Motorcycle Guide for Beginners: What is a Straight Pipe?

If you feel like getting a louder sound out of your bike and set out to explore your options, the experts will direct you to the straight pipe as the best suitable option.

Before you buy that awesome-looking exhaust system and start removing parts from your motorcycle, there are some things you need to know.

What is the purpose of a muffler? It is an exhaust pipe that keeps noise and unburnt hydrocarbons from polluting the air around us. Sounds important, right? With a straight pipe, you lose those benefits.

If you are new to motorcycles or just learning about them, you may be asking what is a straight pipe. Read on if you want to know more about it and are planning on modifying your motorcycle. Here are some tips on how a straight pipe works and its advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Straight Pipe?

Simply put, it is a pipe used to make your bike sound louder.

More technically, a straight pipe is an exhaust system of a motorcycle, usually replacing a stock muffler.

The muffler is not the only thing that is done away with. While mounting the straight pipe on your motorcycle, you also need to get rid of the catalytic converter. This means that the bike will now exhaust toxic gases in the atmosphere. Keep in mind that this can cause you to fail an emissions test.

Why Install a Straight Pipe?

Install motorcycle Straight Pipe

So you’ve just purchased a brand new, shiny motorcycle and can’t wait to take it out on the open road. But as soon as you take it for a spin, that little voice in the back of your head starts nagging at you with questions. Does it sound right? Can my bike be any louder?

This is where you need a straight pipe for your motorcycle. Your bike will sound much louder than before.

If you are into racing, you have to consider many factors — air pressure, streamlining, weight, and biker’s gear. All these factors matter a great deal when it comes to professional racing. Your motorcycle’s weight plays a great part in this.

The muffler or stock exhaust weighs more than a straight pipe. As for racers, the sound or emissions are less important than the speed. The straight pipe can be an optimal choice in this case due to the reduced weight.

Another advantage of using a straight pipe is that you can get it custom-made according to your preference, with different trendy designs to flaunt.

Motorcycle Exhaust Silencers

Before getting started with the straight pipe and its working principles, let’s look at stock exhaust silencers and their benefits.

A motorcycle exhaust silencer helps reduce the noise generated by the engine. The reduced noise eradicates distractions for drivers and improves safety.

In addition, a silencer can potentially improve fuel economy. The exhaust silencer reduces the engine’s back pressure, which reduces fuel consumption.

As a biker, it is vital to know about average motorcycle mileage. It would help you analyze whether your bike’s mileage is in optimum position or not.

A motorcycle exhaust silencer comprises mufflers and a baffle, which reduces back pressure and speeds airflow through the system. The muffler is typically composed of either stainless steel or aluminum tubing with a high-quality ceramic coating on one or both sides.

In some areas, driving loud vehicles is prohibited to reduce noise pollution and create a peaceful environment. In such situations, an exhaust can save you from getting a ticket.

Some silencers are designed to have an adjustable baffle that can change its position depending on the desired sound profile. In addition, some mufflers are made from carbon fiber, which further reduces unwanted vibrations.

The most common type of motorcycle exhaust silencer is an internal baffle plate that redirects some of the exhaust gas flow into another part of the bike’s system, where it is dissipated. This results in less noise.

The most widely discussed issue with motorcycle exhaust is that it heats up to an extent where high-temperature oxidation leads to corrosion and mechanical breakage of the exhaust.

A solution for this exhaust overheating puts forward a strategy that could reduce the temperature of an exhaust. This design suggests having a dimple pattern on the surface of an exhaust that distributes the surface temperature uniformly without affecting the back pressure and silencer’s performance.

How Does a Straight Pipe Work?

A pipe’s primary function is to channel exhaust gas away from the engine. The better the pipe is at this task, the fewer fumes will be emitted into the air from the engine.

A straight pipe is different from a traditional exhaust system because it doesn’t reroute exhaust through a series of bends and turns to reduce noise pollution.

A straight pipe picks up fumes from the engine and shoots them out of the back of the motorcycle straight away without any filtration. There’s no muffler, no silencer, just a straight passage for the engine gases to travel through.

The straight pipe is not so environment friendly and you could risk getting a ticket for creating pollution or loud engine noise. And the emission test — a bike with a straight pipe doesn’t stand a chance of clearing through it.

Types of Straight Pipes

There are several types of straight pipes that a motorcyclist can install. These include Full System Straight Pipes, Partial System Straight Pipes, and Cut Straight Pipes.

Full System Straight Pipes

Also known as Full System Cut Straight Pipes, this straight pipe replaces the entire factory exhaust system. This type of system is not street legal, as it is way too loud.

Partial System Straight Pipes

A partial system straight pipe replaces only the muffler and the exhaust can be carbon fiber or stainless steel.

Cut Straight Pipes

A cut straight pipe is what you get when you remove the muffler from a factory exhaust system and replace it with a straight pipe.

Benefits of Installing a Straight Pipe

Engine Sound

As mentioned above, a straight pipe is very loud. It’s not like a system with a muffler that keeps the noise to a minimum. With a straight pipe, you’ll be able to hear the bike roaring from a mile away.

Some people like to be a bit more understated, quietly getting their kicks, while others want to be noticed, letting the world know they’re there.

Custom Look

A straight pipe gives your motorcycle a unique look, as it’s not something you see on every bike. You can get it made according to your preference for a unique, trendy look.

Most bikers love to keep their bikes neat and clean. Detailing a motorcycle can be a great way to make your bike shine and flaunt its colors along with extended paint life.

Better Performance

The engine’s reduced back pressure allows it to operate efficiently without extra resistance. That means less gas is being burned while more gas is being emitted through the exhaust system, improving performance.

Reduced Weight

The stock muffler is heavier than a straight pipe, so the straight pipe can provide an additional advantage of weight reduction, which can be helpful in competitions.

Disadvantages of a Straight Pipe on Motorcycle

motorcycle exhaust pipes

Not Street Legal

Think twice before installing a straight pipe, as it may be illegal in your municipality. You should do your research before moving forward.

Too Loud

Imagine having a peaceful sleep after a long day at work and your neighbor decides to ruin it by revving loudly through the street. Pretty annoying, right? Aside from the fact that it could be illegal to ride around with a straight pipe, you’ll also be disturbing everyone around you.

No doubt, it can be a satisfying sound for motorcycle enthusiasts, but it could be infuriating for others who prefer a peaceful environment. The sound of a straight pipe isn’t music to anyone’s ears.


If you have decided to install a straight pipe, you’ll likely want a custom one as they are in trend among bikers. The straight pipe does not come cheap. You will have to pay a hefty price to hear your bike roar.

Dangerous Emissions

A straight pipe is not an environment-friendly choice. It emits exhaust gasses straight into the air without any filtration.

The Takeaway

If you made it to the end, now you know the answer to the question “what is a straight pipe?” It can help you decide whether you want one or not.

If it is legal in your state and your neighbors don’t mind the noise, you can take off that stock muffler to make your biking experience more enjoyable by installing a straight pipe.

Riding responsibly is important, as the emissions can not be environmentally friendly or some people won’t appreciate the sound. Keep that in mind before you pay for the switch.

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

how to flush engine block

How To Flush Engine Block on a Motorcycle?

You might be surprised to know that you must flush your motorcycle’s engine. You are not alone, as most people often ignore their vehicle’s engine

Join our newsletter & get latest bike update