcycle and one that really brings that experience to its rider, so chose wisely.