Do You Have To Tune Motorcycles After Installing Exhaust?

After installing the exhaust, the first thing you think about is tuning your motorcycle. Does your bike require this after installing exhaust? The quick answer is

If you’re installing a complete system exhaust, you will have to tune up your bike. If you’re only installing a slip-on exhaust, then tuning up your motorcycle won’t be necessary. A slip-on exhaust is just for look and sound, but the complete system exhaust affects performance.

Slip-on exhausts don’t create any significant effect on the exhaust flow or even any other crucial elements. On the other hand, when you install a complete system exhaust, the oxygen in the combustion chamber will be raised, and the gas flow will be improved. 

What is a Tune-up Exactly?

Everyone needs tune-up services, and the motorbike’s brand and age will affect when you need to do the tune-up.

To tune up your bike is to check up on the parts of the engine and address anything that needs to be cleaned or fixed.

The areas you need to inspect include filters, spark plugs, and distributor caps. You’ll also need to perform several other tests, as well as analyze exhaust emissions, fix ignition timing, and check the speed control. 

How Often Should You Tune-Up an Old Motorcycle?

Assuming the vintage motorbike you bought is fairly intact or in some operating condition, a complete tune-up according to the manufacturer’s shop manual is a good place to start your rebuild/restoration.

If you have an older bike with many miles on it, it’s a good idea to undertake more frequent tune-ups. Nevertheless, every 4,000 miles (6,437.38 km) or every six months is a decent basic maintenance schedule to follow for a comprehensive tune-up.

Do You Have To Tune Motorcycles After Installing Exhaust?

harley exhaust

Suppose you’re just modifying your motorcycle or considering modifying your bike. Tuning can make your bike more powerful and also run better. Make sure that the modifications you’ve made are legal in your jurisdiction. 

The other thing you have to know is that a rock stock from a retune. There are a few factors for that, so the first is that no two motorcycles are ever identical. The factory map is sort of a best-guess estimate. 

The following reason is a factory bike can benefit from a retune: the factory doesn’t tune for maximum power. They have to yield to emissions laws, so factory bikes are adjusted in order to pass those tests rather than for optimal power or performance. 

Choosing an Exhaust

But the question is if you use either a slip-on exhaust or perhaps a High Flow air cleaner?

That being said, if you couple up both those items or wind up installing a complete system exhaust, that generally changes the air-fuel requirements. If you’re biking off, that re-tune is mandatory. 

You usually do not have to install a complete exhaust system, but when you have 2 into 1 exhaust for Harley bagger, you can thoroughly enjoy your Harley-Davidson touring bike. It’ll be perfect when you equip it with the proper parts to function accurately.

Now for those on older carbureted bikes, you can just swing down to the dealer and get some new jets or jet kit. You’ll need a fuel tuner if you have a newer fuel-injected machine. 

You can choose a piggy bank item even though several types of fuel tuners are available. You could also find a flash tuner.

If you’re not comfortable tuning your fuel-injected motorcycle, don’t worry. You can always swing down to check your local dyno operator, and they can help you select a tuner for you, or perhaps even do a whole ECU reflash. It’s a couple of different ways to get to the same endpoint. 

also read: Pros And Cons Of Aftermarket Exhaust Motorcycle

How Does Motorcycle Tuning Work?

When tuning, a carburetor engine is different from a fuel injector engine. The carburetor operates in a mechanical manner (analog), while the fuel injector is controlled by a computer (digital).

Bear in mind that adding a performance item like an exhaust system increases the amount of air in the combustion chamber. You should tune your motorcycle to boost the fuel intake to correct the air/fuel ratio and give you greater horsepower.

Tuning Fuel Injector

There are two ways to tune a fuel injector engine:

  • Purchase and install a Power Commander
  • ECU Flash

A power commander is a gadget that connects to the computer on your motorcycle and modifies its settings. When you install it, you adjust the settings to best suit your needs. You can even download maps from the internet if you’d like.

You will mount the power commander on your motorcycle before you begin your ride, and it will remain there throughout your journey. 

ECU flashing is when you take your motorcycle to a dyno and have the computer manually reprogrammed (ECU). You can modify much more than the Air/Fuel ratio, such as ignition timing, throttle response, or warning indicator disablement.

Both are viable choices. However, buying and installing a power commander is the most straightforward option if you’re a beginner.

Tuning Carburetors 

To tune a carburetor, you’ll need to buy and install a Jet Kit, often a larger Jet, because more fuel must be injected into the combustion chamber for increased power.

Everything seems to be mechanical in this place. There are no fine-tuning options or the ability to download and install other people’s settings.

How Much Horsepower Gain From Tuning a Motorcycle?

You can get another 5 horsepower from tuning on top of what you get from the exhaust alone for 12 horsepower. Of course, the actual horsepower is determined by the motorcycle engine. The larger the engine, the greater the possibility for growth.

Wrapping Up

Tuning your motorcycle after each upgrade is not necessary; this will just drive up your costs. You should tune your bike when you’re ready to do it, and before you do any of these upgrades because tuning will prevent future issues.

However, if you plan to install more aftermarket parts, then you have to wait until you finish the task completely before you do so.